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How to knock half-round posts in straight?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 23rd 04, 06:47 PM
[email protected]
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Default How to knock half-round posts in straight?

How does/can/should one knock half-round fence posts into the ground
so they end up vertical?

Is there some rule of thumb for the angle one has to start at to end
up with a vertical post or what?

I'm knocking them in with a standard 'post hammer' (not sure what
they're called, i.e. a heavy piece of tube with handles. The problem
is that, unlike a round post, a half-round one has a built in tendency
to deviate from vertical the further it is driven into the ground.

With the current wet weather we're having it's an ideal time to do a
bit of fence refurbishment but I've run out of round posts and I'd
like to use up the twenty or so half-round ones I have.

--
Chris Green
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  #2  
Old August 23rd 04, 09:03 PM
Howard Neil
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wrote:

How does/can/should one knock half-round fence posts into the ground
so they end up vertical?

Is there some rule of thumb for the angle one has to start at to end
up with a vertical post or what?

I'm knocking them in with a standard 'post hammer' (not sure what
they're called, i.e. a heavy piece of tube with handles. The problem
is that, unlike a round post, a half-round one has a built in tendency
to deviate from vertical the further it is driven into the ground.

With the current wet weather we're having it's an ideal time to do a
bit of fence refurbishment but I've run out of round posts and I'd
like to use up the twenty or so half-round ones I have.


The straightness relies a lot on the accuracy of the hole that you make
with the fencing bar. If you have not got one of these, it is a bar that
is about 30mm in diameter and about 2 metres long. Most have a point at
one end and a flattened section at the other. Drop the pointed end into
the ground and use a circular motion with the bar to enlarge the hole
and move stones out of the way. Keep doing this until the hole is more
than about 300mm deep.

Then drop the post into the ground and hit it with the maul (the post
hammer). Every few hits, stop and walk away several yards and check it
for straightness (this check is more effective from a distance). Check
from two directions at 90 degrees from one another. Keep correcting the
angle of the post. When the post is solidly in the ground, check again.
This time, if it is not vertical, find a suitable stone (wedge shaped is
ideal), push the post upright and insert the stone into the gap left at
ground level. Knock the stone in until level with the ground.

--
Howard Neil
  #3  
Old August 23rd 04, 09:16 PM
[email protected]
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Posts: n/a
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Howard Neil wrote:
wrote:

How does/can/should one knock half-round fence posts into the ground
so they end up vertical?

Is there some rule of thumb for the angle one has to start at to end
up with a vertical post or what?

I'm knocking them in with a standard 'post hammer' (not sure what
they're called, i.e. a heavy piece of tube with handles. The problem
is that, unlike a round post, a half-round one has a built in tendency
to deviate from vertical the further it is driven into the ground.

With the current wet weather we're having it's an ideal time to do a
bit of fence refurbishment but I've run out of round posts and I'd
like to use up the twenty or so half-round ones I have.


The straightness relies a lot on the accuracy of the hole that you make
with the fencing bar. If you have not got one of these, it is a bar that
is about 30mm in diameter and about 2 metres long. Most have a point at
one end and a flattened section at the other. Drop the pointed end into
the ground and use a circular motion with the bar to enlarge the hole
and move stones out of the way. Keep doing this until the hole is more
than about 300mm deep.

OK, thanks, I'll try this approach.


Then drop the post into the ground and hit it with the maul (the post
hammer). Every few hits, stop and walk away several yards and check it
for straightness (this check is more effective from a distance). Check
from two directions at 90 degrees from one another. Keep correcting the
angle of the post.


How does one correct the angle of the post? In my experience (in our
ground anyway) there's no way I can move it.


When the post is solidly in the ground, check again.
This time, if it is not vertical, find a suitable stone (wedge shaped is
ideal), push the post upright and insert the stone into the gap left at
ground level. Knock the stone in until level with the ground.

As above, there's no way with 18" or so of post in the ground that any
amount of wedging stones down the side is going to move it at all. I
tried this approach with some that I put in a few weeks ago, I even
left a length of 4x2 pushing against the post to hold it straight
overnight (or longer) but the posts in question are still well out of
vertical.

I will try the fencing bar approach though, that may well be the
answer.

--
Chris Green
  #5  
Old August 23rd 04, 10:05 PM
Howard Neil
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Posts: n/a
Default

wrote:
Howard Neil wrote:

wrote:


How does/can/should one knock half-round fence posts into the ground
so they end up vertical?

Is there some rule of thumb for the angle one has to start at to end
up with a vertical post or what?

I'm knocking them in with a standard 'post hammer' (not sure what
they're called, i.e. a heavy piece of tube with handles. The problem
is that, unlike a round post, a half-round one has a built in tendency
to deviate from vertical the further it is driven into the ground.

