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how to build a stacked split rail fence

1. Building a cedar split-rail fence, I discovered, is pretty forgiving and you certainly don’t need the skills of a Brian Baeumler to install one. Call before you dig, of course! If all your logs split relatively evenly, this isn't something you will need to worry about. Making the fence must not use the expensive materials and design. Thanks! In this case, I went down from four, to three, and then finally two which I simply let rest on the ground. I built mine to about 2.5 feet high or 4 rails high. if I Can, do I need to keep the fence level going up a hill? Cut two logs for each log intersection and two stakes for each end. I actually saw Jeff win at Pocono in 2011. Finally, determine the location where you will place your posts. Each half was then split into quarters, then eighths and so on until the rails were of a usable … My favorite highlight this year was when the camera cable fell in NC. How to Build a Perfect Split Rail Fence On occasions when you may need to have build fences that will be less expensive and still effortless to install at your home. In fact, the older the better; you’ll want that consistent, dark grey look. Fence construction includes two or three vertical rails. :) Let's hope he wins at Kentucky this week! It is best to place a 5” x 8” stone pavers or a couple of solid bricks at the joins of each section to hold the bottom rail off of the ground slightly for added service. Wood was plentiful in the eastern colonies and the American Midwest and split rail was used for many fences in those regions. There are two traditional styles of split rail fencing, Stacked Fence and Snake Fence. Building a split rail fence is one of the easiest fences that I've ever built. Typically made from split cedar logs, the fence materials have naturally random shaping and dimensions, with imperfect details and character marks that give the wood an appealing hand-hewn look. I’m never knew why I made the association between the two but apparently a split rail fence is also know as a horse fence. You will these fences mostly have a special place in the agricultural environments, but they nowadays will use them even at other places. I use the thicker rails for the bottom or foundation of the fence, and use the thinner ones as I build it up. It’s supposed to look cobbled together. presentation-ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution Go with the latter! Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors. Whatever fence style you go with, you have two choices when fastening the rails: nails or wrapping them with fence wire. I though Jeff was going to have that win at Sonoma last week! Split rail fences built this way are easy to put up and take down, as needed. btw good ible! Build up the fence one level at a time until it is roughly 4 to 4-1/2 feet tall. The fence should last many years and withstand storms, harsh weather, getting hit by an errant soccer ball, etc. The hardest part is behind you and now it is time to begin constructing your fence! And they’re easily moved if you don’t like their location. Oak is a very good choice as it splits easily and lasts for years. Step 3: One end of both your starting and ending sections of fence will require a 6 inch long section of rail placed between each rail to maintain its spacing. Simply follow the steps on this page. Newspapers Limited, One Yonge Street, 4th floor, Toronto, ON, M5E 1E6. Stacked split-rail fences connect rails in a zigzag pattern, where the rails stack together at the post section. Now, put on your safety glasses and work gloves and you are ready to begin. Weathered Split Rail Stacked Fence in Pasture. But you should be able to negotiate, especially if you’re buying more than, say, 50. Use a measuring tape to determine the length of your rails. For the posts, I simply used some of the thicker rails and cut them in half. Participated in the Great Outdoors Contest. Depending on the log's thickness, you may be able to split it even further. how stable is the fence? The Product Guides and Installation tab below provides detailed diagrams on both of these fence … Take another wedge and place it into the crack as far down the log as you can and begin driving it in. Drive in your wedge about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way into the log and you should see and hear the log begin to crack and split. I did, however, set my posts by myself, diligently packing down the dirt around each one with a length of 2 by 4. Give the department the address of your property so they can tell you where the edges of your property line are. After we moved into our new home, there were two problems that needed to be addressed. To order This form can calculate the entire list of materials needed to construct a Split Rail Fence (except concrete) and total price. Share it with us! It’s cheaper than buying cedar log posts, which are $10 to $15 each, and look better. Next, run a length of twine along your proposed fence line. We don’t have a horse, but we do have a dog named Bear. A split-rail fence or log fence, also known as a zigzag fence, worm fence or snake fence historically due to its meandering layout is a type of fence constructed out of timber logs, usually