Pipe Fence Contruction

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by SouthernThunder, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. SouthernThunder

    SouthernThunder Well-Known Member

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    I have secured some used oilfield pipe for next to nothing. 2" schedule 40 pipe with the liner. I would like to build a 5' tall by three row pipe fence to keep in some horses and a donkey. I have about 1000 feet I want to run this fence along. I have never done this before. I'm looking for tips and any advice anyone can offer me here.

    The ground is dry year-round and hard and mostly sandstone and clay. Do I need to use concrete? How deep do I need to set the posts for a 5' tall fence?

    What is the best way to cut and weld this pipe with the liner? Its somewhat rusty too. :eek: I have a good MIG and of course a good oxy/actyl torch.

    Should I bother with paint? I would have to sand a lot of pipe to get paint to stick. I have used rust converter paint before and I am not impressed. I have seen pipe last a long time once the surface rust sets up on it. My main concern is the part that sticks in the dirt. Any tips here to keep rust from eating through it?
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    To protect the portion of the post that goes in the ground purchase some of the truck bed liner coating and paint or dip the area to be buried. To reduce the amount of work and to extend the coverage of the 2 inch pipe I suggest the following, use the schedule 40 for the posts and the top rail only. If the pipe lengths are 21 ft. I would cut them in thirds for posts, cut a notch for the top rail to hold the rail while welding it in place. Additionally, I would drill each post at the spacing desired for the additional rails. In the drilled holes I would thread a steel cable to be used as a rail. You will need to attach a spring to the cable at corner posts to keep the cable taut. After the fence has been installed for some duration most of the scale rust will pop off on its on from weather extremes. Once this happens use alumimum paint to prime coat the entire fence and then paint a topcoat of white. This makes an attractive fence and the different size rails adds to the appearance.
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...............That free pipe maybe MORE trouble than it is worth!!! First....before you set a bunch of posts in the ground teach youself how to cut saddles with your torch . See how hard the pipe is to work with when you heat it to cut your saddles and how hard it is TOO weld . I , quit using that type of Oil Field pipe several years back because it was simply TOO much trouble to work with . It may also be EXtememly Magnitized in certain joints which makes it ALMOST impossible to weld . Truthfully , you should be using a STICK welder and 6011 x 5/32's rod for old nasty pipe . Sometimes , if it is magnitized you can take your minus lead and Wrap several turns around the pipe and it will help , and Heat will cause the magnetic field to decrease in intensity .
    ..............The basics , Cut your line posts 9 feet long , dig a 9 inch diameter hole x 3 feet deep (if possible) and cement in place with 2-80# sacks of sackrete-cement mix . No need to mix , just fill the hole half full of water and Dump the cement into the hole. For a 5 foot fence you want 6 feet of pipe sticking OUT of the ground . Pull a string line and tape it to each individual post and this is where your saddles will be centered approximately 60inches from the ground . Also , ......IF.....you are going to USE 2x4, NO climb wire, remember that the TOP of your wire should be CENTERED in the MIDDLE of the TOP RAIL . This IS how you determine the "Flow" or the appearance of the TOP RAIL as it traverses the length of your fence . IF , you have High spots between posts you'll have to use a tractor bucket to smooth them OUT or the Wire will LOOK like HELL , to put it mildly . Your line posts sould be SET on 10 foot centers .
    ..............Painting.....Home depot sells both quarts and gallons of 4% concentration , Phosphoric ACID . Buy several sets of Rubber gloves and some of those Painting Mits and "ACID WASH" the whole pipe fence by hand . Let it set for 24 hours then Paint with one coat of Industrial , oil based primer , and then paint (again) with the Color of your Choice . DONOT...use WHITE paint....or...you will beable to see every little Bird TURD. that craps on your fence . Hunter Green or Black or the 2 Best choices . .....Sorry , I'm so far south or I'd be glad to help you get started....fordy..... :eek: :)
     
  4. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    I torch cut a piece of oil pipe for the neighbor. I swear that thing burned and smoldered for days form all the gunk in the pipe .... not to mention the mess that liquified crap that came out made. I made him dig the stuff up and take it away as I didn't want it here.

    Good luck. If I had some free I might try to make a fence too but would be prepared to toss the white flag if need be.
     
  5. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There is a tool to cut the saddle that would speed up the task. I don't know what it is or where you can get it, unfortunately.
     
  6. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .........................gobug is correct . these items are available at most metal and welding supply stores . They are only made for pipe UP to about 3 inch in OUTside diameter , fordy :)
     
  7. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had a friend use old drill pipe for fencing and he said he would never do it again. The fence rusted/corroded from the inside out due to the acid/chemicals/whatever in the old drilling mud that had been run through. :no: I suppose that there is a lot of salt water run through since drilling in many oil formations they also often go through salt water zones.

