How To Build Beautiful A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence view, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

If you just want a fence to keep out the neighbor’s dog, there are plenty of off-the-shelf choices at your local home center. If, on the other hand, the idea of defining your personal landscape with a touch of architectural flair grabs your imagination, you’ve come to the right place.

Our lattice-top design makes an ideal privacy screen, but it can do much more. Erect several panels at the corner of your yard to create a sheltered picnic area, or place them in front of a compost pile or toolshed. Either way, you’ll be giving your back 40 a welcome touch of class.

MATERIAL WITNESS
We built most of the fence with 3/4-in. No. 2 common pine. This wood will have knots, and it’s a good idea to seal the boards with a shellac-based sealer, such as B-I-N, so they don’t bleed through the paint job. For the cap, lattice and splines, we switched to 5/4 (1-1/8 in. thick) lumber and used select grade to avoid the knots. The fence is designed to be built indoors, then assembled on-site. The box posts and sandwiched panels make construction easy–just be sure to study the drawing before you begin.

MATERIALS LIST
KEY QTY. SIZE DESCRIPTION
FENCE PANEL
A1 4 3/8 x 1-1/8 x 77-5/8″ select-grade pine (lattice strip)
B1 19 3/8 x 1-1/8 x 13-7/8″ select-grade pine (lattice strip)
C1 8 3/4 x 2-1/2 x 82-3/8″ No. 2 pine (rail)
D1 4 3/4 x 3-1/2 x 11-5/8″ No. 2 pine (upper stile)
E1 4 3/4 x 3-1/2 x 46″ No. 2 pine (lower stile)
F1 1 3/4 x 3 x 82-3/8″ No. 2 pine (divider)
G1 2 3/4 x 3-3/4 x 68-3/8″ No. 2 pine (endcap)
H1 1 3/4 x 3-3/4 x 83-7/8″ No. 2 pine (top cap)
I1 15 3/4 x 5-3/8 x 51″ No. 2 pine (slat)
J1 14 3/16 x 1-1/8 x 51″ select-grade pine (spline)
GATE
A2 4 3/8 x 1-1/8 x 35-1/8″ select-grade pine (lattice strip)
B2 9 3/8 x 1-1/8 x 13-7/8″ select-grade pine (lattice strip)
C2 8 3/4 x 2-1/2 x 39-1/4″ No. 2 pine (rail)
D2 4 3/4 x 3-3/16 x 11-5/8″ No. 2 pine (upper stile)
E2 4 3/4 x 3-3/16 x 44-1/2″ No. 2 pine (lower stile)
F2 1 3/4 x 3 x 39-1/4″ No. 2 pine (divider)
G2 2 3/4 x 3 x 66-7/8″ No. 2 pine (endcap)
H2 1 3/4 x 3 x 40-3/4″ No. 2 pine (top cap)
I2 7 3/4 x 5-1/2 x 49-1/2″ No. 2 pine (slat)
J2 6 3/16 x 1-1/8 x 49-1/2″ select-grade pine (spline)
POST
K 2 3/4 x 5-1/4 x 73-1/4″ No. 2 pine (post side)
L 2 3/4 x 3-3/4 x 73-1/4″ No. 2 pine (post side)
M 4 5/8 x 1-1/8 x 6-3/4″ select-grade pine (cap trim)
N 1 1-1/8 x 7-1/2 x 7-1/2″ select-grade pine (post cap)
O 1 3-1/2 x 3-1/2 x 84″ pressure-treated (post core)
FASTENERS
P as reqd. No. 20 joining plate
Q as reqd. 5/8″ brad
R as reqd. 6d galvanized finishing nail
S as reqd. 8d galvanized finishing nail
T as reqd. 11/4″ No. 8 galvanized fh woodscrew
U as reqd. 2″ No. 8 galvanized fh woodscrew
Misc.: Waterproof glue; primer; shellac-based sealer; exterior wood filler; paint; 8-in. ornamental strap hinge, Stanley No. 611043;11-in. heavy-duty thumblatch, Stanley No. 622044.
Note: Quantities indicated are for one gate, one fence panel and one post.

TAKING STOCK
While painted pine was our choice, it doesn’t have to be yours. At the low end of the price spectrum is pressure-treated lumber, followed in increasing cost by pine, cedar, redwood, mahogany and teak. These are all woods with some degree of resistance to weathering and decay, although pine depends on a good paint job to survive the elements. Of course, prices vary with availability, grade, size and specific species. For example, western red cedar can cost over twice the price of northern white cedar. And at the high end, teak can run over 10 times the cost of the No. 2 pine we used.

 

In most cases, you’ll find pine, cedar and pressure-treated stock at your local lumber dealer. For the pricier woods, check out mail-order suppliers such as L.L. Johnson Lumber Manufacturing at www.theworkbench.com.

click here for PM’s PDF version of the plans.

