See Installation Instructions for installation of pre-framed panels at bottom of this page.

and  also Commercial video clips.

Pre-Framed Brushwood Fencing Panels   Installation

ausbrush Reg T.M. N0: 1086159

Pre-framed fully finished ready-to-stand two-legged modular panel depicted below, Aust.Reg.Des.No: 308341 are available in 1760mm high x 1800mm wide modules.   

ausbrush Pre-framed panels are a solid building product weighing 75kg in the 1760 high x 1800mm wide fully finished ready to stand format.  The Pre-framed panels have a mid-rail on the rear side to provide stability and durability.   ausbrush panels are made from the Australian native Melaleuca uncinata which is a hardwood fencing material that will last more than 20 years in most climates and with a track record in Australia going back to the 1800’s. 

BEWARE:   Without the mid-rail the brushwork is likely to bow and sag with age and will eventually come out of the top channel member.   Bowing and sagging was a common effect evidenced in the 1980’s when a similar product without mid-rail had been on the market for some years then.    

BEWARE:  also the cheap ‘brushwood’ imports from Vietnam and China sold in hardware stores as “brushwood fencing”. These roll-up products are in fact a thin softwood screening (Chinese dwarf pine) wired in a similar fashion to Venetian blinds.  Whilst perfectly OK for indoor use as a screen, the imported material will not last outdoors …. and ……  looks thin and awful when attempts are made to use it in a fence ! 

Current DIY Project – Works in Progress:  Chris Row of Hazelwood North in South-Eastern Victoria, has used the darker look of Protacoat  treated pre-framed panels with ironbark coloured powdercoated frame to perfectly complement the natural tones of his bush setting  – the fence has been raised off the ground for additional height and privacy.  Images courtesy of Chris Row – Oct 2009

Panel mid-rails are located on the rear side.

Images Below:  1760mm high x 1800mm wide Pre-Framed modules – Ausbrush assembly area, Salisbury Plain, South Australia.

 A Pre-Framed module with galvanised steel finish andProtaCoat treated brushwork.


Jan 2009

Pre-framed brushwood panels are ideal for remote and rural locations as well as for the city areas  …. The images below are from a recent installation at one of the most isolated mines in Australia……  the Challenger Gold Mine ….. 11 hours by road from Adelaide and 3 hours by road to the nearest town, Coober Pedy.

The relatively small mining crew, work one of the best producing mines in the country.   The mine staff are flown in and out on a roster from Adelaide and accommodation and living conditions provided are excellent.

The environment is harsh and remote and a pleasant area for crew to relax and wind down between shifts is essential.

The wet mess and adjoining ‘beer garden’ area, needed a screen from the wind and dust and pre-framed brushwood panels provided the ideal solution. 

The Airport at Challenger Gold

The job entailed shipping the fencing panels and gates by road with client providing air flight and accommodation for the installation crew.

With only a day and a half between in and outbound flights, the work needed to be completed in that timeframe including installation of 15 metres of fencing, 2 sets of gate posts, a pedestrian gate and a pair of double gates.

Ausbrush installation crew, Sam and John, with mine in the background   

The area to be enclosedAfter installation, showing outside of enclosure
‘Wet Mess’ to extend out to create a beer garden area behind TV screen 

A spirit level is used on top of the panel top-rail while adjusting timber shims underneath panel to height.  Each panel was shimmed true and level before fitting the next panel and securing the top connecting plate.

In this case the factory fitted top plate needed to be loosened and turned to one side to allow the adjoining panel to swing and slide down into correct position in the post hole  ie hard against the previous panel … see detailed directions for installation here

Red dust collected captured by the brushwork on the long road trip up to Challenger has given the panels a local flavour……


Where the panels are elevated above ground, wooden chocks / shims were used to support the base of the panel and struts fitted temporarily to either side to hold the panel upright, while concrete around the legs ‘went off’. 

The inside beer garden ground is to be filled and paved to the level of the panel bottom rail and umbrellas or shade sails installed.   The double gates have yet to be fitted in this image.

  – a timber prop can be seen on right hand panel and chocks are still under the panel on the left hand side of the gate opening.

Back side of the fence – (the side with mid rails showing) is faced on the outside of the beer garden.  The gates have their rear facing outwardly also.


Pedestrian Gate opening.


Double Gate from inside ‘beer garden’ area

Double Gate view from outside, gate opening outwardly.

