How to Build a Rough-Cut Cedar Tree Fence
Cedar is a softwood tree known for its resistance to rot and insect infestations. A rough-cut cedar fence can often be installed very quickly. Unlike a typical split rail cedar post which has a two oval-shaped holes in which cedar rails are placed, the rough cut cedar rail has no holes. Instead, the bottom of the cedar pole is sawed into a pointed edge and the rail is pounded into the ground. Connect the posts with wire fencing or lightweight cedar rails hammered to the posts. This type of fence is best suited for rural and informal settings.
Measure and mark the section where the fence will be installed. Plan to install a cedar post at the beginning and end of the run, or in each corner if you are creating an enclosed area. Divide each lengthwise run of fencing evenly to allow even placement for posts. For example, for a 24-foot run of fencing, plan to install four cedar posts 8 feet apart: one at each end and two in between the ends, all 8 feet apart.
Place the first cedar post onto the sawhorse. Have a helper hold the post steady. With the chainsaw or handsaw, cut one side of the bottom of the post off, approximately 1 foot at a long angle. Turn the post around, and cut off the another foot from the other side. Your angles do not need to be perfect or exact, as you are merely creating a pointed edge so you can more easily drive the post into the ground. Continue cutting the remaining posts.
Place the first post into position on the ground. While a helper holds the post, lightly pound the post into the ground with the sledgehammer until the post stands up on its own without assistance. Have your helper stand away from the post. Vigorously pound the post approximately 2 feet into the ground. Continue placing and pounding the posts along the fence run.
Attach cedar rails or wire fencing along the posts. If using cedar rails, pre-drill the rails to prevent splitting the wood as you nail them to the posts. Have your helper stand next to the post, supporting it and keeping it from shifting as you nail the rails to the posts. If using wire fencing, unroll the fencing and tack the fencing onto the posts with heavy-duty staples and a hammer.
- Cedar Split Rails: Cedar Split Rail Fence and Design
- Hoover Fence Company: Western Red Cedar Split Rail Fence
- Building Fences and Gates: Richard Freudenberger
- New, Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual: Reader's Digest Association
- For best results, use cedar posts measuring 6 feet tall. When you pound the posts 2 feet into the ground, your posts will protrude about 4 feet up, a typical height for most fence posts.
Rebecca Mecomber, a former radio broadcaster, has been a professional blogger and writer since 2006. Her articles and interviews have appeared in "The Wall Street Journal," Salon.com and several other publications, covering topics such as Federal Trade Commission policy and media regulations, blogging, home improvement and New York travel.
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