I've only used those rods a couple of times. If you have a large flame the best practice is not to play it onto the piece constantly, but heat and remove continuously until it creeps up to temperature.
Apparent power is what most of us pay for, at least those of us with an analogue meter. True power is what you pay for with Smart meters. If you've anything other than resistive loads connected to your meter, then you'll have a lowering of power factor. That includes: motors, new-fangled...
You have the spring retainer in the wrong way. The three or four fingers should be closing over the outer insulation. I normally feed the braid back over the outer sheath and then lock it up, trimming off excess.
I agree with you @8ob When the gate is at right angles to its closed position the pins will be out of alignment. You would need rose joints as the pivoting elements.
Unless you have a very slack hinge pivot.