Instructables
As fences age, they start to fall apart and generally look pretty decrepit. I found that although the boards are very old (up to 50 years in some cases), if they are made out of cedar, they can be in pretty good shape, have lots of integrity left, and can be reused for many helpful projects. Some of those follow in this instructable.
 
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Step 2: Some Construction Details

Here I've shown some close-ups of the construction methods I used. In just a few hours of work I was able to make these very useful pieces of furniture. There are, of course, an almost unlimited number of things to be built with this lumber. And it is virtually free! I use various woodworking tools, including: table saw; miter saw; drills; pneumatic nailer, clamps, glue, etc.

Step 4: Cutoff saw bench

Here, a bench is made to hold my cutoff or miter saw. This is one of the most used tools I have, and is indispensible for many projects. It is very accurate in cutting angles, and I have used it a lot in framing pictures, making frames for canvas used in art work, and making other, angled cuts for various projects. (See small frame holders, fence gate, etc.)

Step 5: Fence gate made with old fence boards

I made this gate out of reused lumber. The cross braces were cut on the miter saw. Prior to having this saw, this project would have been difficult to make.

Step 8: But wait! There's more

A few additional, final projects completed using old fence boards. One picture is a display unit of shelves, and the other picture is of a planter.
obax172 years ago
This is awesome. There are a pile of old fence boards in the yard that I've been pondering about, figuring they'd be a good thing to start my woodworking career with, since screwing up royally wouldn't lead to wasted money. I do have a couple questions, though. I'm assuming you cut the boards lengthwise to make the narrower pieces, such as those used for table legs and frames. What do you use to cut the boards this way? And what do you mean by 'ripping' the boards?
Mastros2 years ago
I wrote this also in another instructable, but I'like to add it here too.
So, it os happens that there is actually an intelligence test, where intelligence is measured by the different ways one may think for using things not in their normal, intented way.
There is, nonetheless, serious critique for the concept of an intelligence test.
Implied above is not so much an hymn for intelligence, but an appreciation of versantile thought and new ideas.
-.
HunterBond3 years ago
I really like the way you supported the legs on the hutch! I use fence boards for building furniture a lot, and I'll be keeping that idea in mind for the future!
jstelmack4 years ago
In the "past", I was the guy that would through this sort of material away. Thank you for sharing ways to reuse materials! EXCELLENT IBLE!
jstelmack4 years ago
I "REALLY" like your creative use of an old and typically discarded material. One suggestion though. The long continuous (solid) brace in the gate should be in the other direction. i.e. top of contiguous brace should be farthest from the top hinge and the the bottom should be closest to the bottom hinge. This makes for a sag free gate. All the weight of the gate tries to "compress" the single contiguous brace. By the way, I'm going to steal your garden work bench design for a friend of mine who is an avid gardener! Thanks!
Kaiven4 years ago
I don't understand how the enviroment is being destroyed if soo many people are going green...
Claude35 years ago
Hi there..I had to smile when I viewed your reusit project because my husband and I were midway through our recycle fence project. We cut the 7'sections down to remove the water damage and used the sections around the back of the garden to keep the deer away. My husband plained sanded and stained a shelf for my daughter's closet, we replaced the tabletop that a storm smashed. I love to see people reuse good things :)
believer335 years ago
Not much to be said other than, wow and great use of old wood. Nice work. Anything else you've made, go ahead and post. I'm intrested.
dpocius5 years ago
A man after my own heart! When I see an old fence being torn down, I think of all the rustic decorative stuff that could be made and sold at craft shows. Talk about free money! Some years ago, I made a potting bench using mostly old fence boards, and a guy I know makes birdhouses by the truckload. Re-use, the highest form of recycling.
Creativeman (author)  dpocius5 years ago
Thanks for the interest. It is a good way to have free materials. Cman
Cool! Whenever I see people getting new fences, it makes me think about different things that they could be used for...looks like you've gotten some great ideas.
wenpherd5 years ago
you make graet signs
Creativeman (author)  wenpherd5 years ago
Thanks wen...Cman
uguy5 years ago
Most excellent reuse. Well done ible and great examples. Thanks much for sharing. We have much of this fencing here since the passed 2 hurricane seasons.
Creativeman (author)  uguy5 years ago
Thank You. Cman