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Thread: Another picket fence question

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Another picket fence question

    I知 just full of questions lately. I have a question about the layout of a concave top picket fence I知 starting next week. I知 having the posts installed by a contractor and then I知 putting up the horizontal rails and pickets. I壇 like for the layout to look like this but I知 wondering how do I layout the curve.

    I致e also got a question on how I handle the shorter sections. The majority of the posts will be 8 center-to-center. What is the best way to handle a 5 section or even the 3 sections where I値l have gates?

    I've attached a couple of rough sketches showing what I have in mind. I'm just looking for suggestions on how to go about executing my plan. As well as how the short sections should be handled. I'm assuming on the short sections I want the center pickets to be the same height as the longer sections.

    Thanks,
    Wes Billups

  2. #2
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    Figure out how many pickets will be in each section, and how much overall drop you want to be in the center. Divide that out so you know how much to cut off the bottom of each picket. Should'n't be too rough. Nice design by the way. ( Wouldn't keep a Setter in though! ) Jim.
    Last edited by Jim O'Dell; 08-10-2007 at 02:39 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Jim, I was wondering if there is a formula that I could use to determine the amount to cut off each picket as I move out from the center. I really don稚 know what all of the post spacings will be, but once I do know I壇 like to just plug each post spacing into a spreadsheet and have it spit out the spacing of the pickets, length, and count of each one.

    Wes

  4. #4
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    Wes, there probably is, but I don't have one. I would just take the number of pickets, subtract the 2 outside ones, divide that number in half, then divide that into the number of inches you want to drop.
    So take your first example. 12 pickets - 2 = 10 divide by 2 = 5. Say you want a 5" drop in the middle. Each picket is 1 inch shorter that the one before. Note, it will work better if you have an odd number of pickets, so that the center is a single on that level. Maybe someone that's computer savy can build a program for you. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3


  5. #5
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    wes,
    stop thinkin` computer and lay `em out in the yard.....temperorally screw a 2x or whatever between the posts at the bottom of your pickets height, following whatever grade, install the pickets where the posts are set...then measure-n-divide to get your spacing.
    taking for granted you`ve bought dogeared pickets?after determining the spacing screw the pickets upsidedown to your horizontal members and drape either a fine chain or heavy rope between the posts to the desired dip and mark/unscrew/cut at 90 deg center of picket/install the pickets right side up.
    the posts will most likely be close to your desired spacing? and given the odd runs that are inevitable i`d think figurin` on the `puter would be a waste of time and maybe materials?
    tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
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    You beat me to it Tod!

    You're over thinking this. A string, rope, chain what ever will give you the drop you need to mark and cut. If you are doing a sweep instead of dog ears, you can just use the string, or whatever, to mark the boards and take a recip or jig saw and lop them off.

    Bring us pics so we can see how it turns out!

  7. #7
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    Tod, after doing some math I think you've hit the nail on the head. I'm trying to make this too complicated. I have some chain at home I'll just use that method for each section. Since I'm having the posts set by a contractor I'm hoping their consistently spaced but I'm not being too optimistic.

    Thanks for the suggestion,
    Wes

  8. #8
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    I have been working on restoring a 65+ year old
    fence for the past few months.

    I have a works spreadsheet to determine the space between
    the pickets, if you would like to have it, pm me your email address
    and I will send it to you.
    Last edited by Dave Trask; 08-12-2007 at 07:10 AM.
    Don稚 have the best tools, don't use the best woods and projects don稚 always turnout perfeck.
    I just feel the need to work with wood!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim O'Dell View Post
    Figure out how many pickets will be in each section, and how much overall drop you want to be in the center. Divide that out so you know how much to cut off the bottom of each picket. Should'n't be too rough. Nice design by the way. ( Wouldn't keep a Setter in though! ) Jim.
    I'm a bit late to this thread, but Jim, I believe your method would end up with a straight angle instead of a sweeping curve. Stair steps instead of a draped rope or chain. (Great idea, Tod.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
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    As far as the drop length in the pickets.

    I think Vaghn Is correct It will end up looking like a v

    I winged it, the first few were at 1" drops the next few 1/2"
    drops then 1/4, then a few 1/8" then the 4 center pickets
    were the same length.

    I like Tod's rope Idea, I may try that on the next section of
    10' long fence.
    Last edited by Dave Trask; 08-12-2007 at 08:57 AM.
    Don稚 have the best tools, don't use the best woods and projects don稚 always turnout perfeck.
    I just feel the need to work with wood!

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