I've been working on a privacy fence for our yard. I purchased individual 1x6 dog ear PT fence pickets and cut them accordingly to fit the contour of the yard.

However, at one point the yard slops about 4" over a 5' run making the 6' pickets too short. I don't want to slope the fence (i.e. I want the top of the fence to be level). Regrading isn't an option, so I can a) join smaller pieces with the 6' pickets I have or b) find longer pickets. I much prefer option b, but finding 8' PT pickets is proving to be pretty difficult.

What are my options for getting the 8' pickets in the same cut dimensions as the other pickets? I'm willing to cut the dog ears on the pickets, but finding pre-cut would be much easier of course.

  • I made up a picket so I could measure/see the exact gap, and it's really not as bad as I thought. Maybe an inch or a little over. So, I think I can just fill in with topsoil accordingly.
    – cigarman
    Jul 8 '13 at 18:18

You will likely have to make them out of 1"x8" x 8'. If 5 1/2" wide would work, 1x6 would need no ripping to width.

Be sure to catch table saw/miter saw dust with a shop vac and a dust mask! PT sawdust is toxic.

Be sure to use a compatible preservative on the top dog-ear cuts (where the untreated wood gets exposed). End grain is very susceptible to rot.

  • Unfortunately, a 1"x8" is 3/4" deep so it will be thicker than the 5/8" precut pickets I have.
    – cigarman
    Jul 8 '13 at 14:37
  • If they are all together in one section, separated by the posts, they won't be noticable. OR, you could notch the back side where it attaches to the support rails. We're only talking about an 1/8" recess.
    – HerrBag
    Jul 8 '13 at 16:09
  • Many lumberyards will do thickness planing for a fee, but they probably won't touch PT to mill. You'd have to machine untreated wood and then treat. Copper Naphthenate is available from CopperCare in 1 gallon quantities. They recommend a 24 hour dip and dilution with mineral spirits or diesel.
    – HerrBag
    Jul 8 '13 at 17:20
  • It might be difficult to get self-treated lumber to look and age like the pretreated lumber.
    – Adam Davis
    Jul 8 '13 at 17:57
  • 2
    When that happens, use a transparent stain/preservative over all the fence pickets. It will blend the differences. Its best to give PT at least a month of weathering to dry out before staining.
    – HerrBag
    Jul 8 '13 at 18:09

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