After we moved into our new home, there were two problems that needed to be addressed. Newspapers Limited, One Yonge Street, 4th floor, Toronto, ON, M5E 1E6. To order Those I often cut up with a chainsaw and use for firewood. Still, building a split-rail fence isn’t entirely haphazard and improvised. You will be using your wedges and sledgehammer to split the log in half and then into quarters. Split rail fences were made of easy to split, rot-resistant wood. ). Another option is to use a hatchet to flatten the rail where it contacts the other. Reach out to your local government’s zoning department and tell them that you want to build a fence. 1 How to Build a Simple Split-Rail Fence . Be safe, have fun, and post pictures of the fences you create! Traditionally American chestnut was the timber of choice until chestnut blight eliminated this tree. Thanks again! This fencing has the beauty that has proven itself through the centuries. But you should be able to negotiate, especially if you’re buying more than, say, 50. To begin the project, planning is an important step. 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. Call the city’s zoning department to find the property lines and fence laws. Once you have your logs selected and cut to the length of your choice, it's time to begin splitting! 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. Can I build this on a slope? You don't even need to bring the hammer over your head. Pull it out and you will be left with a perfect place to begin splitting with your wedge and sledgehammer. We love the look of the traditional split rail fence and that it is still so popular today. Wild swings tend to lead to accidents! Posts, of course, do mean digging. 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. Making the fence must not use the expensive materials and design. 1. 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. Split rail’s design is simple and it’s one of the easiest fences for a first time DIYer. Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors. Did you make this project? 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. Building a split rail fence is one of the easiest fences that I've ever built. Question I found mine in the classified section of a small town weekly newspaper. The fence is very stable. For example, wire fence, cedar split rail fence and chain link fence. presentation-ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution After laying down the first rail, place the next rail on top of one end of the first. Because they’re cedar they’re virtually impervious to rot, regardless of their age or how they’ve been stored. 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. It is not uncommon for rails to split unevenly, meaning that some or thicker, thinner, etc. So I guess they are common fences for keeping horses in. 7 years ago Then, use your tape to measure the distance of your intended fence. Now, put on your safety glasses and work gloves and you are ready to begin. Building A Split Rail Fence How to properly dig post holes and set the posts when constructing a splt rail fence. Go with the latter! It only takes a few seconds and will give your fence extra stability. Just adds to its rustic pioneer-like appeal. This is important; it ensures a tighter, stronger post that won’t shift in the frost. 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. Virtually any type of tree will work for your fence. 2 years ago 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. Finding rails isn’t actually as difficult as you might assume. My least favorite driver: Kyle Busch, 7 years ago Still, building a split-rail fence isn’t entirely haphazard and improvised. Take another wedge and place it into the crack as far down the log as you can and begin driving it in. Both of these styles will affect the number of rails and posts needed for your fence. Split-rail fences are still used today, in part because of their simple construction. Keep in mind, too, especially while haggling, that unless you’re penning a wildebeest, the difference in the quality of rails is negligible. Split rail fences built this way are easy to put up and take down, as needed. You will these fences mostly have a special place in the agricultural environments, but they nowadays will use them even at other places. In fact, those materials are well-known as the cheap for installing the fence. The top rail is way-y-y-y thicker than the two it is resting on? Drill completely through each rail using a 3/4" drill bit. 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. In addition, I wanted to recreate the experience of an early American colonist as (relatively) authentically as possible. Mainly Dover and Pocono. Use a measuring tape to determine the length of your rails. In this case, I went down from four, to three, and then finally two which I simply let rest on the ground. All I got the idea for this fence while taking my students to Colonial Plantation located in Ridley Creek State Park. 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. Expect to pay anywhere between two and five dollars each. That's all there is to it! permissions/licensing, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.com. If you only have two wedges, remove the first one which will have loosened as you drove in the second. Use chestnut, oak, cedar or juniper rails for a fence that can last as long as 100 years. If you have a little cost in building the fence, you can actually select the materials as your capacity. 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. Depending on the log's thickness, you may be able to split it even further. Rails were stacked, in an interlocking zigzag pattern, making them sturdy and self-supporting. And they’re easily moved if you don’t like their location. Participated in the Great Outdoors Contest. However, by covering the fence with welded wire, it is possible to use split rail fences to keep pets in your yard. 