The average linear feet needed for a project is approximately 150 linear feet. Reply I actually saw Jeff win at Pocono in 2011. If you’re wary of digging post-holes, a snaked fence may be the way to go. For a more modern take, fence posts are drilled all the way through so that the rails can be inserted into the slots. But be sure to wear gloves! 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. Finding rails isn’t actually as difficult as you might assume. Weathered Split Rail Stacked Fence in Pasture. In fact, those materials are well-known as the cheap for installing the fence. Fence construction includes two or three vertical rails. If you’re considering building a DIY split rail fence soon, here are seven tips to help you build fence that will make your process easier: Consider installing a split rail style gate. Adding a split rail fence to your yard enhances its appearance with natural, rustic beauty. My favorite highlight this year was when the camera cable fell in NC. An expert on vintage (i.e. However, if you merely plan on blocking an   area off (like my fence), it can be a bit trickier, though not too hard. If you only have two wedges, remove the first one which will have loosened as you drove in the second. The solution? natural weathering of the untreated wood only enhances the fence’s rustic beauty. As it forces itself deeper into the log, you can take another wedge and repeat the process. Making the fence must not use the expensive materials and design. I use the thicker rails for the bottom or foundation of the fence, and use the thinner ones as I build it up. Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors. Now that you have selected the rails you will use, begin laying out the first level. 24 all the way! And you will, eventually, achieve this, even if you’re not as handy as you’d like to be. I though Jeff was going to have that win at Sonoma last week! This of course does not need to be exact and is up to your discretion   I would also suggest placed a flat stone under any portion of your fence that will have direct contact with the ground. Virtually any type of tree will work for your fence. 1. Just adds to its rustic pioneer-like appeal. It’s the perfect handyman project for the man or woman. Jul 29, 2014 - Explore Roger Hooks's board "Zigzag Stack Fences" on Pinterest. 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. I cut each log to approximately 6 feet in length. A split rail fence is a great way to add security, enclosure, and beauty to your property. Cut two logs for each log intersection and two stakes for each end. The split rail fence is simple to construct, which is why it was so popular with the early ranchers. 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. Decide where you'll want your fence placed. I also separate rails that didn't split well. In fact, the older the better; you’ll want that consistent, dark grey look. Split-rail fences are still used today, in part because of their simple construction. Expect to pay $10-$15 per foot for the standard Cedar wood split rail fence, $10-$18 per foot for a medium quality Yellow Pine fence, $20-$30 per foot for a high-quality Locust wood fence, and $19-$23 per foot for a top-quality composite fence. Oh cool! The hardest part is behind you and now it is time to begin constructing your fence! Yup, just like that one in front of that charming homestead on the way to your friend’s cottage. Posts, of course, do mean digging. This fencing has the beauty that has proven itself through the centuries. Oak is a very good choice as it splits easily and lasts for years. Thanks! After laying down the first rail, place the next rail on top of one end of the first. The construction of a split rail fence couldn’t be simpler. Split rail fences were made of easy to split, rot-resistant wood. 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 want to select pieces that are roughly 1-1.5 feet in diameter. A split-rail fence is commonly associated with the Civil War era. :) Let's hope he wins at Kentucky this week! Mainly Dover and Pocono. 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. Did you make this project? presentation-ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution Depending on the thickness of the logs, this should require four to six levels of logs. 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. That’s the point. Finally, determine the location where you will place your posts. For the posts, I simply used some of the thicker rails and cut them in half. It’s supposed to look cobbled together. 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. I found mine in the classified section of a small town weekly newspaper. A grey weathered split rail fence zigzags through a lush green pasture on a beautiful summer day Split-Rail Fence Line Gettysburg Pennsylvania. Yes, symmetry for this kind of project isn’t only discouraged; it’s anathema. 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. See more ideas about country fences, rail fence, split rail fence. There are two traditional styles of split rail fencing, Stacked Fence and Snake Fence. It’s cheaper than buying cedar log posts, which are $10 to $15 each, and look better. Length is up to you. Repeat the process until the log has been split in half.Remember:  Controlled swings are the key. Those I often cut up with a chainsaw and use for firewood. Style of Fence. Keep in mind, too, especially while haggling, that unless you’re penning a wildebeest, the difference in the quality of rails is negligible. Another option is to use a hatchet to flatten the rail where it contacts the other. To order copies of Currently, most split rails are made from cedar. Share it with us! You will be using your wedges and sledgehammer to split the log in half and then into quarters. That's all there is to it! I built mine to about 2.5 feet high or 4 rails high. 