How to build a sturdy landscape timber fence

How to build a sturdy landscape timber fence

The strength is in the dado

Landscape timbers are widely used to build many different yard projects. From retainer walls for flower beds to outlining driveways, sidewalks and small above-ground gardens, the versatility and durability of landscape timbers may be easily seen by anyone who is looking for a way to add some accents to their home and property which will be unique and different.

One accent that isn’t seen very often is a decorative landscape timber fence. The primary reason for this is that most people don’t know how to build it so it will stay together for a long time without falling apart. After all, landscape timbers aren’t square, and the rounded edges on them make it difficult for most people to construct a fence they’ll be proud of.

But, with the knowledge of just one simple woodworking technique, you can build a sturdy fence that will stand on its own for many years to come, and be the envy of those who are looking for something different.


Step 1

Cut your posts to length

The first thing you need to do is to determine how high you want your fence posts to be. The height of the fence should be proportionate to the purpose of the fence. If the sole purpose is simply to provide a decorative barrier between a road and a portion of your land or home,

then the fence height above the ground may not need to be more than three feet. If the purpose is to provide a barrier to keep larger animals or livestock in a corralled area, then your post height above the ground may need to be four to five feet.

When calculating the height of your poles, make sure you take into consideration how much of the pole is going to be buried underground so that you don’t cut your poles too short.

Step 2

Measure and mark your posts

Using a tape measure, determine how far down from the top of the post you want the the top side of the upper fence rail to be placed. Place a pencil mark at this position, then measure 2 3/4″ further down and place a second mark where the bottom of the top fence rail will rest.

Next, determine how much space you want to have between your upper and lower fence rails, and place your pencil marks for the lower rail accordingly.

Line up a speed square with each pencil mark and draw a line across the post. After you’ve drawn these four lines, draw an «X» between the upper fence rail lines, then draw an «X» between the lower fence rail lines. These two areas are where you will make your dado cuts to support your fence rails.

Things Needed
• Landscaping timbers
• Post hole digger
• Hand saw
• Miter saw
• Table saw or skill saw
• Hammer
• Chisel
• Speed square
• 3″ or 4″ Phillips head screws
• Power drill with phillips head bit
• Level
• Pencil
• A helper

Tips & Warnings
• Wear protective eye goggles while using power tools.
• Wear hearing protection while using circular saws.
• Wear gloves while handling landscaping timbers to protect your hands from splinters and chemicals.


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