Building a Redwood Deck and a Redwood-and-Cedar Fence

Bob helps carpenter Bob Ryley build a redwood deck. Carpenter Danny Ruffini installs a custom-made redwood-and-cedar fence on the perimeter.

Clip Summary

Bob helps carpenter Bob Ryley build a redwood deck. Bob emphasizes the use of stainless steel nails when working with redwood, due to the wood's acidity. Then carpenter Danny Ruffini installs a custom-made redwood-and-cedar fence on the perimeter.
Okay. Well, we're going to be insulating for days to come. You know, thirty percent of all this fiber glass insulation that we're putting in here is actually made from recycled glass bottles.

Anyway, right now let's get back to wood.

Hi, Riley.

Hi, Bob.

You know, we were building the frame for the deck last week. And now, as you can see, we've got most of the redwood decking in place down here.

And it really is beautiful, even though we're in a rain and we've just put a tent over ourselves. It really looks pretty.

Yeah. We're getting close to finishing it up , so I think that we can get it done.

Now, one of the neat things about running a miter like this is that it's a very elegant and pretty detail. But what have you done to keep it from splitting up? The ends.

What we've done is just a small round over bit with a router , so.

You've taken each one, and after you've made the miter cut, you've kind of run it through the router to get just a little bit of a bevel on there, right?

Right. Cause you've got to remember this is all pitching away from the house too, so this has got about a two-degree back cut.

Just a little bit of a crown to it.




The important thing is to use stainless steel nails when you're working with redwood.


And the reason for that is that the acids in the redwood very often will cause a certain amount of black-staining to occur if you use just regular steel nails.

And the other thing that you really want to concentrate on is your nailing pattern.
Because this is really a finished deck, there's not going to be any stain on it . And you want to make sure that all the nails line up right down the whole section of deck, so that you have that nice architectural feel to it. You gotta go slow, right?

Yeah, there's no point in rushing at this point. Absolutely beautiful, alright, now Railly you've gotta work on some of the ladders to the fence, right?

Yes, I do, yeah.

OK, now I want to take a close look at the fence because this about as elegant as it gets.

You could tell its also redwood, but its the type of fence design that while being kind of a classic 19th century design, it also provides a very elegant fence from both sides, so that neighbor doesn't have to look at something that isn't pretty, that isn't finished right.

This, which could be labor intensive is actually store bought you can get four by eight sheet of ladders, made lot of cedar just like what you see here, you just have to order the heavy duty stock, which cost about 50 dollars for four by eight sheet and obviously we've just cut sections to put in.

But the rest of the work that you're looking here is just been made on site, the tops of the fence have been cut on the table saw, so there's a bevel that lets the weather run off.
The tops of the post have been decorated. did with an applied half round bead, a molding that we cut right here with a router, as well as the moulding which you see here and the caps of the posts.

But let's get together with Danny Ruffini, who's been working on the fence.

Hi Danny.


The rain is interfering a little bit, but this is really looking beautiful. Before we look at the detailing though, the posts that you've got in there, how far into the ground did you put those in?

We put that in three feet and it's in hydrated cement.

Which means that you've just mixed some Portland with some dirt and some rocks .

And let them -

And of course the post is pressure treated.
But it's been dressed out with the red wood so that you end up with a very elegant looking post.


And how are we doing the actual fence section?

Well this is rough-sawn on one side and smooth on the other.

Tongue and groove.

We installed the smooth side on the deck side. And -

And you'd apply the ground around the whole perimeter of each Panel, it's just, which again is red wood is just been ripped to size on the table so.


Which again, is redwood that's been ripped to size on the table saw.

Then we take a set-up and we lay it out so that we have given spacing on both ends.
That 's a good tip.


Because if you just start putting them in on one side when you end up at the finish point you might have to rip the board down to half an inch or less. And you don't want to do that.

And it has a tongue and groove and we nailed the groove side. We just tack it in here.

Again we're using stainless steel nails, right?

Yeah, stainless steel nails.
OK, now how do you nail the last one in, Danny?

Well, you don't. This should be just free floating here.

Exactly. It's going to have room to expand and contract depending on the weather and season. And what will really hold this in place is the ground that have to be put it around all four sides. Let me get out of your way Riley.

Got this all set.

Now this is, another section of trellis that's just cut out of the four by eight sheet, to fit into this arched section of rail. Lucky guy, it fit perfectly.

Oh, yeah, that goes across the top, where's the bottom piece?

Right there.

Right here?

And these again are just tacked into place.
Are you using one inch brads?

We're using the stainless steel nails, and then we'll cut them.

OK, so you cut them down so that they're not quite as long.

Not as long as a blunt end so it won't split the the wood.

Now those are pretty straightforward but what about putting the ground that goes under the arch.

That's the fun piece.


But now there's two of us here, so it should be a little bit easier.

And you haven't put any kerf cuts on it at all?

No, it's just been ripped down a quarter of an inch, so we're going to double up on it.

Cut it up in two pieces.

So if it is a quarter inch, it will bend without snapping in half. And then you'll add a second piece that's also a quarter-inch so that you've built up to the necessary thickness.

Right. We'll glue to those two together.

I hesitate to watch. And one thing that I do want to look at is the cap that still hasn't been nailed down here.

This is interesting, this is Danny's idea but he's run the grain of the cap in one direction and then there is a second board that's run in the other direction.

So that if you think about it, you're getting that action of extra strength by running the wood grain in two opposing directions. And then of course it's just been dressed out with a half round applied all the way around the corner.

I 'm very happy with this fence.

Nice job guys.

Thank you.

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