Replacing fenceposts

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by countrygrrrl, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I have some old wooden fenceposts which are biting the dust and I want to replace them with those t-posts things.

    The problem is, I want to do this one post at a time and without calling in any favors (as I'm saving my favors for when I build the world's largest screened-in back porch).

    But I've never put in fence posts OR replaced them.

    My question is: am I crazy to think I can just yank the rotting old wood fence post out and replace it with the t-post?
     
  2. put the metal posts in between the wood posts, then pull the wood posts out.....an old bumper jack works good for pulling out wood posts if you dont have access to a tractor and boom pole.
     

  3. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    I think it would depend on how hard your ground is. We replace ours with no problems. T-posts around here run around $2.60 each and they are easy to work with. Also, you might not want to replace ALL of them with t-posts, maybe make every 5th post or so a wooden one. I guess it depends on what type of animal you are fencing in.
    A t-post driver is really handy. Just slip it over the post and let the driver's weight pound them into the ground. As for getting the old ones out, a car or truck jack with a chain wrapped around the old post might work for you.

    Hope it works out for you.
    BTW,
    We save old wooden posts for pit cooking, (firewood is scarce around here). :)
     
  4. Alice In TX/MO

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

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    It also depends on whether your posts are rotted off at ground level. They might just break instead of coming out.
     
  5. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Okay, here was my plan:

    I have about ten t-posts right now, but will need a lot more to finish the job.

    I was going to begin by tackling the most rotted and loose of the fenceposts. The ground here is awful (pure rock) - I can dig like no one's business anywhere but here because of the rock - and that's why, instead of putting the t-post between the rotting wooden fence posts, I wanted to take advantage of the existing holes.

    ? Do-able? I spent the afternoon out there wiggling around on the old posts and it looks like they'll come out pretty easy.

    Eventually, I'll be fencing to keep goats in (which will require actually replacing the fencing, but using the posts), but for now, there are horses (not mine) out in my pasture and they're pretty good about honoring the fences.
     
  6. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

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    anyone have any handy hints for driving t-posts in perfectly vertical?
    doesn't matter how i try to change modes of attack, even with a driver my posts look worse than i do on a bad hair day
     
  7. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    Depending upon their age and kind of wood they may or maynot be "pullable". It would be best to find a tractor with a frontend loader and try to gently pull them out with a chain. If you were to Rent or Borrow a tractor you could get one with a good post hole digger and a 9 inch auger. If the wood won't pull you can also try to drill them out of their resting places. I have drilled out LOTS of old wodden posts Because I wanted to use the same holes that they occupied based upon the correct interval between posts....usually 10 ten feet or thereabouts. If you are going to build a fence ....build a good , strong , structure and you will never be sorry. Otherwise , you will be constantly having too fix a weak fence. Especially , if you have horses as they will "push" a strong fence over in short order getting to the "greener" grass type of thing......lots of work.....fordy :)
     
  8. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Yes! That's exactly why I'm going to be doing this one post at a time! It may take me forever to finally finish, but I figure if I take my time about it and really try to do it right with each and every post, maybe I'll actually end up with a real live strong fence!
     
  9. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    Just a thought , The Best way to build a fence in terms of a logical approach is to Build all of your corners (should be out of 3 inch outside diameter pipe and welded with a 6 foot long horziontial runner between posts) , and H-braces ...FIRST. Also you need to decide where all of your gates are going to be located.....Really , you need to "Layout" your fence BEFORE you start driving T-posts or anything else for that matter. The correct alignment and spacing of t-posts and deadmen is contingent upon the various distances between your structural posts that will actually support your wire. Some intervals maybe 11 feet ands others 8.5 feet. The first step is really coming too closure on your final design and establishing all of the various interval(s) in each length between corners and\or H-braces. IF, you don't finalize your design it is too much work to have to redo small mistakes found "after the fact". Merry Christmas , fordy :eek: :D
     
  10. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    fordy, I'm following the way the fences were originally laid out because it's just perfect for my purposes.

    And apparently, the fellow who was here before was already working on replacing all the wood posts with t-posts (which is why I have a mess of them to get started with) - and he DID get pretty far, but there's one entire area and one other fenceline he didn't finish - those are the fences I'm putting my effort into.

    The corner posts and braces are, for the most part, in great shape - there is one (possibly two) which I will be needing to replace, but they're not in the areas I'm starting on. I'll start worrying about them in about a year, I figure.
     
