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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘pounding posts

Posts Pounded

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We made our way around the entire loop of our fencing yesterday, pounding posts back down that our winter freeze had pushed up. Two years ago, after we no longer kept horses inside the fence, I loosened some fence lines to see if that would reduce how much the corner posts appeared to come up.

I don’t think it made any positive difference, but before tightening the wires back up in preparation of turning the electricity on, I wanted to get all the corner posts back down. Most of them moved down multiple inches easily, but a few hardly budged.

We didn’t fuss over those.

If nothing more than psychologically satisfying, it felt like a worthy effort. We rewarded ourselves after all the work by immediately turning on the electricity to the fence wires.

The familiar “click-click-click” came on and the display ramped up to a respectable 12Kvolts energy. Mission Accomplished.

Almost.

I still need to walk the length and verify voltage is present on all sections.

Cyndie already identified three locations where some arcing is occurring, so I want to look into those in hope of solving the causes.

That situation is no different than what we dealt with regularly back when we previously had horses, so it feels perfectly acceptable for welcoming the arrival of our new 4-horse herd.

We are stoked! We’re expecting to receive delivery on Friday. Hopefully, that can be confirmed after today’s visit from This Old Horse.

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Written by johnwhays

April 12, 2021 at 6:00 am

Fence Maintenance

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I’ve tried a number of methods in dealing with fence posts that get pushed up by the freezing and thawing cycles that occur in our location. Our land has areas where the level of ground water sits just below the surface. It will drop during extended drought, but otherwise it doesn’t take much digging to reach moisture.

Every time it freezes, the water expands and the pressure slowly but surely pushes fence posts toward the sky.

Upon consultation with the owner of the company that originally installed our fencing, I learned that they would likely use a skid-steer tractor and press down with the hydraulic bucket. He suggested I save their time and my money and use the same method with my diesel tractor.

So, I did, and was amazed at how easily that pushed posts down. Almost too easy. It requires painstaking control and mental focus to avoid wreaking total havoc by overtaxing the limits of the posts or cross planks. One wrong slip and I risk doing much more damage than improvement.

There is one other complication with that method that pretty much stops me from even driving up to the fence. The ground in many of the areas of pushed up posts is so wet that my big tractor would sink into the mud and create an even messier problem to be solved.

That led me to desperately trying to simplify the task by just pounding down on the most obvious posts that had pushed up. Several different techniques to protect the post from damage and get the right angle and leverage all brought minimal results.

Yesterday spawned a new insight. I had a hand tool with a square steel pad for tamping soil that I figured would work to pound the top of the posts without damaging them. I also thought it wouldn’t hurt to add my 170 pounds of pressure to stand on a plank when slamming down on the top of a post.

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The thing is, I couldn’t feel if it was doing any good. I enlisted Cyndie’s help to watch for progress, which ended up providing great encouragement when she would report how much it was working.

I was thrilled. Right up to the point the steel tamper began to shatter under the mis-use. I tried to carry on, but the loss of weight in the tool seemed to diminish progress. Another tool was needed. We don’t have a specific sledge hammer, but I contemplated rigging something to use the wood splitting maul for the purpose.

That’s when the next inspiration struck. I could modify the broken tamper to make it the handle of a weighty block of wood that would match the fence posts I was pounding.

 

Look out fence posts. Here I come.

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Temporary Fencing

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While I was in having lunch yesterday, the buried electric lines were marked with flags and paint. I had been watching for them the whole morning while I was down cutting tree branches along the planned new fence line near our southern border. Nothing happened. I walked out of the house after lunch and —boom— there were the red flags. It was magic!

It’s a good thing we thought to have the wires marked, because they don’t run in a straight line at all, and my planned gate location was right over them. I moved in a bit.

Having the electrical lines marked instantly changed my afternoon itinerary. It was time to put up some temporary fence so the horses can graze on the north side of our driveway. The first thing I wanted to do was bury a couple of wood posts so we could hang a gate. The rest of the fence will be pounded t-posts. I dug about a foot and a half down and water appeared!

DSCN2347eI set the post in the hole and hung the gate on it, just to see if there might be a way to make it work. Then I called our fence guy and he confirmed that I needed to come up with a different plan for a gate. I’ll rig up something using t-posts and the webbed fence line. That meant I was on to pounding posts.

That is one heck of a workout. I was pounding posts all afternoon. Everything was laid out for me from the preparation work we did on Sunday, which helped smooth the routine out a bit, however I ended up making a couple changes to the route.

We think the horses will like it. There are a lot of evergreen trees scattered through half of this space, and I moved the fence to include a variety of other overgrown areas. It will give them some places to explore, in addition to the areas of lush grass they will be able to graze.

Since this fenced area of grazing is remotely located, we will have to escort them on a lead line to move them in and out of it, as opposed to the other spaces we have where we can just open a gate from their paddock. I’m considering rigging up a line with something hanging off it every 6 feet that I could hang across our driveway to create a visual barrier to help confine them to the direction we want them to go. We DON’T want them getting away from us and heading down the driveway.

We still need to buy a device to allow us to electrify the fence, since it is on the other side of the driveway from our existing system. Legacy has proved that he will mess with pretty much everything he can get his mouth on. A little electric shock potential does wonders to help him mind his manners. Until the white webbing is electrified, we will not be able to leave them in there unsupervised for any extended amount of time.

It will be tempting for me to try to put them over there during the day today, but I will wait until Cyndie can be present for their initial introduction to this new space. That will allow us to move them in pairs, which will make them a little more comfortable while they learn a different way of getting to this new grazing space.

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Written by johnwhays

September 10, 2014 at 6:00 am