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How many rails for 6' fence, and screws or nails?

How many rails for 6' fence, and screws or nails?


  #1  
Old 04-05-12, 09:21 AM
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How many rails for 6' fence, and screws or nails?

I"m building a 6' high standard wooden fence. I am going to secure the 8' long 2x4 rails to the 4x4 posts with deck screws.

1. What size deck screws do I need? 3.5"?
2. How many rails should I use? 2 or 3? I assume I have a rail 1" from the top and bottom of the fence, but do I also add a rail to the middle or is that overkill?
3. Should I use a nail gun to secure the pickets to the rails, or can I use 1.5" deck screws? I assume deck screws are costlier and take more time, which I don't mind if it makes the fence more secure, I just didn't know if it would look bad or if anyone even does this.
4. Lastly, this will be a privacy fence, so I don't really want more than maybe .5" or so between pickets. My friend told me that I should butt the pickets directly against each other, because they would shrink naturally and give me a gap to allow wind to flow through. Is this true? Or should I actually space out the pickets to get the gap?


This is just a fence to keep my dog in. Thanks so much!
 
  #2  
Old 04-05-12, 02:30 PM
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1) Yes
2) 2
3) I like using a narrow crown stapler with 1 1/2" galvanized staples if the pickets are 1/2" or so thick. Thicker, you may resort to screws, two top and two bottom.
4) Depends on what the picket material is and how thick it is. If it is regular 1/2" dog ear, then butting them will leave a slight crack. You are up nawth so you may not have the drying effect we have here. We always butt things together and wind up with adequate spacing. I'd check with a few locals to see what they have to say, since weather has a lot to do with it.
 
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Old 04-06-12, 05:59 AM
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Thanks a lot for the tips. I'm actually in south carolina now. Will that still leave enough of a gap for wind to get through if I butt them?

Is it okay for me to use screws on the pickets if I don't want to spend the money to rent a stapler?
 
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Old 04-06-12, 06:27 PM
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Aaah, the Palmetto State...welcome back south. Gap will depend on the amount of privacy you demand. I like to leave 3/4" between pickets. I just take a 1x4 and turn it sideways in the gap and plumb every 4th one to keep them true. Screwing them will be fine, just use an exterior grade screw and make sure it isn't too long for the material. My personal preference would be a torx head screw for decking, no larger than a #8 shank, smaller if you can find them. Yeah, you can buy a stapler for what you can rent one for 3 days. My flooring stapler died on a 1300 sf floor job Monday, and I had to rent one to get me by......$80 for two days. I only paid $150 for the stapler and it has lasted over 10,000 sf of flooring, so I got my money's worth.
 
 

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