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With the posts set, cut 2x4s into twelve 8-foot lengths for horizontal fence rails that will support the pickets.
From the base of each post, measure up 12 inches for the lower rail and 36 inches for the top rail. Make a mark at 90 degrees on the back of the posts (image 1).
Attach the rails using two 3-inch galvanized steel drive screws (image 2). Keep in mind that the marks should serve as the top edge of the rails, with each rail butting against the next one on the back of each post.
Rails attached to outer posts are cut to attach flush with the edge of the post (image 3).
If you're still honing your woodworking skills, you might want to consider using prefabricated fencing sections.
Lay out the pickets with 2 to 3 inches in between, we decided to use a 3-inch-wide level as our spacer (image 1). You can create your own spacer jig with a piece of wood, plastic or drywall.
Lay a leveled 2x4 on the ground below the rail to use as a base for maintaining a consistent height of 2 inches from the ground. Evenly spacing the pickets as you go, attach them to the rail using a nail gun (image 2).
The final step is to cap the fence posts with finials. On each post, measure one inch up from the pickets and continue the mark around the post using a square.
Remove the top of the post using a circular or reciprocating saw. Attach the decorative finial with finishing nails (images 1 and 2).
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