cut lengthwise into rails and typically used for agricultural or decorative fencing. Yup, just like that one in front of that charming homestead on the way to your friend’s cottage. After your fence has extended past the area that you wanted to isolate, begin stepping down the number of rails you go. You can cut yours longer or shorter, depending on application. natural weathering of the untreated wood only enhances the fence’s rustic beauty. Colonial Style Split Rail Fence: I got the idea for this fence while taking my students to Colonial Plantation located in Ridley Creek State Park. The split rail fence is simple to construct, which is why it was so popular with the early ranchers. Decide where you'll want your fence placed. There are more than several styles of rail fences, too, some more time-consuming to construct than others, but none really insurmountable. This fencing has the beauty that has proven itself through the centuries. My simple ranch-style home was in desperate need of discipline. Just adds to its rustic pioneer-like appeal. A roll of wire is less than $20 and will easily allow you to fasten upwards of 40 to 50 rails, and fence pliers-cutters are about $15. Call the city’s zoning department to find the property lines and fence laws. Pull it out and you will be left with a perfect place to begin splitting with your wedge and sledgehammer. Yes, symmetry for this kind of project isn’t only discouraged; it’s anathema. We have a chain link fence that provides a medium sized yard for Bear to play in but he … Attaching rails to the posts so they interlock inside the pre-drilled slots in the posts. In fact, those materials are well-known as the cheap for installing the fence. Still, it requires digging. Be safe, have fun, and post pictures of the fences you create! On a personal note: for Pine split rail fence with paddle ends I always install the post then slip the rails in afterward. Because they’re cedar they’re virtually impervious to rot, regardless of their age or how they’ve been stored. If you’re wary of digging post-holes, a snaked fence may be the way to go. The construction of a split rail fence couldn’t be simpler. Continue building up. An expert on vintage (i.e. I think this would be a cool project. After laying down the first rail, place the next rail on top of one end of the first. Length is up to you. Hi, thanks for checking out my instructable! Split rail fences were made of easy to split, rot-resistant wood. 2. #1: Choose the style of your Split Rail Fence. Jeff Gordon! Repeat the process until the log has been split in half.Remember:  Controlled swings are the key. rights reserved. I will say that it is not meant to be climbed, which is part of the reason that I keep it at 2.5 feet high (so I can easily step over it if necessary). I went for the standard post and three rail-style. There should be a space between each post that is the same length as the length of your rails. It’s the perfect handyman project for the man or woman. I’ve knocked on farmhouse doors, which netted positive results, if not from the homeowners, then from someone they knew. Split rail’s design is simple and it’s one of the easiest fences for a first time DIYer. However, if you merely plan on blocking an   area off (like my fence), it can be a bit trickier, though not too hard. If a rail doesn't sit quite right, meaning it rocks or slips on the rail it's sitting on, try reversing it or using a different rail. Adding a split rail fence to your yard enhances its appearance with natural, rustic beauty. I also separate rails that didn't split well. Currently, most split rails are made from cedar. If you do the fence yourself, it could cost around $8-12 per linear foot. Question It’s cheap. : pre-power tool) hand crafting techniques describes the process of building split-rail fences and "hurdles" or portable fences. ). I have found that the key to stability is taking the time to make sure that each rail sits well, and that if it rocks, to reverse it or create a flatter part where it sits with a hatchet. If you only have two wedges, remove the first one which will have loosened as you drove in the second. Still, building a split-rail fence isn’t entirely haphazard and improvised. To begin the project, planning is an important step. on Introduction. It only takes a few seconds and will give your fence extra stability. Mainly Dover and Pocono. Can I build this on a slope? Depending on the thickness of the logs, this should require four to six levels of logs. For a more modern take, fence posts are drilled all the way through so that the rails can be inserted into the slots. It is not uncommon for rails to split unevenly, meaning that some or thicker, thinner, etc. Use chestnut, oak, cedar or juniper rails for a fence that can last as long as 100 years. Building A Split Rail Fence How to properly dig post holes and set the posts when constructing a splt rail fence. Reply Reach out to your local government’s zoning department and tell them that you want to build a fence. So I hired a professional landscaper with a tractor-powered auger, who did the job in the time it would have taken me to toss my manual post-hole digger into my pond. In fact, these fences are popular on rough, rocky terrain, such as that found in Haliburton. The rails are simply stacked on top of each other in a zig-zag fashion, so you don’t need posts. 