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Making pickets with a semi-circle on top

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Forum topic by Lars Gregersen posted 04-02-2017 12:11 AM 833 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lars Gregersen

4 posts in 259 days


04-02-2017 12:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: fence pickets round circle

Hi

I need to replace a white picket fence. It has 85 pickets that have a perfect semi-circle on top.

The pickets are 2 inches wide x 1 inch deep x 3 feet high.

If the pickets were just slightly rounded I would use my band saw to make the curve, but there is a semi-circle and I’m not sure I could make a single perfect picket that way – let alone 85.

My best idea right now is to use a router and a template, but that also sounds like a lot of work and I find that making a good semi-circle is difficult so any help I can get on making a jig will be appreciated.

Thanks

Lars


13 replies so far

View kimballd's profile

kimballd

26 posts in 1603 days


#1 posted 04-02-2017 12:18 AM

You would still need to rough cut the semi-circle with the band saw or jig saw prior to cutting with the router. Why not change the style? Shallow point?
Just an idea…
Kimball

View Rrrandy's profile

Rrrandy

212 posts in 318 days


#2 posted 04-02-2017 12:58 AM

I’m with kimballd. Change the style.

-- Y'all need to locate a sense of humor. Borrow one if you can't find yours...

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

3647 posts in 2248 days


#3 posted 04-02-2017 01:55 AM

Use an old picket as template and make a jig for your router. Rough cut with the bandsaw or jigsaw and finish up with router.

Had to replace a few with that odd angle cuts on both sides and flat top, did about 30. Worked fine and was not that bad time wise once the order of cuts was set. Do 10-15 a night and in a week this is done.

My neighbor watched with great interest as I went 12 feet at time across my backyard replacing fence post and pickets. 110 feet worth took me about a month. Take in mind I screwed every picket 2 top, 2 middle and two bottom the entire way and added post between the post. Sure took me longer but every few days we had another 12 feet of completed fence. Did the wall across the back yard same way. Fast I am not, getting the job done I did though!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

373 posts in 427 days


#4 posted 04-02-2017 04:23 AM

Use a simple circle jig for the bandsaw. Its a long stick with a peg or pin. Making multiples should be trivial.

M

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10640 posts in 2219 days


#5 posted 04-02-2017 04:45 AM

I would make one then build a jig and use a router with flush cut bit.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Lars Gregersen's profile

Lars Gregersen

4 posts in 259 days


#6 posted 04-02-2017 05:58 AM

Thank you very much for your replies.

I can’t change the type due to the local codes. The houses in our neighbouhood are 102 years old (exactly) and must follow some rules in order to have similar appearance.

I’ll see if I can make a jig for my bandsaw. I don’t think it’ll be easy since I have to do a full semi-circle and hence have to rotate the pickets a semi-circle. Using the bandsaw will be faster though so I’ll give it a try

I have made a jig for my hand held router. It works and with a little practice the end result will look nice. Do any of you think it’ll be better to mount the router i a table and make a jig for that?

Thanks
Lars

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Rick_M

10640 posts in 2219 days


#7 posted 04-02-2017 05:17 PM

Attach a pattern with double side tape if using a router table.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View John's profile

John

224 posts in 1420 days


#8 posted 04-02-2017 05:27 PM

My brother in law cut every single of his 246 pickets with a scroll saw. I showed him how to use a pattern and router but he’s too dang stubborn. 3 years later still isnt completed. I vote router and pattern. Rough cut with a jig saw.

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View jbay's profile

jbay

1857 posts in 738 days


#9 posted 04-02-2017 05:30 PM

I think it would be easiest to just mark them and cut them with a jig saw.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

View patron's profile

patron

13593 posts in 3180 days


#10 posted 04-02-2017 05:58 PM

a quareter circle patern for the router
start on the right side from the tangent to circle
so router bit cuts into the top edge with grain
flip the board when you reach the top
so you don’t have to cut ‘down grain’
(which would ‘tear’ the left grain)
make all the boards the same length first
then a stop at the bottom
to register them the same

do one side at a time
all with the grain and router bit cutting direction working together

if they need to be shortened for a slope later
at least the tops are all equal radiuses the same

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Tabletop's profile

Tabletop

127 posts in 586 days


#11 posted 04-02-2017 07:36 PM

Change design. Lol

View Lars Gregersen's profile

Lars Gregersen

4 posts in 259 days


#12 posted 04-02-2017 07:50 PM



a quareter circle patern for the router
start on the right side from the tangent to circle
so router bit cuts into the top edge with grain
flip the board when you reach the top
so you don t have to cut down grain
(which would tear the left grain)

Great advice. I’ll try this.

I have tried with my bandsaw and can’t get a nice smooth tangent from the straight edge to the round edge. However, the round edge is much smoother than what I could do with the router. Using your tip about observing the grain direction may change that.

My newest idea is to use the bandsaw to create the round edge as close to a circle as I can get it and then use a belt sander (and a jig) to make the semi-circle perfect.

Lars

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

514 posts in 587 days


#13 posted 04-02-2017 07:55 PM

I think that I’d make a template and lay out the shape on each picket. Next, with a good jigsaw, I’d cut just outside the line. Next and last, I’d use a light trim router, the template, and a flush cut router bit. That seems to me to be the fastest way to do it 85 times.

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