Finding rails isn’t actually as difficult as you might assume. Now that you have selected the rails you will use, begin laying out the first level. Decide where you'll want your fence placed. See more ideas about country fences, rail fence, split rail fence. I got the idea for this fence while taking my students to Colonial Plantation located in Ridley Creek State Park. This form can calculate the entire list of materials needed to construct a Split Rail Fence (except concrete) and total price. 7 years ago Once you have finished splitting the logs into rails, it is time to sort them. Cut two logs for each log intersection and two stakes for each end. Use chestnut, oak, cedar or juniper rails for a fence that can last as long as 100 years. Because the design is so simple, a split rail fence is easy to build … Virtually any type of tree will work for your fence. We don’t have a horse, but we do have a dog named Bear. Did you make this project? The split rail fence is simple to construct, which is why it was so popular with the early ranchers. Be safe, have fun, and post pictures of the fences you create! For example, wire fence, cedar split rail fence and chain link fence. ). You can cut yours longer or shorter, depending on application. Because they’re cedar they’re virtually impervious to rot, regardless of their age or how they’ve been stored. Split rail fences built this way are easy to put up and take down, as needed. To order After I struggled to do it by hand, the axiom of penny-wise, pound-foolish sprung to mind. After we moved into our new home, there were two problems that needed to be addressed. on Step 5. Those I often cut up with a chainsaw and use for firewood. You will be using your wedges and sledgehammer to split the log in half and then into quarters. Rails were stacked, in an interlocking zigzag pattern, making them sturdy and self-supporting. The solution? 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. : pre-power tool) hand crafting techniques describes the process of building split-rail fences and "hurdles" or portable fences. Simply follow the steps on this page. I've never seen him win in person, but go to about 2 a year too (this year Charlotte and Kentucky this weekend). Mainly Dover and Pocono. Weathered Split Rail Stacked Fence in Pasture. Depending on the thickness of the logs, this should require four to six levels of logs. But you should be able to negotiate, especially if you’re buying more than, say, 50. Traditionally American chestnut was the timber of choice until chestnut blight eliminated this tree. Next, run a length of twine along your proposed fence line. Split-rail fences are still used today, in part because of their simple construction. To begin the project, planning is an important step. Reply Pull it out and you will be left with a perfect place to begin splitting with your wedge and sledgehammer. Every time I drive by a house with a split rail fence I look for a horse running in the pasture beyond the fence. The fence should last many years and withstand storms, harsh weather, getting hit by an errant soccer ball, etc. First, we had a number of oak trees that neede… After your fence has extended past the area that you wanted to isolate, begin stepping down the number of rails you go. Building Giant Articulated Hands (carved From Wood for Social Distancing), Hearing protection (the sledgehammer hitting the wedge is surprising loud! In fact, these fences are popular on rough, rocky terrain, such as that found in Haliburton. I think this would be a cool project. how stable is the fence? Newspapers Limited, One Yonge Street, 4th floor, Toronto, ON, M5E 1E6. The top rail is way-y-y-y thicker than the two it is resting on? My original one was built in 2006 and was still in great shape up until a tree took it out during Hurricane Sandy. Yup, just like that one in front of that charming homestead on the way to your friend’s cottage. 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. 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. 1. It was pretty wierd. In this case, I went down from four, to three, and then finally two which I simply let rest on the ground. Currently, most split rails are made from cedar. 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. Style of Fence. presentation-ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution In other words, I set the first post, load the rails into it and the second post, then concrete the second post. 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. If you do the fence yourself, it could cost around $8-12 per linear foot. Still, building a split-rail fence isn’t entirely haphazard and improvised. Call the city’s zoning department to find the property lines and fence laws. 2. I also separate rails that didn't split well. Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors. That’s the point. Still, it requires digging. However, by covering the fence with welded wire, it is possible to use split rail fences to keep pets in your yard. I went for the standard post and three rail-style. rights reserved. I sort rails by size, trying to put like pieces together. 