Completed Job viewed from the outside. 


Images Below:   Narrow 1200mm wide modules –  installed as a wind break on a Burra Farm – elevated above ground.






INSTALLATION VIDEO – 1200mm wide module.




The following provides a brief guide and pointers for the installation of the Ausbrush pre-framed, fully finished. brush fencing panel system for both level and sloping sites.  The iron bark or gloss black coloured, powder coated panels are factory fitted with a top plate on one side, as aid to installation.  The plate  secures down to the top of the preceding panel.  The legs extend 640mm beneath the panels to allow the base of the panel to be set either on the ground or above ground level, or to be set on sleepers or other forms of base and to accommodate sloping sites. The modules are fully finished and the only additional material required for installation, are bags of premixed concrete.

Tools required are mattock, rake, spade (for ground levelling), pegs, stringlines, temporary posts, sledge hammer or stake driving dolly, tape measure, marking pen  etc (for setting out), hole digging equipment (eg jackhammer, motorised hole digger or hand auger), a crowbar,  a quantity of blocks of wood of different thicknesses ranging in size from 5mm to 30mm (to use as temporary shims under the panels while adjusting height to level, before concreting holes), a spirit level, hand tools, hacksaw or power saw (for adjusting length of legs where required), a few lengths of timber or pipe for props (to support panels whilst concrete is being poured and panels set), a portable drill with 5/16” hex driver bit (for securing panel plates) and a concrete mixing shovel and wheel barrow.



One of the most important aspects in any fencing job is the setting up and pegging of the fence line.

1. Locate any buried services, such as water, power, gas, electricity and telephone lines.

2. Panel orientation and height,  The panels have a mid-rail on one side and the front and rear side placement should be selected (ie with regard to pool safety and aesthetics etc).  Overall installed fence height should be determined with regard to existing adjoining fences and gates and privacy etc

3. Assess the slope of the site, and if needed divide the fence line up into segments of similar slope.  Work out which end of the fence line to commence panel installation, so that panels that may need to be cut for width, are situated at the end of least visual importance.  If working to a level top on a sloping site,  then it is best to start from the high end of the slope, levelling each panel prior to fitting the next down the slope.  Depending on the degree of slope, panel leg lengths may not be long enough toward the lower end of the slope for a level top finish and steps downs may be required at various points along the fence-line.  Where the panels are stepped down a slope, angle brackets rather than flat plates will be needed where the panels join.

4. Prepare the ground surface to suit the job at hand.  Where the 1760 mm high panels are to be set on top of the ground, or on top of sleepers or other base, then the ground should be levelled out for each slope segment.  When panels are to be elevated above ground, with a gap underneath, then an undulating ground surface may be acceptable.

5.  Install temporary line poles and stringlines as needed.  For short runs of level fence and stepped fences, it is fine to just use a spirit level on the top of each panel as you work for the horizontal line and sighting by eye through for the vertical line, but for long fence lines it is important to use stringlines for both the horizontal and vertical planes, for the best result.

The stringlines can be fitted to temporary poles fitted at each change in slope and direction.  A stake driving dolly is quite convenient for fitting a temporary post of sufficient height for this purpose, and typically a piece of material such as 25mm, 32 or 40mm nom.bore, 2200 mm long pipe is ideal.

Calculate the overall height of fence required and set the top stringline, allowing for any base being used or gap underneath the panels. 

Set the bottom stringline 1760mm beneath the top stringline (the bottom stringline line will be used both for fence line and for setting the shim heights prior to panel placement ).  If sitting the panels on level ground,  the bottom stringline can be set a nominal 150mm above ground level as this line will only be used for lateral post alignment only.  The stringlines should be fitted to one side of the temporary end poles and the temporary poles should be checked for vertical with a spirit level, so that they provide a panel location reference in two planes, both vertical and horizontal.

In windy conditions and on long spans eg a 40 metre long fence-line, it is important to have a very taught stringline and to fit temporary mid-poles as well as end-poles, to minimise the stringlines being blown off line or sagging in the middle.  Insulation tape is useful for securing the stringlines to any mid posts with final adjustment by eye from one end.  Builder’s pegs can also be used to locate the bottom stringline at several points.   It is also important to check the stringlines and temporary posts and pegs regularly as the panels are installed, in case they are knocked or bumped or pressed on, by incorrectly placed panels.  On a straight fence line, the simplest means of doing this is to stand on a drum at the end of the fence and eyeball the alignment of the panels in both planes as you work.

