A Fencing Project

My friend needed his fence replacing, as the panels were worm out. We decided to replace with close-boarded (feather-edge boards) verticals, on three arris rails between the 4" x 4" posts. All materials were construction-grade pressure-treated, significantly better than what is sold as "fencing grade" materials. For a better-than-average look to the project, I decided to turn decorative tops for the posts, which were tenon-fitted in a 35mm mortice (drilled with a European hinge sinker). The tops were turned from off-cuts of the post material. The majority were installed with silicone, but the two nearest the roadside were polyurethane glued in, to prevent any attempt at late-night cricket by passers-by.

The end grain of the vertical boards is subject to the weather, so I ran a rebate in the bottom of the capping and the tops of the boards fit up into this rebate, protecting them from the rain. The cappings are sprung fitted into silicone-filled routed pockets in the posts. The vertical boards stop just shy of the gravel boards (the horizontal base boards), in order not to wick water up through the bottom end grain.

Each board was painted prior to installation, so that all edges were treated (Cuprinol Wood Protector). This way, if there is any movement in the boards, there will not be any non-treated lines showing, as would be likely if the boards were painted after installation. All nail holes were drilled first, in order to prevent splitting. This was probably un-necessary, as it was good quality stock, but I was taking no chances!

The post bottoms were sat in preservative for a couple of hours before installation and were sunk at least two feet into the ground. The post holes were 305mm x 305mm x 710mm (12" x 12" x 28") and Blue Circle Postcrete was used to anchor them. The only drama within the project was that my friend misjudged the position of his incoming plastic water main and nicked the pipe with the hole spade. There was a bit of swift action to turn off the main, then I installed a coupling and all was well again. I'm glad it wasn't me wielding the spade at that moment!

The matching gate also had turned decorative tops. It has a spring closer, plus an additional latch mounted on the wall, to hold the gate back when wheeling out the rubbish and re-cycling bins. The driveway will be the next project, but I'm not involved with that (thank goodness!).

For the statistically-minded, the fence is 57 feet long and the project involved 94 feet of posts, 170 board feet of feather-edge, 60 feet of capping, 742 stainless screws and 740 galvanised nails.

Ray Girling 1998 - 2019