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Pallet Picket Fence

Last weekend we finally completed the pallet picket fence project we’d been intending to complete for the past couple of months.  If you remember, I gave you a sneak peak of what the finished side yard will look like here.  Then, last week I gave you a quick update on the start of the fence.  Today, I’ll be sharing how we built a picket fence from pallets.  Grab yourself some breakfast and a big shot of caffeine because this is a long one.  ;-)

Based on our calculations with four corner fence sections (one side at 7′ and the other at 2′), we determined we’d need 16 posts.  This fence truly serves as a decorative fence so we didn’t feel the need to use 4×4 posts.  However, we actually had some left over from another project so the hubby cut those into 1×1 posts at 34″ tall.  I know, any professional would scold us for this, but again, 4x4s would be overkill.  We wanted to make this project solely from reused materials so we modified what we had on hand to make it work yet still be sturdy enough.

This image shows the stakes where the posts will be placed.

We were also working on leveling because this area slopes down with the driveway.  The hubby had one long string running the length of imaginary fence (at this point) and used a level to determine ‘our’ level for the fence.  Visually we decided that running with the slope of the driveway wouldn’t look right, but also running at true level wouldn’t quite be right because the bottom of the fence would raise 4″ off the ground on one end.  So, we decided to go with ‘our’ level; in-between the slope of the driveway and true level.

Using the post digger for those 16 holes.

We only went 10″ deep because there would be minimal weight (only climbing vines) on the structure.

After digging all 16 holes out came the fence post concrete mix.

Be sure to wear a mask so you don’t inhail this lovely stuff.  Before pouring the mix, we put water in the hole to allow the mix to harden quicker.

With the hole half filled, we sprayed more water.

The hubby used a small stick to work out any bubbles.

Before the mix could harden, he checked level and then finished filling the hole.

 He then screwed support stakes to keep the post level while the concrete was hardening.  Then, he finished off the hole with another spray of water.

Five hours later all 16 posts are in!

After allowing the concrete to harden over night, the hubby then screwed in the horizontal support pieces for the pickets.  You’ll notice we kept the yellow level line in place.  This made it super quick to get those in place.

All 24 in place:

Next up, the start of the pickets.  We started on a corner, leveled, and brad nailed them in to the horizontal supports (using 1-3/4″ nails).

In an earlier post the hubby ripped all the pickets to 2-3/4″ wide by 32″ tall.  We determined this width based on the length of our fence and how much space we wanted in-between each picket.  We made it simple for ourselves by making the width of the picket and amount of space in-between equal.  So, the process of putting up the pickets was super easy.  We nailed in a picket; placed a picket spacer next to it; and then placed the soon-to-be nailed in picket next to that.

 Picket spacer gone and soon-to-be nailed in picket is left.  Of course before nailing in, we leveled it and checked the height.

A couple of hours later we finished and then I got to spraying down the fence to clean it up a bit to accept the primer.

The hubby primed and painted the fence.

And here it is…

We made the fence a pretty simple design – no fancy angled pickets or different heights.  Eventually the picket fence won’t even really be seen because of the climbing vines that’ll grow on it plus the plants that’ll be in front of the fence.  Why go into elaborate detail when you won’t see it, right?  I’m sure you also noticed the ‘white’ dirt too.  We didn’t worry about covering the ground because there’s a good portion of dirt that’ll be removed for the plantings.  That dirt is horribly hard clay.  We need some earthy, dark compost in its place so the plants will be happy and sing to us!

The only money we spent on this project was $10 on four bags of post concrete mix.  We picked up the pallets for free from a Craigslist posting and everything else we had on hand from other projects.

Have a fabulous weekend!

 

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