How To Build A Timber Pailing Fence

Timber Paling Fence

How To Build A Timber Pailing Fence

A Timber paling fence is one of the most common fences built in Melbourne, we will show you how to build this timber fence yourself, feel free to email us at if you have any questions regarding how to build a timber paling fence or contact us for a free fencing quote

What Does a Timber Paling fence look like?

Standard Timber Paling Fence

Timber Fence Diagram Front
Timber Paling Fence Diagram Back

Dismantling your old Fence

This is fairly straight forward, cut the old fence into manageable sections so you can carry them, do not try and lift to much at once, slow and steady wins the race, when placing the fence on your trailer place the first section with the fence palings facing down, so your fence rails are facing up, the next section make sure the fence rails face down as so they rails lock into place and the palings are facing up, alternating this way will allow you to stack more on your trailer saving you tipping costs and time running to the tip back and forward.

Setting your Stringline

Once the old fence has been pulled down it is time to set your string line, find the front post hole, set your string line on the face of this post, where the old fence was, then go to the back and do the same, this will give you a straight line, make sure you pull the sting line VERY tight like it is almost going to break, this way there will be no sag in the line, not all the old fence holes will line up as fences move over time, you want majority of them to go fairly close to your string line however. – See diagram below

Setting out Timber Fencing holes

Marking out and Digging your Fence Holes

This is a very important step, you have now found your fence line, you want to mark your fence post hole, you want your fence posts a maximum of 2.7m apart, use some marking paint to mark where your fence posts will go, starting at the front of the property, your last hole you dig might be less than 2.7m this is perfectly fine.

Now you want to dig your holes for your fencing holes at 600mm deep, roughly 250mm in diameter, make sure you dig over the string line, so you can move your fence post to the stringline, this is so you can get your fence post as close to the string line as possible, within roughly 5mm of your stringline, ideally 2-3mm off your stringline so your fence is straight, if you’re not finishing the fence this day, make sure you pull the string line down, you do not want anyone tripping over your string line.

You now want to use 1/3 of a bag of cement per hole (around 6-7kg of GP Cement), put the cement into your hole you have dug, then put ¾ of a bucket of water and mix this very well, put your fence post into this hole and get the excess soil you dug out and put this around the fencing post, use your shovel to chop the soil and cement mixture up and down until you see the cement come to the top, repeat this until your cement and soil mixture is at the top, get a little more soil around the post and with your foot firmly press down into the hole until the fence post is fairly stable, use your level to level your post on all four sides making sure your fence post is straight and close to your stringline (without your post touching the stringline)

timber fencing quote

Setting up your fence for construction

Make sure your sting line is tight, very tight, as if there is any sagging in the sting line, your fence will look like it has a bow in it, you want to go to the first fence post in the ground and the front of the property and measure up 170mm off the ground put a nail in the fence post, then to the back again put a nail in your last fence post at 170mm also, put your string line under these nails and flick your string line, making sure it isn’t sticking on anything and it is nice and straight, then go through the fence and put a nail in each fencing post just under the stringline without touching your string line (see diagram), now you can pull your stringline down and put it away, you will no longer need this.

fencing quote

If your ground is uneven

This is the same process as setting your plinth board on even ground, however if you find the stringline to be more than 50mm off the ground in certain spots you will need to adjust your fence line. You want to always follow the ‘lay of the land’, this may mean your fence might have some angles when you put your fence palings on your fence (see diagram), remember whatever you do when your setting your stringline is what your fence will look like at the end, so it is very important to get your stringline right when setting your plinth board out.

fence quote

Marking your Fencing Rails and Cutting your Fence Posts

This is also important, this will make sure all your fence rails and tops of your fence posts are the same throughout your timber fence, use a timber fence paling as your template to make sure your timber fence rails and fence posts are all the same (See Diagram for measurements), sit the fence paling you have marked out on the nail you nailed into each fence post and with your timber paling (template) use these markings on your template to mark on your fence post, go through and mark all the fence posts, making sure you put a X on your check outs so you do not accidently cut the top of your post off.

