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JB

Fence post recommendations

I need to replace some fencing (no surprise there given the recent wind) What would people recommend for fence posts. I was thinking of just using 8' 4 x 4 sunk a couple of feet into the ground but if I do that what should I do to maximise it's life before it rots at the base, ie what wood should the posts be and how should I treat it to preserve it as best possible.
RichardW

I think that 2' of post into the ground & 6' above is asking for trouble.

What sort of fence is it going to be & what animals if any?

4x4 is a big fence post.

If its for a garden why not use a concrete stub post & bolt the wood to it above ground? Cost more first time but last much longer & be easier to redo if it needs it.
Nick

I was always taught one down, two up for fence posts. So two foot down, four up. I have some treated round stake fencing in damp ground at the mo which has given ten years, but needs to be replaced now.
dpack

pre treated and dip any cut ends

get the best /biggest timber in the budget

stub posts are ok ,

if it is for big panels 6 x3 posts are better than 4x4

if it is very windy angle braces can help
onemanband

I've not personally used these but seems a good idea
http://www.postsaver.co.uk/

Or you could just give the bottom of the post a good soaking in decent oil based wood preserver(eg cuprinol classic) - forget the carpy water-based, brightly coloured fence treatments.

Majority of fence jobs I do, I recomend slotted concrete posts. I allways use 9 foot posts for six foot fencing. A six foot panel with a 6 inch gravel board only leaves one and a half foot of post in the ground if using an 8 foot post - that's barely through the topsoil in a lot of places. A 9 foot post means a 2.5 - 3 foot hole and once you get the concrete round a post in a deep hole the post will be solid.
digit

A word of warning, tanalised timber isn't what it used to be, they've taken a few main preservative's out of the treatment. I put a lot of stock fence around my property 5 years ago and all the stake a rotten and because you get no written guarantee your stuffed Mad
JB

So what preservatives are available that will actually work?
baldybloke

I replaced some fencing a while ago and concreted in some Metposts, then soaked the fence post bottoms in old engine oil before using. I figured that as the posts were encapsulated in concrete the oil wouldn't leach out into the soil. Not a totally environmentally friendly method, but it seems to work ok.
digit

I've bought 400 stakes that I'm drying in a shed, i found a place that does the old fashioned tar based creosote and I'm going to soak them in it when they've dried out.
They did start Tanalising telegraph pole but they've gone back to creosoting them, makes you wonder why
oldish chris

I'm a metpost fan. Bit costly, but factoring in the fact that you don't need a hole filled with concrete its worth it. A 2M fence erected using 3' Metposts has survived a few gales.
onemanband

So what preservatives are available that will actually work?


Fences either side of my garden - one is mine other is neighbours - both about 12 years old, same construction, both stained when new then again after about 4 or 5 years. Neighbouir has used water based orange/red preservative and his is dry, splitting, flaking, bowed etc. Mine was done with Cuprinol Classic (or v. similar) and has not split etc.
Obviously oil based is more expensive but IMO worth the extra. Last tin I bought was (I think) about 45 for 2.5L. It does go further but I guess its still 3 or 4 times the cost of water based.

Barratone preservatives are a bit cheaper and seem good. Sold at some fencing / timber merchants.

I don't rate the 'creosote substitutes' available in DIY stores.

You get what you pay for and the cheaper stuff doesn't allways do what it says on the tin
Robinjw13

Soak tips of wooden posts in used engine oil. Or go for sweet chestnut posts, these will last far longer than the pressure-treated softwood provided the chestnut is low in sap (i.e. cut in winter).
Mistress Rose

Sorry, only just picked up on this. Depends on what your fence is, how long you want it to last in present form etc.

For best lasting properties without treatment, use sweet chestnut or oak. There is a new type of treatment which is supposed to be better, Class 4 I think, but only time will tell on that.
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