So here is the fence. The purple things are J hinges which make the panel removable The frame is installed flush with the 4x4 so that when I attach the planks to the frame the planks will be flush with the post fences.

Question: for attaching these horizontal planks to the fence I have two options

  1. use screws from outside and the screw heads will be visible (don't like this)
  2. use screws from inside but they have to be sized properly to make sure they do not completely penetrate the horizontal planks.

The planks will be 1x2/3/4x8 and the frame is made by 2x4 cedar so I will have 3/4"+1.5" of wood to penetrate Since the screw must stay hidden that means I will have to have something like 2" screws that will penetrate the horizontal planks for 1/2". Will this hold?

enter image description here

Edit: The frame was put together using brakets like the one below because the hinges were too close to the corners and long screws would have reached the bolts used to attach the hinge to the frame enter image description here
And here is the hinge

but we used this enter image description here

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


I'd face-nail with a brad gun. 3-4 nails. Fast, easy, and likely stronger than the rear-facing screws.

As a PS note that you will likely want to have diagonal brace on that frame to prevent racking as you remove the gate from the hinges.

  • I am planning to add one or two more thinner verticals to prevent that. The diagonal will look bad and will ruin the horizontal fence look
    – MiniMe
    Aug 29, 2015 at 2:49
  • @user2059078 the verticals won't likely help much. All gates and removable panels should have angle bracing. If you're not wanting a full diagonal brace, then consider these corner brackets for gates: static.hardwarestore.com/media/product/656550_front500.jpg
    – DA01
    Aug 29, 2015 at 3:08
  • That is how we actually built the frame. We could not use long screws because they will hit the J hinge side that is attached to the frame.
    – MiniMe
    Aug 29, 2015 at 3:24

It will if you supplement it with construction adhesive. Put a dab on the back of each plank where it hits the bracing. Either overdrill the holes through the bracing so the screws pull the planking in, or use a clamp to hold the plank tight to the bracing until it is screwed in.

An alternative is to use construction adhesive and hold the planks in place using stainless steel brads, shot through the front, with a pneumatic nailer. The holes are minuscule and can be easily filled with a dab of exterior wood filler.

  • What if later I need to remove a plank? (to replace it)
    – MiniMe
    Aug 28, 2015 at 19:03
  • @user2059078: Saw, chisel, or other destructive removal of the bad board and as much of the old glue as possible.
    – keshlam
    Aug 28, 2015 at 19:45
  • Then why bother with the nails and glue? Wouldn't be simpler with screws ?
    – MiniMe
    Aug 28, 2015 at 20:40
  • 1
    @user2059078 Yes, but as you suggested, the 1/2 inch grab is a bit thin, unless you use 4 or more screws per plank. And cedar is a very soft wood, prone to shredding around screw threads when stressed.
    – bib
    Aug 29, 2015 at 0:05
  • See my comment to the DA01's answer. I want to add two smaller verticals. The problem is that will lead to too many nails or screws on the front side, hence my intention to screw the boards to the frame and verticals from inside (rear side of the fence)
    – MiniMe
    Aug 29, 2015 at 2:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.