Timber Fence Paling Template

timber paling

Timber Fence Post View

timber fence

Cutting your Checkouts for your Fence Rails

It is important to set your circular saw to the right depth, you will have a guide on your saw which you can move up and down, release the nut/screw/handle on your saw to change your guard depth, get a rail and lay it flat, set your saw blade so it is just touching the other side of the rail, lock your saw off and check it on another couple of rails to make sure you have this correct, then you’re ready to cut your check outs.

Make sure you do not cut the top of your post line!! Cut all the check outs on the line you drew from your template, then one cut through the middle of the checkout, this will help it when you knock the check outs, out, cut all the checkouts then walk through with your hammer and knock the check outs, they will pop out with a little knock, some may be stubborn.

Once you have knocked out you now have to clean them up, grab a sharp chisel and chisel all the excess timber out so it is nice and clean, get a small piece of your fencing rail to check that each fencing rail will sit in your checkouts nice and clean

Once your fencing check outs are all nice and clean you now need to chop the tops of your fence posts, open your circular saw so it is fully opened the blade is as far as it can go and cut on the line on the angle where you have marked the top of the fence post, if your saw is not big enough to cut all the way through, use a hand saw and finish the cut off.

Nailing your timber Plinth Board

No it is time to nail your plinth board on, these are 150mm x 25mm, you will want to use 90mm framing nails, this step is very important, go to the first post and run your timber plinth board to the third fence post (as your Plinth board will be 5.4m in length) make sure the end of your plinth is nice and flush with the first post, lean it against the three fence posts and mark the plinth board so it sits half on the third post (see diagram), get your set square and mark a straight line, then cut the plinth board to suit and nail into your fencing post, using 3-4 90mm framing nails to nail the timber plinth board into your fencing post, carry on until you get to the end of the fence.

timber fencing

Nailing your fencing rails into your checkouts

This step is a little bit easier as your rails should sit into your fence checkouts, again, start from the front post, place your timber fencing rail into your checkouts, over three posts, mark the fencing rail so it sits in the centre of your fencing post, take your rail out and cut the rail to the right length, once cut to the right length you want to place the rail back into the checkouts you have cut into your fencing post and nail this into your fencing post using 90mm framing nails, where there is a join (where two rails meet) use two nails on each fencing rail, where the whole fencing rail runs fully through your fencing post use three nails, carry on until you have put all your fencing rails in

Timber Fencing Rails

Putting your Timber Palings onto your fence

This is the last stage of building your fence, placing the timber palings should be very easy if you have followed all the other steps correctly, there are two types on palings (under and overs), the under timber  paling is 150mm x 12mm and the over paling is 100mm x 12mm, first you need to put all of the under palings on, putting 1 nail in the top fencing rail and 1 nail in the bottom rail with a 50mm gap between each paling, use a level every so often to make sure your palings are nice and straight, once you have put all of the under timber palings on you can now put the over timber palings on, putting 2 nails in the middle fencing rail, two nails in the top fencing rail and two nails in the bottom fencing rail (See Diagram), if your plinth board is correct you will not have to trim any timber palings, just clean up and you have completed your treated pine timber paling fence

How to build a timber paling fence

What you need to build a timber paling fence

Here is a list of tools and materials you will need on how to build a timber paling fence, some of these items you might need to purchase others you can hire


  1. Hard wood Timber posts (125mm x 75mm)
  2. Treated Pine Fencing Rails (75mm x 50mm)
  3. Treated Pine Plinth Board (150mm x 25mm)
  4. Treated Pine Timber Palings (Under 150mm x 12mm)
  5. Treated Pine Timber Palings (Overs 100mm x 12mm)
  6. 90mm Framing nails (For Plinth Board and Fencing Rails)
  7. 50mm Paling nails
  8. Cement (GP Cement)


  1. Crowbar
  2. Shovel
  3. Stringline
  4. Level
  5. Circular Saw
  6. Hammer
  7. Chisel
  8. Set Square
  9. Pencil
  10. Framing Gun (Hire This)
  11. Paling Gun (Hire This)
  12. Air Compressor (Hire This)

No Comments

Post A Comment