How to Install a Wood Fence without Posts

Updated February 21, 2017

A post is usually the most important part of a fence as it provides the structural stability for the rest of the fence. If you don't like the way that posts look, or if you are building a fence on ground where it is difficult to dig, you don't have a lot of fencing options. A stack fence, which is sometimes called a snake fence, uses split rails in a zigzag pattern, creating stability without the need to drive a large post into the ground. There are many methods for building one of these early American-style fences.

Place your 8-foot-long boards on the ground to make a template for your snake fence. Lay the boards out in a zigzag pattern, with the ends butted together. Adjust the angle of the zigzags until you are happy with the layout.

Remove every other board and replace it with a row of rocks. Use rocks that are about 4 inches tall. Do not place any rocks within 6 inches of the boards that are still on the ground.

Cut one of the rails into 6-inch long sections, which you will use to maintain the proper spacing on the end pieces of your fence.

Drill a 3/4-inch hole 12 inches in from each end of every split rail. Drill the hole directly in the middle of the 6-inch pieces as well.

Place one set of rails on the rocks that you laid out so that each end sticks out evenly over the end of the rocks.

Remove the remaining 8-foot long boards and put a second set of rails where the boards were. Each rail should run between the ends of the first rails and sit on top of them. Line up the holes in the second rails with the holes in the first. For the last rail on one end of the fence, you will need to place a 6-inch rail piece underneath one end, to keep the rail horizontal.

Add a new set of rails, directly over the very first set of rails that you laid. Line up the holes and use a 6-inch piece on one end, which will be the end opposite of the one where you placed the last 6-inch piece. Continue adding rails in this manner until the fence is at your desired height.

Use your circular saw with a metal cutting blade to cut 1/2-inch rebar to a length equal to the height of your fence plus 2 feet. Cut one piece for every set of holes in your fence.

Insert a piece of rebar into the set of holes on one end of your fence. Push the rebar down as far as you can, then use a sledgehammer to drive it through all the holes and into the ground. Continue to drive it into the ground until it is flush with the top of the fence. Repeat this for every set of holes.


If you cannot drive anything into your ground, you can cut the rebar to exactly the height of your fence.

Things You'll Need

  • 8-foot-long wood boards
  • Rocks
  • 10-foot split rails
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • 3/4-inch drill bit
  • Circular saw
  • Metal cutting blade
  • 1/2-inch rebar
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About the Author

Shawn McClain has spent over 15 years as a journalist covering technology, business, culture and the arts. He has published numerous articles in both national and local publications, and online at various websites. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in journalism at Clarion University.