How to install rails and plinths for a paling fence

kerrie
View the video

Project Overview

Building a wooden paling fence can give you privacy and security. The rails and plinths are important support structures, so you need to make sure you get them fitted right. This guide will show you how to cut and install the rails and plinths, and cut the posts so the rain runs-off.
Continue to step-by-step instructions
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How to build a paling fence

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure for the plinth
2 Cut the plinth
3 Install the plinth
4 Measure for the second plinth
5 Cut the second plinth
6 Install the second plinth
7 Measure for the height of the fence posts
8 Mark the fall on the posts
9 Cut the fall
10 Measure for the rails
11 Install the rails
12 Cut the rail
13 Finish installing the rails
  • Step 1. Measure for the plinth

    The plinth needs to be mounted in the centre of the post. To do this measure from the outside edge of one post to the inside edge of the furthest post your length of wood can reach. Mark this length on the plinth with a pencil and set square.

  • Step 2. Cut the plinth

    Secure the plinth to the saw horses with clamps. Put on the safety gear. Use the circular saw to cut the plinth to size.
  • Step 3. Install the plinth

    Place the plinth on the ground in front of the fence posts. Use the spirit level to check that it’s sitting level. Once the plinth is level, use the nail gun to secure to the post. Check the plinth is level before you nail it to each post. 

  • Step 4. Measure for the second plinth

    Measure the distance from the end of the first plinth to the wall. Transfer that distance onto the plinth.

  • Step 5. Cut the second plinth

    Secure the second plinth to the saw horses with clamps. Use the circular saw to cut it to size.

  • Step 6. Install the second plinth

    Lay the second plinth near the posts where it will be attached. Use the spirit level to make sure it’s level. Once it is, use the nail gun to secure it to the post. Check the plinth is level before you nail it to each post.

  • Step 7. Measure for the height of the fence posts

    Place a fence post on the plinth against the post. Mark its height on the post. Measure down from that mark and draw a line across with the set square. This will ensure that you don’t see the top of the post from the outside of the fence.

  • Step 8. Mark the fall on the posts

    A fall needs to be cut on the top of the fence posts so that rain runs off them. Use the set square and pencil to mark the height of the fence posts on the side of the post. Draw another line 40mm below it. Use the set square to run a diagonal line from the corner of the top line to the opposite corner. This is the fall line. 

  • Step 9. Cut the fall

    Use the circular saw and hand saw to cut the diagonal line on the post. Repeat steps 8 and 9 to cut the fall on all of the posts.

  • Step 10. Measure for the rails

    Mark with a set square where the top railing will go on the fence post. Draw another line 70mm below that, this is the width of the railing.  Mark with a set square where the bottom railing will go on the fence post. Draw another line 70mm up from that line. Determine the centre point between the top and bottom rails. This is where the middle rail will go. Repeat this process on all of the fence posts.

  • Step 11. Install the rails

    Get someone to help you slot the rails into the notches. Use the nail gun to nail the rail to the post. 

  • Step 12. Cut the rail

    To nail the next rail into a notch, you will need to cut the previous rail. Use the circular saw to cut at the point where it sits in the middle of the notch. This will give you the space for the next rail to be attached. 

  • Step 13. Finish installing the rails

    Repeat steps 12 and 13 to install all of the rails
Persons nailing in palings 00:48

Gates & Fencing How to build a fence Find out everything you need and the two important things you must check before you start building a fence.

Person securing horizontal rails 07:06

Gates & Fencing How to build a gate We show you how easy it can be to add extra privacy, security and street appeal to your home simply by building a wooden gate.

garden screen

Gates & Fencing How to choose a garden screen An outdoor screen is the ultimate concealer. You may want to hide something in your garden, add some privacy to an area or create an eye-catching feature. No matter what you want to do, there are a few options to consider.

Man installing gate catch plate 03:25

Gates & Fencing How to fit a ring gate latch A ring latch is a simple way to keep a garden gate closed. Learn the basic steps for installing one yourself.

Person installing the wider palings 01:22

Gates & Fencing How to install fence palings Enjoy the privacy of an easy to build paling fence. This video will show you how to install evenly spaced palings in no time.

Man painting a timber fence green using a spray gun 02:49

Gates & Fencing How to spray paint a picket fence Spray painting is a fast and efficient way to paint a fence. We’ll teach you the techniques to do the job properly.

Person measuring distance between post 04:18

Gates & Fencing How to install colorbond fence panels Once you’ve set up the posts and frame for a Colorbond fence, it’s time to attach the infill sheets. Follow our step-by-step guide and we’ll show you how.

Man attaching the bamboo screen to the fence 03:14

Gates & Fencing How to install bamboo screening A bamboo fence is a great way to add some privacy or even just hide an ugly fence. Watch our step by step guide and we’ll show you how to install one.

hydrangea

Planting & Growing How to create an allergy-friendly garden If you suffer from hay fever or other allergies, then being out in the garden can, at times, be less than enjoyable. But there are some steps you can take to create an allergy-friendly garden so you can spend more time gardening and less time sneezi...

pallet coffee table

Outdoor Living Five D.I.Y. ideas to update your outdoors Autumn is a great time of the year to tick off a few D.I.Y. projects from your to-do list. Here are a few good ideas to get you started.

pot

Planters How to choose the right plant pot Pots are a great way to add colour, interest or texture to your outdoor space. Tuscan Path’s Elaine Foster shares her top tips on how to choose the perfect pot.

sunflower

Planting & Growing How to plant and care for sunflowers Sunflowers are a great way to add colour to your garden, and they’re easy to grow and care for. Bunnings Greenlife buyer Katie explains the basics of how to grow sunflowers and shares some tips on how to care for them.

orchid

Planting & Growing How to care for orchids Orchids are a low-maintenance flower that can be grown indoors or outside in a protected location. And, with a little care, they will provide you with lots of colour.

paint

Guides & Projects How to upcycle almost anything with paint Rather than throwing out old household items, you can restore them with paint. It’s a quick, easy and affordable way to give anything from furniture to fences a new lease on life. Learn how to paint and prepare different surfaces to get the finish y...

DIY balcony and courtyard garden

Planters D.I.Y. balcony and courtyard garden Even if your outdoor space is limited to a balcony or courtyard, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on having a garden. The team at Tuscan Path, who have been supplying pots to the Australian marketplace for over 40 years, share some ideas on how ...

 kitchen benchtop materials

Benchtops & Cabinets A guide to kitchen benchtop materials The perfect benchtop will add style to any kitchen. It’ll also see the most action, so choosing the right benchtop for your kitchen – and budget – is an important decision explains Bunnings Kitchen Designer Ben Carey.

Top of the content