Pine post and rail fencing is a good looking and durable choice in a more rural area. Our material is all grown, peeled and treated in Montana.
We use full length pressure treated posts for longevity, with either treated or untreated rails. It’s a good idea to use a treated rail in wet areas or where they might get hit with a sprinkler, but for dry country untreated rails will usually last 25 to 30 years without attention, Folks used to use mostly ring spikes to hang rails, but lag screws have become more popular in the last few years.
Rails can be mounted either on top of the post as a cap rail, or on the face of the post, either butted end to end or lapped over the adjacent rail. Butted joints aren’t quite as strong (unless a rail plate is used), but give a smooth flowing line to the fence. If you’re installing mesh on the fence framework, a cap rail gives a continuous height on top to staple the op of the mesh. Lapped joints make a slightly stronger and more easily installed fence..
Doweled pressure treated pine rail fence gives a bit more formal and finished look to your property. The rail end is turned to a peg, which fits into drilled posts. It’s easy to install mesh on this type framework, since the top rail is at a constant height above ground. For maximum strength, we use rails with a 2 ½” doweled end. When installing this fence, post hole spacing is critical since the rails are all a fixed length, usually 8’ or 10’.
Doweled rail gates are available to match the fence, and while attractive they are a lot heavier than some other gate options. We like to use a ground pivot pin, set in concrete with an adjustable top ring for a hinge set on the larger gates. It is hard to beat the rustic appearance of a rail gate on a heavy driveway log archway.
People often ask about problems with repairs of broken rails, but it’s seldom required. By pulling a post out vertically, a new rail can be fitted and the post retamped in the original position.