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Old 12/25/04, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 658
How do you pound your t-posts in straight?

How do you get these puppies in straight? I drive by farms with lovely straight rows. I went to pound some 7 footers in and they look like I had been drinkin.....I only have a sledge hammer for pounding and a stump to stand up on. Funny no one will hold them for me...
Thanks !
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Old 12/25/04, 05:07 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: SE Missouri
Posts: 28,248
I take the garden hose and use it to make as deep a hole as I can, trying not to get it very wide. Then I keep filling the hole with water until the ground is softened around it all the way down. Stick the t post in and push the fins down with my foot (WEAR HARD SOLED SHOES) and then pound the tops with my hammer. I can usually get them in this way unless I hit a rock. Then I move over and try another spot. Let the ground firm back up before stretching the wire.
I believe in God's willingness to heal.

Cyngbaeld's Keep Heritage Farm, breeding a variety of historical birds and LaMancha goats. (It is pronounced King Bold.)
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Old 12/25/04, 05:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 658
:haha: I have to admit I had to read your post a few times! I had visions of you trying to shove a hose into the earth to make a hole.. Kay, I am blonde so the thought of you turning on the water never actually occured until after the stunned moment...
If you make it idiot proof,
someone will design a better idiot
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Old 12/25/04, 05:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,056
They make a post hole pounder, I have no idea what it is called, but it is a heavy metal tube like thing that is open on one end. It has metal handles on each side. You put the t-post in the place where you want it, the put the pounder on top and pound it down.
Better yet, ask someone at the hardware store to show you one, I would guess that you could rent one or if you asked around, perhaps even borrow one.
I would loan you the one we use,but guess what? we borrow ours from the neighbor <<smile>>

good luck

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Old 12/25/04, 05:20 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
Posts: 9,103
..............Judy , the "old fashioned" way is with a "driver" . They consist of a piece of 2 inch pipe (heavy) , about 2 feet long with a handle on each side and you simply use your shoulders to pound them into the ground . IF , you are building a standard , 5 wire bobwire fence , with the Top wire at 4' , you only need a 6' Tpost . Don't subject yourself to more pain and suffering than is necessary . If you are building a 5 foot fence with field fence for , either dogs , goats , or horses you can get by with a 6 1/2 foot Tpost . For horses you set a piece of 2 1/2 inch(OD) pipe every 50 feet or so as a deadman . These should be set 3 feet deep in a 9 " diameter hole if your digger will dig that deep . It takes 2-80 pound sacks of sackcrete to fill a 3 foot x 9 inch diameter hole . Tposts can be set at 12 foot intervals ....IF you will install a deadman every 50 feet . Also , set BOTH Tposts and Deadmen on the OUTSIDE of the wire , so that the wire is Pushing OUT against the supports . fordy...

......... I had one of these air powered units for about 2 years and they work very well . You also have to have a small aircompressor with about 200 feet of line . If you have several acres of perimeter fence as well as cross fencing they would be a very wise investment . The regular drivers sold in any store that handles fencing materials will create enough pain in your shoulders and joints that you'll be calling your doctor for a remedy . The human body simply wasn't meant to drive tposts . ..fordy...

Last edited by fordy; 12/25/04 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 12/25/04, 05:22 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,154
Most common way is to use a weighted post driver. Its just a heavy tube about 30 inches long with weights in one end. You slip it on the top end of the post, then stand the whole works up and start lifting the driver up and letting it drop. This lets you guide the post real neat and straight (more or less) Farm stores and hdwe. stores have them. Some have a handle welded on each side. they might be easier to handle.
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Old 12/25/04, 06:22 PM
bare's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2002
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My fence lines are mostly rock, but I can always get a Tpost in with a driver. If it drives crooked, and most of them do, I just leave the driver on while I "adjust" plumb by bending the top of the post.
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Old 12/25/04, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 73

well we set our end posts in first or middle pull posts also. then stretched our top wire up. then set the posts just touching the wire(which is straight) (wire on inside, post on outside)get a limb 10 or 12 ft long and lay it on ground to mark each post. that way you get a straight line and evenly placed. if they go in a little crooked, just bend them where you want. just take your time and it helps if two people work it. count your nubbins on each post and place the next wire, do this on each post. we set posts to my eye level, (just pick a place on your body and set each post to that.) and they turn out evenly put in then. makes a nice fence.
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Old 12/25/04, 07:15 PM
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Posts: 28,248
:haha: :haha: :haha: Yeah, you gotta turn the water on first!

I've tried those post pounders and didn't have enough upper body strength to do diddly squat with em.
I believe in God's willingness to heal.

