|Project by schugi||posted 10-16-2015 03:53 AM||2606 views||18 times favorited||27 comments|
My Dad says that “Anything worth doing is worth over doing”. And so I present to you my fence.
Inspired by the work of Charles Prowell, it is built out of the clearest western red cedar I could find. From design to construction to installation, it took exactly one year of evenings and weekends to complete.
Each panel is 5ft wide. All of the slats in the upper portion of the panels are fitted using loose tenons. With the mortises in the slats and the corresponding ones in the rails, that ends up being over 2,000, for the 29 panels that were required. Everything was glued together using System Three epoxy. The boards in the lower section are allowed to float. There is a groove top and bottom that fits over aluminum flat stock epoxied into grooves in the middle and lower rails. That keeps them from trying to cup. A wood spline in between each board keeps them from bowing and keeps any gaps from showing through. All the parts of the panels were sanded to 150 grit. When asked why I would sand a fence that smooth, the only way I could respond was, “because I can”.
The only posts that are fully cemented into the ground are the ones supporting the hinge side of a gate. The rest sit on top of a 3” layer of pea gravel and are backfilled with more pea gravel. At the top of these posts is an 8” thick collar of concrete (If I were to do it again I would skip this part as it didn’t seem to make the posts any more rigid). This allows water to freely drain away from the post, minimizing rot.
All hardware and fasteners are either stainless steel or bronze. Every wood part is designed to shed water instead of collecting it.
The gate with the two flanking short panels are removable in case I need to get something big into the back yard.
Finished with Sikkens Cetol SRD. I don’t know if there is any finish that would hold up to the sun. This one doesn’t. The south side has had to be restained 3 times in 7 years. Maybe that’s normal, but it is a lot of up keep. The north side looks as good today as it did when it was new.
This was a super satisfying project. Even more so now, as it is still as plumb and level as the day it was put in. I doubt that I will ever have a woodworking project of this enormity again!
Thanks for looking.
-- Chuck, Minnesota