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  1. #1
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    Default Fence rail brackets - any good?

    I'm building a front fence (first time fence builder!) using 88 x 88 x 2.4m treated pine posts, rail, and square pickets. Rails will likely be 70 x 45mm pine. Fence will be painted.

    I'm thinking about how to attach the rails. The recommendation seems to be to cut a notch/mortice in the posts. However, I'm considering a rail bracket for the sake of simplicity and time. Something like this Fence Rail Bracket

    Are these any good? How do they hold up long term? Any experience/advice would be helpful.

    Cheers

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemerv View Post
    I'm building a front fence (first time fence builder!) using 88 x 88 x 2.4m treated pine posts, rail, and square pickets. Rails will likely be 70 x 45mm pine. Fence will be painted.

    I'm thinking about how to attach the rails. The recommendation seems to be to cut a notch/mortice in the posts. However, I'm considering a rail bracket for the sake of simplicity and time. Something like this Fence Rail Bracket

    Are these any good? How do they hold up long term? Any experience/advice would be helpful.

    Cheers
    Interesting Simplicity[emoji6]the forum member has build fences,an uses the notch method.
    Itís really not that hard,take your time use string lines.
    Iíve never used brackets to attach rails.
    The bonus on the notch method is it helps control the rails twisting,

    Cheers Matt.

  4. #3
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    I have only built 2 fences so far from an expert. But before building I did take a close look at fences during my morning dog walks. My observation was that brackets do not last the distance and nor do mortices of which I saw numerous ones which had pulled out. It really doesn't take long to cut the notches with a power saw and then knock out the waste with a chisel. It will take you a lot longer in 10 years to make good failed brackets or mortices.

  5. #4
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    Ok thanks I think I will give notches a try. Couple of questions for a novice:

    Given my posts are 88 x 88 and my rail 45mm wide, is it ok to notch the full 45 out? Or is that eating into the post too much? I’m happy to go in a bit more shallow if need be.

    Confirming the easiest way is to string line to mark out the notches, slice up with a circular saw, then knock out with chisel?

    Any links to good tutorials on this. I found a bunch obviously on YouTube etc but they all seem to be for bigger pine boundary privacy fences, whereas mine is a picketed (with gaps) “nicer” front fence. So wondering if there are any key differences to account for?

    Finally, please tell me all the “gotchas” you can think of when it comes to notching so that I minimise my chances of screwing it up!

    Cheers

  6. #5
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    You would be ok with only notching in say 30 mm,

    But why 88 mm post why not something bigger?

    When laying out your pickets you need to learn too cheat.

    I place a picket each end of the section(section being 2400mm long)
    One in the centre 1200 mm
    Then we just eye ball the rest.
    If you place a picket then use a picket on edge then place your picket you will run into problems.

    You wonít notice if one gap is 19 mm the next 18 mm that way overall the pickets look good.
    We also just Brad the pickets first, check weíre happy, then I use two screws per rail junction.
    Itís easier to just knock a picket out if itís only brader on.

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers Matt.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemerv View Post
    Given my posts are 88 x 88 and my rail 45mm wide, is it ok to notch the full 45 out? Or is that eating into the post too much? I’m happy to go in a bit more shallow if need be. Confirming the easiest way is to string line to mark out the notches, slice up with a circular saw, then knock out with chisel?
    In my case the posts were 125 cypress so no issue cutting out 45mm. Happy to be corrected but you could do 30 on the post and 15 on the rail. I have a laser level so I used that to set a level on each post and measure from there but you can use a string line with a hang-on level.
    If your fence is longer than the rail length use a scarf joint on a post. After your posts are fitted and you are cutting them to height cut at an angle to reduce the chance of rainwater pooling. Paint everything before installing except the posts which will make your life much easier. I have a neighbor who painted the buried section of his posts with bitumous paint which might be overkill on H4 treated posts. The more cuts you do in the notch waste will make the chiseling easier. When fitting the pickets make a spacer out of a length of timber to keep the gaps uniform, depending on the gap you want you could just use a picket on it's edge. Obviously you will plumb the first picket, after that do regular checks every 4 or 5 pickets to confirm that all is still plumb.

