Featheredge boards, or close board, are normally supplied as unspecified softwood and are cut from a fencing grade timber which is normally spruce. For some fencing applications a higher grade of product is sometimes specified.
Featheredge boards are machined from rectangular wooden boards which are cut at an angle to make two similar tapered lengths. With bespoke timber we can offer a choice of heights, although this might involve some wastage, e.g. the Douglas fir and European Larch logs are normally 3.6 and 4.8 metre lengths. This is not so much of a problem for cedar, green oak and Siberian larch – but they are already a more expensive product.
When cut fresh from the round log, the ‘green’ unseasoned timber has a high moisture content, it should be kept out of strong sun before fixing, the boards will become more stable and the vivid colours will mellow after several weeks exposure.
Standard featheredge boards are normally taper cut from 22mm timbers. A more stable board can be cut from ex 32mm boards but we would not recommend using more than a 150mm width board on a fence.
Ideally the new fencing needs to be fixed while still fresh – if the boards are kept in storage for more than a couple of weeks they will start to season and may bow and twist, they will also harden making them more difficult to fix than fresh sawn. Other things being equal it is best to install a new fence early or late in the season, rather than exposing freshly cut un-seasoned timber in the height of the summer.
When considering the number of rails on the fence then err on the side of caution, fit more rails rather than less. The material costs are small relative to the overall cost of the fence.
Use galvanised or stainless steel fixings to avoid corrosion and possible staining. Stainless steel is a must for cedar and oak. Try to fix at least 10mm from the edge of the board to avoid splitting. This allows the wood to change shape and season without fixings failing, annular or ring shank nails are preferred for fixing featheredge and are less prone to pulling out than smooth nails if the boards start to move.
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