Making DIY vertical close board fence panels

21 Dec 2011
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United Kingdom

Some of my lap panels are falling apart. They are on top of concrete gravel boards between concrete posts.

I saw a YouTube video showing how to make vertical close board panels so I went out and got some materials.

I have feather edge boards 17mm on thick end, 6mm thin - 5ft long and rails 3 x 1.5" - 6ft long. They were out of capping so I need to go back for that.

I lay out the 3 rails per panel top, middle and bottom - positioned at the absolute top, middle and bottom.

It then looks like you lay the first board with thick edge to the left, two nails fixing it to the top, 2 to the middle and 2 to the bottom rail.

Then overlap the next board an inch, nailing through both thick and thin edges into the rail behind - BUT I have read this will cause the boards to split as the wood moves? Is there a better way?

What type of nails should I use? Is 40mm and galvanised recommended?

Then the capping is nailed at intervals into the top rail?

Oh yeah and I may need to cut the feather edge boards a bit as it's a bit less than 5ft. What should I dip the cut end in? Presumably the boards are pressure treated does this mean they never need treating or painting etc?

Many thanks.
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To prevent the boards, especially the thin edge of the lower board, from splitting I would use 3.5/4.0mm countersunk screws. Try to put them slightly out of line with each other to help prevent splitting. You will need to drill an appropriate pilot hole through both boards were they are going to be fixed. Don't drill into the support beam behind them.
There is no way to tell if your timber has been pressure treated unless it is advertised as 'Pressure Treated', but even if it is then all cut edges will have to be treated to prevent ingress of moisture or insect eggs etc. Pressure treatments only tend to soak in to a depth of about 4-4mm anyway but it is enough to prevent most insect eggs being laid deep enough to pupate. All timber has to have regular treating each year because it expands/contracts with the changing seasons.

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