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Closeboard fencing - arris rails with brackets or cant rail?

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by Hallsy, 22 Sep 2010.

  1. Hallsy

    Hallsy

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    Hi all,

    going to have a go at erecting my first fence next week, after a bit of thought we've decided to go with closeboard.

    Been reading around on here and elsewhere but still have a few questions - be gentle!!

    First off, arris rails or cant rails? I gather that generally arris rails are used with metal brackets rather than morticed into posts these days, but is this a slightly weak fixing?

    In terms of looks (from the 'bad' side) I think arris rails flush with post face looks better than cant rails where you have a small gap between posts and featherboard, but it certainly looks stronger.

    I gather that bays tend to be in 2.4m, 3m or 3.6m. 3m will likely suit my garden layout, but is there any guidelines around width of bays and how many rails you use, or how many support stumps? I gather for a 3m bay, 1.8m high I'd be using 3 rails, and a centre support stump?

    Is it still considered the done thing to have the good side facing the neighbours? We are paying half each, but I will be erecting.

    Only trouble I have with that is that she has a shed on our boundary line which would mean I would have to offset the fence into my boundary by enough room to work from her side up against the fence, with that in mind it makes sense to me to have good side facing us.

    I have an alley way to the rear of garden so will go with good side facing outwards there.

    Other question I have is around the posts and stumps. What are the best tools for digging the post holes? Just a narrow spade and effort, or some type of auger? I've also read that you can get away with fitting the posts and ramming down the drymix, carry on fitting the rails & featherboard, then wet the cement at end of the day? Is that a good idea for DIY, or could it end in tears and a fallen fence halfway through the day!!

    Final thing, I have a slight fall to the garden, is it best to try and keep the run flat by burying the gravel boards a little, step at each bay, or run the gravel board down the slope and let the featheredge match the slope?

    Sorry for all the numpty questions!!
     
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  3. Hallsy

    Hallsy

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    Just thought of another numpty question!!

    Even though the wood will be pressure treated, am I right in thinking I still need to treat it?

    If so, then I'd rather do it before I assemble everything to make sure it's well covered, but if the wood is damp will I be able to do this?

    Any special treatments I can apply while it's new/damp?
     
  4. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I like Cuprinol spirit-based Shed and Fence Preserver (it is not called Woodstain)

    it is available in Brown, you have to keep shaking or stirring it as the colour seems to sink to the bottom. Do all cut edges very thoroughly with several coats, it soaks in fast. Parts likely to be damp, or in contact with the ground, can be dipped.

    AFAICT, it is similar to Cuprinol Green (but isn't green) which is a first-class timber preserver. It doesn't smell as bad as it used to.

    Once the preservative has dried (it takes several days) you can apply an ordinary fence stain which will colour the wood and leave a waxy-water-repellent film. These water based stains are very cheap and easy to apply. I prefer to put them on before assembly as you get better coverage and no pale bits when it shrinks.
     
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  5. Hallsy

    Hallsy

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    Cheers John, I had a quick look on Cuprinol site, but it wasn't clear if this preserver can be applied to new pressure treated wood?

    So would you say, it will be best for me to order all of the timber I need, apply preserver, then once dry apply a stain, then start erecting?

    Does a water based stain go off pretty quick? Does it add anything other than colour? The Cuprinol preserver says it aid water repellancy.

    I've got next week off and want to get the fence sorted in that week, so trying to work out best order to get things sorted in!!
     
  6. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I would do it like that. The spirit preservativer is what stops the timber rotting or being eaten, so it is the most important, especially on cut ends where bare wood is exposed. The pressure treatment will be OK where it is not cut, but I think Cuprinol is better. The stain is mosly for appearance, though it does also keep rain from soaking in.

    If you can leave the timbers outside, with sun and fresh air, but out of the rain, the spirit preservative will dry quicker. The spirit will stop water or stain from soaking in, but this is only temporary until it dries off.

    The water based stain will put on a waxy water-repellent film. In sunshine it dries in 10 minutes, in dull or cold weather it takes hours, in rain it will wash off if it has not already dried (it's a bit like emulsion paint in that regard). It is available in dark brown, and a variety of unattractive colours. On a sunny day, by the time you've treated panel 2, panel 1 will be dry. If you are applying multiple coats for deeper colour and better weather protection, it is easier to do them the same day - once the water-repellent waxy film has hardened it goes "unwettable" and prevents another coat from sticking. After a year outdoors, the weather takes the polish off, so you can recoat. It needs doing every 5 years or so. You can change colour from a lighter brown to a darker one if you want, but not the other way round. If you paint them green or blue or red it will be difficult to hide when you change your mind, unless you leave it to weather away.
     
  7. Hallsy

    Hallsy

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    Cheers again John, I can see this being a time consuming job painting lots of bits of featherboard, posts & rails!!

    Might use on of my old spray guns & compressor to save a bit of time!
     
  8. JohnD

    JohnD

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    it does slosh on very easily with a big soft brush, not much finesse needed :)
     
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