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Cutting off 4 x 4 posts
Do It Yourself

When installing wooden posts for a rail fence, how is the best way to cut off the top of the installed posts to an  even height. Will a chain saw work
or will I need to use a circular saw? They are 4 x 4's.

Most people do not have a saw that will cut through a 4 x 4 in one pass other than a chain saw. It requires a little skill to freehand cut a post with a chain saw. Also you may not have electric available near your posts, so a gas powered chain saw may be the only easy alternative.

Most farm style post and rail fence can be a little rustic. I used a chain saw in my prime. I would mark the angle on one side of the post so I had a general guide as to where to start so all the posts had the same water runoff angle. As long as they all were the same that was fine. The rough chain saw cut suited the rustic style of fence also.

If you want a straight, square cut, use an electric circular saw. Most people only have one with a 7-1/4" blade, so cutting in one pass is impossible. Mark three sides of the post with a square. Set the blade so it will cut a little past half way on the post. Cut one side at a time working on the side immediately adjacent to your last cut. The third cut will complete the cutoff. Watch out for the cutoff piece. It can fly off, or bind your saw causing injury. If the cutoff piece is long enough, have a helper pull up lightly on the cutoff. Make sure the piece is long enough so you don't make your helper helplessly fingerless. Wear safety goggles so you can read our pages after you are done. We don't have any in brail.

Author: Frank R. Hoover, Hoover Fence Co.
25 years+ in the fence business

Copyright 1999 Hoover Fence Co.
May be reprinted as long as the source is acknowledged


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4521 Warren Rd., Newton Falls, OH 44444  Phone: (330) 358-2335