My landlords replaced a rotting fence when I moved in. The posts were certainly done for, but the slats were great, minus the bottom three or four inches. Being the friendly, kind, considerate, and opportunistic individual that I am, I offered to "get rid of" the lumber for them -- free of charge!
Many months later, I finally made the time to finish this project.
Step 1: Preparation
Personally, I find getting started to be the hardest part of any big project. Cleaning up the boards was easy enough, using the table saw and planer. The lumber was a little warped, but since it was old it was cut thick and I was still able to keep a 3/4" thickness when I was done.
The most time consuming part of the process was definitely the design, as I wouldn't be entirely satisfied with the result and ended up redesigning multiple times until things were refined properly. After the initial sketches I created a computer model just to be certain of my dimensions.