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Split Rail Fence Post - Redo ?

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Old 04-08-2019, 09:15 PM   #1
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Split Rail Fence Post - Redo ?

Have about 20 split rail fence posts to repair and replace. Some are rotted, some are new and all are loose in the hole.

You guys know the problem, especially the new posts...when replaced the disturbed soil / gravel never really compacts and makes a firm post. Only going into the ground 15" in the previous hole area does not help either.

I'm thinking of bolting on 1-2 PT 2x4 -- 2 ft long to the side of the new posts. Dig out the old hole deeper --- install longer retro-fitted post in the deeper hole and add concrete.

Any other suggestions to stabilize and provide a good installation of the posts ?
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:58 PM   #2
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Re: Split Rail Fence Post - Redo ?

ok ,maybe i am missing something . if you are trying to keep them from rotting cannot see how concrete helps .my experience tamp them in gravel .gravel drains . the 15" down might be fine .unless horses are leaning on it .how high are they going up .
what is the material your using . fir next to concrete is short lived .


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Old 04-13-2019, 05:59 PM   #3
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Re: Split Rail Fence Post - Redo ?

Maybe this stuff?

I haven't used it, so I can't speak to how well/if it does what it says, but if it does what it says, this might be the time to use it
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:44 PM   #4
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Re: Split Rail Fence Post - Redo ?

tamp them in with a 4 or 5 lb sledge and a 2x3, 2x4, 1x3, whatever.
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Old 04-13-2019, 07:02 PM   #5
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Re: Split Rail Fence Post - Redo ?

i believe the issue with the water is it goes down the post and sets there in a nice sealed bowl .post never dry's out . we used to always put fence post in gravel when i was young ,it was considered dumb use concrete .though that was then . it is just a fence post . concrete might be faster -no tamping ,also though concrete does add mass .
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:19 PM   #6
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Re: Split Rail Fence Post - Redo ?

The answer depends somewhat on location.

My recollection is your area has sandy clay. You should be able to wiggle those posts when the ground us damp, then pull them up leaving a hole you could slide it right back into carefully.

They wiggle because the side pressure is too great. It's a combination of the post diameter, how deep it is sunk, the soil, and how high the post sticks up. Getting the best compaction in Sandy clay, first you pound in the soil around the post, then you run water around the base for final settling. Personally, I would just compact, wait for a rain, then go back and recompact.

Since you're stuck using short posts, I'd just pull all the posts, dig them down a little further, mix cement in the hole, and set the post in to the correct height.

If the posts were longer, you could skip the cement, and just go deeper.

If it's deep loan, deep and cement....
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:51 PM   #7
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Re: Split Rail Fence Post - Redo ?

I will use an eight foot 2x4 to tamp the soil back.I tamp as I fill the hole watching my plumb. I never seem to be able to get it stable enough trying to tamp all the fill at once.

When I have an issue with some post loosening up after the initial install. Generally in soil that's hard to compact. I will dig down eighteen inches about 4-8" from the post on one side and then dump some unmixed concrete into the hole, tamping every few inches very hard. This way the mix is getting into all the soil. Put a few inches of soil on the top. This generally packs well keeping the post stable. Keeps me from re digging the hole post. And no mixing of concrete.

I find when you get one or two loose sections and you don't secure them, the weather will continue to loosen the rest

Good luck


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