Close board fence design?

27 Apr 2008
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United Kingdom
Hello, to make a close boarded/feather edged fence, for a 5m length and a height of 5'-6'.

With 4x4 posts concreted in (18-24" down) with postcrete.
How much water do you add per bag?

I dont have a nail gun so for 1/2" boards what size & type of nails would you recommend?

At the bottom, do I need to add a gravel board as it goes along a flower bed?
IMO it will look daft, so is it better to just raise it off the ground an inch?

Also when nailing it is there any tendancy for the wood to split or is it usually soft enough?

If I cut pressure treated boards do I need to then coat the cut ends with preservative?

I have a 5m, 90 turn them 3m then gate then 2.5m garden to do, it's better to close board it as panels just don't fit in the space well.
It is my first fence :D

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I used screws to do mine.. it stops rattling the posts while you put it up, and makes it easier to remove the boards to replace any that split, warp or get broken..

gravel board sunk into the soil so that only a few inches are on show..

pre-drill the boards if you're worried about splitting.. and treat everyting before you put it up.. takes a while but gets the bits you can't get once built..
depends on teh manufacturer for the post crete, normally instructions on teh bag. Add the water at the end of the day when the work is finished. Ram it in well when putting it in the hole and it will hold the post. putting the water in at the end of teh day will allow you to work on it, without disturbing the wet concrete (it never goes off as fast as they say it does.

2 inch annular nails are fine for the boards

a gravel board keeps the bottom of the fence from rotting. It should sit on teh ground, not be buried in it to avoid it roting to fast. The grave board also gives a level surface to sit the feather edge on as you board it so you get a neat finish at the top

The feather edge will be soft enough to nail. you may get the odd board, but its never normally a problem

The pressure treated wood is normally ok, when cut.

you can cut panels to fit the size you want, but closeboard is stronger and longer lasting.
I have just been doing some sums...

There is the side at 5 long & the end at 7m long with a gate in it.

5m run with 3 off 7'x4"x4" Tanalised posts, 2.5m between one end rawlbolted to garage wall, other 2 postcreted in approx 18"-24", supported while drying.

(hand dug with spade, but maybe I'll make that 4 posts).

3 x 4"x2" Tanalised batten/arris rail at 7", 30", 53" above the ground.
Screwed on with 4"xno12 Galvanised - 2 per end

50 off 5'x5"x1/2" feather edged Tanalised boards fitted with 2" Galvanised oval headed nails, 1" overlap.

I think I'll use a 1" strip of wood laid to enable me to keep them off the ground & straight rather than a gravel board, it will leave a 1" gap under the fence, although will likely have earth & plants against it before too long.

If I get splitting then I can make holes in the template I'll also make that will enable me to pre drill in the right place then nail em up exactly even etc.

Then for the end run which is 7m with a gate in approx 4m from the other new fence side (using the existing new corner post).

corner post, 2m, post, 2m, post, gate, post, 2.1m, post.
Battens as above, 70 x FE boards as above.

I'll have a go at making a gate, also out of 3x2 with same FE boards on.

clear area, mark with pegs & string, dig holes, fit posts in postcrete & leave overnight, cut & fit horizontal battens, start fitting FE boards from far end, then fit across bottom end, maybe make good with a cap, then with remaining space make a gate to fit.

(the "," also indicates brew time :D)

As I said, this is my first fence, I'm doing it for an old blind couple (so they might not spot any mistakes :D ) and I think it's going to take me all week to do, esp as I have plenty of clearing of old crap & bushes to do first.

Anyone know how much 450 of the above nails is likely to weigh, they sell em by the Kilo lol

May get screws, but they will need pre drilling - or I need to buy a new battery drill.

Hows that sound for a plan?
(I'm figuring out the costs now).
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my bad, I assumed you meant a concrete gravel board... which is what mine has as it's in the old sloted concrete posts..

for that much work it might pay you to rent a gas nail gun for the week..
IMO the nailing will be the easy bit, its the digging of the holes that I am dreading.

I dont like garden stuff. :cry:

Can anyone advise how many vertical posts I should have for a 5m length?

I'm wondering if 2.5m between posts is a little too much?
what size bays are you doing? standard arris rail lebgths are 2.4m, 3.0m or 3.6m

It's a 5m length of fence.

Garage wall at one end (post bolted to it) and a corner post at the other end.
I initially thought in the middle for another (2.5m) but I'm wondering if that will be adequate.

Using 3x2 horizontal timbers should make it pretty strong though.
For an update, I have been doing this for the past 2 days, I have all the 4"x7' posts in now, dug mainly with a metal trowel.. :D

The soil is really good agricultural stuff & no clay so has been easy to dig
apart from when I hit the Roman road as there was a massive stone so I drilled it in several places to break it apart.

Tommorrow I'm doing the cross pieces & starting the boarding.

It's a learning experiance. :D
I have done the boards, that was pretty easy (albeit monotonous :D ), lots of nailing.

Today I have a gate to make that matches, now this IMO is going to be a fiddly job but I'm sure I will manage.

It's looking pretty good.
Finally finished it all.

Posts & rails are all spot on vertical/horizontal but the ground is on a gentle slope, something I forgot about when putting them in so to get a horizontal top it looks a little odd on the inside.

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And I know the soil should not be piled up against the bottom, it has been moved since then.
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And I couldn't remember which way the angles on the fence should go, but itworks & the fence is nice & strong.
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From the other side of the end of the garden:
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The people I did it for (a friends aged parents) knew it was my first fence and are happy with it.

As I was doing it I came across little tips I could give myself to aid getting it done.

And I think I now need a new cordless drill as my 4 year old cheapo one started smoking......
Oh no..... her daughter has seen it & wants one too :D

Where did I put that spade? :D

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