[ FENCING] Fencing w/o Concrete

Discussion in 'How-To Threads of the past' started by Tango, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Is this an art or can anyone put up fencing posts without concrete? I've seen companies doing it out in the middle of nowhere. I'd like to do it also and save myself the cost and the hassle of fencing where there is no water available. How can I do it in the sands of Florida? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Beststash

    Beststash Well-Known Member

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    It is a common practice around this area (Texas) to just pour sackcrete dry in the post hole - the moisture will be absorped by the concrete and do just fine. Not sure if this is applicable for your particular situation. This is done for corner post and line posts sometimes - it is not unusual to tamp without anything.
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............Tango , The word I would use to describe what you are wanting to do...is "Tamping". It is a viable method of setting posts in the ground, BUT....keep these factors in MIND...
    1.)The "holding" ability of Tamping is contingent upon (3) factors..a.)the type of soil you have on your land , b.)the depth of the hole, c.)the moisture content of the soil during the course of the calendar year.
    ..............I have set some posts in the past here in Texas by tamping. I use a Rock bar about 6 feet long that has a 3 inch flat head on it as it is made specifically for this purpose. This rock bar is about 1 inch in diameter and fairly heavy as it it is made to bust up rock as well tamping. Personally, i would NOT try tamping unless i could dig ALL my holes atleast 3 feet deep. Also, the Larger the circumference of your Post(s) the greater the chances of success for tamping. If the soil is Moist when you First set your posts they will feel very solid. BUT, if you go into a prolonged Dry spell the moisture content of the soil will decrease and it will pull back from the POST and then Your once Tight Fence will be falling on its Face. Not Good......You should give considerable thought to which method you choose because....IF....you have to go back and redo and reset your corners and h-braces you will ultimately spend considerablly MORE money in the long run. Do it once ....with cement ......and walk away and focus on your next project..........fordy... :) :yeeha:
     
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  4. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I think I'm seeing companies do it without anything. I drive by, see the holes dug and the posts on the ground laying flat and being put in one by one. There is no water source apparent. I might be wrong. It would be great to save the cost of the concrete mix for a pasture fence.
     
  5. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I have an auger that will dig 2 ft- that third foot, around here, will more than likely be under water (0' above sea level). I know that with the ocncrete, they will stay in place and the fence will be fully reliable. I just wish I could save on that cost :( but I want the fence to be sturdy for my (well my soon to be found and purchased) horses. Can I get away with maybe 1/2 a 60lb. sack per post? The fence will be four ft. tall ( and 2 ft. below ground) with 4 inch posts. Thanks fordy.
     
  6. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............Tango , If , you are going to have horses, I would make the holes 3 feet deep and 9 inches in diameter. All you have to do is DUMP 2--60 pound sacks of sackcrete into the hole and they will setup on their own. You can pour the cement directly into the Bottom of the hole and it will setup in short order.
    ..............If you are contemplating using 4x4's ......Don't. They are NOT big enough for the JOB. You should really be using 3 inch (OD) outside diameter PIPE. Preferablly old pipe in good shape with a wall thickness of atleast 3/16th's or Schedule 40 , which is about the same thing. Set them 6 feet apart for your corners and H-braces. Weld (or have welded) a horizontial brace between them . For Horses....You should make your fence.....5 feet high. Believe me, I have done enough of this type of fencing , to know...that.....if you make it 4 feet.......the Horses(even small ones around 13 hands) will stick their head OVER the fence to get that GREENER grass on the Other side!!!!!
    ............Your new fence will look like the Town Drunk leaning against the Court House on Sunday morning. They will push it over in short order. If you are consigned to building with wood......Use atleast ...6x6's for ALL corners and H-braces.....When you pull the wire real tight and staple it down , it Will force itself INTO the Soft wood fiber and loose some tension. Another reason to utilize PIPE for all corners and h-braces...............fordy... :) :yeeha:
     
  7. DAVID In Wisconsin

    DAVID In Wisconsin Well-Known Member

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    I never use consrete for fence posts. They stand for years with lots of abuse. Just make sure you tamp hard and often. Put a few inches of soil in the hole and tamp with heavy hammer and an old 2x4 or whatever. It's tough, but I find it easier than lugging around heavy sacks of concrete. And, it's a lot cheaper. If done right, it's every bit as good as using concrete and the bottoms of the posts don't rot as fast.
     
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  8. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ---------------------------------------------------------
    ...............Concrete has its place in the larger scheme of fence building. But...if you want to use wood...and you want to use "Tamping" for setting your posts , (1) use 6x6's that are Treated , (2) Use the method that David has outlined above....He knowns whereof he speaks, and it will be alot of work but you will be proud of your work when finished..........fordy.... ;) :yeeha:
     
  9. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Tamping works fine around here, but around here is fairly dry. If you've got your water table at only two feet deep when it's not even raining, tamping might not hold up if the soil starts to get wet and slippery, and in any case your posts could rot/rust/whatever without the protection of concrete.

