Nailing fence boards

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Old 04-20-16, 03:16 PM
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Nailing fence boards

Hi,

I'm almost done with my privacy fence which is 4x4 posts, upper and lower 2x4 rail, all PT. Redwood fence boards (1"x8")go between rails and I use a redwood cleat nailed to rails to hold the fence boards in place (makes a dado). I used Simpson FB24Z connectors with Simpson screws to attach the rails to the 4x4 posts.

My question is, to attach the overlapping fence boards to the cleats I'm planning on using 15ga 2@1/2" stainless finish nails shot through the cleats and fence boards from both sides where the boards overlap(I don't have a framing nailer). Is this OK? It's kind of a weak nail but I don't think I need much holding power since the cleat does most of the work.

Also, should I use only one nail per board since these will expand/contract quite a bit across the width?

Thanks
 
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Old 04-20-16, 04:03 PM
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No. A finish nail does not have a big enough head to resist the warping of the fence pickets. You should be using a siding / fencing gun and hot dipped galvanized ring shank nails. Hardie siding nails would work, they also come in stainless if that's what you are after. Pairs of nails spaced about 4 1/2" apart, not one nail! Can't picture your cleat really, it's a bad idea to put fence in a dado, since it will mean the ends of the pickets will suck up water like a straw. Its as bad as putting them in the dirt.
 
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Old 04-20-16, 04:08 PM
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Not sure how redwood will react (heck, I've never seen a piece of redwood), but with cedar, pairing nails will tend to split the wood more than a single one.
 
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Old 04-20-16, 04:16 PM
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Larry, did you see that he's using 1x8's? One nail?

I am jealous that he gets to use Redwood....
 
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Old 04-20-16, 05:18 PM
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Brain dead. Thinking standard size like DE in 4". Yeah the 8" would benefit from multiple fasteners.
 
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Old 04-20-16, 05:45 PM
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Post a picture of what your trying to do.
Galvinized nails are going to leave black marks on the wood over time, use stainless instead.
I have to agree, finish nails are useless on this one.
Need ring shanked siding nails.
 
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Old 04-20-16, 08:01 PM
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In these pictures you can the 2x4 PT bottom rail and the cleat I cut from redwood, 3/4" wide x 1.5" deep. I attached the cleats to the PT rails with the finish nails. I will probably use deck screws, I was just a bit hesitant because the holes weaken the 3/4" wide stock. The cleats are really what hold the boards in place, the fence board nailed through the cleats just keep the boards from moving left to right. In any case it sounds like deck screws would be best.

Most of the privacy fences in the west seem to be built this way but they use a dadoed redwood top and bottom rail. Problem is that the dadoed rails are very weak so I used cleats instead. The original builders fence was done this way and required lots of repairs beginning at 5 years.

I looked at siding nailers - a little pricey but I have done this with deck screws in the past. I just figured it was overkill.

BTW, I have made quite a few redwood structures and I try to always coat the cut ends with Titebond III wood glue. Seems to help a lot.

Thanks for the advice

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Old 04-20-16, 08:25 PM
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Another product that might work better than Tightbond III is Anchorseal. Its actually made for this purpose.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 07:29 AM
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Building it that way may look nice for a while but all I can see is that cleat or a dado forming a pond for water to lay in that track.
The end grain of the woods going to soak up that water and cause staining at the bottom and rot at some point.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 08:56 AM
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At a minimum I think that dado needs weep holes but I really don't like the idea of it at all.
 
 

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