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The wooden fence (Top) really dressed up the garden area. Each post (Bottom) received this treatment.
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Garden Fence

Text, photos and design by Tom Hintz

When the stake and chicken wire fence surrounding my wife's garden finally convinced us it was both ineffective at restraining rabbits and looked awful, we thought a nice wooden fence would dress up the yard. It would be just as inefficient at keeping wildlife away from the beans but it would be cooler looking.

   I had recently purchased a shiny new 10-inch radial arm saw and realized this was the opportunity to make good use of it, and score a dado blade at the same time. After returning with a load of pressure treated lumber and a new dado blade I began laying out my fence design.

   The wife would have been happy with posts that stayed put and rails nailed to them. However, I thought the project deserved more attention to detail. Sinking the rails into dados to achieve a ¼-inch reveal was just the beginning. I also remembered someone on a TV home improvement show (Norm Abram?) using the dado to cut a wide groove just below the tapered top of each post. A few hours and lots of dado-dust later I had the posts ready to build my fence.

   We had purchased one gate but I thought having access from either side of the garden was desirable. In my best "just like Norm" mode, I traced the pickets from the purchased gate and whipped out a reasonable copy.

   Since I knew better than to lobby for a gas-powered posthole digger I attacked the job of sinking 14 fence posts into our hard Carolina clay that suffices for topsoil. Eventually all the posts were in place, the rails screwed into their dados, the gates hung and the wife happy about the nice looking fence around her garden. I made a mental note that digging postholes could be an unpleasant by product of woodworking if I was not more careful in future project discussions.

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