Leviathan Hall: Cedar Fence

Our chickens roam the backyard, so we built a fence to keep them from being front yard chickens…

I planted metal posts in the ground and used Ozco brackets to mount a vertical 2×8, which I then boxed for cedar wrapping:

After boxing the columns, the main part of the fence went together quickly. I used brackets to mount my horizontal rails- the blocking for the posts lined up to catch the screws for each bracket. My gate is fairly wide at 48″, so I added a header at the top of the gate columns to act as a spreader to alleviate some of the inevitable gate sag.

I played around with the proportion of the cloud lifts. I eyeballed a few dimensions, but settled on two lifts. I ended up using the golden ratio. Good old Fibonacci series, can’t get away from it.

Looking at the full size version of the picture (click most pics for a larger version), it is a bit easier to tell that the header beam is a bit of fake. I boxed the space between the gate columns, spanned it with a single wide board on each side and then laminated the cloud lift ends to give the end product decent proportions.

It turns out pre-built post caps are really expensive for large posts. Really nice, but pricey. I built mine from the scraps and extra material I had bought for the main part of the fence. The bottom two layers are mitered together with biscuits at the joints and long staples driven through the biscuits to hold things in place in the short term. The top layer is a solid block.

Mounting my gate in the middle of the posts turned out to be a challenge when it came to the gate latch. Long story short, I could not find any latch that would work without the gate being basically flush to the front of the back of the gate posts. I was stuck and so I played around and built a latch from scratch:

I started by bending a steel bar I had laying around from an old TV wall mount we used at the Gaines house.

Drilling holes and making notches:

Added washers and spacers (spacers courtesy of that same TV Wall mount kit, I think):

Missing here are some pictures of these comically oversized yard nails. I had been pack-ratting these long nails since our time at Gaines, probably 8-9 years, because these spikes/nails were so unusual. They are about 8″ long and have a really large, flat and shiny head. I finally found a use for one.

I cut the size down to about 4″, filing the end into a rough point to mimic a giant nail point. I then chucked the nail into a drill press and took the edge of a file to the spinning spike to create grooves. All this work was so that I could drive the oversize nail into the post and use that to catch my latch. This is the unassuming latch catch:

I do not want my view from the backyard completely blocked by the fence. That is way I build a large opening in my gate. To fill in the gap, I used a plastic screen. I used a screen made by Acurio. The quality is quite good, and despite my reservations, turned out to be easy to cut with simple tools:

Final Version:

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