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Thread: Fence design

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Fence design

    Hey, folks,

    I need a new fence out back. The old one's a joke: 4' of 30 year old battered chainlink, enclosing too small an area. The dogs can clear 4', so there's another foot of green snow fence, held up with stakes and baling wire (did I mention it's an unsightly joke? Not only that, but it's vulnerable at the corners, and the border collie has lately been exposing that vulnerability whenever there's thunder in the area. Then she goes and hides in the shop...

    So, I need a good design. It needs to be secure, but it also needs to be cheap. Remember the old rule of thumb for programmers: cheap, secure, pretty: pick two. It needs to be 142 feet long. Did I mention it needs to be cheap?

    So: three 50' rolls of 60" wire. How to hold it up? Well, with 4x4 posts, every 8 feet. Ok, need laterals. 2x4s? 1x4s? Three in each section: ground level, top, and middle. Do I notch the posts to receive them? Just attach them with stainless steel screws? Attach them, put on the wire, and then use a one by four vertically up the post to cover the wire? (I saw that technique in horse country last weekend)

    I can't imagine anything cheaper than that that's going to strong enough. Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Puyallup, WA
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    330
    I take it privacy is not an issue. I think your idea would work, however, if it were me, I would make it so that I could add 5' or 6' cedar fence boards as the budget allows. I've built a number of fences, all different styles, and have yet to notch any of the rails into the posts. I typically use either the Simpson-style metal fence brakets or toe-nail the rails with 16d galv. nails

    Also, I think the rails have to be at least 2"by4" if you're going to space the posts 8' apart.
    Last edited by Peter Lyon; 06-19-2008 at 12:48 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Tokiwadai, Japan
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    Another vote for cedar, if it would fit your budget.








  4. #4
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    If they can jump four feet, what makes you think they can't clear five feet? I would go, at least, six feet high with whatever you end up with.

  5. #5
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    London, Ontario
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    Isn't chain link with steel posts the cheapest for fences?
    (no I haven't done the math, I just think I've heard that a few different times)

    And if it is just for the dogs, then why not get one of those electronic collars and bury a wire around the perimeter of the current fence. Then you can take down the snow fence addition and live with the old fence.

    ...art
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    Hey, folks,

    The dogs can clear 4', so there's another foot of green snow fence,
    I had a pair of boxers a few years ago and saw one of them jump a 6' fence without any run up . So I added a foot of trellis to keep him in So he took a run up next time and scraped his back legs as he cleared it! Never underestimate a motivated canine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Suburban DC (formerly western PA)
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    I'm with Greg's suggestion. A determined Australian Shepherd and her Border Collie sidekick can scale almost anything, although aforementioned Aussie's portliness might deter her efforts just a bit...

    --MJ
    "We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time."--Vince Lombardi

  8. #8
    I wrote a whole page on fence building and then just deleted it. I was going to tell you how I built my kennel but I don't think that is the proper thing to do here. My suggestion instead is to get the Premier 1 fencing catalog from Premier 1 of course.

    Its tells you step by step what it has for fencing products, how to order it and just how to build a fence to keep anything in. Yes anything, from deer and goats, to sheep horses and cattle. It gives you options too, from the least expensive to the most expensive and rates them by durability and by longevity.

    I have a catalog and its 120 pages long and reads like a how too book for fencing. Even if you find cheaper products elsewhere, at least you will see what you have for options, make a good plan, and then build a good fence. Here is a link to their website and good luck.

    http://www.premier1supplies.com/
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the replies! In ascending order:

    Yes, I found that premier site while doing research. I especially enjoyed the camelids section!

    "A determined Australian Shepherd and her Border Collie sidekick can scale almost anything"

    Well, the girl just ain't as young as she used to be, but if a ball goes over the fence, she's going over too! I could build it to eight feet, and she'd still find a way!

    "So I added a foot of trellis to keep him in"

    Things are the same on any continent, I guess. The posts are 8 feet, I'm sinking them 18 inches. The fence will be 60", and I'm thinking of leaving the last 18" of post, just so I can add trellis later if I need it...

    "Isn't chain link with steel posts the cheapest for fences?"

    It may be cheapest for pros to put up, but it's *way* out of my price range. And trying to stretch it by myself... well, it would sag and look awful!

    "Another vote for cedar, if it would fit your budget. "

    Greg, that fence looks great! Wish I could afford something like that! Maybe someday...

    "Also, I think the rails have to be at least 2"by4" if you're going to space the posts 8' apart."

    Peter, I'm thinking the same thing. I have a feeling the 1x4s would twist and warp. Quite frankly, the thought of notching all those posts is making me reconsider...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  10. #10
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    Went out yesterday evening with my handy clamshell posthole digger and started going at it. You need to know that in 1992 I dug postholes for a 450' fenceline in Nashville. I'd actually broken my arm a few weeks previously... or rather rebroken an old athletic injury trying to one-arm a live christmas tree with a pot full of wet soil. I couldn't hold the digger when it hit, so I was essentially throwing it into the hole, while the snow swirled around me, but I got it done.

    But here, the durned neighbor planted pine trees along the property line... boy do I loath those things. So the first few inches is full of roots, then a few more inches down there's a layer of rocks, then another few inches down there's hardpan. Long story short: in two hours I got six holes dug, and most of those not deep enough. Not only that, but I was aching pretty good. Digging postholes in your 50s is not the same as digging them in your 30s!

    So I went and rented a one-man gas posthole digger. It's a lightweight thing, but I'm hoping it will help. I'm sure I'll hate that thing by the time I take it back at 8 pm.

    Got a 6' digging bar, too. Talk about implements of destruction!

    Off to do battle!

    Thanks,

    Bill

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