Overview

Illustration of wood fence
Illustration: Gregory Nemec
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Day-to-Day Timeline

Prep Day Determine the fence line and set the first post (Steps 1 and 2).

SATURDAY Build the sleeves and panels (Steps 3–5).

SUNDAY Install the panels and trim, and set the remaining posts (Steps 6 and 7).

For cut list, see below or download the cut list here.

Cut List

Panel
This cut list is for one 36-by-51-inch panel. Repeat for each panel, and customize the size of your panels as necessary to avoid partial panels in your run of fence. For the lattice panel stops, you can safely rip up to three from each 1x6 common cedar board. However, if you rip only two strips out of a 1x6, you'll have enough width left over for the narrow sleeve parts. For our panels, we left 43 inches of post exposed above ground.

2x4 frame top and bottom: 2 @ 51 inches
2x4 frame side: 2 @ 33 inches
¾-inch stops: 4 @ 31½ inches (1x material ripped to ¾ inches wide to create a ¾-by-¾-inch square dowel)

¾-inch stops: 4 @ 48 inches (1x material ripped to ¾ inches wide to create a ¾-by-¾-inch square dowel)

Lattice: 1 @ 32 by 47 inches (to fit comfortably in a frame with internal dimensions of 33 by 48 inches)

Cap rail: 1 @ 49½ inches (Ripped to 5 inches wide)

Post and sleeve
Make the visible front and back full-length sleeve pieces from clear cedar and the stops and blocks from less-expensive common cedar. To determine the number of sleeve pieces needed for each post configuration, refer to the list below.

Full-length sleeve pieces: 43 inches (Ripped to 5 inches wide)

Bottom block sleeve pieces: 4 inches (ripped to 3 inches wide)

Top block sleeve pieces: 3 inches (ripped to 3 inches wide)

Middle post
1 full-length front piece 5 inches wide
1 full-length back piece 5 inches wide
2 top block 3 inches wide
2 bottom block 3 inches wide

End post
1 full-length front piece 5 inches wide
1 full-length back piece 5 inches wide
1 full-length side piece 3 inches wide
1 top block 3 inches wide
1 bottom block 3 inches wide

Cornerpost
1 full-length front piece 5 inches wide
1 full-length side piece 4 inches wide
1 top block 4 inches wide
1 bottom block 4 inches wide
1 top block 3 inches wide
1 bottom block 3 inches wide
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    Tools List

    • nylon mason's line and stakes
      Mason line and stakes
    • post hole digger
      Posthole digger
    • hand clamps
      Clamps
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      Pneumatic brad nail gun
    • circular saw
      Circular saw (fitted with a rip fence)
    • drill
      Drill/driver (fitted with -inch paddle bit)

    Shopping List

    1. 4×4 pressure-treated posts
    Get them long enough to go below the frost line; at least one-third of each post must be buried.

    2. Cedar 1×6 lumber
    To be ripped to make the post sleeves, stops, and cap rail.

    3. Cedar square lattice
    Get 4-by-8 sheets that can be cut into two panels each.

    4. Self-adhesive flashing to protect the portion of the post set in concrete.

    5. ¾-inch drainage stone

    6. Concrete
    Choose a fast-setting mix.

    7. 1¼-inch exterior grade brad nails

    8. 1-inch trim-head stainless-steel deck screws

    9. 3-inch stainless-steel deck screws

    10. Polyurethane glue

    11. Polyurethane construction adhesive

    12. Painter's tape

    13. Post caps
    Get 5¼-inch post caps to fit over the sleeved 4×4 posts.