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Author Topic: Fence material  (Read 2535 times)

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Offline stumpy

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Fence material
« on: June 21, 2007, 05:36:47 PM »
I have a customer that buys 1x6x8' Oak from me for pasture fencing.  Trouble is, I'm running short of oak.  I have Ash, Soft maple and Hickory.  I'm looking for opinions on how well any of these would hold up as fence boards.
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Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Fence material
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2007, 05:40:52 PM »
Of the three you named hickory will last longer I believe. Forget ash and I don't know anything about soft maple cause we don't have it here. My ash don't last anytime around here if it isn't out of the elements, and fence pickets are rather in the elements.
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Offline ARKANSAWYER

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Re: Fence material
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2007, 06:54:54 PM »

  Forget the hickory.  It will rot in no time.  Look for black locust, cedar ( be white up there) osage, or even walnut.  White oak makes the best board behind black locust
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Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Fence material
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2007, 07:20:24 PM »
Wonder how I got it in my head hickory was weather resistant?  smiley_headscratch
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Offline Dana

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Re: Fence material
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2007, 07:27:54 AM »
I don't know why ash wouldn't work. Most hay wagon beds around here are built with ash and left outside year round. I have also heard that the old pickup's with the wood floors used ash.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Fence material
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2007, 11:59:45 AM »
Ash would be prone to splitting, especially when you nail it.  Hickory would be hard to keep straight.  Soft maple would be OK as long as you're not looking at ground contact and you don't need lots of strength.

Weathering is different than rot resistance.  As long as its kept off the ground, most woods won't rot.  My house has white pine siding and didn't rot when exposed to the weather for 150 years. 

If its used for horses, they might chew on the soft maple. 
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Fence material
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2007, 03:55:07 PM »
I've read that pine siding weathers 1/4" per century. I tend to agree after inspecting some old barns and measuring the thickness of the siding boards.


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Offline Tom

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Re: Fence material
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2007, 05:27:33 PM »
Something I've read that I found interesting about old wood, that is along those lines is that, old, unfinished wood develops a fuzzy appearance.  The Fuzziness is natures way of protecting the wood from the elements. 

Some people think that the wood needs to be slick and the fuzziness rubbed off, even putting chemicals on the wood to try and return its color to original.  What they are actualy doing is removing the natural preservative coating that develops.   When it comes to old wood, gray and silver is beautiful.
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Offline wiam

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Re: Fence material
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2007, 09:03:44 PM »
Around here an ash left outside would not last very long

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Offline WDH

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Re: Fence material
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2007, 10:19:21 PM »
I am sure you have seen the old weathered pine where the softer earlywood has eroded away leaving the harder latewood.  The latewood appears raised, and it is easy to feel with your hand. 
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Offline Don K

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Re: Fence material
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2007, 08:18:40 AM »
Refering to the fuzzy wood, I have seen wasps, yellowjackets and such chewing on those kinds of boards. I guess they are collecting fiber to make their paper nests.    Don
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Offline Dale Hatfield

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Re: Fence material
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2007, 10:50:55 AM »
Actually Red Maple is like 20 % stronger than SPF construction lumber acording to gov. testing. They used it for trusses.
 As far as a fence board black Locust,White Oak,Cedar.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Fence material
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2007, 11:22:48 AM »
Of the three things probably looking for in fence boards - strength, durability, straightness;  I'd think ash would be a good sub for oak.

I've had red oak 1x6 fence boards up for 40 + years (built the fence in '65 with lag bolts), and have only had to replace the posts. It is only a decorative fence now, and as the posts rot off, that section comes down. The fence boards make great weathered-wood projects. There is some punkiness around the lag bolt holes, but that is after all, a good many years.

I'd think the ash would need to be from straight-grained logs, which usually is how it grows around here. Add some periodic decay preventative treatment at and around the fasteners and post connections, and 20 years of life could be expected. (maybe half that in the South where decay doesn't get frozen out during the winter months  ;D )
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