Want to add a bit of flair to your deck/patio? Learn how to make these hog wire panels for your next railing. Nelson Treehouse & Supply has used these railings on treehouses across America. Now we want to teach you how!
Step 1: Tools & Materials
In order to complete this project, you're going to need some tools & materials!
Step 2: Preliminary Sketch
Before diving into any carpentry project, it's best to set yourself up for success. Putting a sketch on paper will help you visually understand what you will be building, and provide a place to record measurements & important information later!
Step 3: Dado the 2x2
The hogwire panel will be set in place via the 2x2's. In order to accomplish this, you're going to have to Dado out a channel. The nature of the hogwire prevents us from channeling out the 2x2 dead center. The true dimension of a 2x2 is 1.5 inches. Therefore you will set the fence on your table saw with 3/4" to the outside of the Dado blade. Then, set the heigh to 1/2", this will allow plenty of room to lock in the hogwire panel. Once your blade is set, go ahead and rip the 2x2!
Step 4: Measure & Cut 2x2's to Size
Your 4x4 posts are attached to the deck at the base, this is where you will pull your measurement. In this case we land at 40". Now is a good time to record your measurements on the preliminary sketch. Subtract the 3 inch gap from each side, along with the vertical 2x2's. This gives us 31" for our horizontal 2x2 frame. We know that our 4x4 posts are 36" tall. Therefore, subtracting the 3" gap along the top and bottom, along with our 2x4 horizontals, land us at 27" for our vertical 2x2's.
Head over to the miter saw and chop your 2x2's to length!
Step 5: Assemble the 2x2 Frame
Now that you have your 2x2's cut to length, it's time to assemble the frame! Make sure the dado cut on your vertical 2x2's run opposite of the dado cut on your horizontal 2x2's (refer to image above). Use the drill & countersink bit to make pilot holes, If you skip this step there is a good chance your 2x2's will split! Then secure your frame with 9x3 Flat head screws.
Step 6: Cut Hogwire to Size
Visually, it is best to have your hogwire centered within the wood frame. Measure the interior size of the wood frame, and add 1" (=1/2" dado on both sides) to the horizontal and vertical measurements. Then, strategically cut hogwire to size so it will fit centered within your wood frame.
Step 7: Pull Apart 2x2 Frame and Set the Hogwire
You can see now, how the hogwire will dive into the dado kerf. Pull apart the wood frame, set the Hogwire panel in the dado, and screw it back together! You'll notice on this step why we offset the dado cut.
Step 8: Cut 2x4s to Frame in Hogwire Panel
Now that you have the hogwire panel made, you can see how it will "float" between the 4x4 posts. In order to achieve this, we will frame it in with 2x4's. Remember the measurement you pulled from the base of the 4x4s? In our case it was 40". Go ahead and cut two 2x4's to that length.
Step 9: Install Bottom 2x4
We used left over 4x4 to cut 3" blocks. This will make installation a breeze and keep you from wishing you had four arms! Throw the spacers down, set the 2x4 ontop, and toe screw them into the 4x4 posts.
Step 10: Install Hogwire Panel
Using the same 3" block, set the hogwire panel on top of the 2x4 you just installed. Measure 1" in from the side of the 2x4 and attach the panel through the dado cut using 9x2 trim head screws.
Step 11: Install Top 2x4
Set the second 2x4 on top of the Hogwire panel and toe screw it into place.
Step 12: Install Top Cap
Once you have installed all of your hogwire panels, It's time to finish with your top cap! Take your top cap material and screw it in with 9x3 Flat head screws! We toe screw from the bottom to avoid seeing the screw holes.
Don't forget to pat yourself on the back & enjoy your new hogwire deck railings!