A Flying Lock Gate
A Flying Lock Gate
photo by: Ken W. Watson, 2007

Ever wonder how those large wooden lock gates get installed. Although the gates are left in place during the winter, every 25 years or so they need to be replaced. New gates are custom made to specifically match the individual lock at Parks Canada's "gate shop" in Smiths Falls. These days all it takes is a large portable crane, using the strength of hydraulics, to lift one of these gates into place. Back when the canal was being built - this lifting was also done by a crane, but one made of wood and powered by hand winches. In this case the gate isn't actually a new one, it's the old (newly repainted) gate being put back into position after repairs have been made to the support structure.

This particular gate weighs about 10 tonnes (11 tons). An easy way to calculate the weight is to look at the number of "rails" (horizontal timbers, including the top and bottom timber). This gate has 8. The weight is about 1.25 tonnes per rail.

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URL: www.rideau-info.com/canal/images/locks/img-flying-gate.html
© 2007 Ken W. Watson