Dowels in horizontal fence


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Old 04-06-21, 08:07 AM
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Dowels in horizontal fence

I'm installing a horizontal fence of 5/4" 16' treated deck boards on eight foot centered posts, staggered. I'm wondering if anyone has used dowels inserted into the horizontals at the 4' mark between the posts to prevent warping and cupping, and if anyone can see a downside to doing that using hardwood dowels and gluing or caulking at least the bottom portion of the dowel in order to help prevent water from seeping into the dowel hole and causing rot.

Thoughts are greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Charles
 
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Old 04-06-21, 10:06 AM
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Do you have a photo or sketch of what you are describing?
 
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Old 04-07-21, 05:31 AM
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The dowels will rot if not protected.
 
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Old 04-12-21, 03:57 AM
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sketch


 
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Old 04-12-21, 01:47 PM
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Butted edge to edge, the boards will rot at the seams over time due to dampness. If it was me I would have a 1/8 to 1/4 gap between horizontal boards. Is that an option in your scheme?
 
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Old 04-12-21, 02:37 PM
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Also, 8' span between posts is quite long. I'd go for closer to every 4'. Don't forget you will have a significant wind load with a solid wall like you intend. Then there is the whole warping issue trying to keep so many deck boards straight over such a long span. I guess that was your intention for the dowels but I don't think that is the correct solution.
 
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Old 04-13-21, 11:56 AM
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One of the things to think about is "have I seen a lot of fences like this, and how do they look?"

Chances are, if you haven't seen them around, it might be because they're impractical in some way. Too expensive to built, too hard to maintain, or don't hold up well.

Before starting a fence (especially since the price of lumber is 3 or 4 times what it was a year ago), I would look for successful installations. Also visit some fencing companies and look thru their catalog and inspect the materials.
 
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Old 04-19-21, 08:26 AM
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Yes, I will have a 1/4" gap. So it sounds like dowels are a bad plan. I have 5/4 boards, 16' and I was hoping that they would be strong enough not to sag over an 8' length - I already have all my materials. My backup plan, for if the boards did not seem strong enough and started to warp or cup, was to put a 2x4 upright centered between every two posts. This upright would not touch the ground. I'm having a hard time believing 5/4 x 6 will sag over 8' when my previous 8' fence panels only had three perhaps 1 1/4" x 3" horizontal boards to support all the weight of the pickets and never sagged, but I suppose I will live and learn. I have 350' feet of fence to install and posts every 4' would mean 80+ 4x4s instead of 44 4x4s. I'm not sure I have the stomach for that many holes and that much concrete.
 
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Old 04-19-21, 10:33 AM
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How high will the fence be? I have seen solid privacy fences knocked over by wind where the posts got pushed over or simply snapped at ground level. A 4x4 every eight feet isn't a lot of support if your fence is going to be tall.
 
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Old 04-21-21, 06:52 PM
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Charles, Installing the 2x4 in the centers should work fine. Usa a minimum of 2 screws per board, three is better and screw them through the fence board and into the 2x4. Install the screws in a Z pattern.
 
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Old 04-26-21, 08:12 AM
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Fence height

The fence is only 6í tall and the posts are in three feet of concrete, hopefully the wind wonít take it out. Iíll go with the 2x4s with a z screw pattern.

thank to all for advice, Iíll post pictures when finished.
 
 

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