Monday, April 25, 2011

Fencing (and yes swords may be involved at some point)

I blame Young House Love for my newfound irrational confidence that I can do anything and build anything around the house that I want to.  But while Vinny quietly curses them from afar, I've decided that the new fence in our new house should be built by my own hands. (countdown: 55 days til we can say it's our much as renting a house makes it 'our' house at least)

And yes, I could settle for the standard pickets available at any lawn and garden store.  Heck, I could probably just go buy pre-made 6 foot fencing panels in my preferred fence height and slap those bad boys on and call it a day.

Alas, my creativity and design sense (or non-sense, depending on the day) is insisting on a very specific look.  I haven't told Vinny about my vision yet.  Mainly because he's still a bit green from me suggesting we build the fence ourselves, and that was when he thought we were doing pre-made panels.

Apparently living in New England has left me with very specific desires for my new fence.

Picket vs. Baluster: prior to my investigation, if it was straight up and down on a fence and it wan't in the ground, a piece of wood was a picket.  NOT SO!  Who knew?  Apparently pickets are wider than they are deep.
So, what is a Baluster?  Well, think about the rail going up your stairs or around your deck, those vertical things that keep you from falling through are balusters.  They can be round, or square, or just about any design you can think of.  (I like the square ones)

Tops of the Balusters: most balusters that I've found are sold for deck building purposes, so they're either flat across or mitered like this:

Obviously that would look weird on a fence, I want my tops to look like little pyramids.  So here, now we're getting closer:

Of course, that's from a fencing company's website...and you can guess that it isn't located in NC. I emailed them to see if we could get materials from them, but no dice.  I'll probably have to go by a local lumber yard when we get there and hope they have them.  If not, I'll have to miter the tops of each picket.  It will take more time, but I think it's worth it.

And then to add a touch more difficulty, I want a scalloped top line.  The curve can technically go either way:

I like the curve going down, like the white fence above.  I'm thinking 3 ft at the lowest point, 3.5 at the highest, something like that.

The whole picture is pretty common with aluminum and vinyl fences, but not with wood for some reason.  So why do we want wood instead of vinyl or aluminum?  Well, price for one thing.  But we also want to paint the fence the same color as the molding on the house so that it feels more like an extension and less like a random outcropping.

I've been asking myself for a few days why I can't find an example of exactly what I want, and isn't that sort of ominous?  I mean, if professional fence companies don't do it, maybe I'm missing something.  I've never even built a fence before, this is all still theoretical!  And then, on the way to daycare, there it was...the fence I'd been dreaming of.  

It's almost even the right color and I'm loving the plantings!

So for now, I'm still scheming and hopefully I can convince Vinny that this really is do-able.  I have no delusions that it will all happen in a single weekend or anything.  

And I think I'm asking for a kreg jig for my birthday (What the heck is a kreg jig? See here) if the base wood shop doesn't have one.  Yep, that's fuel my new obsession further, Camp Lejeune has a wood shop, so I don't have to worry about having every tool known to man (or woman).  Once the fence is done, my next woodshop project is either bench seating for the breakfast nook or forward facing book shelves for Bella's room (like this, though it will probably end up look more like this).  Luckily there are lots of plans out there for those projects.

Have you ever built a fence?  Or modified plans building something else to make it your own?

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