How to Join Rustic Poles

Updated April 17, 2017

The popular choices when marking a boundary is of course the fence. Fences offer privacy and security for specific areas of the garden or yard. A fence can be much less expensive to construct than a wall and needs far less maintenance than a hedge.

The is a huge selection of fencing on the market with a wide variety of styles and wood types. The most popular is the ready-made panel fencing available at most home improvement stores, but nothing is quite as satisfying as building your own fence.

Building a rustic fence from native materials can give your lawn or garden an informal country feel.

How to Join Rustic Poles

Gather Poles. Look around your area and take note of the native trees. Either buy or cut your own posts that match the native trees. Choose poles that are a 1 foot to 18 inches longer than you need for the top of the fence.

Measure the fence. Using string and stakes mark off the section that you intend to fence. The length of the poles and the length of the fence will determine how closely the post holes must be dug. Plant the vertical poles and secure them.

Use a top notch. To attach horizontal poles to a vertical ones you can use the top notch method. Saw a notch of suitable size on top of the vertical pole. Make sure it is sized so that the horizontal pole will set snugly into the notch. If you feel that it is not secure enough then use wood glue or nails to hold the poles together.

Join two horizontal poles. To join horizontal poles, saw two opposing and matching notches with a right angles so that they sit securely over each other. Secure the two pieces with nails and wood glue.

Fit crosspieces. If you need to fit pole in a cross, remove V shaped pieces with a saw or chisel for a snug fit. The V cut pole will be nested between the top horizontal and vertical poles. Secure with nails or wood glue.

Connecting a joint. If you are connecting two horizontal poles at a cross pattern, make two cuts half way through the pole. Remove the waste timber with a chisel and repeat in the contrasting pole. Secure with nails or wood glue.

Make a bird's mouth. When connecting horizontal poles with vertical poles, you may choose to connect them with a "bird's mouth" joint. Cut a sideways V notch into the pole and shape the matching pole into a point that matches. Fit the joint tight and secure with nails and wood glue.


Try out the assembly on the ground and note where you will need to add joints. Use rust free nails or waterproof wood glue when securing your poles.

Things You'll Need

  • Poles
  • Post hole diggers
  • String
  • Measuring tape
  • Stakes
  • Saw
  • Wood chisel
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Nails
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About the Author

Richard Sweeney is a former educator and now freelance writer living on the Gulf Coast of Florida. He has been writing since 1995 publishing articles in national publications such as "Men's Outlook Journal" and "Travel". Sweeney left the education profession in 2007 but likes to remain knowledgeable about current policies and teaching techniques.