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Installing a New Picket Fence In Five Easy Steps: Part One

June 27, 2012

DeWalt DW368

Installing a picket fence really picks up the look of your property, if you would like to put in a 4 foot picket fence around your property, here is a list of materials and tools you will need to get the job done. Materials include; a mason’s string, masking tape, 2″ galvanized drive screws, 4 x 4 x 8′ cedar posts, 2″ galvanized screws, 6d galvanized box nails, ready-mix concrete, drainage gravel, low-VOC paint or stain, 1″ x 4″ x 6′ braces, 8′ pressure-treated 2 x 4′s, and 1 x 4 cedar pickets. Next you will need the right assortment of tools including a measuring tape, a calculator, a line level, a plumb bob, a hammer, a power auger, carpenter’s level, a reciprocating saw, a drill, a circular saw such as the DeWalt  7-1/4″ Heavy-Duty Lightweight Circular Saw Kit DW368K, and a wheelbarrow.

Step One

Measure the area where your new fence will be installed, this fences dimensions are  48 feet long. Begin by placing the stakes in the ground a foot or two beyond where you want the end posts.Then connect a taut string, this serves as a guide for the path of the fence. As you near one end of the guide string, be sure to make a mark for the first outside post. The first post should be placed in the area you want the fence to begin.Set fence posts about 6 to 8 feet apart, remember a fence that is 48-feet long will have six to eight posts total. Make a hole 8 inches wide and 2-feet deep with a post-hole digger. Pour about 4 inches of gravel into the hole, this will serve as the base,  then insert the 8-foot 4 x 4 post into the hole. Begin to pour dry concrete into the hole that surrounds the post, you can use a three-way level, which will ensure that the post begins and remains straight. Now tamp down the dry concrete. If you live in a moderate climate the natural moisture from the ground will set the packed concrete around the post. If this is not a viable option, you can use fast drying concrete mix, note that it will take up to 48 to 72 hours to dry once they are placed into the holes.

Milwaukee 6519-31

Step Two

So now the outside post is set and you can begin the other outside post. Use a guide string, and measure 48 feet to the other end, then mark it at the measured point. Dig a hole to set the second outside post, be certain the outside face of the post is parallel to the sidewall as well as the first post. Now you can transfer the guide string from the stakes to the posts. Use the string to divide the 48-foot span into six equal sections 8 feet apart, marking each on center with a piece of masking tape placed on the string, this will set the interior posts. Time to use the plumb bob, and transfer the marks from each piece of masking tape to the ground, now while using these marks as well as the string as a guide, you can begin to dig the holes to set the interior fence posts, ensure each post is equally  level and plumb with the other posts. It is important to note that at this step the posts are initially taller than required, you will trim the posts to the desired 4 foot  height once the rails and pickets are attached.





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