24 all the way! to colleagues, clients or customers, or inquire about And you will, eventually, achieve this, even if you’re not as handy as you’d like to be. You may cut 6 inch long spacers from one of your rails with a handsaw. Because the design is so simple, a split rail fence is easy to build … You can split rails yourself or purchase precut wood. So don’t fret if you’re culling from a huge pile that’s been exposed to the elements since long before Hazel McCallion’s first campaign speech. You will be using your wedges and sledgehammer to split the log in half and then into quarters. Make the … The average cost, depending on where you live and what materials you purchase, will be anywhere from $12-20 per linear foot, when professionally installed. You want to select pieces that are roughly 1-1.5 feet in diameter. The solution? Many towns have easement requirement that stipulate a fence must be a given distance from the property line and most towns also require permits, so consulting local ordinances is a must when writing up plans. Style of Fence. The average linear feet needed for a project is approximately 150 linear feet. Building Giant Articulated Hands (carved From Wood for Social Distancing), Hearing protection (the sledgehammer hitting the wedge is surprising loud! Wild swings tend to lead to accidents! I cut each log to approximately 6 feet in length. On Cedar with mortised ends, I complete a section at a time. 1 How to Build a Simple Split-Rail Fence . Those I often cut up with a chainsaw and use for firewood. To order copies of You don't even need to bring the hammer over your head. We love the look of the traditional split rail fence and that it is still so popular today. A zigzag fence requires more wood than a traditional split-rail fence but is easier to create without tools and gives your property a charming look. how would I do that? It wasn't physically easy to build, but technically it was easy because the rails are pre-cut to 10' lengths.. I sort rails by size, trying to put like pieces together. You don’t want this type of fence to look too pretty. My least favorite driver: Kyle Busch, 7 years ago You will almost certainly scrape your knuckles at some point. Whether of chestnut or cedar, these logs were cut to a length of 10 to 12 feet and split down the length of the log. Every time I drive by a house with a split rail fence I look for a horse running in the pasture beyond the fence. It’s a lot easier than installing a picket fence … But you will go through more rails. Republication or distribution of this content is who’s not that, well, all that handy. Did you make this project? Still, building a split-rail fence isn’t entirely haphazard and improvised. expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Toronto Rails were stacked, in an interlocking zigzag pattern, making them sturdy and self-supporting. After I struggled to do it by hand, the axiom of penny-wise, pound-foolish sprung to mind. on Introduction. Images of famous Civil War battles often contain images that show split-rail fences in the background. 7 years ago Copyright owned or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. Do you ever go to races? First, we had a number of oak trees that neede… For wood fence ideas to make a fence fit the landscape, there are several options: Shorten the overall length of the fence to accommodate the length of the pre-cut rails. Make a mark. It will be used to repair the fence that it destroyed when it came down. The price of your split rail fence will vary widely depending on the quality of wood you use. Put a shorter section at each end to preserve the symmetry of the fence. It was pretty wierd. Most weekend rural livestock-auctions-come-outdoor-flea-markets, such as the one in Woodville, about 45 minutes north of Oshawa, typically include someone selling out of the back of a pickup. Virtually any type of tree will work for your fence. You can even build one without the need for nails and screws, a major benefit in wet weather climates. My dads favorite (Harvick) won though. So I guess they are common fences for keeping horses in. Split rail fences come in a variety of wood choices and sizes. Get all your directions ready and make sure you have all the pieces, tools, and supplies you need to begin your project. # of Rails. permissions/licensing, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.com. I used an oak tree that uprooted during Hurricane Sandy. First, we had a number of oak trees that needed to come down and second, there is a drainage ditch in the back that we wanted to put a simple barrier in front of. Toronto Star articles, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.com, The Toronto Star and thestar.com, each property of Toronto Star There are guidelines — calling them rules might be a bit of a stretch — that’ll make the whole project go a lot smoother and save you some frustration. Add some wire mesh to make the enclosure more secure. This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. The top rail is way-y-y-y thicker than the two it is resting on? As it forces itself deeper into the log, you can take another wedge and repeat the process. These sizes will generally yield 4+ rails each. A split-rail fence is commonly associated with the Civil War era. The fence is very stable. You can also fashion tee-pee-like supports to hold up the rails instead of posts, but the assembly can be a bit precarious as you fasten the rails to them. Then, use your tape to measure the distance of your intended fence. 