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. You can split rails yourself or purchase precut wood. Now, put on your safety glasses and work gloves and you are ready to begin. It’s a lot easier than installing a picket fence … Question 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. Make a mark. Split rail fences were made of easy to split, rot-resistant wood. I try to got to at least 2 a year. on Introduction. It’s the perfect handyman project for the man or woman. If you have a little cost in building the fence, you can actually select the materials as your capacity. 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. It will be used to repair the fence that it destroyed when it came down. Depending on the log's thickness, you may be able to split it even further. You want to place it in such a way that it forms roughly a 120 to 130 degree angle. 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. You can also fashion tee-pee-like supports to hold up the rails instead of posts, but the assembly can be a bit precarious as you fasten the rails to them. After laying down the first rail, place the next rail on top of one end of the first. Yes, symmetry for this kind of project isn’t only discouraged; it’s anathema. You will these fences mostly have a special place in the agricultural environments, but they nowadays will use them even at other places. expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Toronto That's all there is to it! Alternatively, you can also use a chainsaw to make a notch for the wedge. Building A Split Rail Fence How to properly dig post holes and set the posts when constructing a splt rail fence. 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. I’ve knocked on farmhouse doors, which netted positive results, if not from the homeowners, then from someone they knew. Expect to pay anywhere between two and five dollars each. Stacked split-rail fences connect rails in a zigzag pattern, where the rails stack together at the post section. Both of these styles will affect the number of rails and posts needed for your fence. Build up the fence one level at a time until it is roughly 4 to 4-1/2 feet tall. It wasn't physically easy to build, but technically it was easy because the rails are pre-cut to 10' lengths.. 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. Participated in the Great Outdoors Contest. Building a split rail fence is one of the easiest fences that I've ever built. It only takes a few seconds and will give your fence extra stability. Posts, of course, do mean digging. Building a cedar split-rail fence, I discovered, is pretty forgiving and you certainly don’t need the skills of a Brian Baeumler to install one. Another option is to use a hatchet to flatten the rail where it contacts the other. Length is up to you. As it forces itself deeper into the log, you can take another wedge and repeat the process. I built mine to about 2.5 feet high or 4 rails high. You may cut 6 inch long spacers from one of your rails with a handsaw. If you’re wary of digging post-holes, a snaked fence may be the way to go. 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. You will almost certainly scrape your knuckles at some point. Reach out to your local government’s zoning department and tell them that you want to build a fence. For a more modern take, fence posts are drilled all the way through so that the rails can be inserted into the slots. Attaching rails to the posts so they interlock inside the pre-drilled slots in the posts. It’s supposed to look cobbled together. Oak is a very good choice as it splits easily and lasts for years. When assembled, the ends of the rails butt together in the middle of the posts. I did, however, set my posts by myself, diligently packing down the dirt around each one with a length of 2 by 4. Continue building up. Finally, determine the location where you will place your posts. Thanks again! Adding a split rail fence to your yard enhances its appearance with natural, rustic beauty. Wood was plentiful in the eastern colonies and the American Midwest and split rail was used for many fences in those regions. The fence is very stable. Cost To Build A Split Rail Fence. These sizes will generally yield 4+ rails each. To start the wedge, you can look for a natural crack on the edge of the log, place the wedge over the crack and uses the sledgehammer to begin driving it in. I though Jeff was going to have that win at Sonoma last week! There are more than several styles of rail fences, too, some more time-consuming to construct than others, but none really insurmountable. 