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asimba2 12-05-2012 04:23 PM

Redwood fence, same on both sides--how to construct
Like the title says, I would like to build a 85' long redwood fence that looks the same on both sides. Similar to this:

I will use redwood 4x4 posts and 1x4 or 1x5 pickets, but how is the structure of the fence built? It looks like the stringers are 1x5s on the top and bottom AND on both sides with the pickets sandwiched down the middle?

Any fence building advice would be appreciated! I'm located near Sacramento, CA if that makes any difference.

joecaption 12-05-2012 04:38 PM

If I had to do it I would not be using 1X's for the rails. I'd use 2 X4's instead.
I'd use a Krag tool to predrill the holes and use ceramic coated screws.
Set the rails, install the slats with two screws at the top and bottom, then go back and install the back side.
I also would never install the top rails dead flat. Instead set the back side slightly higher, then install the top cap.
Reason being it will allow the water to run off and not rot out the top cap.

asimba2 12-05-2012 05:20 PM

Are you referring to the Kreg pocket hole jig like this?

The 1x5 pickets I bought are truely 1" thick. A 1" picket + the 2x4's actual thickness of 1.5" is 4" of material attached to a 3.5" wide 4x4 post. I guess I'm not sure how I get the flush look like shown in the photo with that arrangement.

I like the idea of slightly tilting the top cap.

joecaption 12-05-2012 05:24 PM

That tool will work but just take twice as long as this one.

Just to your side first, then the back side.
So what if it sticks out a 1/4" on the back side.

AndyGump 12-05-2012 07:57 PM

I do not believe that Kreg makes a coarse thread screw (for soft woods) in Galvanized or other weather resistant coating.
I would invest in a router and a couple of tongue and groove bits.


asimba2 12-05-2012 09:56 PM


Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 1067146)
That tool will work but just take twice as long as this one.

Just to your side first, then the back side.
So what if it sticks out a 1/4" on the back side.

I will order the two pocket screw model, thanks.
Not to be snarky but the difference is 1/2," so at that point I don't see the advantage of using a 2x4 when a 1x4 will make the same contact with the fence. Am I missing something? haha.

AndyGump 12-05-2012 10:10 PM

Well the 2x4 is actually 1 1/2" thick and the 1x4 is 3/4" thick.
The larger dimension will not warp over time as much as the smaller dimension material will.
Also, if using pocket screws this will make the panels more ridged and will react together to weather and sun. Making the panels T&G will allow them to move independently, allowing for more expansion and contraction. Just my opinion.


asimba2 12-06-2012 09:50 AM

Thanks Andy. I thought my 1x5s measured a real 1" thick, but I will check again.

Also, I'm not dead-set on this particular design. If anyone has any other ideas for a nice privacy fence I am interested in hearing about it.

asimba2 01-11-2013 12:10 PM

I finished the fence a couple of weeks ago and am very pleased with the results. Here is the "before" picture:

I took many of your suggestions under advisement. Starting from the bottom-up, I added pocket screw holes and 3" stainless steel screws to toenail pressure-treated 2x6s between the posts, then added pocket holes and used the same screws to toenail the bottom 2x4 to the 4x4 posts. I also ran a few screws down through both the 2x4 and into the 2x6 for extra rigidity. You can easily stand on the bottom stringer and there is no give. The top 2x4 stringer is attached the same way, then the 1x2 nailer was added on the back-side (SS screws every 16"), 1x5 pickets are brad-nailed top and bottom, sort of diagonally through the 2x4 stringers and a little into the 1x2 nailer plates. The front side 1x2 nailers were then added to button it up.

I will wait until June or so to stain the fence. This was my first major woodworking project, so thank you for the tips.

Impatient 01-11-2013 02:25 PM

Looks good to me! (quite an improvement)

asimba2 01-14-2013 01:11 PM

Thanks. I just got started on the double gate.

I started with a basic dog-eared framed gate design:

And added a few additions to dress it up a little:

I found some nice wrought iron-looking hinges and door pulls for a nice little finishing touch.

Fix'n it 01-14-2013 09:14 PM

i like that design, its at the top of my list now.

asimba2 01-14-2013 11:04 PM


Originally Posted by Fix'n it (Post 1093720)
i like that design, its at the top of my list now.

Thanks! I will post up more pictures after I get it installed. I went a little overboard on the fence posts--I ended up using 3/16" thick 4x4 boxed steel buried over 3' deep in 200 pounds of concrete. The corner posts will out-last my house.

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