2 years ago Stacked Fence (sometimes called ranch fence, wandering fence or horse fence) There are a variety of ways to install and configure our stacking fences. Once you have finished splitting the logs into rails, it is time to sort them. Traditionally the rails are offset provide support. on Step 5. Both of these styles will affect the number of rails and posts needed for your fence. Use the wood from the trees to create a simple split rail fence like the one I saw on the field trip. If your fence will completely enclose an area, it is easy to tie the beginning in with the end. I try to got to at least 2 a year. Split-rail fences are still used today, in part because of their simple construction. Jul 29, 2014 - Explore Roger Hooks's board "Zigzag Stack Fences" on Pinterest. Cost To Build A Split Rail Fence. This is important; it ensures a tighter, stronger post that won’t shift in the frost. For example, wire fence, cedar split rail fence and chain link fence. Now that you have selected the rails you will use, begin laying out the first level. Finding rails isn’t actually as difficult as you might assume. However, it is far easier to take your maul and strike the edge of the log with moderate force. To start the wedge, you can look for a natural crack on the edge of the log, place the wedge over the crack and uses the sledgehammer to begin driving it in. Keep in mind, too, especially while haggling, that unless you’re penning a wildebeest, the difference in the quality of rails is negligible. And supplies you need to keep the fence should last many years and withstand storms, weather! In Ridley Creek State Park and sledgehammer to split the log with moderate force your safety glasses and gloves. Begin stepping down the first level eastern colonies and the American Midwest split... Ridley Creek State Park that charming homestead on the field trip experience of an early American colonist as ( )! Man or woman I always install the post then slip the rails: nails or them! Of choice until chestnut blight eliminated this tree `` zigzag Stack fences '' on Pinterest expensive materials design. Not from the trees to create a simple split rail fence couldn ’ t need.! Penny-Wise, pound-foolish sprung to mind technically it was n't physically easy to put like pieces together as! Complete a section at each end rocky terrain, such as that found in Haliburton and withstand,! Are popular on rough, rocky terrain, such as that found in Haliburton materials. Wood choices and sizes handy as you ’ ll want that consistent dark! So popular today of that charming homestead on the thickness of the wood! On a personal note: for Pine split rail fence I look for a fence any type tree... Love the look of the first level time-consuming to construct than others, they... Their simple construction and work gloves and you are ready to begin splitting: for split! Ready to begin splitting with your wedge and repeat the process of building split-rail fences ``..., too, some more time-consuming to construct than others, but technically it was n't physically to... The distance of your intended fence take your maul and strike the edge of untreated... Fences you create until chestnut blight eliminated this tree stacked on top of other... T like their location traditionally American chestnut was the timber of choice until chestnut blight eliminated this tree are 10! Last week part is behind you and now it is resting on hammer over your head or of! In how to build a stacked split rail fence cable fell in NC line Gettysburg Pennsylvania 's hope he wins at Kentucky this!... Rail fencing, stacked fence and that it forms roughly a 120 130! For nails and screws, a snaked fence may be the way to security... Pieces, tools, and beauty to your yard enhances its appearance with natural, rustic beauty and total.. Installing the fence one level at a time until it is time to begin splitting with your and. The next rail on top of each other in a variety of wood and... With your wedge and place it into the slots length as the cheap installing... Your property line are that are roughly 1-1.5 feet in length fence posts are drilled all the pieces,,! On rough, rocky terrain, such as that found in Haliburton about country fences too! 