Friday, November 16, 2012

It Takes a Village to Raise a Fence

Or at least a few close neighbors....

Foxnews.com has an article on how to avoid conflict with your neighbors when designing and building a fence.  Despite the fact that they too quote Robert Frost in the very first line of the article (it must be obligatory to mention the Mending Wall poem every time a mainstream writer talks about fencing), some of the tips that they give are really useful. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Featured Projects: A Stair-Stepped Fence with Metal Posts and Oz-Brackets

Our featured customer project this month comes from Russ in North Carolina who used Large Oz-Brackets to build this beautiful wood fence on sloping ground.  You'll notice that Russ chose to stair-step the fence panels, meaning that each successive panel is a little higher than the next.  The result is that the fence follows the angle of the ground, but the top of each panel is perfectly level.

Looking at photo above would lead one to believe that the entire fence is constructed of wood, but that isn't true.  Russ actually used 2 3/8" metal posts to anchor the fence in the ground.  Metal posts have a much longer life in the ground than wood because their not susceptible to rot or insect damage.  To accomplish the natural look of all wood, Russ built a wood facade around the metal posts using OZ-Brackets and wood boards.  From the neighbor side of the fence, its nearly impossible to tell that he didn't use wood posts.


To the left is a closeup of one of the wood facade columns that Russ built around the metal post.  He used 5/4 x 8 boards to give the columns more depth.

You can also see the large OZ-Brackets on the top and bottom rails.  The large brackets have extra long tabs and enough wood screws to fasten the sides of the facade walls and also the horizontal rails.  When the fence is finished, the brackets are covered by the wood boards, so nobody knows they are there.


















Below is a picture of the fence halfway through construction.  You can clearly see that while the top of the fence is perfectly level, the bottom of the fence follows the slope of the terrain.  Building the fence this way ensures that there are no large gaps at the bottom of the fence that animals can crawl under.







Kudos to Russ for a job well done, and many thanks to him for sharing the photos with us and our readers.

If you are a customer of Signet Fence that has a great fence or railing project that you'd like to share on our blog, drop us a line at info (at) signetfence.com.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Building a Wood Fence with Metal Posts?

Do you know which part of your wood fence is most susceptible to rot and insect damage?  If you said the posts, congratulations, you're right.


Most wood posts rot from the ground surface down to the concrete plug, which makes perfect sense when you consider the fact that they sit in a dark, damp environment for years.  There are certain things you can do to extend the life of your wood posts like using loose gravel for drainage or putting some type of rubber sealant on; but, over time wood fence posts will rot. 

That's why one of the hot trends in fencing today is attaching steel posts to wood fencing instead of the traditional 4x4's or 6x6's.  2 3/8" galvanized steel posts are much stronger and more durable than treated wood.  Plus they won't rot, get insect damage or get damaged by the weed trimmer. 

Using metal fence brackets, you can install your wood fence with galvanized steel posts to avoid rot and insect damage.


Put up a Facade to Achieve an "All Wood" Look


One of the only drawbacks to using steel posts is that it takes away from the natural look of an all wood fence.  But, that is easily remedied by building a wood "facade" around the steel post with 2x4's.  In fact, the large Oz Post Brackets are designed with extra long tabs which allow you to do exactly that.  And since none of your wood facade is below ground, the chances of it rotting are greatly diminished.

Build a wooden facade around metal posts to achieve an all wood look.

 If you want to build a wood fence that lasts, while minimizing your upkeep, consider using steel posts for installation.

Using the Oz-Puller to Remove Damaged Fence Posts

Over the past week we've received a number of calls from homeowner's whose wood fences were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.  Most of them want to know how replace their posts when there is a big 60-80lb concrete plug in the ground.  Luckily, we have a tool in our store called the Oz-Puller which is perfectly suited for this kind of work.



What is the Oz-Puller and How Does It Work 

 

The Oz-Puller is a 48" Farm Jack with a frame that is designed to provide maximum pulling power, up to 6600 lbs, with minimal effort.

The video below shows how easy it can be to remove a concrete plug from the ground using the Oz-Puller with the Plug Clamp.