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Mike in Arkansas 11-15-2011 11:22 AM

Possible to build this fence from wood?
1 Attachment(s)
Do you think itís possible to build the pictured fence from wood and for it to be durable? I assume the pictured fence is iron but from the picture I canít be 100% sure. I would want to keep the light open look so I wouldnít want to use 2x4ís for stringers. In the picture, the stringers appear to be about the same dimensions as the vertical pickets. If the pickets were glued to the stringers would each section be ridged enough to keep it from sagging over time? I would appreciate any insight, comments or recommendations.

jschaben 11-15-2011 11:53 AM

Hi Mike - pretty long span but I think it would be doable. I said doable, not easily doable. Looks to me like the pickets and stringers are 2x2's. Probably a 14 or 15 foot span. If I were gonna do it they would all be half-laps.:eek:

Willie T 11-15-2011 12:33 PM

Yeah, half-laps. But that would be a lot of work, and the probability is that you would still have terrible sagging.

Bud Cline 11-15-2011 12:39 PM

Divide the span by three and install two more legs in the ground on each span. They would only show below the bottom rail.:)

Snav 11-15-2011 01:08 PM

There's no sense of depth - I can't guess the length of spans. could be 8', could be 12' . . . and those are obviously pre-fab seeing as how they run into the ground for lack of slope.

but make it yourself? Sure - anything's possible - might not be traditional construction methods but the choice of wood and other materials would be key to pulling it off.

Bud Cline 11-15-2011 01:13 PM

I'm guessin' sixteen foot spans based on the size of the posts used which I'm thinking are about six inches.:)

Msradell 11-15-2011 01:15 PM

You can actually make all of it but the bottom rail out of wood and make the bottom rail of square tubular aluminum. That would prevent the sag and still be lightweight. This idea would work especially well if you had a wide gate. The aluminum is easily available and not terribly expensive.

oberkc 11-15-2011 01:37 PM

Sagging would be my concern, also. I would consider cables between the top of each post and the center bottom of each span (like a suspension bridge). It would be my hope that the cables could be small enough that they would be unobtusive.

Ron6519 11-15-2011 04:44 PM

Span seems to be about 12 feet, but you can make it any distance you want. You just need to drop supports every 4 feet or so.
If you have a mortiser tool or a drill press with a mortise attachment you could drill out a 2x4 for the spindles.
A lot of work and a lot of places for water to get in and rot the wood.

Snav 11-15-2011 04:47 PM

So - OP - did you finish the project yet :D

Mike in Arkansas 11-15-2011 06:09 PM


Originally Posted by Snav (Post 771934)
So - OP - did you finish the project yet :D

Not done yet:no: Thanks for all the suggestions and input. My guess is a 12 foot span also, based on a 1 1/2 inch square picket but who knows for sure. I really like the fence but at this point you all have about convinced me it's going to be too problematic to attempt. The picture is from a video capture of a tv program called Wind at My Back and is show occasionally during the closing credits but have never seen any closeups. Oh well, a standard picket fence may be my best option.

rusty baker 11-15-2011 06:16 PM

2x2s tend to warp so bad, don't think this would work.

Ironlight 11-15-2011 11:08 PM

If you like the general concept there is a lot you could do to make it both easy to build as well as less susceptible to sagging. Make the spans eight feet, use 2x3s for the top and bottom rails, etc. If you have a router you could do the half laps pretty easily; clamp slats of the same length together and create a jig and just batch them. You could assembly line fence sections pretty efficiently.

I think it's a question of how wedded you are to that exact design.

Of course, the real problem with that fence is you have to paint it. Yuck!

kwikfishron 11-16-2011 06:28 AM

199 Attachment(s)
As mentioned a couple of short post supporting the bottom rail along with the half lap would take care of the sag.

I agree with using 2x3 instead of 2x2. I’d also stay away from treated yellow pine. Cedar or even treated fir are more stable and would have less of a chance of twisting and checking.

DangerMouse 11-16-2011 06:44 AM


Originally Posted by Bud Cline (Post 771786)
I'm guessin' sixteen foot spans based on the size of the posts used which I'm thinking are about six inches.:)

They look to be standard 4"x4" posts to me. 8' spans maybe?


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