Slot In Fence Posts

If you’re planning to build a wood fence with metal posts, you’ve made a GREAT decision.

How to properly dig post holes and set the posts when constructing a splt rail fence. Attaching rails to the posts so they interlock inside the pre-drilled slots in the posts. Grand Empire 4-in x 4-in W x 4-1/2-ft H Black Steel Universal Fence Post. Compare; Find My Store. For pricing and availability.

Because you’re investing in a wood fence to last for decades (instead of years).


With metal posts, there is a big problem.

The metal posts that support your typical wood fence – are kind of (ahem) unattractive.

Wood fence panels slapped alongside “playground style” fence posts don’t exactly create the best look for your yard.


Though galvanized steel fence posts might be great for building a chain link fence, they are not so great when trying to build a beautiful wood privacy fence.


There is a much better way to build a wood fence with metal posts. That’s completely different from your typical wood fence.

A Fence System That Changes Everything

The FenceTrac rail privacy fence system has completely revolutionized what it means to build a privacy fence.

Now you can have a wood fence with metal posts that stands the test of time.

And looks beautiful on both sides.

Slot In Fence Posts Post

In fact, a FenceTrac fence looks the SAME on both sides.

That’s because.

FenceTrac uses a U-shaped channel rail system to hold your fence pickets in place.

These fence rails are connected in line with each metal fence post, to create a fence that runs right down the middle of your posts.

Instead of giving your neighbor the only “good-looking” side of the fence.

You both see the same great-looking fence lining your property.

A FenceTrac fence is beautiful, classy and looks fantastic no matter which side of the fence you’re on.

Why a Wood Fence With Metal Posts

Maybe you haven’t completely decided on a wood fence with metal posts.

If you’re wondering why you should consider using metal posts for your wood fence, consider that the average wooden fence post rots away in 7-10 years.

As soon as you put wood fence posts in the ground, moisture and wood rot begin to take a toll.

Wooden fence posts aren’t made like they used to be.

Prior to 2003, pressure-treated wood (including fence posts) was treated with chromated copper arsenate, a pesticide and preservative that prolonged the life of wood exposed to moisture and outside elements.

The use of chromated copper arsenate in lumber treatment was banned by the EPA, because it created a potential source of arsenic exposure.

Since the use arsenic was banned in the manufacture of wood fence posts, the life expectancy of your traditional wood fences declined – big time.

Most wood fences meet their early demise when the wood post rots at its base.

Leaving the fence vulnerable to high winds that simply blow it over.

A Wood Fence With Metal Posts That Last

Metal fence posts provide strength to the weakest part of your fence.

By using metal fence posts with your wooden fence, you will extend the life of your fence by multiple years.

…Often times extending the life of your wood fence by 2X, 3X or 4X years.

In this way, a FenceTrac fence is often a better investment over the long term, because it may outlast three or four all-wood fence replacements.

When selecting metal fence posts for your wooden fence, you have the option of plain galvanized steel posts, painted steel posts, aluminum fence posts, and galvanized painted steel fence posts.

FenceTrac posts and rails are protected by a multi-step coating system on top of a galvanized protective zinc coating. That way you get the classy look of painted fence posts with the corrosion-resistance and strength of galvanized steel.

A Wood Fence With More Privacy

When using the FenceTrac system to build a wood fence with metal posts, we recommend using tongue and groove red cedar fence pickets.

This style of wooden fence picket nests together to create a strong fence with little (to zero) visibility through the fence.

You can stain these wood pickets before or after installing them into your FenceTrac fence.

Pickets can be installed vertically or you can easily create a horizontal wood fence with metal posts using the FenceTrac rail system.

Just check out our extensive gallery of fence installations to see examples of horizontal wood privacy fences.

And with FenceTrac, there are no fence backer boards. You simply cut the pickets to length and slide them into the rail system.

Four bolts hold the horizontal and vertical rails together to create each fence panel. The vertical rails act as metal post adapters, securing each fence panel to the metal posts.

Slot In Fence Posts At Home Depot

Ideas for Your Wood Fence With Metal Posts

With FenceTrac, you are not limited to the same-old look of a wooden privacy fence.

The FenceTrac rail system gives you flexibility to create a decorative wood fence design that is completely unique to your property

So you can have the look you want.

In addition to wood pickets, you can use nearly any type of fence infill material you want.

We’ve seen FenceTrac combined with bamboo, metal panels, welded wire, vinyl planks, PVC, composite fence planks and more.

You have complete freedom to create a fence that fits the style and functionality that you need.

Here is a small sampling of residential and commercial fence projects using FenceTrac.

