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Build a Post Fence Without Digging Post Holes Fences keep what you want in the yard and unwanted guests out. They also add interest to your backyard or garden. A fence may seem like a labor intensive and artistically challenged project, but it doesn't have to be. You can buy premade fences, buy kits to make your own or, for those truly artistic, you can make any kind you want. To make erecting a fence even easier, these instructions use post spikes instead of concrete to keep posts in place.
Tip: Post spikes are spikes with a metal box attached to hold your post (they come in 24 inch and 30 inch sizes, and generally come in packs of 4). These spikes just have to be driven into the ground. A nice feature about the post spike is, if the fence post breaks, all you have to do is remove the broken post and add a new one. Posts put in concrete have to be broken out of the ground and the concrete has to be repoured. Post spikes don't use concrete so they are cheaper and easier to use. Another project that the post spikes are good for is to secure a mailbox.
Type of Fence: Examples of fences are picket fences where vertical panels, called pales, are nailed to two horizontal boards and the ranch-style fence where fat horizontal rails are attached to big posts. There are also chain-link fences. These fences can be bought premade, in a kit or you can make your own. All you have to do is choose a type.
Tip: 1.Get creative with a picket fence and have diagonal pales nailed to the horizontal boards. 2. Have the diagonal panels alternate between posts to get an arrow formation. 3. Move away from conventional materials and make fences from bamboo. Weave a fence from twigs (this is for people with a lot of time on their hands). Where to Put the Fence: Accent your garden with a decorative or stylish fence. Fence the entire garden or only a part. It is important to think of the style of your garden and what you want to accent. If you have light, airy, rare or foreign plants, a bamboo fence might be just right for you. If you want to protect your garden from the family dog, a sturdier fence may be needed.
Tip: Make a light picket fence to put around your garden using thin boards that are no more than 1-inch thick. Attach pales to two horizontal boards. Instead of posts you just extend a pale, about one every 12 pales, so that it is about 1 foot below the bottom of the fence. The ends need to be tapered on these long pales so that you can drive them into the ground. To make it more secure push stones into the ground around the edge of the pale. Fences also accent your home, so if you are installing an entire backyard fence you need to take the style of your home into consideration. You also need to consider what the function of the fence is, if you just want to put a simple barrier between house lots or if you want to completely block out the neighbors.
Please Note: Check with the local building inspector to find out how high and how far back from the property line your fence has to be.
Erecting the Fence: There are two ways to put up a post fence: panel and ranch-style:
The panel way is basically putting in the posts and then attaching a panel. An example is the picket fence where the panel is the two horizontal boards with pales attached to them.
To put up a ranch-style fence you need to make it as you go along.
Here are some basic procedures on how to put up a fence. What kind depends on your artistic temperament, your garden, your neighbor and building codes. So build a fence that you can all enjoy.
Tools and Materials You Need:
Square posts, however many you need Panels Post spikes, for however many posts you may need Small piece of post that fits into the post spike and is taller than the metal box Sledge hammer Spirit level Panel brackets, four for each post (two brackets for each side of the post) Hammer Nails Post caps, for however many posts you may need
Place First Post: Position the first post spike where you want the fence to begin. Drive the spike into the ground with the sledge hammer. Make sure that the post spike is level by using the spirit level. Check the level at periodic intervals when pounding in the spike. When all of the spike is in the ground, that is, all you can see is the square where the post goes, stop. Insert the post and adjust the post spike, if necessary, so that it holds the post securely. Check the level again to make sure that the post is straight.
Tip: To keep from hitting the post spike and distorting the metal, use a small piece of post and place it in the post spike. That way when you are hammering the post spike you are hitting the wooden post piece, not the metal. Drive In Second Post Spike: Place the panel on the ground so that it touches the post. Use the panel to mark off where the next post is to go. Once you have the location of the next post, follow the procedure in Step 1 to put in the post spike. Don't put in the second post yet.
Attach Panel: On the first post, position and attach the panel brackets. Slide the panel into the brackets and nail through the brackets. Nail the brackets into position on the second post and put the post into the post spike, making sure that the panel is in the brackets. Adjust the post spike so the post is secure and nail through the brackets to keep the panel secure. Throughout this procedure you want to make sure you are checking the level of the panel to keep it straight.
Put Up Fence: Repeat the Step 2 and Step 3 until the fence is finished.
Attach Post Caps: Protect the posts from the elements and make them look nicer by nailing post caps to the tops of the posts. This is a nice finishing touch to your panel fence.
Tools and Materials You Need:
Square posts, as many as you need for your project Post spikes Small piece of post that fits into the post spike and is taller than the metal box Sledge hammer Planks, about 4-inches to 6-inches wide and 6-feet long (these become your horizontal beams between posts) Nails or screws, should be rustproof Spirit level Post caps
Tip: Make a ranch-style fence using round posts and rails. For this fence the posts need to have a hole drilled through them. Then the rails are tapered so that they fit inside the hole. Use post spikes that are round or tighten the square post spikes to hold the round post. Another way would be to knot the rails to the posts. This can be done if you are using a light material for your fence, like bamboo.
Drive In Post Spike and Place Post: Position the post spike every 6 feet. Drive the spike into the ground with the sledge hammer. Make sure that the post spike is level by using the spirit level. Check the level at periodic intervals when pounding in the spike. When all of the spike is in the ground, that is, all you can see is the square where the post goes, stop. Insert the post and adjust the post spike, if necessary, so that it holds the post securely. Check the level again to make sure that the post is straight.
Tip: To keep from hitting the post spike and distorting the metal, use a small piece of post and place it in the post spike. That way when you are hammering the post spike you are hitting the wooden post piece.
Fasten Horizontal Planks: When all the posts are in position, you then nail or screw the horizontal planks between the posts. Use the level to position your planks horizontally, unless that isn't the look you're going for.
Tip: Join the planks end to end so that the joint is in the center of the post.
Put on Post Caps: Protect the posts and make the fence look nicer by nailing post caps to the tops of the posts. This is a nice finishing touch to your ranch-style fence.
-- Anonymous, August 25, 2002