Types of wooden solid panel fences
Interwoven: these panels are made of horizontal and vertical slats, about 7.5 cm (3”) across and 5 mm (1/8”) thick. They are woven and mounted on a frame made from 2.5 x 2.5 cm (1 x 1”) timber. The frame is strengthened by one or two vertical bars of similar dimensions, to which the interwoven slats are nailed at intervals, and the panels are fixed to the posts by nailing sideways through the frame. Interwoven fencing is light to handle and looks attractive. However, its lifespan is seldom more than ten years and there is also the problem that if one slat gets broken it is difficult to replace.
Overlap: heavier and stronger than interwoven fencing, overlap fencing can last up to 15 years. It is made up of horizontal, roughly-hewn boards, typically about 12.5 cm (5”) across and 8 mm (3”) thick which overlap so that it is not possible to peep through. These are made up into panels, similar to those of interwoven screens, and fixed to the posts in the same sort of way.
Close-boarded: a close-boarded fence is strong, heavy and very secure. If kept preserved, it will last 30 years or more. The sections consist of vertical overlapping strips of wood, nailed to two or three horizontal rails, according to the height, which are let into the posts. At the base there is a fixed ‘gravel board’, which stops the ends of uprights rotting and, incidentally, prevents the entry of small animals. Although it is possible to buy made-up sections, it is probably easier to make this type of fence in situ.
Wattle hurdles, which are made of woven split hazel branches, were orig-” inally used for penning sheep. Today, they are enjoying a tremendous comeback in popularity, perhaps because they blend in so well with virtually any background. One of the cheapest forms of light screen or windbreak, they make a superb foil for plants. They are usually fixed by means of wire to posts or rustic poles. An alternative to wattle hurdles are osier hurdles, made from basketry willow. Both kinds have a comparatively short life, maybe only lasting seven or eight years, but this is balanced out by their cost, which is considerably less than that of any of the solid wooden types of fencing.
Erecting a wooden fence
The erection of an interwoven, overlap or close-boarded fence—or, for that matter, a hurdle—all follow rather similar principles. First, a garden line is laid down to mark the site of the fence and the approximate positions of the posts, properly spaced, are marked with pegs. Next, excavate a hole of suitable depth, preferably using a post hole borer, and insert the first post into it, remembering to treat it with preservative first. Hold it in position with some stones and then determine the exact position for the next one by fastening your fence panel to this first one. Then dig your next hole and follow exactly the same procedure until your fence is completed. Each hole can then be filled with concrete. It is wise to fix a temporary stay to each post to hold it fast until the concrete has hardened. Finally, fix your post caps and rails in position.
Chain link fencing
When this is made of plastic-coated wire, it is very strong and might easily last 20 years or more. It is supplied in rolls either 10 m (30’) or 25 m (75’) long, in widths ranging from 1 m (3’) to 1.8 m (6’), with a mesh of 5 cm (2”) in various gauges of wire. It is supported by horizontal-running wires at the top and bottom (and sometimes in the middle, as well) and by angle iron stakes, which are punched with holes at the approximate positions to take these wires. The stakes are bitumen-painted and erected in concrete. When the fence is particularly long, straining end posts are advisable.