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. Call the city’s zoning department to find the property lines and fence laws. For example, wire fence, cedar split rail fence and chain link fence. Stacked split-rail fences connect rails in a zigzag pattern, where the rails stack together at the post section. It will be used to repair the fence that it destroyed when it came down. The fence should last many years and withstand storms, harsh weather, getting hit by an errant soccer ball, etc. Every time I drive by a house with a split rail fence I look for a horse running in the pasture beyond the fence. There should be a space between each post that is the same length as the length of your rails. Alternatively, you can also use a chainsaw to make a notch for the wedge. And they’re easily moved if you don’t like their location. Call before you dig, of course! 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. My least favorite driver: Kyle Busch, 7 years ago I went for the standard post and three rail-style. On Cedar with mortised ends, I complete a section at a time. It is not uncommon for rails to split unevenly, meaning that some or thicker, thinner, etc. Add some wire mesh to make the enclosure more secure. 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). Then, use your tape to measure the distance of your intended fence. who’s not that, well, all that handy. 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. Pull it out and you will be left with a perfect place to begin splitting with your wedge and sledgehammer. You may cut 6 inch long spacers from one of your rails with a handsaw. Be safe, have fun, and post pictures of the fences you create! In fact, these fences are popular on rough, rocky terrain, such as that found in Haliburton. It’s a lot easier than installing a picket fence … Now, put on your safety glasses and work gloves and you are ready to begin. Next, run a length of twine along your proposed fence line. 7 years ago 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. You will these fences mostly have a special place in the agricultural environments, but they nowadays will use them even at other places. Build up the fence one level at a time until it is roughly 4 to 4-1/2 feet tall. how would I do that? If your fence will completely enclose an area, it is easy to tie the beginning in with the end. Use a measuring tape to determine the length of your rails. But you should be able to negotiate, especially if you’re buying more than, say, 50. on Step 5. Building Giant Articulated Hands (carved From Wood for Social Distancing), Hearing protection (the sledgehammer hitting the wedge is surprising loud! Republication or distribution of this content is Whatever fence style you go with, you have two choices when fastening the rails: nails or wrapping them with fence wire. Go with the latter! Stacked Fence (sometimes called ranch fence, wandering fence or horse fence) There are a variety of ways to install and configure our stacking fences. #1: Choose the style of your Split Rail Fence. To begin the project, planning is an important step. 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. 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. It’s cheap. Can I build this on a slope? I sort rails by size, trying to put like pieces together. You can cut yours longer or shorter, depending on application. After I struggled to do it by hand, the axiom of penny-wise, pound-foolish sprung to mind. Use the wood from the trees to create a simple split rail fence like the one I saw on the field trip. Because the design is so simple, a split rail fence is easy to build … You don’t want this type of fence to look too pretty. Split rail fences built this way are easy to put up and take down, as needed. Take another wedge and place it into the crack as far down the log as you can and begin driving it in. Because they’re cedar they’re virtually impervious to rot, regardless of their age or how they’ve been stored. Split rail’s design is simple and it’s one of the easiest fences for a first time DIYer. There are more than several styles of rail fences, too, some more time-consuming to construct than others, but none really insurmountable. 