chain link fence

greif(Wisconsin z 4)April 15, 2007


i have question on installing chain link fence. Must the posts be cemented in? would it work to use longer posts so they go 4 feet in and just pound them in? I have a device i built for another project I believe would work great for this, it is a 1 in a hammer drill that I modified so it would lightly hammer & slowy spin the post in. All instructions I have seen call for cementing them in but I would be installing over one hundred pots and that is a lot on cement. what do you think?

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Pooh Bear

I would use concrete on the end and corner posts,
and just drive the rest of them in the ground.
I see no reason to use concrete on line posts.
And 16 to 24 inches deep is plenty.
Think of T posts. They only go about 12 inches deep.


Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 2:34AM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

Height of fence could be a factor in need for cement. The higher the fence, the more strain on the post below ground. A fence over 4ft, will have a greater weight, higher on posts. Even a 4ft fence will take a lot of pushing in a heavy wind, needs the strength of a good support system. That is a lot of wire to have wind pushing on. Chain link is great fence, but has not much stiffness to hold itself upright. That is where the line posts and cross pieces need to be solid for fence to hang from. Posts and cross pieces can't shift with weather, freeze-thaw cycle either, or fence system will come apart, sag, fall down.

Perhaps you could alternate cementing posts, every 3rd or 4th, if fence is short height. Every other post, for 6ft fence.

Do remember though that there is a reason that fence companies set ALL posts in cement, when they could save LOTS on installation if some posts were set into dirt only. My 100 ft of chain link fence is 22 years old, cemented every post, looks excellent, despite LOTS of jumping on by large dogs. No sagging or seperation of posts and cross pieces, fence is TIGHT. 2 gates work well, no sagging. I would rate installation superior, have those guys do fence for me again. Sometimes there just is no good shortcut that won't come back to bite you HARD later.

They set my posts one week, came back the next week to hang fence on posts WELL-SET and solid. Something to consider in your planning schedule.

Good fences make for good neighbors. Keep the kids and dogs in or out, of areas they don't belong. Lots of work in a good installation of fence, hope it goes smoothly for you.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 1:15PM
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greif(Wisconsin z 4)

i was thinking 4 foot tall fencing, for goats, alpacas and mini donkeys.
I was think cementing corner/end posts and driving rest. I was thinking 4 feet in ground so frost doesn't bring them up.
I wonder how much it would cost for labor to get installed? about 800 ft total length. bet it would be lots

thanks for any comments/suggestions

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 3:49PM
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The problem with the chain link is it's wind resistance. Because the wire is relatively heavy and the "mesh" is closer than most other fencing it has a greater area for wind and snow to "push" against.

I would recommend using the longer posts, cementing at least every third or fourth post. Use heavy posts for gates, corners and brace posts. Definetly cement these in, as well.

A number of years ago, when Sears used to offer specialty catalogs, they offered an anchor to go onto your posts to eliminate the need to cement in posts for chain link fences. It looked like a sheet metal fin that bolted onto the post in an "X" pattern. You might look around and see if can still get these.

As to driving in the posts you need to get a hardened piece of pipe to go into the post. Most posts for chain link fences are light weight steel, just a little heavier than conduit. It is easily bent and deformed. Professional fence installers use one of these hardened adapters to allow them to use the standard T post driver, and then only cement in the top foot or so of the post.

If you haven't bought the materials either check with a major home improvement center, (both the blue and gray one and the orange and tan one offer fence installation at most stores) or contact a professional fencing company for a quote. Sometimes you can get a better price on a complete install than you can on labor plus materials.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 8:16AM
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dannyboquet(z9 So Louisiana)

I see you want to use chain link for goats. I have a couple of sections of chain link in my eclectic fence line. The goats will push on it to eat the grass on the other side and have opened the twists on the bottom and made a hole to squeeze out of. Chain link has a lot of give and unless secured to a wire run along the bottom, will open up for a goat. The standard hog clips will not hold for long. I had to use galvanized wire to tie it to a pipe at the bottom. My two cents.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 8:50AM
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marquisella(z4 NY)

4' is too short for goats and everyone is right about the weight of the chain link, it will pull the posts over if they are not cemented in well.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 9:40AM
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i do dog rescue and use 8' tall 9 gage (the heavy weight commercial grade stuff) chain link fence. I think it has a lot more to do with what the posts are being driven into. In missouri clay its hell to drive a post in but once it is driven in it will stay there even with horses leaning against the fence or trees falling on the fence. The cheap posts sold at building supply places like lowes or home depot is nearly worthless for a heavy fence. In clay the top of the posts will bend or califlower at the end long before you can drive it in far enough.

I use oil well drill pipe. its 1/4" thick wall , 2 3/8" dia. and is cheaper than the normal fence posts. I drive them in 3 feet and in sand that may require just 25 hits or so but in clay some require 300 hits or more with a post driver like the type used to drive t posts. I have installed fences for rescues in California, Alaska, New Mexico, South Dakota and Missouri. No two fences are alike and while you can drive a post down 6' in New Mexico sand and it would fall over even with concrete. In some soils concrete is a waste or time and money.

I normally dig a hole with a post hole digger maybe 16". Then fill the hole with water to soften the soil and let it set overnight. Then drive in a 11' post until 8' of post is sticking out of the ground. I measure from the top and mark with children's playground chalk. Then fill the holes with small gravel and on the ends and corners and all posts for gates I use a post that is a couple feet longer than normal and drive them deeper and pour concrete into the hole and inside the post itself. This prevents any pipe bending.

Here is a link that might be useful: a very strong fence and how to build them

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 8:47AM
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