Featherboard fence panel out of square - how to rectify and fit?

Discussion in 'Landscaping and Outdoors' started by SteveMJ, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. SteveMJ

    SteveMJ Member

    I had a fence blown down in the recent bad weather and got some good advice about the posts (see http://community.screwfix.com/threads/fencing-repair-spur-size.140399/).

    I am now fitting the first panel to my vertical posts above a horizontal gravel board. These are true to a mm or so.

    The first old featherboard panel I'm trying to re-use is not square. There is about 100 mm difference between the panel's diagonals and consequently I am struggling to fit it.

    I've tried hitting the arris rail to knock it into square but cannot see any significant movement. I am very reluctant to buy another panel and I want to avoid the work of having to strip the panel down and rebuild it. I' m going back out in a minute to try to roll it on its corner and hope the panel's weight may allow some movement. But I'm working alone and the wind plus the panel's weight are not helping me :-( [As you can tell I'm a bit frustrated with this]

    I'm thinking this must happen all the time! And there is experience of a fix that you guys could suggest.

    So help please?

    Thank you, Steve
  2. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    if it's a normal cheap BnQ type like the below, dropping it on one of the corners (not too hard) will square it - but only if the timbers are of the same length, if it's been cut and built out of square you'll have to start stripping it

  3. wiggy

    wiggy Well-Known Member

    It shouldn't be too hard to get it back to square, hold it up and drop it back down on the corner, or get some straps on it, or get it between the posts, fix it one side and push the other side up or down to get it in.
    Personally I would wait for the weather to clear, handling 6ft panels in this weather you are masking for trouble
  4. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    Strange how it seems so hard to get back to 'square'.

    Do you have brackets on your posts for the panels to slip in to from above, or are you simply screwing them to the posts? Either way, I'd do as Wiggy suggests; fit the panel into place until the 'lower' corner sits correctly on the gravel board. Screw this side to its post only. Then get a piece of wood and a club hammer and start to knock the opposite top corner downwards until its bottom also sits on the gravel board. Your board is now square. Start screwing.
  5. SteveMJ

    SteveMJ Member

    Thanks all of you.

    Just came back in from the garden. I tried lifting a dropping the panel on the 'long' corner, but I can't lift it on my own, so I can't try that.

    I have fitted the next panel along whose diagonals only differed by about 25 mm - I just got on with that amount of out of square. I used some wooden wedges, a bit of help from Mrs M-J and it was relatively straight forward - unlike the too much time I spent this morning trying to fit the out of square one. I've given up for today.

    I have fixed the arris rails to the posts with galvanised brackets (similar to these: Product Code 48243) and 5 x 50 mm zinc plated screws

    I do have a set of clamp heads that I could attach to an unused long length of timber and try to pull the panel closer into square - do you think that may work? Would it be best to do a bit then wait, say overnight, and tighten more?

    Thanks for all your time and help, Steve

    PS: I did notice one panel, still among the overgrown hedge, that had dropped a lot and is flapping like a flag - that will be even more out of square, but perhaps all loose so easier to straighten. I haven't got to that one yet!
  6. Phil the Paver

    Phil the Paver Screwfix Select

    If you fence has arris rails then it's not a panel, so if it's out if square it was probably fitted like that when new, if it was then you are never going to get it square because the upright feather edge boards and the arris rails are not at 90° to each other, if this is the case you are going to have to take the feather edge boards off the arris rails ( good luck), fit the rails to the posts and then refit the feather edge boards.
  7. SteveMJ

    SteveMJ Member

    I was hoping to avoid doing this as clearly its is quite a bit of work. The panels are 8' too, hence the weight.

    I'll still try the clamp heads as it is small effort compared with the alternatives, as far as I can determine.
    It is pouring here now, so it will all have to wait.

    I'll let you all know the outcome, Steve
  8. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    So which way is it out of square. Are the top and bottom parallel, or the left and right?

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  9. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    Good point! :)
  10. SteveMJ

    SteveMJ Member

    As far as I can tell the sides are damn close to parallel i.e left and right
  11. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Ha! Parallel is the wrong word.

    What I mean to say is, does one end raise or does the whole panel lean left or right?

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  12. Rulland

    Rulland Well-Known Member

    If it's out of square the opposite sides could still be parallel to each other-think rhombus-squashed square!.
  13. Rulland

    Rulland Well-Known Member

    Ah Mr H.
  14. SteveMJ

    SteveMJ Member

    Yes, I think it is a rhomboid (err diamond shape ha ha ha). I can only take limited measurements in a windy field with a tape measure. However to be out of square it just got to have four sides and not be a rectangle.

  15. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    if the sides are all the same length then it's a rhombus, if there's two different lengths then it's a parallelogram - if there's three or four different lengths then you have a project
    Devil's Advocate likes this.
  16. SteveMJ

    SteveMJ Member

    RE. Wikipedia "Traditionally, in two-dimensional geometry, a rhomboid is a parallelogram in which adjacent sides are of unequal lengths and angles are non-right angled."

    So, where is this going? - I've still a damaged fence!! With a "wonky" panel to fit when the rain eases.

  17. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    every day is a learning day
  18. wiggy

    wiggy Well-Known Member

    If its that difficult to square up it must have been fitted like that originally as phil the paver says, does the garden slope by any chance.

    Personally I would remove the pales, re-fit the arris and then re-fit the pales, you will loose some pales of course, 30/40p each i think
  19. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    You have to manipulate the rails(trying to force by the boards won't work). The above pic is the fence panel, timber (say 40x40mm)as long as the pic shows(red lines), attached to the rails on the green spots with screws(only one screw each spot), laid flat against a house wall(blue line), for example like the pic, and hit with a heavy mallet/sledge(at purple) until square with the wall.
    Only you will know how hard it can be safely hit!
    Then turn it over and bash in any nails that attach the boards to the rails, to keep it square.

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  20. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    Steve, looking at Mr Ha's sketch above, if you securely fit the left-hand upright rail to its post, with that bottom-left corner sitting snugly on the level gravelboard below, are you really telling me you cannot then wallop the top-right-hand corner downwards until the top and bottom rails are level?

    Jeepers - what's your boards made of?

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