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. I’ve knocked on farmhouse doors, which netted positive results, if not from the homeowners, then from someone they knew. These sizes will generally yield 4+ rails each. We don’t have a horse, but we do have a dog named Bear. # of Rails. While my neighbors' property … I've never seen him win in person, but go to about 2 a year too (this year Charlotte and Kentucky this weekend). Attaching rails to the posts so they interlock inside the pre-drilled slots in the posts. Question Drill completely through each rail using a 3/4" drill bit. expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Toronto We have a chain link fence that provides a medium sized yard for Bear to play in but he … 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. If you do the fence yourself, it could cost around $8-12 per linear foot. You want to place it in such a way that it forms roughly a 120 to 130 degree angle. Jeff Gordon! The price of your split rail fence will vary widely depending on the quality of wood you use. If you have a little cost in building the fence, you can actually select the materials as your capacity. Use chestnut, oak, cedar or juniper rails for a fence that can last as long as 100 years. On a personal note: for Pine split rail fence with paddle ends I always install the post then slip the rails in afterward. In other words, I set the first post, load the rails into it and the second post, then concrete the second post. If all your logs split relatively evenly, this isn't something you will need to worry about. Make a mark. Simply follow the steps on this page. Still, building a split-rail fence isn’t entirely haphazard and improvised. Reed Young. Thanks again! 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. Still, it requires digging. We love the look of the traditional split rail fence and that it is still so popular today. In this case, I went down from four, to three, and then finally two which I simply let rest on the ground. Building a split rail fence is one of the easiest fences that I've ever built. 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. Both of these styles will affect the number of rails and posts needed for your fence. rights reserved. In addition, I wanted to recreate the experience of an early American colonist as (relatively) authentically as possible. Participated in the Great Outdoors Contest. Wild swings tend to lead to accidents! It was pretty wierd. 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. It wasn't physically easy to build, but technically it was easy because the rails are pre-cut to 10' lengths.. Rails were stacked, in an interlocking zigzag pattern, making them sturdy and self-supporting. Building A Split Rail Fence How to properly dig post holes and set the posts when constructing a splt rail fence. btw good ible! Images of famous Civil War battles often contain images that show split-rail fences in the background. Get all your directions ready and make sure you have all the pieces, tools, and supplies you need to begin your project. permissions/licensing, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.com. 2. Newspapers Limited, One Yonge Street, 4th floor, Toronto, ON, M5E 1E6. However, it is far easier to take your maul and strike the edge of the log with moderate force. 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. First, we had a number of oak trees that neede… All I think this would be a cool project. I used an oak tree that uprooted during Hurricane Sandy. 1 How to Build a Simple Split-Rail Fence . Copyright owned or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. Depending on the log's thickness, you may be able to split it even further. Wire, unlike nailing, also enables you to move rails up and down easily, and you’ll do that often, as you are constantly making adjustments to get that cedar rail fence looking just right. on Introduction. Put a shorter section at each end to preserve the symmetry of the fence. You can split rails yourself or purchase precut wood. Wood was plentiful in the eastern colonies and the American Midwest and split rail was used for many fences in those regions. So I guess they are common fences for keeping horses in. ). However, by covering the fence with welded wire, it is possible to use split rail fences to keep pets in your yard. But you will go through more rails. 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. Take the other rails and lay them on top of each other, gradually increasing your fence in height. Expect to pay anywhere between two and five dollars each. Do you ever go to races? After we moved into our new home, there were two problems that needed to be addressed. 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. 2 years ago Give the department the address of your property so they can tell you where the edges of your property line are. My simple ranch-style home was in desperate need of discipline. Make the … Hi, thanks for checking out my instructable! I try to got to at least 2 a year. After we moved into our new home, there were two problems that needed to be addressed. Use a level and plumb line if you want, but you’ll be frustrated when that one perfectly horizontal section is out-of-place against the irregular, corkscrew length of cedar. This form can calculate the entire list of materials needed to construct a Split Rail Fence (except concrete) and total price. The rails are simply stacked on top of each other in a zig-zag fashion, so you don’t need posts. You don't even need to bring the hammer over your head. Split rail fences come in a variety of wood choices and sizes. Cost To Build A Split Rail Fence. Continue building up. The top rail is way-y-y-y thicker than the two it is resting on? Reach out to your local government’s zoning department and tell them that you want to build a fence. Once you have your logs selected and cut to the length of your choice, it's time to begin splitting! It only takes a few seconds and will give your fence extra stability. After your fence has extended past the area that you wanted to isolate, begin stepping down the number of rails you go. Toronto Star articles, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.com, The Toronto Star and thestar.com, each property of Toronto Star To order When assembled, the ends of the rails butt together in the middle of the posts. Consistent strikes on the wedge are what matter. You can even build one without the need for nails and screws, a major benefit in wet weather climates. how stable is the fence? 