With the current wet weather we're having it's an ideal time to do a
bit of fence refurbishment but I've run out of round posts and I'd
like to use up the twenty or so half-round ones I have.


The straightness relies a lot on the accuracy of the hole that you make
with the fencing bar. If you have not got one of these, it is a bar that
is about 30mm in diameter and about 2 metres long. Most have a point at
one end and a flattened section at the other. Drop the pointed end into
the ground and use a circular motion with the bar to enlarge the hole
and move stones out of the way. Keep doing this until the hole is more
than about 300mm deep.


OK, thanks, I'll try this approach.



Then drop the post into the ground and hit it with the maul (the post
hammer). Every few hits, stop and walk away several yards and check it
for straightness (this check is more effective from a distance). Check
from two directions at 90 degrees from one another. Keep correcting the
angle of the post.



How does one correct the angle of the post? In my experience (in our
ground anyway) there's no way I can move it.


In that case you have left it too long before starting the correction.
Take less hits with the maul between corrections. You may also find that
the hole made by the bar gives you a little more movement in the early
stages. I normally just pull the post towards me. When it will not move
any more I consider that the post is far enough into the ground.




When the post is solidly in the ground, check again.
This time, if it is not vertical, find a suitable stone (wedge shaped is
ideal), push the post upright and insert the stone into the gap left at
ground level. Knock the stone in until level with the ground.


As above, there's no way with 18" or so of post in the ground that any
amount of wedging stones down the side is going to move it at all. I
tried this approach with some that I put in a few weeks ago, I even
left a length of 4x2 pushing against the post to hold it straight
overnight (or longer) but the posts in question are still well out of
vertical.

I will try the fencing bar approach though, that may well be the
answer.


The fencing bar should make things a lot easier but it sounds as if you
have some very difficult ground. Is there room for a tractor to access
the fence line? If so, you may find a neighbouring farmer with a tractor
mounted post knocker. Much easier.

Look on the bright side. At least your fence is not going to fall over
in a couple of years.

--
Howard Neil
  #6  
Old August 23rd 04, 10:55 PM
John
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Howard Neil" wrote in message
...
wrote:

How does/can/should one knock half-round fence posts into the ground
so they end up vertical?

Is there some rule of thumb for the angle one has to start at to end
up with a vertical post or what?

I'm knocking them in with a standard 'post hammer' (not sure what
they're called, i.e. a heavy piece of tube with handles. The problem
is that, unlike a round post, a half-round one has a built in tendency
to deviate from vertical the further it is driven into the ground.

With the current wet weather we're having it's an ideal time to do a
bit of fence refurbishment but I've run out of round posts and I'd
like to use up the twenty or so half-round ones I have.


The straightness relies a lot on the accuracy of the hole that you make
with the fencing bar. If you have not got one of these, it is a bar that
is about 30mm in diameter and about 2 metres long. Most have a point at
one end and a flattened section at the other. Drop the pointed end into
the ground and use a circular motion with the bar to enlarge the hole
and move stones out of the way. Keep doing this until the hole is more
than about 300mm deep.

Then drop the post into the ground and hit it with the maul (the post
hammer). Every few hits, stop and walk away several yards and check it
for straightness (this check is more effective from a distance). Check
from two directions at 90 degrees from one another. Keep correcting the
angle of the post. When the post is solidly in the ground, check again.
This time, if it is not vertical, find a suitable stone (wedge shaped is
ideal), push the post upright and insert the stone into the gap left at
ground level. Knock the stone in until level with the ground.

--
Howard Neil


You may find it useful to cut a tapering piece off the flat side of the
sharpened end such that the point is central to the stake rather than at one
side. (Shortens the stake a negligible few inches)
This removes the tendency to drift while driving into the ground


  #7  
Old August 24th 04, 08:53 AM
[email protected]
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Howard Neil wrote:
I will try the fencing bar approach though, that may well be the
answer.


The fencing bar should make things a lot easier but it sounds as if you
have some very difficult ground. Is there room for a tractor to access
the fence line? If so, you may find a neighbouring farmer with a tractor
mounted post knocker. Much easier.

There's certainly room for a tractor, we even have a tractor, maybe I
should look for a cheap secondhand post knocker for the trctor.


Look on the bright side. At least your fence is not going to fall over
in a couple of years.

Experience so far says that's mst definitely true. Posts I put in
five years or so ago are still rock solid, they were round ones though
so were easier to knock in straight.

--
Chris Green
  #8  
Old August 24th 04, 08:54 AM
[email protected]
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Posts: n/a
Default

John wrote:

You may find it useful to cut a tapering piece off the flat side of the
sharpened end such that the point is central to the stake rather than at one
side. (Shortens the stake a negligible few inches)
This removes the tendency to drift while driving into the ground

Now that's something I hadn't thought of, good idea, thanks!

--
Chris Green
 




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