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Thread: New Fence

  1. #16
    A local building inspector who is also a contractor showed me a post mounting option I had never heard of.
    Slide the post inside a 2’ section of square channel steel so the wood is about 4 inches higher than the bottom of the steel. Fill the hole with crushed gravel and concrete or whatever you want to use to hold the post in place. This prevents the wood from ever having contact with the ground or concrete.

    38B98EA7-01DA-4704-B677-1BA92FE42888.jpg

    The bottom 18” of the cedar post in the photo had all four sides shaved off so it would fit into a piece of standard size steel. This created a “shelf” for the post to rest on, keeping it 6” above the bottom of the steel. The post was then bolted to the steel to prevent it from coming apart.

    It is more work and expense, and the steel may rust through some day but it will last longer than the wood alone.

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by John Leech View Post
    Great comments here, thanks.

    John, frost line here is generally considered to be the same as yours. 18 inches. I suspect that it's less than that in reality because one of the ways I saved money originally was to cut the posts in half and set them anywhere from 10-12 inches. My decision to dig 24 inch holes came about from the desire to add a few inches of gravel and added security.

    Stan, I'm planning to use pressure treated posts and they will be cut 3 1/2-4 feet above grade. I'll make the decision once the pickets (3 1/2 feet tall) are on. So long as I'm not like a former employee of my grandpa who once said, "I cut it twice and it's still too short" I should be OK.

    Jim, I used panels the first time and they worked fine for a portion of the fence, but for the section on a slope they only appeared plumb if you were leaving Bourbon Street after a long night. I'll give them a once over, but think pickets may be easier and better in the long run. The purpose of the removable section is not to keep things in (other than the dog) but to get the riding mower into the back yard in the fall, so I'm not concerned about 'curious humans.' If they want, they can just look over the fence, but if they mess with my hammock, we'll have words! LOL

    Mark, I toyed with going the vinyl route, but the quality of plastic seems low. Not to mention having to find replacement parts several years down the road when the inevitable branch crashes through the fence
    Probably why I’ve never seen anybody using it.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
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    Don't waste your time on the concrete. Two feet seems shallow even for where you are. Shoot my mailbox post is 3-1/2'. Whatever depth you decide on set the post with gravel. Easy peasy! Try one for yourself. You will love it. Set the post in the hole, start adding gravel and squaring and getting it plumb as you go. By the time you get to the top of the hole the post will be solid. Just wiggle it a little as you add it. It's the only way to set a post. I grew up hand tamping fence posts on the farm. Never again. It's fast too!
    The metal square tube might be fine in Arizona but in the midwest it will rust out quickly.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Longview WA
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    Slide the post inside a 2’ section of square channel steel so the wood is about 4 inches higher than the bottom of the steel.
    The big box stores sell post setters. They have a shaft on the base to set in concrete and a bracket to hold a 4X4 post. There easy to find in the store, not so easy on the web site.

    IMO, a post set properly in concrete is likely to last just as long.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    A hybrid approach might be best here...corner posts? Definitely in concrete and maybe set deeper, too. Intermediate posts mostly set in tamped gravel like Ron mentions with every third or fourth post in concrete if you feel the need and where it may make sense for stability due to terrain. The two posts bordering the removable panel should also be in concrete and perhaps set deeper, too. Same for other gates.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Festus, MO
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    21
    It's never been said that woodworkers lack strong opinions!!! LOL!

    Thanks for all of the suggestions and pointers on fence installations. I finished the fence last week and it looks great. The best part of the whole project was that I was able to recruit and pay my 16 year old daughter to work alongside me. Normally I'm against paying her since she "lives here and needs to contribute," but due to the shutdowns there are no jobs available that I'm willing to let her work. Best part was listening to her troubleshoot as we looked at installation problems and design. Not to mention the fact that I got to witness my somewhat timid daughter utter the sentence "we were running a nail gun" with glee.

    Gates don't sag, and posts are plumb. All in all a good, fun project

    Thanks for your help.

    John

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    That sounds like a win-win, John! 'Glad your daughter got to work with you for both the camaraderie and the experience of making something.

    I've been doing similar with my soon to be 21 year old younger daughter, but it involves cooking. The combination of limited work hours (only back-of-house accounting at the restaurant she's worked for since age 15) and stay-at-home even while classes were still running as well as a serious boyfriend who is a good cook provided the opportunity for her to learn to cook things she enjoys eating and it's been great...about twice a week has worked for us.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    4,266
    Too late now but sounds like you should have bought ten foot posts and cut them in half.
    Bill D

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
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    1,285
    Our fence here in Florida is around 10 years old and one thing I'd do differently today is to use 6x6 posts instead of 4x4. All of the fences around me that have the larger posts look better and the posts stayed straighter over time. The cost difference at install would be minimal in the grand scheme of things. That said, I've had to replace nearly 6 to 8 sections of our fence over the years due to ground rot. Pressure Treated wood just doesn't hold up the way it did in the past.

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