fencing

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by kwooten, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. kwooten

    kwooten josie Rosie Summer MerryC

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    TN
    is this the right place to ask about fencing ? I have some trees that need removing, and some fence that needs building, so I'm wondering if its possible for one small female with a chainsaw (can afford to invest in tools) to cut timber and build the fence myself. I like the look of that traditional rustic fencing I see a lot of here in TN - not very good at describing it, but the rails are split into triangular section with pared down ends, and they slide into rectangular slots in the posts, 2 adjacent rails into one slot. I think that would work for me, and it must be easy to build if you have the right tools and technique ?

    THanks

    Kate
     
  2. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    24,572
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    MS

  3. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    222
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Location:
    ohio
    the fence you are talking about is called "split rail" guess you could make it, but it would take alot of time. call around and get prices on the posts and rails, then decide if it is worth your time to do it yourself.
     
  4. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,977
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    East TN
    What kind of trees are you using? Cedar and Locust would be the only woods I would think of using as most others will rot quickly. Even Cedar unless it is large will rot, and if it is large the log is worth more then fencing.
    The building is basically just hard work. What are you wanting fence for? Split rail fence like that is more ornamental then anything.
     
  5. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

    Messages:
    5,327
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Location:
    NC Arkansas
    If the cedars are post-sized they could work well. Look at the amount of red (vs white) in the trunk. The more red, the less likely to rot. It is the white that rots. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell until you fell the tree. The amount of red in the limbs is no indication of the red in the trunk.
     
  6. cabe

    cabe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    172
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    N.C.
    Hi Kwooten, be careful with that chainsaw, you might want to get some training with that "thang" first : :eek: .I would have to know what sort of trees you have , and then we can tell you more about some great ways to fence.If they are small round-wood posts , and the right type you can have some real easy fencing, but it is not worth it you dont use a durable wood.Make sure you have help...I am 6ft.and 240lbs, built like a tank, and it is a sweaty and good workout for me when I split rails from logs.Marty.
     
  7. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,063
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas
    I am 5', 2" tall and I am the homesteader of the family. Darlin', a small female can do darned near ANYTHING!

    That being said, it is best to be shown how to safely fell a tree by someone who know what they are doing.

    It is NOT hard: I have dropped a couple myself. BUT, I was shown how by someone who pointed out the risks (a few are always have a clear place to drop it, how deep to make the undercut, do not cut on a windy day, etc).
     
  8. kwooten

    kwooten josie Rosie Summer MerryC

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    TN
    ok, guys great ! I have around 10 acres of mostly broadleaf woodland to pick from. I do not want to 'clear' any of it, I want to keep it for wildlife, but I do want trails through it, so basically I have a choice of trees to cut down. Now, it would be really helpful if I could tell you what trees I have a choice of. Hmmm, ok, for now use your imagination - I can definitely say redbud, dogwood, a sort of oak with quite long leaves, hickory, some maples, a tree that looks like european beech (certainly holds its dead leaves through the winter like beech does) what I think is white pine, and some really really tall kind of conifer type trees, which would be nice if they're cedar, but I bet they aren't. I will go to the library and look them up ....

    Alas, I have to work alone. No choice. So, if this is not something I can accomplish alone, I'd best forget it. No, hang on, if it was a big tree, I could get my good neighbour to help, if that means then I can spend time on my own splitting it into the rails. That would work.

    I'm pretty good with the chainsaw for a beginner. That is, I know my limits. So far, I'm able to take down small trees on my own with no drama. But I mean small - I would say no more than 50 ft tall and trunk of no more than 8 inches. Obviously, because I'm working in a wood, I have an issue with the felled tree falling into other trees - I know that can be a danger, but I'm pretty anal about the chainsaw, and very slow. I plan the cut, and stop, walk away, look, plan again etc. before restarting the saw. Working alone is sub-optimal I know. I carry my cell phone, and only use the chainsaw when my husband is home, so if I have an accident hopefully I can call him and he would drag himself away from the TV. (and you might ask, then hy don't I persuade him out to help me, but I assure you all, having a 'sulky teenager' act going on poses more danger)

    The fencing I want to build : I have two young horses, and they are currently fenced in with barb wire. I would like to replace stretches of this at a time with something less dangerous for them. It should be 5ft high. The fence should be strong and robust enough, but if and when it should fail, it would not be critical. (I will only be fencing between my pasture, and neighbours pasture, who have no livestock, and wouldn't be upset if R & J went visiting.)

    I saw in a book in the library yesterday, a fence that looked feasible for me to construct. Each post, was in fact two thin posts, and the rails were simple straight poles stacked alternately, and held into each 'double post' with steel wire. It wasn't the best looking fence I'd ever seen, but there was no cutting out holes for rails, looked like no splitting, and every part was within my 6-8 inch trunk diameter that I'm happy with.

    ok, I think I've covered everything ... (long old post whew !) what do you think ?

    Kate
     
  9. cabe

    cabe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    172
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    N.C.
    I have to re-phrase something, it not does matter who or how big you are..never operate a chainsaw by yourself, or fell trees by yourself. You always need to have someone there in case you get pinned, cut or hurt .It does not matter how tough you are, and many women are tougher than men, (just giving birth sets that record straight).. but that chain on a saw knows no gender and can can cut anything... even the tough hides of homesteaders, male or female.Also and I should have said this earlier, watch and see about nails and spikes in the trees.If they are decent size, and close to a yard or road, most likely the trees will have this problem.Marty.
     
  10. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,977
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    East TN
    Sounds like most of the trees you have aren't good for fencing as the wood isn't rot resistant. Look up Locust trees and they have a distinct leaf and flower white in the spring. If you have those that would be your fence posts. if not I wouldn't use any others.
     
  11. kwooten

    kwooten josie Rosie Summer MerryC

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    TN
    I know, but like I said, I have no choice about working alone. Whatever I do, I do it alone. It's not a macho thing on my part at all. Almost everyone I've known does almost nothing, most just watch life on TV. I fly alone, ride alone, most likely I'll build my fence alone. Not a death wish, just a life wish.

    I'll look up that locust tree this weekend - so that's the only one suitable ? Or the big cedars with red heartwood - but I think we're all agreed that I am NOT allowed to cut down BIG trees !!

    If I build it out of unsuitable wood - would it last less than a couple of years ? I've been building cross-country jumps (which are not a problem as they decay) out of the smaller trunks - my latest creation has one oak post, a white pine, a mimosa, and a beech. Highly rustic, but clearly not a good long-term structure !!

    Kate
     
  12. twstanley

    twstanley Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    Split rail fences are more for looks then keeping horses or livestock in imo. If you have some cedar or locust or hedge you can use some of that for corner or line posts, if you want a safer fence put up some no-climb woven wire or high tension on t-posts.

    I wouldn't have a problem with barbed wire and have had horses fenced in by barb wire in the past with no problems at all. Sure, if a horse charges into it full blast it will hurt them, but so will any other kind of fence you put up. If you keep the fence maintained and keep the horses off of it/out of it they are much less likely to get hurt then if you let it get slack and have wires down.
     
  13. kwooten

    kwooten josie Rosie Summer MerryC

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    TN
    I looked up locust trees - I have honey locust - the one with very long thorns and great long 'bean pods' if that's any use.

    Kate
     
  14. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,981
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan's thumb
    Those long bean pods are edible. Your horse will love them.