Blogathon 25/24: Fencing!

Our neighbours are preparing their house ‘for the market’. They’ve had work done inside and are almost complete on having work done outside. The outside work has mostly comprised getting the garden tidied, edges edged, plants planted, and ivy stripped off from places where ivy shouldn’t be hanging out. The trouble with the latter is ivy, to quote Alan Titchmarsh, is a right bugger.

The neighbours have stripped ivy off a few fence panels and unfortunately it seems the ivy was the only thing that was holding the fence panels up. So I went to Wickes via the Internet and bought three 6’x6′ fence panels. The first question is why are fence panels measured in feet? I took the measurements of the sizes we need in metric but the Wickes website only offered me a product measured in feet. What?


Three 6’x6′ panels were promptly delivered. The trouble is that one of the gaps is considerably less wide than 6′. I know what to do, I’m well acquainted with the theory. I’ve done research and everything: move the end battens to the required length, move the central battens so that everything is evened up, cut along the outside edge of the (new) end battens and Robert’s your Mother’s Brother. Ah, if it only were that simple in practice.

Yesterday morning I went out to B&Q and bought two small crowbars (different tool for each part of the job). Then I had a long, hard look at the fence panels. I could see that because of the way the battens were attached front and back (I deployed the crowbars and removed one front and back batten just to check), it would actually have been a right bugger (quoting Titchmarsh again) to do things properly. So I did the job a bit differently to the initial plan.

I laid the chosen panel out on four 2.4m wooden fence posts I have hanging around (they’re earmarked for a future project which doesn’t actually involve fences). I constructed a top and bottom width template from an old piece of timber I knew would come in handy one day, and used those as my width measuring guides. I tacked the top and bottom guides onto the fence panel then, using another one of the battens I’d removed earlier as my straight line guide, drew a thick pencil line top to bottom. Then I adjusted two of the wooden fence posts beneath the panel so they were just either side of the proposed cut, then I got out the circular saw and did the business. Then I removed the end front and back batten from the (soon to be) discarded fence panel, tacked them down the straight edge I’d cut then firmly nailed them into place.

I removed the dodgy fence panel which came away in my hand far too easily; it just fell apart. I set up the stepladder and the new fence panel, climbed up, slotted it into place down the concrete runners and Robert was indeed your Mother’s Brother.

I’ll do the other two next weekend; they should be a piece of cake, no cutting required.

2 thoughts on “Blogathon 25/24: Fencing!

  1. I thought maybe you had taken up fencing.
    I was looking forward to a tale loaded with foils and épes and touchés, etc.
    But, it was nothing like that.
    Which, to quote Alan Titchmarsh, was a bit of a bugger.

    And having Ivy stripped off and hanging out where Ivy shouldn’t, had me wondering whether you were quoting from one of his novels.

    1. I did that style of fencing. It’s all about the balls of your feet, you know. I thought it was all about what was in your hand but you live and learn.

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