Looking at guides for building wooden frame gates I almost always find the following design recommendation:
The idea is that the cross brace will distribute load from the top outside corner into the bottom of the hinge bracket. I understand this logic and am sure it works but wouldn't it be preferred to use a tension brace rather than a compression brace in this application?
For example virtually every recommendation for a wire rope support shows the opposite:
In this case the wire rope supports the far end under tension, but is there a reason a 2x4 couldn't also be used under tension rather than compression? Is the former design more effective for some reason?
I realize that using the 2x4 for tension would require stronger joinery but it's certainly possible to secure it more than well enough to take the load.
Additionally a common theme here seems to be that the load on the gate is too trivial to really care either way but I strongly disagree with that statement. Wooden gates almost never hold up to time, and we aren't talking decades here...most wooden gates will sag within 1-2 years. Wood is certainly a troublesome material but plenty of critical structures have been made from wood with proper engineering and have held up much longer than this. So maybe we should consider complicating things more? It's certainly cheaper and easier to use more complicated joinery/a 99 cent steel bracket and 2x4s than it is to fabricate an all steel gate frame.
Are 2x4s just undersized to support a load like this or is it possible the bracing can make a difference?