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View Full Version : Anybody use decking boards for fence?



shakeytails
May. 1, 2011, 02:05 PM
I want to put up some more board fence, but rough-cut is really a PITA to deal with. I can get 1x6 treated poplar fence boards, but treated 5/4 decking is cheaper, as well as being thicker. Any thoughts?

Hpilot
May. 1, 2011, 02:13 PM
I just started using the decking boards. So far I love them. They are safer I think because they are so smooth with rounded edges. Also, we are using wood screws instead of nails.

Equibrit
May. 1, 2011, 02:24 PM
You'll hate the screws when you have to replace boards. Ring shank nails do the best job. (drill the boards before driving the nails)

shakeytails
May. 1, 2011, 02:28 PM
You'll hate the screws when you have to replace boards. Ring shank nails do the best job. (drill the boards before driving the nails)

That's what nail guns are for! Paslode, baby!

Bezysmom
May. 1, 2011, 03:44 PM
I've used decking boards and the horses seem to break them much easier then rough cut oak. I'd be sure to use a strand of electric with them.

MeghanDACVA
May. 1, 2011, 05:43 PM
We have used both. In VA where rough cut oak was easy to come by, that is what we used. Here in OK there are no rough cut anything, much less oak. So we have used the deck boards. No, they are not as stout as rough cut oak, but then again nothing is!! But no splinters. :-)

Bayou Roux
May. 1, 2011, 05:53 PM
Keep an eye out for green lumber. Our arena fence is pressure-treated decking, for all the reasons listed above, and it was pretty for season one. Now, in season three, the boards that were not as seasoned as they should have been have shrunk, twisted, and warped, and we've got ourselves some pretty expensive, shabby-looking fence.

It's a pretty common problem here in our area; we had the same "green" problem several years ago on an actual deck.

clanter
May. 1, 2011, 07:48 PM
There is actually a less than premium grade of the 5/4 deck boards...its is about 30% cheaper... it would be a #2 grade... knots up to quarter size allowed

Tom King
May. 1, 2011, 08:13 PM
I built the upper 4 1/2 feet of our round pen out of them 20 or so years ago. I think I have replaced one board. I used #1 though. The lower feet are 2x treated boards.

I don't understand the comment about screws being harder than nails to replace. The round pen was built with Phillips head screws, since I dont' think there were anything else then. Those can be a pain if they were torqued the least bit too much once they are driven home. Fortunately, they were hardened so a wrecking bar will break one pretty easily.

These days I only use "Star Drive" Deckmate screws (actually a TORX pattern)-sold in Home Depot, but not Lowes, and online. They are easy to remove some years later and the manufacturers seem to have figured out the tempering better than they used to use. I don't think I have ever broken one of the TORX head screws. The larger sizes require a T30 bit. One of the short ones comes in the box with the screws, but those are mostly just easy to lose. I ordered some online that have the snap-in end to use in the impact driver.

An impact driver is many times easier to use on screws than just an 18 volt drill. I bought the 18v Makita combo several years ago, and those tools are still going strong and the driver has driven some thousands of screws. It's nice to have a separate drill to drill the holes with, and then grab the driver to run the screws in. Here's the longest lasting 18 v tools I've ever bought: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=makita+18+drill+driver+combo&cp=28&rlz=1W1ADRA_en&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&wrapid=tljp1304295597140050&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=8343281573938090&sa=X&ei=u_i9TbvyHojl0QH5_9itCA&sqi=2&ved=0CEwQ8wIwBg#

Most of our perimeter fencing is treated 2x6 nailed on. Now when we make the fastener checking rounds, we pull any that are now proud, and replace with star drive screws.

Equibrit
May. 1, 2011, 11:15 PM
The problem with screws in fence boards is that, when a horse decides to lean on the fence and break the board, the screw usually bends. That's OK for pulling nails, but bad for getting screws out.

Tom King
May. 2, 2011, 05:02 PM
The problem with screws in fence boards is that, when a horse decides to lean on the fence and break the board, the screw usually bends. That's OK for pulling nails, but bad for getting screws out.

Interesting. I've never had that to happen here, but I guess it's because I've never had a broken board from a horse leaning on it. We have a #9 aluminum hot wire on top of the fence, more to keep kids out of the pastures from the surrounding weekend lake houses that for the horses. The hot wire also keeps the horses off of the fences I guess.

Even so, how often does that happen. If it happens even once a year, I'd still rather deal with screws than nails. It seems to me, and most of our fencing still has nails in it, that there is more time involved dealing with nail issues than one bent screw a year.

I would think ViseGrips clamped on the screw would make it easy enough to back out even with a bent head. Since the board is broken anyway, pull it off the bent screw to allow access to the head.

Equibrit
May. 2, 2011, 06:00 PM
Believe me it's a pain in the posterior.I am almost rid of all the screws and will not be replacing them. Pulling a bent nail is a whole lot easier.

carolprudm
May. 2, 2011, 07:43 PM
I've used decking boards and the horses seem to break them much easier then rough cut oak. I'd be sure to use a strand of electric with them.

Same here.