Redwood T&G fence need expansions gaps?

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Forum topic by notmiller posted 05-16-2011 06:37 PM 2608 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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05-16-2011 06:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: redwood tongue and groove tg fence

Hi all,

I’m in the midst of building a redwood fence using tongue and groove Clear A redwood. I know with standard wood slat fences, using other types of wood, you should leave ~.25 inch gap between each slat to allow for expansion and prevent warpage and cupping from slats being too tight. My fence has 3 horizontal spanners with 6’ redwood T&G going across. I plan on putting two screws into each slat on the top and bottom spanners and one screw into the center spanner. I know redwood is not supposed to warp nearly as much as other woods, although this has some sapwood in it. My question is, do I need to leave a little space for expansion of the redwood T&G as well? My natural instinct is to lay it all in real tight for a nice, private finish, but I don’t want the slats to start to cup if they expand. Anyone have experience with this? I live in the coastal region of Southern California so I get foggy mornings and relatively hot highs.


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10401 posts in 3647 days

#1 posted 05-16-2011 06:59 PM

It may not be warp prone, but redwood still needs to move, and it
will. My guess is a 6” wide redwood slat will move about 1/8=-3/16”
total in width. That’s 1/16”-3/32” per edge since each is fastened
down in the middle. Double 3/32” and you get 3/16”, which is your
gap. Round that up and you get the 1/4” usually recommended.

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