Building a post and rail fences..

Installing a post and rail fence.

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Building a post and rail fences

 

Building suppliers sell rustic rails with wedge shape, tapered, or rounded tenons and pre-mortised posts. They’re ready for you start from scratch, or installation, but you can also cut your own tradition rails from raw logs. If you start from scratch, the rustic look allows you a certain amount of leeway and is forgiving of minor mistakes

Precut rails come in lengths of 6 to 10 feet and may be square or wedge shaped, split. These post and rail fences tend to look more stylish with shorter bays, but a 10 foot rail covers more fence line with fewer posts, and fewer precuts tenons and is therefore less expensive. If cost is a factor, you may want to strike a balance between the two lengths.

The standard length for split wedge shaped cedar, pine, or redwood rails with 4 to 6 inches faces is 6 to 11 feet. If you’re cutting your own, you’re have a good deal of flexibility in how wide you make the bays.

Measure down from the top of the post to mark each mortise location so the mortises are in the same place on all posts. You should be able to locate the top rail 2 to 6 inches from the top of the post and the bottom rail 6 to 12 inches off the ground, with the middle rail center between them. You must set mortised fences one section at a time, the rails will not fit in preset posts.

 

 

 

 

How to use post and rail fences.

 

·         Defining spaces: Excellent, they make attractive boundary markers.

·         Security: Poor, low fences are easy to climb over.

·          Rails permit open views.

·         Creating comfort zones: Minimal low height does not block wind.

·         With closely spaced rails they can block drifting snow.

 

 

 

 

Installing a post and rail fences

 

1.      Layout the fence line with 6 foot bays and dig the holes. Cut a cardboard rectangle the size of the tenon and use it as a template to outline the mortise on the posts. Measure down from y\the top of the post the same distance so the mortises will all be on the same plane. Drill and chisel out the mortise.

 

2.      Position the cardboard template on the end of the rails and outline the profile of the tenon with a carpenter’s pencil. Mark the depth of the tenon on the side of the rails and use a reciprocating saw to rough cut the tenons. You can narrow their ends and fine tune them to fit when you install the rails.

 

3.      Set the first post in its hole and brace it 36 inches off the ground using the same techniques for a notched fence. Test fit the tenons in this post and the next one’ shave them to fit, and set them aside. Backfill the first hole with concrete and let it set. Then set the rails in the next post, brace and plumb it with level rails, and backfill the hole with concrete.

 

4.      Continue setting each bay with the same techniques, leveling the rails and backfilling the holes with concrete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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