Step 4: Set the fence panel

setting the fence panel
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Slide the panel's rails into the post's mortises.

Prop up the panel's far end with wood wedges. Adjust them until the top rail is level.

On posts with no mortises, prop the panel so the top rail is level and the picket bottoms nearest the post are 2 to 5 inches off the ground. Screw rails to post.

If the picket bottoms at the far end are between 2 and 5 inches above grade, go to Step 6. If they're not in this range because the ground slopes, go to Step 5.

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    Tools List

    • four-foot level
      Level
    • post hole digger
      Gibbs posthole digger,
      for digging 10-inch-wide holes 32 inches deep
    • mason's line
      Mason's line
    • seven-foot tamping bar
      7-foot tamping bar (or a 6-foot 2x4
    • pointed shovel
      Shovel
    • 7 foot digging bar
      7-foot digging bar,
      use flat end to cut roots; pointed end to pry out rocks
    • drill
      Drill/driver,
      for screwing through posts into rails
    • circular saw
      Circular saw,
      for trimming posts and panels, if necessary
    • tarp
      Tarp,
      to hold soil dug from postholes
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure

    Shopping List

    1. FENCING

    2. FENCE POSTS

    3. 2 1/2-INCH GALVANIZED SCREWS

    for attaching fence rails to posts



    4. WOOD WEDGES FOR PROPPING PANELS IN A LEVEL POSITION