How to Build a Post and Plank Fence

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Post and plank fences have beautified many farm, particularly in areas such as Kentucky and Tennessee. Although expensive in terms of materials, these fences are arguably the most cost-efficient way to improve a substantial property, and are more attractive that post and wire fences. Whether it be to enclose an animal paddock, a field, home or the perimeter of a property, a proper post and plank fence will work well.

Things You'll Need

  • Chainsaw or handsaw
  • Tamping rod
  • Post hole digger
  • Level
  • Spool of twine
  • Hammer
  • Mattock
  • Shovel
  • Nails
  • Stakes or other ground markers
  • Lumber and fence posts
  • Measure and mark the fence line. If the fence is meant to mark a property boundary, get it surveyed first.

  • Using the mattock, shovel and post hole digger, dig your fence post holes. These should all be a little wider than the fence post, and the holes should be at least a foot deep. Set your post, using the level to keep it perfectly straight, and refill the empty space in the hole with dirt. Tamp the dirt using your tamping rod for a firm hold.

  • Decide if you are building a three- or four-plank fence. This is how many plank lines will run across the length of the fence.

  • Nail your planks. Some planks will be a little off, and will need to be cut to fit accordingly. Each plank should be nailed twice on each end and twice more in the middle. The plank lines should also alternate. In a three-plank fence, if the top and bottom plank lines are on a post where the plank ends meet, the middle plank should be in its center. This alternation gives added strength to the fence. Use a level to keep the planks in line.

  • Lop off the tops of your posts with a saw, to make for an even look.

Tips & Warnings

  • Painting a fence of this kind will increase its working life, as well as add to its attractiveness.
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