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Author Topic: split rail fencing  (Read 17011 times)

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Offline northwoods1

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split rail fencing
« on: March 16, 2011, 08:45:15 AM »


I have one heck of a lot of cedar and I was thinking about making some split rail fencing out of it. I really like the look of that kind of fence. What is a good way to mortise and tenon the posts and rails ???, I am trying to figure out quickest and easiest way, naturally... :)

Anybody ever saw split rail fencing?

Offline isawlogs

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 08:59:25 AM »

 Never sawed it but did do some with dad and grand dad, we took the trees that had butt rott and split them with wedges.( chainsaw helped to start things off) Dad had a small Mac saw with a twelve inche blade that we used to punch rectangular holes that we ronded off at the top and bottom sort of like a streched  " 0 "  Then we flattened the ends of the rails and put them through the hole in the post, I don't recall pinning them in there , I think we just whacked the next one in and it held there wit pressure.
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Online beenthere

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2011, 11:12:45 AM »
Split 10' white oak for rails, but laid them up in a zig-zag pattern. Sounds like you are talking split posts and rails, when asking about mortise and tenon.

There are boring bits,  maybe a jig to make your tenon.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2011, 12:52:14 PM »
Years ago I made a split rail fence using sound chestnut phone poles,split like a dream.Took an axe to the ends of the rails.Posts I bored two or three holes through with a big wood bit and chisled out between them. Frank C.
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Offline r.man

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 08:12:15 PM »
I have helped my father split rails with a couple of wedges. He sometimes used multiple axes or ax heads to wedge a large cedar into rails. He would also do the same with short posts to make cedar stakes. The fence was built using rails laid against the posts and wired to them or he would wire a stake a rail width away from the post and slip the rails between. He always did it this way if he thought he might want to temporarily take down that panel for some reason.
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Offline simplicityguy92

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2011, 08:31:10 PM »
i split cedar into rails and posts all the time with steel wedges just make sure u split from the small end down

Offline northwoods1

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 08:49:37 PM »


I guess I'll sort out a few that have some center rot and find out how easy they will split. I imagine that cedar will split fairly easy. I was looking at some websites that sell the split rail fences with the posts having a mortise and the ends of the rails having a tenon but from the pictures I was looking at it really looked like a professional job the mortises were nice and clean cut with a round top and bottom. I think a small chainsaw with a narrow bar might be the ticket. Maybe bore two holes and cut out between but that seems like it would get to be pretty time consuming unless you could do it with a big drill. I'm gonna give it a try and see what happens.  :)

Offline isawlogs

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2011, 09:01:14 PM »

 A small bar and a chainsaw  will be fairly easy going , we did have the post in the ground when the holes where punched through.
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Offline carykong

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2011, 09:08:01 PM »
here in Virginia the principle cedar is eastern red which makes great fence posts but is difficult to split into uniform rails. I think if I were to build a split rail fence in my next of the woods, I would make the posts out of cedar and split the rails out of white oak.

Offline Mooseherder

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2011, 09:10:09 PM »
Isn't this style Split Rail?


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Offline Cedarman

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 10:44:15 PM »
ERC splits very well.  We have probably split well over 10,000 rails over the years.  You must split down the heart, even if it is off center.  One way is to bore a slot with a chainsaw in the side of the post and then drive in a wedge.  Use a splitting maul to bust out the ends.  You will have a few split out the sides, but 5% or less if you are careful.  Visit Shiloh National Battlefield in Tn or River Bridges in SC to see some of our work.  We split out just under 10,000 sassafras rails for Lincoln Boyhood State Park in Indiana about 2 or 3 years ago.  We use a long splitter that has a 4 way to make 4 rails at once.  We can use the 6 way for 8 and9" logs.
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Online beenthere

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2011, 12:24:15 AM »
Isn't this style Split Rail?
.......

I'd say it is one style of split rail. :)
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Offline weisyboy

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2011, 04:27:21 AM »
we do a lot of split rail fence, both posts and rails are split with a chainsaw.

the pots we mortise with a chainsaw and we tenon the end of the rails with a chainsaw also, i use a stihl ms210 with 12" bar, easy to control and light.

there is a pic on the front page of my website of one.

Offline northwoods1

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2011, 08:51:37 AM »
Isn't this style Split Rail?




Yes that is split rail, you can put split rails up a number of different ways. The way I was talking about using mortise and tenon is similar to what is seen on this website:

http://www.hooverfence.com/wood/cedar-split-rail.htm

Cedarman, I am wondering what lengths you make up into split rails, 8s' and 10s'?

That long 4 way splitter arrangement sounds like the ticket. I was thinking a guy could fairly easily rig up something like that for cedar as it splits so easily, you wouldn't need a real long stroke. How long a stroke do you have, similar to a regular firewood splitter or is it longer?




Offline isawlogs

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2011, 09:02:41 AM »

 I have seen using a skidder and fourway knife put to a stump and do a whack of rails in no time... push the rails into the knife wit da skidder. No I had no picture taker at the time , the knife was about six feet ahead of the stump and anchored to it and braced so it could not lift up , stump was cut about six feet ( guess a tree could of been used too). It seamed to do the job they where three of them at it ... The skidder sure did not seam to work all that hard pushing the rails into the knife.
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

   Marcel

Offline Magicman

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2011, 09:37:22 AM »
Anybody ever saw split rail fencing? 

I would think that you could saw a rail fence, but not a split rail fence.  Then it wouldn't be split, it would be sawed.
I've sawed rail fencing and used a circle hand saw/chisel and large bits for making the mortise and tendon joints.
 


 

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Offline isawlogs

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2011, 09:40:28 AM »

 Thats a real nice sawed fence, a split rail fence is a tad bit more rustic lookin'  ;) :)
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

   Marcel

Offline LeeB

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2011, 10:00:31 AM »
You could use the round tennon cutters and bore the holes with a spade bit.
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Offline northwoods1

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2011, 11:49:49 AM »

 Thats a real nice sawed fence, a split rail fence is a tad bit more rustic lookin'  ;) :)

That sure is nice :)

With the split rails a lot of the attraction for me is your making something out of what can't be sawed because it is to small or has some defects. I know like weisy from down under was saying they do saw the split rails down there but with a chainsaw. Splitting cedar is easy though.

Offline Magicman

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Re: split rail fencing
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2011, 12:52:24 PM »
Another option is to saw it and then add your hewing to the surfaces.
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