    As far as painting, I understand it is quite difficult to get paint to stick to old drill pipe. :eek: Another friend (son of the previously mentioned friend) told me he would never do it again, but again will only use new pipe. My last pipe fence was "natural" (i.e., rust), but since it was in the pasture for a pen, looks didn't matter.

    As mentioned by others, I have also heard that it is hard and magnatized and often difficult to work with. Perhaps others will disagree. I would suggest you do something on a small scale and try it out and see how it performs. After all free is free and you can't get much cheaper than that without making a profit. :haha:

    Now for my tips:
    Use 6010 rod or sometimes available as Unipipe 5P. This is better for old rusty material. It is also a contact rod, meaning you can drag it across the material. This is handy when welding the bottom rail when you can't see well and don't want to get on the ground. You may also use a mirror to help see under the bottom rail.

    As far as painting, get a painting mitt (or maybe it was called a painting glove?? :confused: ). This is not a glove to protect your hands, but the mitt is actually the paint "brush". Simply dip your hand into the bucket of paint (with the glove on your hand) and using your hand to conform to the contours of the pipe, wipe the paint on. It's fast and fun! :dance:

    Dale (dh of mary, tx)
     
  8. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    Before I learned to weld I would drill holes in the pipe and use a bolt and a nut to put the pipe together.

    I personally like the look of rusty pipe and hate painting. I figure the steel will last my lifetime...but then I am old.

    I took a welding class at the college with my husband last year and had a blast!
     
  9. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've used various preps to prevent rust on vehicles I've worked on. I was not at all impressed with Restore or 3M rust converters.

    That said, I AM very impressed with POR-15. It does what it says and more, but you do have to top coat it. Both DH and I have used it on our 22 year old Jeeps, and it has been just great!

    www.por-15.com

    Don't know if it's what you had in mind, but it's worth a look.

    Good luck!

    Pony!
     
  10. Cowbuster

    Cowbuster New Member

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    If you want to cut the saddles/coves in the pipe (lined or unlined) consider a Milwaukee portable band saw. I purchased one last week and have cut at least 250 coves and a couple hundred straight cuts on rusty magnetized used oilfield 2" schedule 40 pipe. I used a Shur-Cut guide to mark the pipe, then angled the band saw to cut the coves. Works slick, no dust, no smoke, and a very minimum of grinding if you have to grind at all.
     
  11. Bob Huntress

    Bob Huntress Well-Known Member

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    May I ask what these pipes are lined with? The pipe itself should weld fine with a stick, though the liner is a seperate issue, depending on what lines the pipe. You could cut the pipe itself with a standard pipe cutter. You can also shape it with a 2" end faced grinding wheel, as opposed to a surface faced wheel.
     
  12. Awnry Abe

    Awnry Abe My name is not Alice Supporter

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    My wee bit of knowledge from having a fence built from pipe:

    We had 10' sections that were driven using a pile driver 5' in. Pipe was about 2.5 inches diameter for the lines, about 4ish for the corners. We weren't concerned about paint, but could have done it.
     
  13. limey

    limey Well-Known Member

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    Many drilling pipes are contaminated with radium. I used to work in a rad disposal regulatory agency and I issued permits to many oil companies for disposal of pipe. Even had pipe that someone had used to make a corral for their horses - not a good idea. Make sure it is certified radiation free or you will be sorry. :run:

    Limey
     
  14. copperkid3

    copperkid3 Well-Known Member

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    * * * * * * * * * * *
    any "gift" horse. The dangers associated with handling used oilwell pipe may

    very well, not be worth the risk of using it . . .no matter how 'free' or low cost it

    might be. Check out this link for more in-depth info.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/03/u...-across-the-nation.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
     
  15. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm "Please then, preface your opinions properly." Supporter

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    Y'all realize this thread is 8 years old?
     
  16. copperkid3

    copperkid3 Well-Known Member

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    We all got suckered in by cowbuster!!!

    Still . . . it really couldn't hurt to find out if

    SouthernThunder has started 'glowing in the dark' since then?
     
  17. Awnry Abe

    Awnry Abe My name is not Alice Supporter

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    Yes, but you can't too careful with a half-life like radium.
     
  18. Cowbuster

    Cowbuster New Member

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    I bought 50 sticks of 2 3/8" oilfield pipe a few years ago and it is lined with fiberglass. A torch will not blow through it though my plasma cutter will but makes a smoky mess out of it. If any of the fiberglass gets in the weld it makes a mess. Here is what I've been working on: http://bigballsincowtown.com/home/alley/
     
  19. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............I thought at first you were building a squeeze chute with swinqing gates to route the cows into several different holding pens , but it will take a strong winch too pick that item up once finished and hoist it onto a flatbed trailer . You obviously know what you're doing with a stick welder . , fordy
     
  20. Cowbuster

    Cowbuster New Member

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    It is a double adjustable alley. The cattle will file through it right before the squeeze chute. We welded this all up with a mig welder.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013