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Old 05-17-2008, 03:52 PM   #1
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tongue and groove fence pickets - bad idea ?


I'm hoping to build a privacy fence composed of several 6' X 8' panels and constructed of cedar. I don't want to have any gaps between the pickets. It seems like tongue and grooving the pickets might be the solution to not having any gaps. But I've been told that tongue and groove might introduce some problems when the wood tries to expand, due to moisture and humidity, which could lead to buckling of the panel. I'm confused because some of the pre-built panels you can buy use tongue and groove construction. I'm located in the Midwest so we get all the pronounced weather changes of the different seasons which would of course affect a fence.

Assuming this is a good idea then is the trick to keep plenty of space between the pickets so they can expand and contract ? In otherwords don't really jam the pickets into each other tightly. But instead join them loosely leaving some space to expand ? Is there a particular type of 'grooving' that is better to use such just routing a concave and convex surface (Type B below) on the opposing pickets so they don't really 'hook' together but just loosely fit into each other ? Or is Type A below the better way ?



Or maybe there is a trick of using wood that is not too dry because you want wood that is allready expanded to start with ?

If anyone can shed some light on this that would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

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Old 05-17-2008, 03:56 PM   #2
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tongue and groove fence pickets - bad idea ?


Just another thought occured to me. Would it be better to use smaller width pickets than wider ones ? Reason being that the relative amount of expansion per picket will be smaller if the picket is say 3" wide than if it were 6" wide ?

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Old 05-17-2008, 08:33 PM   #3
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tongue and groove fence pickets - bad idea ?


Bad idea IMO. The boards are going to swell way to much and fiercly cup.How about a board and batten style?
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:38 PM   #4
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tongue and groove fence pickets - bad idea ?


Never heard of Board on Batten untill you mentioned it. Here is what I found after a few Google searches. Never saw this type of design before either. But it looks really good ! And it will be easy make as well. Is this what you had in mind when you mentioned it ? It looks like a 'shadow box' design with no space between. Would the idea be to nail the pickets to the two boards at the top and bottom and not to nail them to each other ?

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Old 05-18-2008, 05:21 PM   #5
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tongue and groove fence pickets - bad idea ?


Beautiful fence. The board "Board on Batten" style can also be attained using your 6 inch boards with 1x2 covering the gap, this gives a little different effect. We have used this on numerous fences where no gap was desired. Wish I could find those pics..



We have used the design on several houses as well. One little house in particular was for a St. Joe Timber guy, who had the cypress milled especially for this home. It came out beautiful. Plenty of pics if ya like.


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Old 05-22-2008, 10:43 PM   #6
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tongue and groove fence pickets - bad idea ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
Never heard of Board on Batten untill you mentioned it. Here is what I found after a few Google searches. Never saw this type of design before either. But it looks really good ! And it will be easy make as well. Is this what you had in mind when you mentioned it ? It looks like a 'shadow box' design with no space between. Would the idea be to nail the pickets to the two boards at the top and bottom and not to nail them to each other ?

That is the style I had in mind, although usually the batten (applied board over the butt seam) is the narrower of the two, but it is really up to your personal opinion, as to the sizes you like.
My guess on the construction of that display, based on the very small reveal at the top and botom rails against what appears to be a 4 x 4 post, is that the "boards" are spaced and sandwiched between a double 1 x at the top and bottom, and then the "battens" are butted between the top and bottom rails.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 05-22-2008 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:00 PM   #7
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tongue and groove fence pickets - bad idea ?


Here is what I've settled on for a design. I'm not sure it's technically the 'battens' design. The second picture is showing the view from below to reveal how the two sides wil be constructed and will fit together. There are four 1" X 5' boards along the vertical edges of the panel, you can't see them too well, but I thinking this will be how I can secure the panel to the post. I'm thinking of building two separate panels, and installing them on the post one at a time and sandwiching them together. I'm also not sure why the two sides of the 'sandwhich' really need to be fastened to each other. If they are kept separate then that will make taking them down to refinish in a few years easier. I'm using 8" (actually 7 1/4") horizontal boards because I thought that would be a stronger design then if I used 6" wide boards.



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