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Thread: Fence posts?

  1. #21
    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replys. I really appreciate it. It is nice to know that the better option is also the cheaper option. Now I don't have to buy a bunch of concrete, or tar. It is also faster to just dig the hole and tamp in the post, instead of pouring, waiting, making sure the post is straight while the concrete dries, etc.
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  2. #22
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I would have thought he would have poured a concrete footer from below frost line to the surface then mount the 4x4 piers on that. They make a metal post base that mounts to the footer and holds the 4x4 a couple inches off the ground so it doesn't stand on wet concrete. Some are even adjustable. A little easier to change out if you have to. Here's a pic.

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  3. #23
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    The contractor installed the deck posts just as they are recommended in this area. Lowes and HD instructions for DYI state to pour concrete partway in the hole and let set, place the posts on top of the concrete and finish filling with gravel.

    I just moved from a house just south of you Ohio guys. The deck had been in place, set in concrete, for over 20 years, and it was still sound.

    The back porch platform where I am now is PT/creasote dipped 6x6 set straight into the ground and it is still solid after 40 years.

    I am sure posts standing in water would go pretty fast, but modern PT is done to resist insects and rot and it does so very well.
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  4. #24
    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    The contractor installed the deck posts just as they are recommended in this area. Lowes and HD instructions for DYI state to pour concrete partway in the hole and let set, place the posts on top of the concrete and finish filling with gravel.

    I just moved from a house just south of you Ohio guys. The deck had been in place, set in concrete, for over 20 years, and it was still sound.

    The back porch platform where I am now is PT/creasote dipped 6x6 set straight into the ground and it is still solid after 40 years.

    I am sure posts standing in water would go pretty fast, but modern PT is done to resist insects and rot and it does so very well.
    Thanks man, it sounds like my deck will at least be around as long as I am!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildthang View Post
    This post disturbs me, because I had a deck built onto the back of my house last spring, and the guy that built it used pressure treated supports, and poured concrete around the posts. How long does it take the posts to rot when they are installed in that fashion? They are buried 2' deep, with a 8" x 8" paver in the bottom of each hole, with Sacrete around the post!
    Its recent that the no contact with wood has started. Its against code here now. It will take a long while to rot, but it will rot faster than a 4x4 on top of a footing attached with a tiko. How much faster I really don't know.

  6. #26

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    pole barn poles are set on concrete in this area. A full bag of quick crete is mixed and poured in the hole. After setting up the pole is set and tamped int place.

  7. #27
    Off Grid! Darkevs's Avatar
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    I have always split my own posts from cedar logs.

    Yes, you do have to replace them if they rot off at the bottom, but so what.

    I love digging fence post holes and splitting posts and rails.............great exercise.

  8. #28

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    The best fence posts I have ever used are "utility poles." When fencing in a new section of field for my goats, I was able to get some poles from my local electric company, as they were replacing several in my area. The old ones were still in fine condition for getting posts from. I took my chainsaw and cut out 20 beautiful posts. They were heavy, and already treated. I simply sunk them in the ground and just added a little crusher run at the bottom of my holes for water drainage. I slightly cut the tops of the poles at an angle to let rain run off easier. What a find! Just took a little labor and time, but when I compared my poles to those at the Home Improvement Centers, there were no comparison. Best of all...they were free.
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  9. #29
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    The best fence posts I have observed are made of granite. You can walk through the woods around here and come across fences over a hundred years old. The wire has disintegrated but those fence posts are still standing true. A bit expensive, but will last a few lifetimes.

  10. #30
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    Rick, the reason your water table is higher than your neighbor, even though your land is higher, is that the water table is not level. It more or less follows the contour of the land. Slightly deeper at high places and shallower at low places.

  11. #31
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    Spartan - The old black jack poles would last nearly forever. At least the part above ground. They were treated with creosote like railroad ties so they were pretty impervious to weather. And they were pressure treated so you probably got some really good wood. The newer poles are treated with either pentachlorophenol in oil, CCA (Chromated-Copper-Arsenate) or creosote. The CCA are green in color, because of the copper. I would be a little cautious where I placed Oil treated or CCA treated posts if you have any concerns about your animals eating grass growing next to the posts or if you have a concern about garden veggies in the vicinity. Chemicals do leach. That was one of the concerns of creosote.

    Back in the day you could get class ten poles from any telephone company and they were a really good size for fence posts. Today, very few use the 10 class pole any more and most utility companies are concerned about liability so the legal department has stopped donating the poles to farmers. We used to deliver them to the barn for farmers, especially if it was on their land, just as a good corporate citizen. But those days are pretty much gone unless you can find a crew that will help you out.

