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Colonial Style Split Rail Fence

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Picture of Colonial Style Split Rail Fence
I got the idea for this fence while taking my students to Colonial Plantation located in Ridley Creek State Park.  After we moved into our new home, there were two problems that needed to be addressed.  First, we had a number of oak trees that needed to come down and second, there is a drainage ditch in the back that we wanted to put a simple barrier in front of.  The solution?  Use the wood from the trees to create a simple split rail fence like the one I saw on the field trip.  In addition, I wanted to recreate the experience of an early American colonist as (relatively) authentically as possible.

The best part about this style of fence is that it does not require nails or screws.  It is quick and easy to disassemble to re-position or move completely somewhere else.  Plus, if you are unhappy with the results, with a few quick cuts from a chainsaw, you have a nice stack of firewood.  

DISCLAIMER:  You assume any and all risk.  Remember: You are always one small slip away from an ER visit.

It is imperative that you take several precautions before starting this project.

1.  If you are attempting this project, it is assumed that you have experience using the tools listed in the materials section.
2.  Always wear eye and hearing protection.  Avoid wearing shorts and open-toed shoes.
3.  Pace yourself!  Accidents tend to happen when you get tired or bored.  Need a break?  Take it!

Materials
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection (the sledgehammer hitting the wedge is surprising loud!)
  • Sledgehammer
  • 2-3 splitting wedges
  • Maul
  • Logs cut to length
  • Chainsaw (optional)

 
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nerfrocketeer10 months ago
btw good ible! Jeff Gordon! 24 all the way!
88impala (author)  nerfrocketeer10 months ago
Thanks! I though Jeff was going to have that win at Sonoma last week!
:) Let's hope he wins at Kentucky this week! Do you ever go to races?
88impala (author)  nerfrocketeer10 months ago
I try to got to at least 2 a year. Mainly Dover and Pocono. I actually saw Jeff win at Pocono in 2011.
Oh cool! I've never seen him win in person, but go to about 2 a year too (this year Charlotte and Kentucky this weekend). My favorite highlight this year was when the camera cable fell in NC. It was pretty wierd. My dads favorite (Harvick) won though.

My least favorite driver: Kyle Busch
HollyMann10 months ago
Wow this looks great!
88impala (author)  HollyMann10 months ago
Thank you very much!
doorknob7710 months ago
how stable is the fence? I think this would be a cool project.
88impala (author)  doorknob7710 months ago
Hi, thanks for checking out my instructable! The fence is very stable. My original one was built in 2006 and was still in great shape up until a tree took it out during Hurricane Sandy. I will say that it is not meant to be climbed, which is part of the reason that I keep it at 2.5 feet high (so I can easily step over it if necessary). I have found that the key to stability is taking the time to make sure that each rail sits well, and that if it rocks, to reverse it or create a flatter part where it sits with a hatchet. The fence should last many years and withstand storms, harsh weather, getting hit by an errant soccer ball, etc. Thanks again!
nerfrocketeer10 months ago
your a Jr fan eh?
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