    However, there's no reason to use straight concrete. You could and should mix in a lot of stone or gravel aggregate - at least half or even more. Once that's done (could be a dry mix, I think, in your case) put it around the posts, a few inches of depth at a time, tamp, few inches more, etc., and then leave. The concrete will collect its own water from your water table in your case. Oh, yes, just check that there's not too much salt in your ground-water for ordinary concrete: salt water can require a special concrete.

    The only reason/place you wouldn't use a LOT of (theoretically too much) aggregate in your case would be (I think - check me here, people) for posts at the bottom of dips in the ground, if you had strained wires tending to pull UP on them and pull them out of the ground or their concreted sockets.

    For the rest of it, the purpose of concrete in your post's existence would be purely to uphold, preserve and sustain..... :)
     
  10. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    even in sand 3'deep with a bit of tamping should be enough for horses, just use an electric fence wire to train them away from the fences. remenber too, its better for the fence to collapse when the horse runs thru it than for it to stand like a brick wall, they tend to get ripped up that way. Mt board fences are set up to "break away" if you kick them hard, And I have electric fence. a few times I that break away setup saved a lot of cuts and gashes from being inflicted.
    most horse take well to the wire, they dont like the scare more than the jolt.
     
  11. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    That's the best way to build fence. I agree that 4 feet is a bit low for horse fencing.

    I would not bother to even think about concrete with a high water table. Wooden posts set in concrete rot out faster than those tamped into earth. Even posts not well set will hold their position if braced and cross braced. The object is to keep the posts vertical so that wire strain is transferred straight down to the soil.

    I also agree that horses will not push down a fence that has an electrified top wire----preferably a stand-off, a wire that is a few inches inside the fenceline. Horses are very sensitive to electricity and once trained will not go near a hot wire. I've had fences absolutely torn up by bulls fighting across the fence, but once I installed hot wires they stand and bellow at each other from l5 feet away. Horses are at least as smart as bulls. I've even seen hot wires installed to check cribbing.

    Ox
     
  12. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    I quit using concrete and started using pea rock.Same effect and no mess. Better drainage so the post won't rot.

    mikell
     
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  13. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I think the horse wire is 54 inches, at least it should be. Everythng I've read said at least 54" height for horses. Yes I am consigned to use wood. I've built a few fences with help and they've all been wood. I'm getting a little familiar with the job but I can use huge corner posts and H braces. Thanks
     
  14. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    3 ft. deep? Are you guys sure of that? Even if I will be digging into water?
     
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  15. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    :confused: Ok I'm totally lost around here every since I can remember,the only thing you might use Concrete on would be Wood Corner post.Other than that we was putting in Wood Post we would just punch out a hole with a Rock Bar,set the post in the ground,drive it in with a Post Maul.You get done that post is going nowhere.

    Don't really like using wood around here because of Fires,I always just made Rock Corner Post,won't rot,or burn,use T Post for line.

    The neighbors say I have the best Rock Post around.

    big rockpile
     
  16. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It would be helpful if we knew what kind of fence your talking about? What type of post, wood, metal, composit? How big an area, what are you trying to keep in or keep out?
     
  17. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, it would help to know what fencing materials you are going to use, pannel, woven, strands, & type of post.

    Up here in Minnesota in the yellow clay, _no one_ uses concrete. Just pound the post in the ground, or dig a hole & tamp the dirt back around.

    I'd want more than 4' for a horse fence, might work if you are doing electric, but still sounds low.

    Wood set in concrete up here doesn't last long at all. Most fence is just T posts, pound it in the ground & attach your wire. 5" or bigger wood for the corners, with braces.

    But conditions sound a lot different so my ideas are probably meaningless to your situation.

    --->Paul
     
  18. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    wooden posts and woven wire for horses are the materials. I think I've got the picture now however. I'm going to ask some people about their fences.
     
  19. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Tango, since your profile locates you in lower central Fla there is no need for concrete. There are no rocks in Florida to contend with, our soil is sand only, if you find a rock, some one put it there. Here near Orlando, I have built miles of fence without concrete. As for the 4 foot height, it is fine for horses; the only place you need more height is in an area where horses would be subject to stress activities, such as a training corral or loading area. Observe other horse fences in your area, you will notice no concrete was used there either.

    Simply put in your cornor 'Hs' with 6 to 9 inch wood posts, cross brace and diagional wire keepers, allow them to set through a rain or two, then stretch your wire. Are your line posts going to be wood or metal? If you feel up to a day trip I will show you anything you need to know about fences and you will still have time to check out Orlando and dismal world, the tragic kingdom. Maybe even get a chance to take in a saddle gator ride!!
     
  20. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    No one here (Maine) uses concrete with wooden posts because all it does is wick moisture to the posts and rot them out. With maintenance, native wood put into the ground with wire can last over 100 years here, and our water table is super high. If you were using metal, I would say go for it. Otherwise, no. Just make sure you either use native or treated wood.
     
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