  12. #32

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    Here in the sticks we can still get utility poles. One of these days I need to scrounge up a few.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Spartan - The old black jack poles would last nearly forever. At least the part above ground. They were treated with creosote like railroad ties so they were pretty impervious to weather. And they were pressure treated so you probably got some really good wood. The newer poles are treated with either pentachlorophenol in oil, CCA (Chromated-Copper-Arsenate) or creosote. The CCA are green in color, because of the copper. I would be a little cautious where I placed Oil treated or CCA treated posts if you have any concerns about your animals eating grass growing next to the posts or if you have a concern about garden veggies in the vicinity. Chemicals do leach. That was one of the concerns of creosote.

    Back in the day you could get class ten poles from any telephone company and they were a really good size for fence posts. Today, very few use the 10 class pole any more and most utility companies are concerned about liability so the legal department has stopped donating the poles to farmers. We used to deliver them to the barn for farmers, especially if it was on their land, just as a good corporate citizen. But those days are pretty much gone unless you can find a crew that will help you out.
    Good points sir. Luckily I had a crew that helped me out. I let them park their trucks on my property a few days during the job. Never hurts to be nice...lol.
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  14. #34
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    That's for sure and it plays both ways. That's why we gave them the poles. I've met my share of farmers with shotguns that did not much care whether we had right of way or not. We started plowing one field where we didn't have right of way. We didn't know that at the time of course. The Right-of-Way Agent just hadn't gotton the signatures. The old boy owned a TD9, single axel truck and flatbead trailer for a few days before they got it all straightened out. I'll bet that turned out to be some mighty expensive right of way.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by finallyME View Post
    Hopefully this falls into homesteading. Otherwise, mods, feel free to move to the proper section.

    So, I need to put up a fence around my yard. When I bought the house, the fence was blown down. We live in a pretty windy area. A lot of people who get vinyl fences end up with pieces all over the place. I was originally going to put in a wood fence with metal poles, but metal poles cost twice what a treated 4X4 costs. One of the problems with the old fence is that the posts (cedar 4X4) rotted out in the ground. I don't want that problem (one reason why I wanted to go with metal posts). So my question, what is the best way to anchor in the posts? I believe I read here that sinking them in concrete will rot them out faster. I have done posts in the past where I coat the bottoms with tar and then just sink them 2 ft in and pack the dirt around the post with a rock bar. Anyways, any advice is appreciated.
    I don't know what size posts, type of wood or special treating you are considering. What I can address is sinking them in concrete from my own experience.

    My home was built in 1987 and elevated 12 feet. Creosote treated utility posts are what it is built on and anchored to. Eight feet of the posts were sunk, then a cement slab two feet in thickness was poured and left to set for a fairly long time. There are 36 of these utility posts supporting my home and not one is showing any signs of rotting or my home would be sinking and showing signs of being unlevel. There are many homes and fishing camps built this way in my area. Usually when a hurricane visits us and the home gets demolished, the utility poles are what remain still driven in place in the slabs. Just something else for you to consider.

  16. #36
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    As I said above, I would never ever put a fence post in concrete. You'll have to dig it out some day because the post will rot no matter what you do. Been there, done that and learned a valuable lesson about fence posts. Homes and utility poles are one thing. Fence posts a different matter.

  17. #37
    Senior Member Desert Rat!'s Avatar
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    For those that have wood fence post set into concrete already you might try this, I made a T-handle screw by welding a 1 1/4" round bar about 16" long onto a 1" x 12" long screw , drill a 1/2" hole into the broken post and screw in your T-screw, it should come out fairly easy, I've replaced a dozen or more using this method, you may have to taper the post a bit to get it into the concrete but it beats digging out the concrete, now all new fence post I've used black pipe about 1 1/2" OD set in concrete I have a section of fence 20+ years old using black pipe thats as straight now as the day I built it, now this is the Mojave Desert and the water table under my property is 100FT so I'm sure it may be different in your neck of the woods.

  18. #38
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    That's a cool tip. Thanks.
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  19. #39
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    That is a neat tool. Thanks.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Rat! View Post
    For those that have wood fence post set into concrete already you might try this, I made a T-handle screw by welding a 1 1/4" round bar about 16" long onto a 1" x 12" long screw , drill a 1/2" hole into the broken post and screw in your T-screw, it should come out fairly easy, I've replaced a dozen or more using this method, you may have to taper the post a bit to get it into the concrete but it beats digging out the concrete, now all new fence post I've used black pipe about 1 1/2" OD set in concrete I have a section of fence 20+ years old using black pipe thats as straight now as the day I built it, now this is the Mojave Desert and the water table under my property is 100FT so I'm sure it may be different in your neck of the woods.
    a T-handle is a great idea, wish I would have thought of that or knew about it when we accross the fense neighbor and I replaced 3 broke off 4x4 posts.

    We did leave the concrete in the ground, and drilled hioles in the wood, split it and pulled it out a bit at a time......PITA.

    You are correct a little off the hew post and they when right back in the holes...still standing after about 7 years.
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