6.  Accurately mark the first four hole locations with pegs, at 1805 mm apart hole centres, either using a tape measure, or for bigger jobs, cut a 1805 mm long template as a guide.  With the pre-framed system, it pays to only dig about four or five holes at a time as it is quite easy to have error creep in, if an attempt is made to dig all the holes at once.

7.  In-ground leg lengths and hole depths.   Depending on soil types and prevailing wind / wind loadings, the acceptable depth of the in-ground leg lengths will vary.  As a general practice, at least 500 mm, and preferably 600 mm of post should be concreted in-ground.  The pre-made modules have 640 mm long legs, and so the panels may be set above ground for additional height, with a clearance of from 100 to 150 mm, depending upon site conditions (soil type and wind loadings).  Generally where a fence has angles and corners in the line, it is of greater stability and a shorter in-ground leg length is possible, than is possible on dead straight fence-lines.  Depending on these conditions a leg can be easily cut shorter using a hacksaw or power saw, to accommodate service obstructions, tree roots, hard digging and rock etc in a hole.  Common sense prevails and erring on the side of caution is always best policy with regard to depth of holes.  If unsure on what depth to use, seek local advice.

8.  Digging the holes.   8” (200mm) diameter holes at the pegged locations – ( 6″ / 150mm diameter holes may be used in hard soils and rock).  For the reasons mentioned previously, it is better to dig the holes “as you go” using a one or two-man mechanical hole digger on small jobs, ie rather than hire a larger machine to bore all the holes at once.  The hole depth will depend upon the height that the panels are to be set and other factors described above.  If set on the ground, the hole depth will need to be 640 mm to accommodate the extra long legs, or panel legs trimmed by 100mm for a shallower hole.  It is best to make the holes slightly deeper than the planned in-ground leg length to allow for any soil spill etc .

 A useful hand tool for digging holes in close proximity to walls and for generally clearing loose soil and rocks from the bottom of holes, is the American style, tweezer action hole digger and is superior to the old auger style Aussie hand borer.  In very hard, dry ground, a useful method is to pre-dig a few inches down, several holes at a time and pour water into them, allowing 10 minutes or so to soak down.  The digging then becomes easier in most soils – this watering may need to be repeated several times to full hole depth, working from one hole to the next and back again.    Where the panels bottoms are to be set above ground, the hole depth for each, should be measured up to a bottom stringline  (ie it is not possible to measure hole depth from the ground surface on uneven ground with elevated panels).

 The hole depth needs to be quite accurate relative to the stringlines and dug just a little overdepth,  ie so that the quite heavy panels do not need to be removed again / double handled through under-depth holes.  A lot of time will be saved in installation if all holes are the correct depth.   Wooden ‘shims’ are used to trim/adjust panel height prior to concreting.

9.  Panel handling.  The brushwood panels are shipped flat on specially made 2450x1850mm pallets in stacks of up to 14 modules with gates stacked on top.  Timber spacers are fitted between each panel to prevent the screw heads causing damage in shipping and each panel is fixed on three corners to uprights.  The pallet stack is then secured with timber and steels strapping to form a stable load.

 The panels can be lifted off one at a time, after removal of the strapping and three screws holding each panel to the pallet corner uprights.  The panels weigh 72 kg each and require two or more persons to handle, depending upon what height they are being unloaded from and ground slope conditions etc.  Ideally, pallets should be fork-lifted to ground level near the workface, to make it easier to remove the panels.  The brushwood panels have the top connecting plates already fitted, and pallet mounting screws should be saved for use in panel installation.

10.  Panel Placement.  The panels have a front and rear side, with a 25x38mm section mid-rail fitted on the rear side and a top connecting plate fitted on the left hand side facing the rear.  Where a fence must be installed commencing from one particular end of the fence line, the top plate can be loosened and swung aside until after the next panel is fitted (then relocated and re-secured).  The plate can be re-orientated for right-angle bends or angles or removed when not required at start or ends of fence etc. 

Timber shims which will be used to support the panel, should then be placed in two stacks with the tops level with the stringline height (or if no bottom stringline set up, then the anticipated or measured height) above ground of the panel bottom.

