Portable fence posts and clay soil?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mnmsmom, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. mnmsmom

    mnmsmom Member

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    I have been using portable fence posts to free range my chickens with electric net. This usually involves pounding them into the hard clay soil with a rubber mallet after creating a hole with a broken one. We haven't had rain lately and it has become agony to do this. Today we bent an iron rake trying to pull the hole maker out of the ground! Does anyone know an easier way that doesn't involve back pain and swearing a blue streak???
     
  2. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    Cordless drill going in. Heavy prybar coming out
     
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  3. AmericanStand

    AmericanStand Well-Known Member

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    Bucket of water with a weep hole where you want new posts ?
    But I really like. DaleKs idea.
     
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  4. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    That works if you want to wait a day or two for each hole.
    The drill does it right then.
     
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  5. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to mention, you still want a tight fit so keep the drill bit a size or two smaller than the end of the post. It should step in nicely
     
  6. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    How big an area are you fencing? I used cinder blocks and set the stake in the block. Leaned, but worked.
     
  7. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Piece of pipe welded to a couple pieces of angle forming a X will make portable post holders.

    WWW
     
  8. AmericanStand

    AmericanStand Well-Known Member

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    You are allowed to use more than one bucket.
     
  9. dyrne

    dyrne Well-Known Member

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    We use pressure washers on the ground before driving 6" posts into the ground. They work pretty quickly and well for that but for temporary stakes might be kind of a pain to use for driving and retrieving. A little auger/drill might be better but a pressurized hose is a neat trick in clay soil
     
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  10. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    That doesn't affect the wait time for each hole.
    It could also not work at all in certain clays, but you'd have to waste a day to find out.

    It's not efficient to carry 40 pound buckets when a 2 pound drill is faster.
    I piece of rebar the proper size could be used instead of needing a long drill bit.
     
  11. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've had to pull trap stakes out of heavy dry clay. I would chop around the stake just enough to get a vice grips on the stake and then twist it back and forth as I tapped it loose with the back of my hatchet. Once it breaks loose just keep twisting as you work it up and out of the ground. Obviously that will only work with metal stakes.

    Since you will be moving them in the future maybe take some wood scraps and make simple stands for the posts.
     
  12. geo in mi

    geo in mi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You might try a round steel pilot hole pounder with a rounded-off ferrule ring welded just a few inches from the bottom. That way you will enlarge the hole as you go down, and won't have the friction of clay on the complete rod to hold it back. We used that concept to locate clay tiles, back in the day. The round ferrule (of course on a smaller diameter rod) mashed just enough clay for itself, allowing the rest of the rod enough clearance to go on down.

    geo
     
  13. AmericanStand

    AmericanStand Well-Known Member

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    BFF. Not everyone has a drill they can use Everywhere. That's why even though I like Dales drill idea best ,And said so , I offered a alternate idea.
    No one seems too concerned about A single hole it's moving a fence that counts.
     
  14. mnmsmom

    mnmsmom Member

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    Question about the drill idea, wouldn't that kill the drill though?
     
  15. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    Everyone can buy one if it makes their life easier.

    I've never seen a fence that only requires one post hole.

    No, it won't hurt the drill at all.
     
  16. AmericanStand

    AmericanStand Well-Known Member

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    I am sorry for your rather limited experiences and inability to imagine or foresee situations outside your experience.
    Luckily this forum has many people with lots of experiences they are willing to share.
     
  17. geo in mi

    geo in mi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Around here a guy might use an ice auger...

    geo
     
  18. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    The drill, no. It'll dull the bit but it doesn't need to be sharp for dirt, just use an old bit or buy a cheap one and keep it for posts
     
  19. AmericanStand

    AmericanStand Well-Known Member

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    Moms mom how many posts do you do at a time ?
     
  20. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    My experiences are "limited" to reality.
    I see little point in imagining a "fence" with only one post.