A Stronger Privacy Fence With Metal Posts

Slot Size In Concrete Fence Posts

As you can see – with FenceTrac – the possibilities are endless in terms of fence design, fence style, and fence layout options.

You can build a durable, long-lasting wood privacy fence, incorporating either a vertical picket or horizontal picket look.

Or you can build a privacy fence with some other type of infill.

Fence color options include: black, white, tan, and green.

Standard fence panel size options include:

  • 4ft H x 6ft W fence panel
  • 4ft H x 8ft W fence panel
  • 6ft H x 6ft W fence panel
  • 6ft H x 8ft W fence panel
  • 8ft H x 6ft W fence panel
  • 8ft H x 8ft W fence panel

And we also offer swinging gates or rolling metal frame gate kits (with latches, hinges, hardware, etc.) to match the style of your FenceTrac fence.

Whether you operate a professional local fence company or want to build it yourself, the FenceTrac system makes it easy to install a more beautiful wood fence with metal posts.

Contact us for a free quote or for more information.

There are two common basic methods of constructing rails for board fencing, the easiest method is to have the rails on the front of the posts then fitting the boarding along the whole length. The alternative method is to fit the rails between the posts (with their front faces about 25 mm back from the front of the posts, and then fix the boards between the posts.

The rails

Wooden Slot In Fence Posts

Two types of rails are commonly found - arris rails with a triangular cross-section, and cant rails which are more or less rectangular with the top edge sawn at an angle to allow rainwater to run off away from the fence boards.

Traditionally arris rails had tongues cut at their ends which fitted into slots cut in the posts. The tongues took the full weight of the forces on the fence, so they often broke after a time.

Galvanised steel repair brackets, which are available in a number of designs to suit both arris and cant rails could be used to repair broken rails as necessary. These repair bracket can be used when constructing a new fence, they avoid having to spend a lot of time cutting the tongues and slots.

Unless the boards are going to be fitted between the posts, it is simpler to use cant rails (with their vertical back edge) and fix them across the front of the fence posts.

Concrete posts can be used and the cant rails secured to the posts by bolts with their heads recessed into the rails using suitable holes though the posts, or special posts are available to take metal brackets to suit the type of rail being used.

In general, rails should be positioned no greater than about 200 mm (8 inches) down from the top of the boards or up from the bottom. Vertical spacing between rails should be no greater than about 700 mm (28 inches). This allows for a fence up to about 1.1 m (43 inch) to be built with just two rails, while fences over that should have 3 rails with the middle rails equally spaced vertically between the upper and lower rails.

Erecting the posts and rails

The traditional slotted arris rails.

If the posts being used do have have slots already cut to accept the trimmed arris rails, the first job is to cut the slots. The slots can be simply made by drilling three, overlapping holes all the way through the posts using a 20mm (7/8in) flat bit in an electric drill. To clean up the holes, use a chisel to remove the surplus wood in the slot.

The ends of the arris rails should be trimmed using a saw and finished off with a file so they are a snug fit in the post slots.

Slot In Fence Posts Home Depot

Before assembly, paint the slots and ends of the rails with wood preservative. Start by erecting one end post ensuring that it is vertical. Stretch a string line along the proposed run of the fence to the end of the fence run to ensure that subsequent posts are in line.

Set out the intermediate posts, try to keep them equally spaced with no more than 3m (10ft) between each pair. Dig a hole for the second post and push the ends of each arris rails into the slots in the first two posts.

Use timber struts to temporarily hold the posts upright, and check with a spirit level that the rails are horizontal (unless the ground is on a slope in which case, check that the rails are in the line of the general slope). If necessary dig the hole deeper, or pack it up with broken bricks, to get the post at the correct level.

Slot In Fence Posts Barbed

Continue in this manner with the third and subsequent posts until all the posts and rails have been completed. If it is impossible to move the last post sufficiently to allow the rails to be fitted in the slots, the last rails can be sawn off square and attached to this last post using galvanised rail repair brackets.

With all the posts inserted and temporarily strutted, hard-core can be rammed around each (ensure that each remains vertical) and fixed permanently using concrete (see fence posts) at soil level. When the concrete has hardened, go along the posts and drive a nail, at an angle, in the front of each post to secure the tongue of each rail in the post slot.

Using cant rails on the front face of the fence posts.

Erect the posts as described above at no more than 3m (10ft) spacing and secure them using concrete.

When the concrete has hardened, the cant rails can be fixed to the front face of each pair of posts. The rails can be fixed either in line with the next, or staggered. By staggering then, a stronger fixing may be achieved as the nails are not so near the ends of the rails as the other joints.