Wooden Fence 2x4s

I am in the process of putting up a wooden privacy fence. All the posts are set and am at the point of fastening the 2x4s in between. My question now is, do I put in 2 or 3 horizontal 2x4s. Will using two do the trick or is it necessary to use three? Thanks for any advice.
Matt
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Matt wrote:

What are your pickets? If you use cedar, you can use two rails. If you are using treated pickets, I would use five or more (seriously, you should use three). The difference is that cedar is fairly stable while treated will warp and twist all to hell if you don't fasten it down securely. It will still warp and twist, but you probably won't have to replace as many if you use three rails.
If you are using vinyl, three rails would be a good idea because vinyl is fairly flimsy.
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Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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The slats or pickets are 6' cedar wood. In that case you're thinking that two 2x4 horizontal supports would suffice? If so, how far would you recommend they be placed from top and bottom?
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Just completed a fence using pressure treated posts and horizontal supports with cedar pickets. If you are using Home Depot cedar 6' x6" pickets they are so thin you definitely need three horizontal supports. I spaced top & bottom supports four inches from the ends of the slats and centered the middle one. I won't use pressure treated 4x4's again as they warped like crazy after a week in the ground. Should have used cedar 4x4's.
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Matt wrote:

I would place the top at 8-12" from the top and the bottom about the same. I prefer to place them a foot from top and bottom. YMMV.
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Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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I have a fence 7' tall with 4x4 posts every 7'6". The horizontals are 2x4 on 3' centres. Safest approach is horizontals on 3' centres.
If you want the wood to look good for a long time use stainless steel screws as they will not rust and cause bleeding around the screw holes. As well when it comes time to replace any uprights all one need do is back out the screws.
P D Q
am in the process of putting up a wooden privacy fence.&nbsp; All the<BR>posts are set and am at the point of fastening the 2x4s in between.<BR>My question now is, do I put in 2 or 3 horizontal 2x4s.&nbsp; Will using<BR>two do the trick or is it necessary to use three?&nbsp; Thanks for any<BR>advice.<BR><BR>Matt<BR></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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And they say there is no such thing as a dumb question.
Maybe not so much dumb as a total lack of information given. What is the spacing of the posts? What are you putting on the fence? How high is it?
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Having built more than my share of fences may I advise you to go the way that I do.
3, 2x4 rails, the top rail, on top of the posts and the wide side parallel to the ground. The 2 lower rails wide side perpendicular to the ground between the posts. The bottom rail's bottom just below the top of the rot board mentioned below. Attach the bottom rail with a nail or two to the rot board and the posts 1, 1x6 or larger bottom against the ground rot board on the same plane as the pickets. This board prevents the bottoms of the pickets from rotting because of ground contact and this board when level will automatically give you a surface to set the pickets on for fast and level installation.
All boards except the pickets should be pressure treated. Pressure treated pickets are optional, I prefer Cedar.
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SNIP
Leon is so opinionated, I hate to agree with him, :-) But I do. . . .
I add one thing to Leon's suggestion.
Have you ever noticed long runs of wood fences move out of plumb at the top as it approaches the middle of the run?
When in wind prone locales, after splicing the top rail at a post, I will add a 42" long splice block on top of the splice, nailing it equally on both sides of the splice. I miter the ends of the splice blocks with the long side down to keep moisture from collecting. I prefer to use top rails that are double the fence post spacing in length.
This will minimize the lateral sag if not eliminating it.
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;~)
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You didn't say what the pickets are made of or how tall they are. If it's a short fence with a reasonably stable wood picket, you can get away with 2. If it's tall or you're using a thinner/less stable wood picket, go for 3. You really don't want the center of the fence twisting, warping or being flexible so someone can just push the wood out of the way and look through.
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The slats are 1" x 6" and 6' tall. All wood is cedar. Distance between 4x4s ranges between 6'10" to 7'4".
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