How To Install A Plinth And Rails For A Picket Fence – DIY At Bunnings


I’m going to show you how to set out the rails
and the plinth for picket fence. The equipment you’re going to need to do that will include
a saw, some safety equipment, some measuring equipment, hammer and chisel, a nail gun,
spirit level, sawhorses are also going to be helpful, and obviously your rails and your
plinth boards. You also need a ladder for getting up to the top rail. So now that we’ve
let our concrete sit around our post, it’s time to remove all the bracing and start with
their setouts. So now we’re ready to set out for the plinth. The plinth is a bottom board
that makes the fence look finished off at ground level and also support your pickets
when you put them in. Once we’ve determined where that plinth is
going to go, I’m going to mark around the post and then cut a block in order to fix
the plinth too. The plinth we’re using for this job is made out of treated pine and it’s
treated to prevent against rot or insects. So now that I’ve worked out where the top
of my plinth will be, I need to work out where my fixing block is going to go. I’m going
to measure up the same distance as my rail and that will be where my fixing block goes.
The next step is to cut a block and fix it in so I have something to attach my plinth
to. You could use anything as the block but I’m going to use an off cut of the treated
pine. When you’re using treated pine, always use
a dust mask. So now we can nail this block in place and start to set out the plinth.
So now that I’ve got that block in place, I can measure and cut my plinth and then label
it. So now we can put the plinth in place, fix it one end, and then level off the other
end. I’m just putting one nail in at this stage so that I can level the plinth completely
across and then nail it off. So now that I’ve got my plinth leveled, I can mark off on the
post and transfer those marks around where I’m going to put my fixing block. I now need to cut another block to fix under
the post that I can fix my plinth to. But I’m actually going to cut a few because I’ll
need them for each post. So now I’m going to fix this block in place, then fix my plinth
back to the blocks and then continue along between all the post all the way along the
fence line. So now that we’ve got our plinth line all the way through this fence, we’re
now going to start setting out for the rails. This post here is part of the existing fence
line for the rest of the property, so I’m going to use all my measurements from this
post. You can see that it’s already been checked
out in a couple of spots. So these will be our reference lines. Now just a little way
to make it easy for you is I use one of the pickets that you’d be using for the fence.
Just put it up on top of the plinth and make all these marks that correspond with the rail
cutouts. If you are starting from scratch to try and work out where to put your rails,
ideally you put one through around about the center of the picket and then come up a little
bit from the bottom, down a bit from a top just enough to keep the picket nice and straight. So now that I’ve transferred my marks onto
the picket, I’m going to square those lines across and use it to mark out the rest of
my posts. This is a handy way to make sure that all the measurements on all the posts
are identical. So now we’ve got our marks on the post, we can transfer those lines around
with the square and we’ve got the setout section for our rails. Then you can come back and
work out the depths of the rail and make that mark. I tend to put across on the piece of
timber that I’m actually going to cut out. It’s a good visual reminder of the piece you’ll
be taking out of the post. So now that we’ve marked out for the rails
on all that posts, we need to cut them. The first thing you do is set the depths of your
saw. The depths will be just slightly over the width of the rail that’s going in to the
post. So now we’ll put our safety gear on and cut along the lines. I’m going to make
a few cuts along here that will make chiseling out the timber easier. The first thing I’m
going to do is just chisel down the pencil line. That will give me a nice clean edge
when all the waste is gone. Also make sure that you don’t chip away at the rest of the
post. So, I’ll just do the same on the other side and then we can get rid of all the middle
part. Just use an off cut of your rail to make sure
that you’ve checked out enough or you might need to tidy up the whole little bit more
and then just continue on. So now that we’ve cut out for all our rails into the post, it’s
time to do the ones in the corner. When you have a corner post or at the end of the line,
you need to do a housing joint. This joint doesn’t go all the way through like the other
rails did. It actually stops on the internal face of the post. We mark it out just the
same but we need to cut it out a little differently. So the biggest difference with the housing
joint is that we actually stop. We don’t go all the way through the rail like we did before
on the other posts. We need to stop here. So when we put the saw in, we must stop at
out our lines that we’ve marked out. So once you’ve made your saw cuts, we just clean it
out like we did with all the others. So I’ve just taken the measurements between my first
two posts. Because the overall length is longer than the timber that I’m using for the rail,
I’ll need to make some joints. So you’ll always join it in the center of a post. I’m going
to start with the short spin, then have a longer spin, and on the next level I’m going
to reverse that long over short, short over long. When we make cut in the corner, we do that
at a 45-degree angle so that the rail coming from the other direction will meet in the
middle. So now we’re just going to measure out the rail for the first section, make that
cut, and pop it into place. So now that we’ve cut our rail, this is the 45 end that’s going
to go into the corner and then we just need to nail it off. You’ll notice that the timber
rails I’m using are pink color. They are also treated pine timber but they’ve been primed
ready for painting. It just makes the painting process easier later on. But now I’ll just
continue along this rail and do the top of the bottom as well. So that’s it. We’ve set
out and put our plinths in our rails in. The next step is going to be to put the pickets
on.

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