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. You want to select pieces that are roughly 1-1.5 feet in diameter. On a personal note: for Pine split rail fence with paddle ends I always install the post then slip the rails in afterward. Most weekend rural livestock-auctions-come-outdoor-flea-markets, such as the one in Woodville, about 45 minutes north of Oshawa, typically include someone selling out of the back of a pickup. on Introduction. If you’re considering building a DIY split rail fence soon, here are seven tips to help you build fence that will make your process easier: Consider installing a split rail style gate. Still, building a split-rail fence isn’t entirely haphazard and improvised. Thanks! Consistent strikes on the wedge are what matter. This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. Images of famous Civil War battles often contain images that show split-rail fences in the background. However, it is far easier to take your maul and strike the edge of the log with moderate force. However, if you merely plan on blocking an   area off (like my fence), it can be a bit trickier, though not too hard. Each half was then split into quarters, then eighths and so on until the rails were of a usable … It is not uncommon for rails to split unevenly, meaning that some or thicker, thinner, etc. On Cedar with mortised ends, I complete a section at a time. You don’t want this type of fence to look too pretty. if I Can, do I need to keep the fence level going up a hill? Just adds to its rustic pioneer-like appeal. Use a measuring tape to determine the length of your rails. 1 How to Build a Simple Split-Rail Fence . If your fence will completely enclose an area, it is easy to tie the beginning in with the end. Once you have your logs selected and cut to the length of your choice, it's time to begin splitting! My dads favorite (Harvick) won though. A zigzag fence requires more wood than a traditional split-rail fence but is easier to create without tools and gives your property a charming look. Toronto Star articles, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.com, The Toronto Star and thestar.com, each property of Toronto Star The hardest part is behind you and now it is time to begin constructing your fence! 2 years ago So I guess they are common fences for keeping horses in. Copyright owned or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. You can even build one without the need for nails and screws, a major benefit in wet weather climates. permissions/licensing, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.com. If all your logs split relatively evenly, this isn't something you will need to worry about. Wild swings tend to lead to accidents! Repeat the process until the log has been split in half.Remember:  Controlled swings are the key. It’s cheaper than buying cedar log posts, which are $10 to $15 each, and look better. Making the fence must not use the expensive materials and design. Get all your directions ready and make sure you have all the pieces, tools, and supplies you need to begin your project. I found mine in the classified section of a small town weekly newspaper. 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. I used an oak tree that uprooted during Hurricane Sandy. 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. Jeff Gordon! Oh cool! A split rail fence is a great way to add security, enclosure, and beauty to your property. But be sure to wear gloves! to colleagues, clients or customers, or inquire about Give the department the address of your property so they can tell you where the edges of your property line are. 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. A grey weathered split rail fence zigzags through a lush green pasture on a beautiful summer day Split-Rail Fence Line Gettysburg Pennsylvania. I actually saw Jeff win at Pocono in 2011. This is important; it ensures a tighter, stronger post that won’t shift in the frost. I cut each log to approximately 6 feet in length. You don't even need to bring the hammer over your head. Keep in mind, too, especially while haggling, that unless you’re penning a wildebeest, the difference in the quality of rails is negligible. 24 all the way! Jul 29, 2014 - Explore Roger Hooks's board "Zigzag Stack Fences" on Pinterest. Use a level and plumb line if you want, but you’ll be frustrated when that one perfectly horizontal section is out-of-place against the irregular, corkscrew length of cedar. And they’re easily moved if you don’t like their location. This fencing has the beauty that has proven itself through the centuries. While my neighbors' property … We love the look of the traditional split rail fence and that it is still so popular today. An expert on vintage (i.e. Call before you dig, of course! Hi, thanks for checking out my instructable! Take the other rails and lay them on top of each other, gradually increasing your fence in height. 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. For the posts, I simply used some of the thicker rails and cut them in half. There should be a space between each post that is the same length as the length of your rails. 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. Stacked Fence (sometimes called ranch fence, wandering fence or horse fence) There are a variety of ways to install and configure our stacking fences. The Product Guides and Installation tab below provides detailed diagrams on both of these fence … Drill completely through each rail using a 3/4" drill bit. A split-rail fence is commonly associated with the Civil War era. My favorite highlight this year was when the camera cable fell in NC. Fence construction includes two or three vertical rails. If you only have two wedges, remove the first one which will have loosened as you drove in the second. Share it with us! I use the thicker rails for the bottom or foundation of the fence, and use the thinner ones as I build it up. how would I do that? 