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I'm helping put together a custom fence with wire panels sandwiched between flat 1x4s, with the panels being placed in-between 4x4 posts. What would be an effective way to fasten the top 1x4 to the fence, either by fastening it to the fencing frames or to the posts?

We would like to have all the screws on the outside of the fence so that when we are inside the perimeter of the fence, no fasteners are visible, and we'd also like to avoid any fasteners on the top of the 1x4 railing for looks as well as for general rain impermeability, if possible.

My first that was to toe-screw them together with the screw-tip coming up at an angle into the under side of the top 1x4 railing after passing through both of the fence panel 1x4s, but I worry that will cause the top 1x4 railing to tilt a bit to one side. I'm hoping I can combat that with some clamps while screwing things together, but I'm not sure how effective that will be (or if I'm worrying about nothing).

If it matters, this is ground-contact pine lumber that will eventually be stained/sealed. We are using wooden fence/deck fasteners; typically #8 of varying lengths.

How the top 1x4 will rest on the fence panels:
image of how the top rail will rest on the fence panel

How the fence panels will sit/attach to the 4x4 posts:
how the panels attach to the 4x4 posts

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I did mine down from the top, then counter sunk the screw holes and put plugs in them and sanded them off smooth to the surface.

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  • Something like wooden button plugs, or did you fashion your own? – TylerH Aug 16 at 19:48
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    You can buy versions that are not rounded buttons, they are just slightly tapered and flat on top. – JRaef Aug 17 at 18:04
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I'd just try to find the best looking L-brackets; some can look really good. And matched with the fence, it will add an even better touch.

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use a pocket screw jig to screw the short uprights of each frame to the post and then connect the rest of the assembled frame to the uprights.

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  • I'm not sure if this is answering the right question; I know how to attach the panels to the fence posts. I'm asking about attaching a single flat 1x4 to the tops of the panels once said panels are attached to the fence posts, specifically in a way that doesn't create water problems or visual problems. – TylerH Aug 16 at 19:54
  • you're right I was answering the wrong question. – Jasen Aug 17 at 1:11
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You could attach 4" pieces of angle aluminum on the bottom side of the 1"x 4" every 20 or so inches. The thickness of the angle would need to be equal, or slightly thinner, then the thickness of the hog wire in the fence panels.

You could press the angle pieces down between the boards, (into the space of the boards that are sandwiching the hog wire panels) and then drill small holes through those boards and the angle to add stainless steel screws to secure it in place. Thin aluminum stock is easy to drill.

You could recess the heads of the screws and fill with plugs if you want a clean look.

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