  11. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    Great , I still have a hard time trying to visualize a lady "driving T-posts", knowing full well how much work it takes to drive one even in moderately hard soil. If you have the funds I would look into procuring a used tractor in the 45 HP range with a FE loader and Posthole digger on the rear. Given the fact that you already have your holes dug you might look into using some kind of wooden post like cedar. I don't know where you're located but in texas Cedar is available and not that expensive plus it has along life span to boot. You can "Tamp" the existing soil around your posts and achieve a certain amount of holding efficiency. Securing T-posts in an Open hole would require the addition of cement up to the face plate in my opinion which would be around the first 10 inches of the post. Putting a t-post into an Open Hole and then filling the hole with existing soil is NOT going to result in a very Strong support system. I would TEST whatever configuration you chose to go with Before I put a bunch of them in the ground and then discover that they aren't up to the job.......fordy :eek: :D
     
  12. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    HMMMM! I wondered about that!

    HMMMMM!!! :lookingpuzzledandalittleconcerned:

    So maybe I should for now just replace the wooden posts with wooden posts? I actually have some already - I'd just read so many nice things about the t-posts that I thought I should just do that. :)

    No way am I getting a tractor. My goal in life is to be the only person in rural American without a tractor. :D
     
  13. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    If you can put Wood Post in you can put T Post in.If your ground is rocky why not make Rock Corner Post? Thats what all mine are.

    big rockpile
     
  14. Non Sum

    Non Sum Active Member

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    I am also replacing my wooden fence posts with T-posts as the wood rots off at, or near, ground level. The post above ground level has a lot more life left in it, so I drive the T post in snug beside it, drill a couple of holes in the plate, and then drive 3 inch screws (though bolts would have been stronger, I suppose). This way nothing needs to be extracted from the ground, and the post is planted stronger than ever before.

    Why wouldn't this far easier solution work for you as well?
     
  15. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Non Sum, I actually thought about something like that but thought I couldn't do it.

    I think that may be my solution, though! Thanks! :)

    And rockpile, I'm scheming on those rock things. I need to move the fence up front, and have been thinking about doing it for the entryway gate, and for the cornerposts leading out into the opposite pastures out front. I love thoser rock thingies! But I just haven't gotten that far yet.
     
  16. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    if you have to yank them with a jack or a tractor they aint rotted so bad they wont keep in goats. If they are rotted enough to snap off, then you usually can auger rotten stump out if you have 2 man post hole digger/auger, or a tractor, then reuse that rock hole. I know what you mean, i have to spud bar holes in sheetrock sandstone/limestone. not fun, but you never need cement! thise t posts are a PAIN to drive into rock, and if you wnt them out, goooood luck pulling hammered t posts out of solid rock. iF I were you i'd sell the t posts and buy wooden posts, cured locust wood posts if you can get them, and soak the hole ends in foundation coating and let them dry before ya set them again. you wont have to replace them in your lifetime. there are locust post fencelines around me that have to be 50 yrs old...and the posts are old but useable still. if no locust you can buy wolmanized posts for the same price as the tee posts or cheaper if you buy a truckload, and those wont rot either. i bought a truckload of about 200 posts 20 yrs ago, they have a lifetime warranty (my life) agaist rot. ive pulled up some and reused them, and none are even the slightest bit rotted.
    not to mention, if you get a horse, t-posts are giant skewers waiting to happen.
    there is one trick to setting them strieght... a jack hammer. you can rent or buy a bosch electric jackhammer, with a point bit (a long one) and pre-jackhammer the holes in the rocky ground. A friend of mine showed me how to do this as he was wire fencing off his garden, and under the topsoil is sheetrock. we set 100 t posts with no trouble in one afternoon. the damn hammer weighs a ton but its EASY setting those t posts. it hammers a 2 foot deep hole about as big around as a shovel handle in about 15 seconds, if the rock is like ours here.. just drop the t post in the hole and jackhalmmer a few holes around it to set it.
    warning... youll hurt for a week, but youlll hurt worse using a hammer.. and your posts wont be strieght.

    hope that hillbilly handyman wisdom helps..

    "if the women dont find you handsom, they should at least find you handy"
     
  17. One advice I will give you about using a t-post driver. Please use ear plugs while driving t-post. The driver hitting the post can be a little too loud.
     
  18. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    I modified my T-post driver by welding in a 6" long slug of metal the ID of the driver. I measured where it would be and drilled four holes in the center of the area through the driver. Once the slug was in I then plug welded these so the slug stays in place. Makes the driver heaver to get on, but it does drive t-posts rather nicely due to the additional hammer weight.
     
  19. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    :eyesbuggingout:

    Well. It's now even more apparent to me than it was before that I don't know you-know-what from shinola when it comes to fences.

    I think I'm going to need to spend some more time thinking on this. :eyesbuggingoutsomemore: