Tools for the job:
1) Saw (a miter saw is helpful but any saw can work... a jigsaw is good for rounding exposed corners)
2) Drill (check out my kitchen island "ible" to learn what the numbers on a variable drill are for)
3) Counter sink bit
4) Air compressor and brad nailer (this is optional but EXTREMELY helpful in holding pieces together so you can go back and finish with screws without anything shifting)
5) Framing square
6) Sand paper and/or power sander (I like the random orbit sander)
7) Small clamps
(18) 6 ft ..5/8" x 5 1/2" cedar fence pickets (cedar is untreated, safe, and resists rot and decay naturally). The biggest caveat of all fence pickets is they are rough cut lumber. You have to make sure every piece you pick out is straight and true and close to the same thickness and width as the last piece you added to your cart. You may need to spend some time picking out these 18 pieces, but they are roughly a third the cost of their finished, exact dimension siblings you will find inside the store. Plus I think their rough character works great for certain projects...like this one. You will actually need only 16 of them but its good to have spares to choose from in case something doesn't line up correctly.
(4) 1 x 2 x 8ft cedar boards
(2 and a half) boxes of 75 count 1 1/4" exterior screws. I used bronze coated ones with serrated threads and a star bit head. They help prevent splitting but I still pre-drill most holes
Sealer if you choose to seal your project
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