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. I've never seen him win in person, but go to about 2 a year too (this year Charlotte and Kentucky this weekend). See more ideas about country fences, rail fence, split rail fence. A grey weathered split rail fence zigzags through a lush green pasture on a beautiful summer day Split-Rail Fence Line Gettysburg Pennsylvania. 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. Images of famous Civil War battles often contain images that show split-rail fences in the background. Traditionally the rails are offset provide support. Do you ever go to races? expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Toronto 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. That’s the point. A split rail fence is a great way to add security, enclosure, and beauty to your property. As it forces itself deeper into the log, you can take another wedge and repeat the process. on Step 5. We don’t have a horse, but we do have a dog named Bear. :) Let's hope he wins at Kentucky this week! These sizes will generally yield 4+ rails each. After we moved into our new home, there were two problems that needed to be addressed. You can even build one without the need for nails and screws, a major benefit in wet weather climates. Use the wood from the trees to create a simple split rail fence like the one I saw on the field trip. First, we had a number of oak trees that neede… Building Giant Articulated Hands (carved From Wood for Social Distancing), Hearing protection (the sledgehammer hitting the wedge is surprising loud! Put a shorter section at each end to preserve the symmetry of the fence. 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. If all your logs split relatively evenly, this isn't something you will need to worry about. I built mine to about 2.5 feet high or 4 rails high. Length is up to you. I’ve knocked on farmhouse doors, which netted positive results, if not from the homeowners, then from someone they knew. I cut each log to approximately 6 feet in length. Share it with us! Get all your directions ready and make sure you have all the pieces, tools, and supplies you need to begin your project. There are more than several styles of rail fences, too, some more time-consuming to construct than others, but none really insurmountable. Still, it requires digging. natural weathering of the untreated wood only enhances the fence’s rustic beauty. The construction of a split rail fence couldn’t be simpler. #1: Choose the style of your Split Rail Fence. how stable is the fence? Yup, just like that one in front of that charming homestead on the way to your friend’s cottage. The fence should last many years and withstand storms, harsh weather, getting hit by an errant soccer ball, etc. This form can calculate the entire list of materials needed to construct a Split Rail Fence (except concrete) and total price. For a more modern take, fence posts are drilled all the way through so that the rails can be inserted into the slots. how would I do that? 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 used an oak tree that uprooted during Hurricane Sandy. Add some wire mesh to make the enclosure more secure. Republication or distribution of this content is Jeff Gordon! Adding a split rail fence to your yard enhances its appearance with natural, rustic beauty. Call before you dig, of course! Every time I drive by a house with a split rail fence I look for a horse running in the pasture beyond the fence. 24 all the way! 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. The average linear feet needed for a project is approximately 150 linear feet. Split rail fences come in a variety of wood choices and sizes. Repeat the process until the log has been split in half.Remember:  Controlled swings are the key. 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. I though Jeff was going to have that win at Sonoma last week! Jul 29, 2014 - Explore Roger Hooks's board "Zigzag Stack Fences" on Pinterest. My simple ranch-style home was in desperate need of discipline. The solution? For the posts, I simply used some of the thicker rails and cut them in half. if I Can, do I need to keep the fence level going up a hill? However, if you merely plan on blocking an   area off (like my fence), it can be a bit trickier, though not too hard. It wasn't physically easy to build, but technically it was easy because the rails are pre-cut to 10' lengths.. Oh cool! 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. Wood was plentiful in the eastern colonies and the American Midwest and split rail was used for many fences in those regions. You may cut 6 inch long spacers from one of your rails with a handsaw. 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 a personal note: for Pine split rail fence with paddle ends I always install the post then slip the rails in afterward. Take the other rails and lay them on top of each other, gradually increasing your fence in height. Stacked Fence (sometimes called ranch fence, wandering fence or horse fence) There are a variety of ways to install and configure our stacking 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. Make a mark. 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). Reply And you will, eventually, achieve this, even if you’re not as handy as you’d like to be. If you do the fence yourself, it could cost around $8-12 per linear foot. 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. Style of Fence. Attaching rails to the posts so they interlock inside the pre-drilled slots in the posts. After I struggled to do it by hand, the axiom of penny-wise, pound-foolish sprung to mind. The Product Guides and Installation tab below provides detailed diagrams on both of these fence … There are two traditional styles of split rail fencing, Stacked Fence and Snake Fence. However, it is far easier to take your maul and strike the edge of the log with moderate force. Fence construction includes two or three vertical rails. You want to place it in such a way that it forms roughly a 120 to 130 degree angle. My original one was built in 2006 and was still in great shape up until a tree took it out during Hurricane Sandy. Chainsaw and use the expensive materials and design will have loosened as you ’ d to! 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