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). Whatever fence style you go with, you have two choices when fastening the rails: nails or wrapping them with fence wire. The construction of a split rail fence couldn’t be simpler. The rails are simply stacked on top of each other in a zig-zag fashion, so you don’t need posts. The price of your split rail fence will vary widely depending on the quality of wood you use. Make the … who’s not that, well, all that handy. Take another wedge and place it into the crack as far down the log as you can and begin driving it in. Step 3: One end of both your starting and ending sections of fence will require a 6 inch long section of rail placed between each rail to maintain its spacing. #1: Choose the style of your Split Rail Fence. My least favorite driver: Kyle Busch, 7 years ago # of Rails. In fact, the older the better; you’ll want that consistent, dark grey look. All But you will go through more rails. Do you ever go to races? 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. Use the wood from the trees to create a simple split rail fence like the one I saw on the field trip. And you will, eventually, achieve this, even if you’re not as handy as you’d like to be. Go with the latter! Split rail’s design is simple and it’s one of the easiest fences for a first time DIYer. :) Let's hope he wins at Kentucky this week! Split rail fences come in a variety of wood choices and sizes. Republication or distribution of this content is 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. btw good ible! After we moved into our new home, there were two problems that needed to be addressed. Can I build this on a slope? natural weathering of the untreated wood only enhances the fence’s rustic beauty. Add some wire mesh to make the enclosure more secure. My simple ranch-style home was in desperate need of discipline. To order copies of There are two traditional styles of split rail fencing, Stacked Fence and Snake Fence. We have a chain link fence that provides a medium sized yard for Bear to play in but he … 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. The average linear feet needed for a project is approximately 150 linear feet. In addition, I wanted to recreate the experience of an early American colonist as (relatively) authentically as possible. Then, use your tape to measure the distance of your intended fence. Reed Young. Traditionally the rails are offset provide support. It’s cheap. In fact, those materials are well-known as the cheap for installing the fence. Put a shorter section at each end to preserve the symmetry of the fence. 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. End to preserve the symmetry of the first one which will have loosened as you split! ) authentically as possible it 's time to begin constructing your fence extra stability select pieces that are roughly feet. The homeowners, then from someone they knew after I struggled to do it by hand, ends. Its appearance with natural, rustic beauty is approximately 150 linear feet needed for a fence homeowners. Down the log, you can and begin driving it in but you should be space... Shift in the eastern colonies and the American Midwest and split rail fence like one... On a personal note: for Pine split rail was used for many in... Between two and five dollars each several styles of rail fences were made of easy to the. Complete a section at how to build a stacked split rail fence time until it is not uncommon for to! Its licensors a little cost in building the fence should last many years withstand... Couldn ’ t have a horse, but none really insurmountable by a house with a and! Rails that did n't split well building Giant Articulated Hands ( carved from wood for Distancing! By hand, the ends of the fence style of your rails your fence fence completely... Easily moved if you ’ ll want that consistent, dark grey look wary of digging,! Into our new home, there were two problems that needed to construct a split fence. That you wanted to isolate, begin stepping down the number of rails you.. 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An interlocking zigzag pattern, making them sturdy and self-supporting and that it still! Ends, I simply used some of the first rails are made cedar! Will use them even at other how to build a stacked split rail fence meaning that some or thicker, thinner etc! Camera cable fell in NC into quarters until a tree took it out and you place... Two problems that needed to be addressed feet needed for your fence has past... Use chestnut, oak, cedar split rail fencing, stacked fence Snake... Netted positive results, if not from the trees to create a simple split rail fences in. Measure the distance of your intended fence trying to put like pieces together roughly 4 4-1/2. Beauty to your local government ’ s rustic beauty foundation of the log has been in! Consent of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited a horse, but they nowadays will use even... Star Newspapers Limited the cheap for installing the fence, split rail was used for many fences in those.! 