Asked on Aug 12, 2018

How do I build a fence with tobacco sticks?

by AngieBallard

I have thousands of 80+ year old tobacco sticks. I'd like to use them to fence my yard, particularly the back fence line (mature trees and an ancient wire fence that had drooped in some places and grown into the trees in others). I want a rustic look but still sturdy and low maintenance - NO paint, screws instead of nails, and thin stone edging underneath. I'd publish it on my blog, The Jammie Girl.

Create something beautiful AND functional with items from my family farm!

  6 answers
  • Elaine Elaine on Aug 12, 2018

    Angie, I’m guessing you live in VA or NC. ;) Seal the sticks with equal parts BLO and turpentine. You might want to soak them in a bath or pipe with fittings on both ends. I think our friends grandparents used white oak on their tobacco farm. I’m thinking you may have to predrill unless you get some expensive screws. For designs, you could do a picket type like the old forts had with the points sticking up, or you could do a frame with designs in each frame. This requires a 2 x 6 at least top and bottom with a couple 2x2’s. Fix one 2x2 on face side of 2x6 fix your sticks to the 2x2 and finish with the other 2x2

    • AngieBallard AngieBallard on Aug 13, 2018

      Actually, I live in KY. Tobacco is cured completely differently here than in NC, so the weathering in pretty intense! Yes, I'm pre-drilling everything.

  • Sandra Allen Sandra Allen on Aug 13, 2018

    Thank you for educating me! I never even knew there was a thing called tobacco sticks! But here is a link that can help, and give you some decorating ideas for any you might have left over.

  • AngieBallard AngieBallard on Aug 13, 2018

    I'm having a lot of fun making decorative items while waiting for the heavy-duty tree removal people to get around to us so I can re-build our fence. We had a tornado come through and pull a massive tree up by the roots. The soonest anyone can get to us is one month.

    • See 1 previous
    • AngieBallard AngieBallard on Aug 18, 2018

      Elaine, thanks for your input! Getting the tree removed is covered by insurance, and he's welcome to whatever he wants from a new-fallen tree.

      But since these sticks were either milled 80+ years ago or hand-hewn 100+ years ago I'm going to forego letting someone else touch them. They sell uncut for $2-3 per stick. It's ALL 'good stuff'.

  • KLI122 KLI122 on Aug 13, 2018

    Greetings from MD, where my family grew tobacco for generations. I remember those "bacca" sticks! :-)

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 09, 2023

    Twist wire around and inbetween sticks to form a paling fence.