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Thread: question about fencing

  1. #1
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    question about fencing

    Can you build a fence with rough lumber instead of dimensional? I mean I know you *can*, but my question is does anyone do it? Would it look weird?

    thanks boys,
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  2. #2
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    Most farms and a lot of rural properties use rough lumber for fences. After all, why bother to fancy up something to be used for practical purposes only?
    Go for it.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Most farms and a lot of rural properties use rough lumber for fences. After all, why bother to fancy up something to be used for practical purposes only?
    Go for it.
    Thanks Frank. Listen, I'm trying to figure out what the cheapest rough lumber is that I can find that's about 4/4. I can get Western White Pine that's 1.40/bf but it's 8/4 or I can get alder that's 15/16 for 1.80/bf. Can you do a fence out of Alder? Otherwise the pine is twice as thick for cheaper......
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  4. #4
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    Cynthia,

    All of the fences I've built have been primarily made out of cedar. The only non-cedar pieces typically are the pressure treated, ground contact 4" by 4" posts. The "fencing" material is usually rough sawn all though I think I did build one out of 5/4" decking. Rails can go either way although I prefer to use cedar to batch the fence boards.

    In my experience, the Cedar will last a lot longer than the pine will

  5. #5
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    ...and alder ought to deteriorate the fastest.

    Hold out for cedar unless this is very temporary fence or you want to it redo in a very few years.

    If pine or alder are your only choices, choose the pine.

    From one who only presumes to be one of the "boys"
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  6. #6
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    There's several outdoor woods that last good. Around here cypress, pressure treated pine, and cedar are the most common in commercial fencing. Pressure treated pine is the worst of the three though, a regular white pine fence I don't think would last long. I've read that white oak is a great outdoor wood a number of times, probably as good or better than the common fence woods.

    In the south termites are as much of a problem as rot though, and they love the soft woods. I'm not sure if they're an issue in canada or not. I think if I were making a rough sawn fence I'd try for white oak or cedar.

  7. #7
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    Carol, no disrespect I haven't seen a lot of your posts lately.

    But Cedar is so expensive

    On the list I got today, here are the cheapest things:

    Alder Common Select 15/16 $1.40
    Western White Pine 3/4" X 5" $1.40
    Red Cedar Mixed Grain STK 4/4 $2.40

    there's Red Cedar "flooring" 1" X 4" V joint STK $1.54 but you can't use flooring boards on a fence, can you?

    I've got about 80' of wood fence to do, and it's gotta be at least 7' high.......the rest can be wire......personally I'd do wire everywhere but LOML says it's too ugly.....
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  8. #8
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    Is it going to be painted or left natural?

    If you are going to paint it then make it out of the cheaper woods. It will last 20 plus years if maintained. I would use pressure treated posts though. They will rot below ground quickly if you don't use PT or cedar. The slats if left natural would last for 5-10 years. You might have to replace one slat from time to time.
    My choice would be the pine.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia White View Post
    Red Cedar Mixed Grain STK 4/4 $2.40

    there's Red Cedar "flooring" 1" X 4" V joint STK $1.54 but you can't use flooring boards on a fence, can you?

    I've got about 80' of wood fence to do, and it's gotta be at least 7' high.......the rest can be wire......personally I'd do wire everywhere but LOML says it's too ugly.....

    Why use 4/4"? Most fences these days are built from either 3/4" or 5/8".

    I see no reason why you couldn't use floor boards if that's what you choose to do.

    If I may ask, why the 7' versus a the more standard 6'?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lyon View Post
    Why use 4/4"? Most fences these days are built from either 3/4" or 5/8".

    I see no reason why you couldn't use floor boards if that's what you choose to do.

    If I may ask, why the 7' versus a the more standard 6'?
    Yes, Peter, of course you may ask.

    My thinking was that if I buy rough lumber from a lumber yard the boards are usually 4/4 or 15/16 or 6/4 or 8/4. 7' because of the dreaded deer population here. If I make it shorter, then I have to add netting or wiring on top--which is ugly. If I make it 7 or 8', I'm reasonably safe.

    The fence is some distance, maybe 30 feet from the property line and since I'm rural I can make it any height I want. I figured it needed to be wood or it will look ridiculous next to a stone post and gate.

    And yes, I know there are lots of people who don't mind the deer, but I mind. I'm a serious gardener who lived for 20 years in a Zone 3 garden climate. Now I'm in a Zone 7, and I plan to plant a lot of interesting and exotic things. They deer can enjoy a buffet at my neighbors' places.
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