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Metposts or equivalent

We're going to be using metposts (other brands are available I believe) to support our uprights of our new log store. I've done a bit of trawl around the internet and our local builders merchants. The prices vary a lot, but the cheapest I've found for the 100mmx100mm spiked and painted (not galvanised) ones is around 7.50 from ebay (they're not metposts but are similar). Anyone know were we could get them cheaper, or does that sound like a good deal? And should we pay the extra and go for galvanised ones or do people think the painted ones are okay. They will be in damp ground, but not saturated.

Also what's the advantages of the "system 2" twin bolt system over the wedge grip system? The timber we are buying is 4"x4" so I assume should fit the wedge grip system.
Ty Gwyn

Why not concrete 4 short lengths of a metal in the ground,and bolt the timber to these above ground level.

If you think you can wallop them into the ground without scratching the paint, then don't bother with galvanised.
I think the advantage of the bolt system is that you can more easily replace the post.

I've never been a fan of them and as they put quite a lot of levering force at the foot of the post and water still pools in contact with the post.

For our wood shed I used 4" dia posts to build a skeleton framework with slopping roof, slatted sides and sat the whole on sacrificial timber sleepers. This allows air to circulate throughout and if the posts are bolted together you can easily move to a new location.

rubbish for fences ,i would either go the concrete set metal,concrete or treated timber post option

for a shed tis usually the roof blows off rather than the thing blows away but belt n braces is good

I'm not a fan of metposts either.
Reasons VP gave, plus extra expense, uncertainty whether they will drive fully home,in position and straight, and they look ugly.
All that said - the only time I've used them, they did work well.
4x4 post concreted in, should give at least ten years service, especially if the shed has gutters.
Posts allways rot and snap at ground level - metposts don't keep post bottom much more above ground level.
If you are worried about rot then Ty Gwyn's suggestion of angle iron concreted in is good and cheap. Or a combo - fix angle iron to posts and concrete into the ground as normal- if post bottom rots the angle iron will still restrain the posts.
Personally I'd just concrete in the posts.

On Skomer they support the roof with Y-shaped metal set in concrete with a bolt through the wood.

They must have the worst weather you can think of on the island, plus salt-laden winds, so they must be sturdy.

I prefer treated posts concreted in the ground...continue the concrete above ground with in 4 - 5 inches of shuttering & gently slope the top surface away from the post; this way water can't pool around the post & any remaining dries sufficiently quickly
I built a stable block on very uneven ground for a client some years ago & it's as sturdy now as at the beginning
Stand the posts in preservative before building for as long as it takes for it to soak a good distance up the post, the once in the ground a few small rocks or stones in the bottom of the hole stop the post being in direct contact with the earth

If this is teaching you to suck eggs, apologies Smile
Mistress Rose

I wouldn't go for metposts either. They are very difficult to keep upright so your chances of having vertical posts are reduced.

You could either go for treated posts concreted in (go for Class 4 as ordinary treated aren't too good these days), or for real longevity, try chestnut and dig/ram them in if possible, or failing that a combination of digging and ramming. Cheapest way of getting them is from chestnut coppice. Most workers will provide them peeled, pointed and in the round for you. They are heavy though.

...... as ordinary treated aren't too good these days

Yeh quality of timber in standard posts is awfull. If I ever have to cut with the grain or chisel them, the grain is all over the place. They bow and twist real easy too. I'd only give modern 3x3 posts 5 years.
What are they made from that makes them so poor quality?

in clay ramming or dig and backfill( 500mm below for every m above and no rocks) is best as the heave from drying/wetting can make a lump of concrete move

the stuff re posts being rubbish from many suppliers is true ,code 4 or chestnut (or elm) if the ground is wet ,some folk char the underground bit of chestnut but i would use extra preservative on all cut ends

another option is railway sleepers as a footing with the shed built on top

Bet you're glad you asked now. A two hour weekend project has become a major civil engineering project.

My tuppence? Get a steel fabricator to build you a proper store, and site it on a sheet of granite airlifted in from the Scottish Highlands. Enrobe it in Kevlar and obsidian. It'll last for years.


Laughing @ Nick ....... and there's still the floor, walls and roof to discuss .....

You could either go for treated posts concreted in...

Having dug up the concreting from former treated posts I would advise against this.
If you're concreting them in, then go for concrete posts.
I've always been happy with Metposts or equivalent. The only time they've given me real trouble was when I had to put one in too close to a tree, and I could not stop it twisting... still held the fence up well enough.
Mistress Rose

You don't need to treat chestnut on cut ends as the natural tannins in the wood preserve it. You shouldn't concrete chestnut or oak as they are acid, but having said that, son has dug out old oak gate posts that were concreted in that have been perfectly all right.

The preservative used to be copper-chrome-arsenic. The chrome was removed first, then the arsenic, and the copper just isn't up to the job. If you buy 'softwood' you can also be getting anything, and some timbers just are less suitable than others, but cheap.

The main posts are a problem as they have to hold up the whole structure, but a good log store needs open of slatted sides and a sloping roof. Ideally the logs should be held off the ground on pallets of slatted floor to help air circulation.

Blimey...all we want is to construct a simple log store... it may turn into an major engineering project at this rate Wink

I need to consult with the OH, but metposts seemed the simplest option to us - we didn't want to have to dig lots of holes and mix concrete, but we may look again given your responses.

This is our second attempt at a log store (the first one is now too small for our needs), so we know about allowing air flow through the sides and floor, and used pallets extensively in the previous store. A downsizer world without pallets would be a struggle Smile

I think the gist is that Metposts are shit dpack

the simplest log store is a few sacrificial bearers and a bit of plastic on the top of the logs with a couple of logs to hold it on Mistress Rose

You are right Dpack. We tell people new to woodburning to stack their firewood somewhere the air can blow through it, preferably on a pallet or something and with a tarp over just the top and the sides open. gregotyn

Roobarb, if I were in your shoes then I would follow Ty Gwyn's advice, concrete 4 steel pieces into the ground and bolt the posts on, rather than drive them in. I was a fencing contractor years ago, and we never used metposts, but they can be driven into the ground using sacrifice timbers to be hit rather than the met post itself, without affecting the galv. However there are some decent galvanizing 'paint on's' now which with 90% zinc are pretty good. It is persuading them to drive straight that is the problem, and in the position you want them. Eventually the iron work rusts and the log store rocks itself free! Others may say differently, but he who descibes the metpost as s..t gets my vote!
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