John & Susan Merrell
41390 Hwy 226
Scio, OR 97374
503-551-7219 (cell)
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Fence Posts

Fence posts support the fence wire and give strength to the entire structure. The function of line posts is mainly to guide the horizontal wires and support their height from the ground

The line posts of a fence do not experience a significant amount of tension, and can therefore be much lighter weight. Wooden posts of 4 inches will usually suffice, although metal T-Bar posts are usually more cost effective and easier to install.

Be aware, T-Bar posts have been known to be a source of serious injury, especially in horses, and may need to be capped to minimize the chance of injury. Also, it is false economy to purchase lightweight T-Bar posts. Always buy heavy duty posts if you opt for T-Bars.

Line posts for Fencing

The main function that line posts in a wire fence serve are to guide the wire and support it at the proper height from the ground. Most of the lateral strength in a fence is provided by the wire itself, and the strength of the corner post construction. This may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but as an example high tension smooth wire fences may have line posts as much as 60 feet apart.

For a woven wire fence we need posts much closer than that. 12 to 20 feet between posts on a woven wire fence is usually an appropriate distance.

Line posts are generally either round wooden posts of 3 or 4 inch diameter, or metal T-bar posts.

Wooden posts are more esthetically pleasing. They usually cost a bit more, and they require a lot more effort to install. A metal wire fence that is installed with insulated posts (such as wood) will need to be properly grounded to protect against lightening strikes - an additional step for a fence constructed of all wooden posts.

T-bar posts are easy to install, and heavy duty T-bar posts have good durability. T-bar posts do pose a risk of injury to some animals (such as horses). There have been reports of large animals impaling themselves on these posts. There are caps that can be purchased to lessen the risk of such injuries.

Placing line posts for a fence is relatively easy.

  1. Once the corner posts are set, stretch a line at ground level
  2. Mark the location of each post at the appropriate interval
  3. If using T-bar posts, drive the posts with a post pounder deep enough that the flange at the bottom is under the surface of the ground
  4. If using wooden posts, two options are available
    • Dig a hole at the appropriate interval for each post. A power auger is helpful for this.
    • Pound the posts. Tractor mounted hydraulic post pounders are available for this.
  5. If you have dug holes for wooden posts, place the posts and insure they are plumb, and tamp the dirt back around their base

Remember, you will need to have a braced corner post assembly anywhere the fence makes a significant turn. You will also need to have a braced corner post assembly for every 300 to 350 feet of straight run.

With the corner assemblies complete, and the line posts set, we are now ready to stretch the wire.


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