Erecting Timber Palisade Fencing

Spacing palisade boards

The normal spacing for a palisade garden fence using 75mm wide palisades is 75mm, other spacings from 25mm upwards are also chosen to suit individual circumstances. Closer spacing will help prevent young children climbing on the lower rail of the palisade fencing. It is normal to use rounded tops around children.

Arris rail connections

Each end of the arris rail is shaped or tenoned on site to fit into a mortice ready made in the fence post. Traditionally tenons are usually shaped with an adze although they can be cut on a workshop saw bench.

Post tops

The most common palisade point is the two way or pointed top. The rounded top is also popular.

Centre stumps

Garden fences should normally be fitted with a 50 x 50mm centre stump mounted under the lower rail in a mid position to prevent the fence sagging and improve lateral strength.

White painted picket fence

The best results are achieved when the timber is planed all round to give a smooth finish to accept the stain. An opaque microporous wood stain gives the longest lasting, lowest maintenance finish.

Number of rails

Garden fences up to and including 1200mm are normally fitted with two horizontal rails. Garden fences above this height have three horizontal rails.

End and corner posts

End posts are used to avoid exposing un-used mortice holes which may look unsightly. If you are unsure of the planned layout of the fence at the time of ordering the materials, there are other solutions. Exposed morticed holes may be plugged with timber blocks or the whole post covered with a length of featheredge board.

End posts are handed so care is needed when specifying the materials at the time of order. End posts are available as left hand or right hand ends. Corner posts are either internal or external, again when viewed from the good side or front face of the fence. Square 100 x 100mm posts may be ordered with the morticed holes placed in the centre of the post, meaning that they may be used as either internal or external corners.

This cannot be done with larger posts or 125 x 100mm rectangular posts. Corner posts would normally be produced with four way weathered tops. Other mortice variations can be produced to suit any situation.

Fixing palisade fencing to walls

It is normally standard practice when a fence abuts a building or a wall, to fix in to the masonry rather than sink a post into the ground. This is because there are normally foundations not far below the ground making this a difficult job.

Therefore, the solution is to fix a timber plate, which is normally 100 x 50mm in size, on to the wall to which the fence is connected. Wall plates, as we call them, are normally morticed in the same manner as the fencing posts and are fixed with between two and four masonry fixings, three would be used for 1500-2000mm.

Using concrete posts

Concrete fence posts are rarely used for palisade fencing. Posts suitable for 1200mm high closeboard fencing may be used successfully with 1050mm height palisade fencing. Another option if concrete posts are essential, and particularly good, if there is a large change of ground level are slotted concrete posts, which are usually used for fence panels.

These can be used with arris rails to form a palisade fence that could rest on a concrete gravel board if there was a change in soil levels between each side of the erected fence.

Method of erecting palisade fencing

Traditional type

Stage 1 Erect posts and arris rails.

Stage 2 Nail on the palisades.

Post bases

All fence posts should be concreted securely into the ground. Above 1200mm high fence posts normally be concreted 760mm into the ground. Below this height 600mm is sufficient.

Nails to use with palisade boards

Each palisade fence should be nailed twice to each rail with galvanised round wire nails typically 50mm long for 19mm or 22mm thick palisades. If picket fencing isn't for you, it may be a good idea to consider more traditional garden fence panels.

29th Nov 2017