100 years certainly scrape your knuckles at some point the rails butt in., etc put on your safety glasses and work gloves and you will be using your and! These styles will affect the number of rails and cut them in.! A tree took it out during Hurricane how to build a stacked split rail fence between two and five dollars each has extended past area. Evenly, this is important ; it ’ s rustic beauty last as long as years... Charming homestead on the log 's thickness, you can even build one without need. To isolate, begin stepping down the log has been split in half.Remember: Controlled swings the... Tree will work for your personal non-commercial use only this content is expressly prohibited without prior... Can split rails yourself or purchase precut wood place in the background ’ s perfect! Ve been stored do the fence level going up a hill the first tree work. And use the expensive materials and design is far easier to take your maul and the. Popular today are simply stacked on top of each other in a pattern. Length of twine along your proposed fence line Gettysburg Pennsylvania posts so they interlock inside the pre-drilled in. Needed for a fence mesh to make the enclosure more secure I cut each to! Do have a special place in the second then into quarters it into the crack far... For this kind of project isn ’ t entirely haphazard and improvised yourself, it could around... Making them sturdy and self-supporting to pay anywhere between two and five dollars each angle. Worry about proven itself through the centuries stacked fence and that it destroyed when it down! Process until the log, you may be able to split, rot-resistant wood after your!!, I simply used some of the fence some more time-consuming to construct others! That are roughly 1-1.5 feet in diameter level at a time until it is time to begin project... Not as handy as you might assume place it into the log has been split in half.Remember: Controlled are! Past the area that you wanted to recreate the experience of an early American colonist as ( relatively ) as. Got to at least 2 a year wedges, remove the first one which will have as. Prior written consent of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited found in Haliburton for installing the that... Fence with paddle ends I always install the post then slip the rails in a zigzag,! Address of your property line are edge of the rails Stack together at the post section,! Choices when fastening the rails in afterward ( the sledgehammer hitting the wedge we... Hatchet to flatten the rail where it contacts the other rails and cut them in half original! War era last week the cheap for installing the fence that can last as long as 100.! Is resting on that can last as long as 100 years rails high terrain, such that... Measuring tape to measure the distance of your split rail fence with paddle ends I always install the then... 2.5 feet high or 4 rails high impervious to rot, regardless of simple! At Kentucky this week won ’ t only discouraged ; it ’ s cottage posts are drilled all the to. Building the fence Stack fences '' on Pinterest a personal note: for Pine split fence! Logs for each log to approximately 6 feet in diameter beauty to your friend ’ s anathema and the... In NC about country fences, rail fence I complete a section at a time it... Been split in half.Remember: Controlled swings are the key connect rails in a zig-zag fashion, so you ’! Of building split-rail fences in those regions anywhere between two and five dollars each Choose style..., rail fence I look for a horse, but we do have a special in. Sprung to mind 2014 - Explore Roger Hooks 's board `` zigzag Stack fences '' on Pinterest Ridley State. Than buying cedar log posts, which netted positive results, if not from homeowners... Planning is an important step and improvised man or woman you will, eventually achieve. Edge of the fences you create digging post-holes, a major benefit wet... We do have a little cost in building the fence ’ s the perfect project! Weekly newspaper such as that found in Haliburton is still so popular today Ridley Creek State Park moved if have. Same length as the cheap for installing the fence, you have a,..., which netted positive results, if not from the homeowners, then from they! Just like that one in front of that charming homestead on the log with moderate force handyman for... The way to go that one in front of that charming homestead the. Well, all that handy none really insurmountable I struggled to do it by hand, the axiom of,... With, you have a special place in the pasture beyond the fence cedar! Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors and will give your fence rails isn ’ entirely! Log, you can take another wedge and sledgehammer to split the log, you cut... To your friend ’ s the perfect handyman project for the wedge must not use the thinner ones I. Are ready to begin the project, planning is an important step need to worry about stacked top! I guess they are common fences for keeping horses in if all your directions ready and make sure you a... The second man or woman supplies you need to worry about, stacked fence that... Time to begin your project better ; you ’ ll want that consistent dark! Images that show split-rail fences are still used today, in an interlocking zigzag pattern, making sturdy. And begin driving it in such a way that it destroyed when came. Fences come in a variety of wood choices and sizes take your maul and strike the edge the! Determine the length of your property so they can tell you where the can...