After the panel has been unscrewed from the stack, two persons, one on each side, lift the panel and it is stood upright on its legs on the ground nearby the holes and then gently lowered into the first pair of holes and with the bottom panel rail sitting on top of the shim stacks.  The panel should be levelled by a third person while the others hold and lift the panel slightly to allow final shim adjustment ( ie by removing or adding shims of various thickness ), using a spirit level on top of the panel as a guide and the panel is propped on the rear and front face prior to concreting.

For subsequent panels, shim stacks should be placed as previously described, but the panel should be lowered at a slight angle away from the preceding panel such that in the post-hole, the edge of the panel leg scrapes down the leg of the preceding panel as it is lowered.  The aim is to remove any gap between it and the adjoining panel leg for when it is angled back to its final position.    If the panel is simply dropped in the hole, it is quite difficult to otherwise slide it to remove any slight gap between the panel legs.   The panel should be levelled / shimmed by a third person as before.

A lever such as a crowbar, using a piece of timber as a fulcrum, can also be used to good effect in lifting the panel to allow final shim adjustment.  A mash hammer can be used to tap down either panel post-top to align them properly prior to fixing the top plate. When finally levelled, the top plate is secured with tek screws to join both panels.

Note:  If using stringlines, care must be taken when working, not to push the stringlines progressively out of line with each panel fitted, eventually causing a bow in the fence-line. 

11.  Concrete the holes.  Either wet or dry mix concrete can be used.  Be sure to pour an even amount of concrete around the posts from both sides as the hole is filled, so that the concrete does not push the posts across one-way and out of line.  It is helpful to scrape away the soil from the rim of the hole to form a funnel shape, to better allow concrete entry.  This is especially true when panels are set on the ground, and there’s not a lot of room to pour concrete due to the proximity of the bottom-rail.  Dry mix concrete direct from a bag is the easiest way to apply without wastage and will require between half to three quarters of a 20kg bag, depending on hole size and depth.  One post hole will need to be left open until the next panel is fitted before concreteing.

12.  Underground obstructions such as water, power, telephone, gas, or large tree roots etc can pose problems with pre-made brushwood panels.  It is best to locate services, prior and when planning the job, as Ausbrush can supply custom width panels to accommodate such situations.  However, if this situation does arise on the job, the width of panels can be adjusted, by simply removing eight tek screws, from one side member, sliding the “C” channel off and removing brushwork from the panel side.  Firstly, lay the panel on a trestle so that the side channel can be removed and the wire pins at the edge of the panel can be removed and a segment of brush pulled out.  If the panel needs to be cut in half, say, each horizontal wire can be cut on both sides of the brush panel to a texta line, using pliers or side cutters and leaving enough wire to bend back around the wire staple closest to the measurement required.  The top and bottom rail can then be cut to a similar width and the “C” channel refitted by sliding on from one end.  Adjustable trailer tie down straps can be used to good purpose in holding the panel together while re-securing the sides.  This doesn’t take too long to do.

13.  End-finishing brush panels can be pre-ordered to a special width, or cut on-site as described above to suit the length of the fence line.

14.  Touching up paintwork.  Ironbark and gloss black coloured spray packs are available for touching up the paintwork at job finish.  The ironbark colour is one of the best, to blend in with the brushwork, given the quite high proportion of steel in this type of fence, although other powdercoating colours are available on request for the larger jobs.

15.  Sloping sites need special treatment, and when orders are placed, this should be nominated.  Instead of a flat plate on the top, an angle bracket is fitted as the panels step up the slope.  ‘Two-hole’ plates can also be fitted to the bottom channels to connect the panels for added strength or as an installation aid in alignment.  If you are working on a sloping site project, please discuss this with us for the best options.

16.  Where brushwood gates are required, it is best to fit gate posts of at least 75mmx75mm section x 2600mm long to the opening as the post section will match the panel profile (75mm).  Ausbrush manufactures standard modular gates 1730mm high x 900mm wide and also 1800mm high x 900mm wide (and other sizes to order).  The modular gates come complete with universal left/right hung hinge pairs, brass handles and ‘D Latch’ and striker and fixing screws.  Height of gate required will depend on whether the pre-framed fence is set on the ground or above ground.

 Contact us for details and options.

For questions relating to specific installations, I will be happy to assist and can be contacted on mobile 0418 841 889, email hague@ausbrush.

Hague Showell

Ausbrush Panels

28th February 2009