  8. #7
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    Thanks for the replies. Iím using 88x88 for no particular reason other than they are readily available and within budget. Iíve already purchased and painted all the posts (bitumen for in-ground section and colour on top. So stuck with that size.

    I might just notch in 30mm and leave the rest of the rail hanging out? It wonít really be visible as planting a garden along the backside of the fence. Or does notching the rail too so that it is flush with the posts add strength?

    Pickets will be square pickets probably 66x19 or 70x22. Good idea to brad nail in place and then screw in. Do you drill pilot holes or just straight in with the screw? What gauge/length screw do you suggest?

    And yes will be painting everything prior to putting it up. Thanks for the tips of picket spacing

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemerv View Post
    Thanks for the replies. Iím using 88x88 for no particular reason other than they are readily available and within budget. Iíve already purchased and painted all the posts (bitumen for in-ground section and colour on top. So stuck with that size.

    I might just notch in 30mm and leave the rest of the rail hanging out? It wonít really be visible as planting a garden along the backside of the fence. Or does notching the rail too so that it is flush with the posts add strength?

    Pickets will be square pickets probably 66x19 or 70x22. Good idea to brad nail in place and then screw in. Do you drill pilot holes or just straight in with the screw? What gauge/length screw do you suggest?

    And yes will be painting everything prior to putting it up. Thanks for the tips of picket spacing
    Yes definitely pre drill your screw holes, I use the same counter sink I use on Decks, sorry I canít remember the brand, I also use Deck screws on the pickets, square drive with the small head.
    There easier to fill with putty, if your painting.
    Also if your painting pre paint your rails an pickets, itís soooooo much easier.

    Cheers Matt.

  10. #9
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    I have had to repair a few picket fences.
    On one the notches had been done quickly so were actually a triangular shape. This meant the rail was not sitting on much. Make you notches square on the end posts.
    Painting before assembly makes it easier, and means the back of the pickets and front of the rails are fully painted.
    Spacing. I fitted the first, last and middle pickets and then worked out the gap. Still found that the last few pickets had different gapping, but the eye does not pick it, only a ruler.

    Hope all of this helps.

  11. #10
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    Thanks!

    One more question (again to do with attaching rails to posts) is to cut rails to fit between the posts and using batten screws to secure them. Reason I ask is a neighbour who is a builder has just done his fence this way and so now I'm curious as to this method vs notching.

    Main reason to re-visit this is that if I notch, then the closest I can get the front face of the rail to the front face of the post is still deeper than the depth of a picket, so the picket face won't be flush with the post face. I haven't actually decided if I even care about that but just want the option open to make it that way if I want

  12. #11
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    It is better to have the rails spanning 3 posts then you get far less sagging of the rail between posts and always sight the rail for bow up (camber up).
    If you cut the rails between posts there is a greater tendency for the rails to sag under the weight of the pickets.
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  13. #12
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    The problem with only notching out 30 mm is the remaining 15 mm catches dirt and water, and it seeps into the end grain of the post and causes rot. Make sure EVERY cut and notch is well primed and painted before assembly.

  14. #13
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    Good point re rail spanning three posts. Also partially notching meaning rail catches dirt and water. Will definitely paint every exposed surface and inside notches.

    Thanks again for all the help.

  15. #14
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    Also don't join the top and bottom rail on the same post
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  16. #15
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    As Ray said staggering your rail joints, also I use this stuff all the time, it is excellent.

    SikaBond TechGrip High Strenght Multipurpose Polyurethane Adhesive Bottle 125g 9318324007454 | eBay

    Bunnings sell it too,

    Pre paint, then damp the areas with a bit of water, apply the glue(wear gloves it will stain your hands).
    Assembly the joints, leave the glue to make a big mess, an it will.
    Donít wipe it up,wait till itís cured 24 hours and cut the waste of with a sharp chisel an a little sandpaper.
    Touch up paint work
    Cheers Matt.

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