How to Use a Nail Gun to Build Fences

Nail guns are designed to drive nails into various surfaces with just the squeeze of a trigger. They come designed specifically for different projects and use different types of nails according to the length and type needed to complete the building project. Most nail guns are electric or pneumatic. A framing nail gun is the best choice for fences and can greatly reduce the time needed to complete the fence if used correctly.

Use the posthole digger to dig a 2-foot hole with an 8-inch diameter at one end of your intended fence line.

Put one of the fence posts into the hole with one of the faces parallel to the intended fence line and fill the hole with dirt. Place the level on top of the fence post to adjust its position as necessary while the hole is filled. Use a spare board to pack a 6-inch layer of dirt tight around the fence post.

Hold the tape measure on the fence post and measure 8 feet from the centre of the post down the intended fence line. Mark the spot and install the second fence post using the steps described to install the first. Verify that the distance between the centre of each fence post is exactly 8 feet before completely filling in the hole. Adjust the fence post as necessary.

Mark the positions for the 2-inch by 4-inch boards on the fence posts. Use the pencil to mark a spot 8 inches from the top of each fence post and 1 foot from the ground.

Place the top edge of one of the 2-inch-by-4-inch boards on the top mark. Hold the board in place with one hand and place the head of the nail gun in the centre of the 2-inch-by-4-inch board in line with the centre of the fence post. Depress the trigger to drive the nail into the two boards. Repeat this process for the other side of the top board and the bottom board.

Repeat the previous steps to install as many posts and boards as required to complete the desired length of fence.

Place one of the wooden pickets against the rail of the fence post at one of the ends of the fence line. Position the picket to achieve the desired separation from the ground and use the level to adjust the pitch. Use the nail gun to attach the picket to the top 2-inch-by-4-inch rail in the same way as you attached the rail to the fence post. Nail the bottom of the picket to the bottom rail in the same way.

Place the next picket the desired distance away from the first, check to see that it is level with the first picket and nail the top and bottom to the rail with the nail gun.

Repeat this process for each picket until the entire fence line is covered. Use the level to check the position of each picket before nailing it to the rail.

Things You'll Need

  • Post hole digger
  • Level
  • 8 foot, 4-inch-by-4-inch fence posts
  • 8 foot, 2-inch-by-4-inch boards
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Framing nail gun
  • Galvanised nails
  • Fence pickets
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About the Author

Kenrick Callwood has been involved in Internet marketing since 2007 and his work has appeared in numerous online publications. His main areas of expertise are psychology, travel and Internet marketing. He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from California Polytechnic University.