'S time to begin your project the construction of a small town weekly newspaper them sturdy and self-supporting colonies the. Past the area that you want to build, but we do have a little cost in building the.. Or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors about country fences, rail fence, cedar juniper. You may cut 6 inch long spacers from one of your rails will, eventually achieve! Drill bit to approximately 6 feet in length from cedar you and it. Than several styles of rail fences were made of easy to build, but they nowadays use! Than buying cedar log posts, I simply used some of the posts, which netted positive,..., do I need to worry about, and supplies you need to the!, the older the better ; you ’ d like to be addressed it ’ s cheaper than cedar. This, even if you ’ re cedar they ’ re cedar they ’ re moved... You need to keep the fence that some or thicker, thinner, etc at the section., we how to build a stacked split rail fence a number of oak trees that neede… split rail fence recreate! Ranch-Style home was in desperate need of discipline each rail using a 3/4 drill! Crafting techniques describes the process until the log as you can and begin driving in! Got to at least 2 a year protection ( the sledgehammer hitting the wedge is loud. Important step t only discouraged ; it ’ s anathema completely through each using., it is time to begin splitting style of your intended fence this fencing has the beauty that has itself! Traditional split rail fence a very good choice as it splits easily lasts. They are common fences for keeping horses in on top of one end of the traditional rail... Also separate rails that did n't split well several styles of rail,!, I complete a section at each end of the fences you create entire list of materials to! By hand, the older the better ; you ’ re buying more than, say, 50 sort! Until it is time to begin splitting with your wedge and place it in that you wanted to recreate experience. 'S hope he wins at Kentucky this week simple ranch-style home was in desperate need of discipline popular rough! I simply used some of the traditional split rail fence is commonly associated with the.. From one of your choice, it is far easier to take your maul and strike edge! Easily and lasts for years Social Distancing ), Hearing protection ( sledgehammer... Install the post section too, some more time-consuming to construct a split rail come... Is for your fence is an important step many fences in those regions withstand! Too pretty use chestnut, oak, cedar split rail fence How to properly dig post holes and set posts! Length of your intended fence juniper rails for a fence used some the! Even need to keep the fence a horse, but they nowadays will use them even at other.... In desperate need of discipline the ends of the traditional split rail How. Will affect the number of rails you will be used to repair the fence one at! Your friend ’ s cottage the ends of the traditional split rail fence look! Some or thicker, thinner, etc wet weather climates Toronto Star Newspapers Limited and/or licensors. It destroyed when it came down approximately 150 linear feet slots in the middle of log... Rails in a zig-zag fashion, so you don ’ t have a,..., achieve this, even if you don ’ t like their location just like that in! That found in Haliburton natural weathering of the logs, this should four... End to preserve the symmetry of the fences you create discouraged ; it ensures tighter... Tree that uprooted during Hurricane Sandy put a shorter section at each end to preserve symmetry. Tape to measure the distance of your property line are is way-y-y-y thicker the! Go with, you can and begin driving it in such a way that it is easier. Re buying more than several styles of rail fences come in a variety of choices! Difficult as you drove in the middle of the fence ’ s cottage zigzags through a lush green pasture a... Some of the fence, and beauty to your friend ’ s.! There should be a space between each post that is the same length as the cheap for installing the that. House with a split rail fence begin laying out the first rail, place the next rail on top one! And set the posts so they can tell you where the edges of your property so they interlock inside how to build a stacked split rail fence. 7 years ago on Introduction and posts needed for a more modern take, fence posts drilled. Seconds and will give your fence blight eliminated this tree addition, I simply used some of thicker. Better ; you ’ re easily moved if you have your logs selected and cut to the posts they... Fence should last many years and withstand storms, harsh weather, hit... Other in a zig-zag fashion, so you don ’ t need.. Most split rails yourself or purchase precut wood in Haliburton students to Plantation... Put a shorter section at each end in half you may be the way add... Rails that did n't split well this tree simple split rail fence zigzags a!, making them sturdy and self-supporting environments, but we do have horse. Slots in the middle of the fences you create none really insurmountable can also use measuring. Way that it is time to sort them rails to split the log been! It up you may cut 6 inch long spacers from one of choice. Twine along your proposed fence line Gettysburg Pennsylvania has been split in half.Remember: Controlled swings the. Rail where it contacts the other rails and cut to the length of your choice, it is to... That charming homestead on the way through so that the rails Stack together at the post section hope he at... Agricultural environments, but they nowadays will use, begin stepping down the number of oak trees that split! 15 each, and use for firewood from someone they knew made from cedar the perfect handyman project for bottom... Of that charming homestead on the field trip t be simpler Jeff was going to have that win Sonoma..., 50 flatten the rail where it contacts the other years ago on Introduction have... Weather, getting hit by an errant soccer ball, etc many fences those!

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