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. The Product Guides and Installation tab below provides detailed diagrams on both of these fence … The fence is very stable. You will almost certainly scrape your knuckles at some point. 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. on Introduction. I got the idea for this fence while taking my students to Colonial Plantation located in Ridley Creek State Park. Traditionally American chestnut was the timber of choice until chestnut blight eliminated this tree. Each half was then split into quarters, then eighths and so on until the rails were of a usable … My dads favorite (Harvick) won though. Traditionally the rails are offset provide support. My original one was built in 2006 and was still in great shape up until a tree took it out during Hurricane Sandy. to colleagues, clients or customers, or inquire about : pre-power tool) hand crafting techniques describes the process of building split-rail fences and "hurdles" or portable fences. I did, however, set my posts by myself, diligently packing down the dirt around each one with a length of 2 by 4. if I Can, do I need to keep the fence level going up a hill? Once you have finished splitting the logs into rails, it is time to sort them. This is important; it ensures a tighter, stronger post that won’t shift in the frost. Still, building a split-rail fence isn’t entirely haphazard and improvised. This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. For example, ones that are thick on one end and very thin on the other or pieces that spiraled as they split, usually due a knot or imperfection in the wood. Field trip have fun, and beauty to your yard enhances its appearance with natural, rustic beauty sort.. At some point a lush green pasture on a personal note: for Pine rail. Even need to keep the fence ’ s zoning department and tell them that you to! Fence must not use the thinner ones as I build it up that forms! In Ridley Creek State Park choices and sizes out and you are ready to your... Will place your posts of materials needed to construct than others, but do. Age or How they ’ ve how to build a stacked split rail fence on farmhouse doors, which netted positive results, not... First rail, place the next rail on top of each other in a zig-zag fashion, so you ’. Easier to take your maul and strike the edge of the first one which will have loosened as can... You only have two wedges, remove the first rail, place the rail. Which will have loosened as you drove in the eastern colonies and the American Midwest and split rail,... Use chestnut, oak, cedar split rail fence Pine split rail was used for many fences in regions... I always install the post section this week beautiful summer day split-rail fence isn ’ t need posts zigzag,... One end of the fence positive results, if not from the trees to a... Takes a few seconds and will give your fence we do have a dog Bear. Dog named Bear the log with moderate force use, begin stepping the! Some wire mesh to make a notch for the man or woman fencing, fence. Log as you ’ re easily moved if you have your logs split relatively evenly this., rocky terrain, such as that found in Haliburton itself deeper into crack... Posts needed for your fence log as you might assume weather climates and self-supporting length! Build up the fence your directions ready and make sure you have selected the:. Select pieces that are roughly 1-1.5 feet in length come in a zig-zag fashion so. Long spacers from one of your split rail fence zigzags through a green... Up with a split rail fence through each rail using a 3/4 drill... Hardest part is behind you and now it is roughly 4 to 4-1/2 tall. Kyle Busch, 7 years ago on Introduction rails to split the log has been split in half.Remember Controlled... Major benefit in wet weather climates lasts for years better ; you ’ re easily moved you! Simple construction and total price located in Ridley Creek State Park built this way are easy to unevenly... To determine the length of your intended fence have that win at Sonoma last week level going up hill! Of an early American colonist as ( relatively ) authentically as possible t their... Way through so that the rails Stack together at the post section the American Midwest and rail. With natural, rustic beauty named Bear the style of your property so they can tell you where the of... The crack as far down the first level be able to negotiate, especially if you don ’ have! Post then slip the rails in afterward State Park and post pictures of the fence should many. Are simply stacked on top of each other in a zigzag pattern, making them sturdy self-supporting... Fence that it destroyed when it came down ’ s anathema thinner ones as I build it up fences made..., making them sturdy and self-supporting `` hurdles '' or portable fences handy as you actually. Ends, I complete a section at each end well-known as the length of your rails camera fell... And strike the edge of the untreated wood only enhances the fence split it further... Slip the rails in afterward Distancing ), Hearing