Classic Backyard Fence wooden, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence wooden, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

From left: pressure treated, pine, cedar, redwood, mahogany, teak.

PREP WORK
The first step is to rip all the stock to width, beginning with the 3/8-in.-thick lattice strips (1). A portable circular saw will handle the work, but use an edge guide to ensure uniform thickness. Prepare the 3/16-in. spline stock in the same way. Then, crosscut all fence pieces to length. To ensure square cuts, guide your saw with a carpenter’s square held against the stock edge.

Classic Backyard Fence step 1, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Prepare the lattice strips for assembly by marking the cross-strip locations (2). For speed and accuracy, clamp each panel group together and mark all the strips at once.

Classic Backyard Fence step 2, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

PANEL DETAILS
Join the lattice strips with 5/8-in. brads (3). If the assembly isn’t perfectly square, simply pull it into shape before sandwiching it between its two frames. Set the brads below the surface of the wood and fill with glazing putty or exterior wood filler. Plate joinery is the fastest way to create accurate and reasonably strong frame joints.

Classic Backyard Fence step 3, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

After cutting the slots at the ends of the pieces (C1, D1 and C2, D2 in our PDF plans), apply waterproof glue, join the parts and clamp for about an hour (4).

Classic Backyard Fence step 4, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence
Place a frame over a lattice and secure it with 6d nails. Drive the nails about an inch so they don’t break through the thin strips (5). Flip the panel over, support it on a few spacers and nail the opposite frame, driving the nails flush. Then, finish driving the nails on the first side.
Classic Backyard Fence step 5, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence
With all of the lattice assemblies built, nail a divider (F1, F2) to the bottom of each. Use a 3/16-in. slot cutter in a router table to cut spline slots in the edges of the bottom-panel slats (I1, I2) (6). You also could do the job with successive passes on a table saw. Prime the splines (J1, J2), use them to join the slats for one panel and lay the subassembly on the floor. Don’t glue the splines in the slat grooves, as the joints need to be able to expand and contract.

Classic Backyard Fence step 6, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Assemble the lower panels in the same way as the lattice panels (7). Tack one frame to the slats, then flip the assembly over to secure the opposite frame. Then, drive all nails flush.
Classic Backyard Fence step 7, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence
Stand a lower panel upright and place a lattice section along its top edge (8). Drive nails at an angle through the divider and into the top rails of the lower panel.
Classic Backyard Fence step 8, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence
Secure the endcaps (G1, G2) with 2-in. deck screws (9). Then, nail the top (H1, H2) to the lattice panel rails.
Classic Backyard Fence step 9, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence
POST BUILDING
Box posts make sense because the height of each post can be adjusted to level the fence once it’s in place. Keep in mind that you may have to alter post lengths and create a stepped fence if your site is gently sloped. Before you build the boxes, prime the insides of the boards to protect against moisture. Assemble the box parts (K, L) with 6d nails (10).
Classic Backyard Fence step 10, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence
Cut 5/4 stock to size for the post caps and mark guidelines around the edges for the cap bevels. Shape the bevels with a block plane (11). Then, use a chamfer bit and router table to cut the bevel on the cap trim (M).

Step 11-How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Step 11-How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

ASSEMBLY
On-site construction will be easier if you join the posts to the panels in the shop, mark and number the parts, and then disassemble them. Use 1-1/4-in. screws driven through the endcaps (G1) (12).
Classic Backyard Fence step 12, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence
Mark and cut the notches in the gate endcaps (G2) so the hinges and latch hardware will sit flush against the gate rail surfaces. Use a small handsaw to cut the notch edges and switch to a chisel to remove the waste (13). Attach the hinges to the gate and post, and then remove them until final assembly.
Classic Backyard Fence step 13, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence
Slide a pressure-treated 4 x 4 post core 4 ft. into each post box (14). Secure with screws, but make sure that the heads are accessible so post heights can be adjusted on-site. Prime and paint the bottoms of all panels, gates and posts. Once the fence is installed, these parts will be difficult to reach. And, they’re the most susceptible to moisture infiltration.

Classic Backyard Fence step 14, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

How To Build Beautiful A Classic Backyard Fence Pictures

Classic Backyard Fence step 1, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 1, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 2, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 2, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 3, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 3, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 4, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 4, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 5, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 5, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 6, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 6, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 7, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 7, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 8, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 8, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 9, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 9, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 10, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 10, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Step 11-How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Step 11-How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 12, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 12, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 13, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence step 13, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence view, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence view, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence wooden, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

Classic Backyard Fence wooden, How To Build A Classic Backyard Fence

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