Cyngbaeld's Keep Heritage Farm, breeding a variety of historical birds and LaMancha goats. (It is pronounced King Bold.)
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Old 12/25/04, 08:54 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: East TN
Posts: 6,977
I use a fence post driver as someone described and a level. I stretch a line from my corner posts and then hold my post straight and ck. it with the level. I then mark the line with a magic marker so I have a reference for straight left to right. The line also gives me reference for straight fore and aft.
"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self confidence"
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Old 12/25/04, 09:23 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 72
My old fashioned driver a neighbor built me (a pipe like before mentioned) is still hanging on one of the problem post in the field I'm fencing in. He designed it with weight welded in the top and instructed me to use it like a hammer. Let the weight do the work, not me. I'm still wondering 4 days later just how far reaching that underground rock is that I can not bust.
If I was on more level ground I would go out and buy a tractor with one of those little attachments on the back that spins a neat post hole.
Maybe I need to inch the pole over. It might not be evenly spaced, but the important thing is that it works, protecting and keeping in the livestock.
Homesteading keeps the brain cells alive with the challenges!
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Old 12/26/04, 03:04 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Norwood,Missouri
Posts: 647

this is a link that shows a picture of a t post driver. I goes over the post and the driver you slide up and down over the post driving it deeper on each down stroke.
there is a pic of another one on the post.

i wish i knew how to put pictures on here

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Old 12/26/04, 03:19 AM
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Posts: 858
I have one of those heavy weighted pounders

Those weighted pounders are a blessing if you have to pound in posts often. Equally a blessing are the T-post pullers for when you have to move fence. With having to reconfigure the chicken yard to get them to green stuff (those chickens are worse than pigs, goats and sheep at denuding ground) to keep those homestead egg with a bright orange yolk and make happy chickens. I pull posts and pound them back in every few months when things are growing.

After awhile your arms do get tired, but if you lean the post over and slide the pounder on, then set the post back upright, you can continue on even when tired. It might take more hits with less force to get the job done on each post, but you will build up strength and get lots of exercise. If you have a rock that stops your from pounding the posts in, just move a bit to either side of that spot to place your post.

I prefer the manual way of doing things, despite the sweat equity involved, because I can get more tools this way and spend less money. Besides, for me homesteading isn't about labor saving. It is about a saving lifestyle that improves me through challenges and hardship. Besides, if at first you don't succeed, just get a bigger sledgehammer or post pounder. :haha:

Besides, pounding posts helps you vent your frustrations by pounding the daylights out of something in a constructive manner and focusing your rage into a healthy outlet. Yes, I know this from experience from having stress. It is a good release.
I would challenge anyone here to think of a question upon which we once had a scientific answer, however inadequate, but for which now the best answer is a religious one. Sam Harris
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Old 12/26/04, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 395
We put in a couple of stakes, then string some twine between them, using the string as a guide for the T posts. We also use a post pounder to drive them - lighter models are easier to pick up, but heavier ones knock the post in faster, so it's a toss-up for me which one to use; my DH prefers the heavier pounder.
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Old 12/26/04, 01:34 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: southern New Jersey
Posts: 2,250
Here's another vote for the "driver" or "pounder" - we got ours at Agway.

It was sure worth the cost (about $20) to make driving the posts so much easier. We use metal posts all the time.
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Old 12/26/04, 01:37 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 951

I use a string to make a straight line, then climb on a little two-step step stool and pound them in the ground with a heavier than usual bit headed hammer. I just can't use the post thingie that is supposed to pound them in, too big for me....
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Old 12/26/04, 03:22 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: N. Indiana
Posts: 278
I have one of those t-post drivers.. they are much easier than using a hammer I would guess but I hear my nephew has one on the same principle but it has some kind of spring loading inside it that helps get it back up... I'm going to borrow it this spring!!!

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She was not quite what you would call unrefined.
She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.
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Old 12/26/04, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: OHIO
Posts: 24
I use the "driver / pounder" as well.

I also have a "post level" that I think I got at either Home Depot or Lowes and it was pretty cheap. Mine is plastic and basically it's two plates that are joined at 90 degrees with a large rubber band, and two levels built in, one horizontal and one vertical. I think it was actually designed for use on 4x4's. But you can rubber band this to the pole and it shows the horizontal and vertical level at the same time.

Makes it pretty easy to drive them in straight!

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Old 12/27/04, 04:43 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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I use the garden hose and water method. I could borrow a driver from one of the neighbors -- it's been offered -- but I need to use tall posts. The ground here is very soft when wet, pea-soup-soft on top, so I have to set the posts deeper than might be necessary in some areas. Also, I have goats, and want to keep deer out (fat chance, but I have to try). With six or seven foot posts (for the garden fence and to support the cattle panels that make up the goat pens), I have been able to make the hole with the hose (and water, :haha: ), then reach up to finish setting it with a sledgehammer. When I use the ten-foot posts I bought for the perimeter, I may have to use the stepladder if I can't make the holes deep enough.

The garden hose method works great for areas where you can reach with a hose, but if you are fencing a large area you'll need one of those post drivers, and maybe a big strong fella who can lift it.

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Old 12/28/04, 12:21 AM
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(formerly Laura Jensen)
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Lynnwood, Washington
Posts: 2,475
Sheesh, guys! I'm a 5-foot-3-inch tall woman, and using a T-post driver I've pounded 8 foot T-posts two feet into hard ground by myself. Yeah, it's work, but it's nothing like impossible. I can do 6-foot posts from the ground, but for the taller ones, I have to stand on a ladder to get them started. But it's definitely doable.
The basic message of liberalism is simply: The true measure of a society is how it treats the weak and the needy. A simple Christian message (Matthew 25:40). -Garrison Keillor
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