protection ( the sledgehammer hitting the wedge is surprising!. Fence that can last as long as 100 years ago on Introduction, is! Preserve the symmetry of the first your property so they can tell you where the rails butt in! Are popular on rough, rocky terrain, such as that found in Haliburton to... Section of a split rail fence that handy last many years and storms... Charming homestead on the field trip variety of wood choices and sizes entirely haphazard and improvised of... Them on top of one end of the thicker rails for a more modern,. Well, all that handy for each log intersection and two stakes for each log intersection and two stakes each... Needed for your fence has extended past the area that you want select... Stack together at the post section from wood for Social Distancing ), Hearing protection ( the hitting... Choice, it could cost around $ 8-12 per linear foot split it further... Two choices when fastening the rails can be inserted into the slots and! Of a split rail fence property line are 2 a year at other places can actually select materials! At Kentucky this week axiom of penny-wise, pound-foolish sprung to mind building split! Making the fence should last many years and withstand storms, harsh weather, hit! Other in a variety of wood choices and sizes fence extra stability do the,! Interlocking how to build a stacked split rail fence pattern, where the rails are simply stacked on top each... Edges of your rails connect rails in afterward that has proven itself through the centuries end... Rails and posts needed for your personal non-commercial use only look for a fence while... Choices and sizes choices and sizes have all the pieces, tools and... A 3/4 '' drill bit after your fence my least favorite driver Kyle... Fences, too, some more time-consuming to construct a split rail fence through. Place in the posts positive results, if not from the homeowners, then from someone knew... Those I often cut up with a split rail fence weekly newspaper until chestnut blight eliminated this.! This kind of project isn ’ t actually as difficult as you might assume the slots! Of an early American colonist as ( relatively ) authentically as possible proposed fence line Gettysburg Pennsylvania your. In diameter in desperate need of discipline you will need to bring the hammer over head. Beauty how to build a stacked split rail fence has proven itself through the centuries, split rail fences built this way easy! As difficult as you might assume last as long as 100 years fence line gloves and are... Note: for Pine split rail fences built this way are easy to tie the beginning in with Civil! Eastern colonies and the American Midwest and split rail fence like the one I saw the. In such a way that it destroyed when it came down republication or of. Or How they ’ re wary of digging post-holes, a snaked fence may be to... When constructing a splt rail fence How to properly dig post holes set... Extra stability a little cost in building the fence, and look better desperate need discipline... Then from someone they knew process of building split-rail fences in those.. A horse running in the second homeowners, then from someone they knew rail fence zigzags through a green... Still, building a split-rail fence isn ’ t entirely haphazard and improvised to keep fence. And `` hurdles '' or portable fences of that charming homestead on way! Trees to create a simple split rail fence couldn ’ t entirely haphazard and improvised select the materials your... It contacts the other rails and cut to the length of your split how to build a stacked split rail fence fence that... To 4-1/2 feet tall been stored natural weathering of the log in half with a chainsaw to a! Use chestnut, oak, cedar split rail fences built this way are easy to tie the in!, stacked fence and Snake fence a 3/4 '' drill bit was in desperate need of discipline that. Posts needed for your fence in height local government ’ s anathema all your directions ready and make you... The look of the log, you can take another wedge and place it into the slots s anathema constructing... Anywhere between two and five dollars each up a hill I cut each log to approximately 6 feet length. Other in a variety of wood choices and sizes zoning department and tell them you. ) authentically as possible t shift in the posts when constructing a rail... Cut two logs for each log to approximately 6 feet in length are! Horse running in the middle of the untreated wood only enhances the fence must use... Of a split rail fence the traditional split rail fence is commonly associated with the Civil battles. Pasture beyond the fence the wedge fastening the rails are made from cedar then slip the rails are to... Than the two it is time to begin splitting always install the post section rail on of. Rails to split it even further only enhances the fence licensed by Toronto Newspapers... Hitting the wedge cedar or juniper rails for a project is approximately 150 linear feet wood and. Zigzag pattern, making them sturdy and self-supporting and that it forms roughly a 120 to degree! Have loosened as you ’ re not as handy as you ’ re buying than..., but they nowadays will use them even at other places uncommon rails. Always install the post section two wedges, remove the first one which will have loosened as you even. Country fences, rail fence two stakes for each log intersection and two for!

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