Fixing a Fence With a Live Edge Bar Top



Introduction: Fixing a Fence With a Live Edge Bar Top

About: Desk Jockey in WA

Time won out again, and a combination of moisture and age rotted out several cedar fenceposts in my front yard.

This Instructable is about replacing and upgrading the old fence with a bar top that doesn't detract from the view.



16 oz Framing Hammer



Post Hole Digger

Tape Measure





Cedar Fence Posts (x3)

Fill Dirt

Large Fencing Nails (reuse + spares)

Live-Edge bar top

Step 1: Replacing the Old Posts

The old fenceposts simply rotted in the ground. This makes pulling them out and digging the hole significantly easier than digging new holes, but it also means I can't refill the hole with the dirt I extracted. It just has too much rotten wood and organics in it to tamp well and hold the post. Instead, it requires clean fill dirt or concrete. Concrete tends to dry out cedar posts, so I used some clean fill dirt for this one.

My fill dirt comes from behind the barn, which is a few hundred yards walk from where I'm working. I had to haul the dirt, and it wasn't enough to justify firing up the tractor. Each year buckets of dirt seem to get heavier, so I used the wagon I had made a couple years ago to go with THIS Instructable.

My fenceposts for this project are 5-8" diameter cedar trees that I thinned out of my property a few years ago. I have 3 posts to replace today. The bark has to be removed before sinking into the ground or it will expedite decomposition.

I'm not going to go into all the details of how to replace a fencepost. This Instructable is more about the bar top than the sinking of posts.

Step 2: Sourcing a Live Edge Bar Top

Somewhere in this thicket of brush I have a live edge piece of fir leftover from building my treehouse a few years ago. If you want to see the details of selecting and milling out some live edge slabs, go check out that Instructable.

I need this slab to be 11 feet long to work for this. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. It measured at 11.5 feet of useable length.

I used a combination of winching with the jeep, pulling by hand, and towing it on the wagon to get it out of the thicket and across to the other side of the house without tearing up the yard. I'm sure the Mrs. will appreciate my effort to not drag it across the grass.

Step 3: Setting the Bar Top

Between the two posts measures 117". Each post is 5.5" diameter.

Using the chainsaw, I notched the heavy end of the live edge slab at about 6"x6".

117" away from that, I cut a 6"x6" hole with the chainsaw.

I chose to notch one end instead of cutting a hole like the other end, because I think it would be difficult to slide both ends down over the posts instead of easing one end straight down and just hinging the notched end into place.

It's not leveled, because it's more important to me that it aesthetically matches the split cedar rails and the angle they're at than it is particularly level. It's for standing at with a drink or a paper plate of food, so as long as a Solo cup doesn't roll away, it's level enough.

To secure it in place, I pounded in a few big fencing nails.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Finally, I hung some lights under the bar top and along the top fence rails.

It will get sanded and probably sealed, but it's too wet for that now. Instead, now it's time for a fire in the pit and a some homebrew with this sunset.

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