# 4x4s in ground

• posted on January 22, 2004, 6:21 am
Is there a trick to sinking posts in the ground? If I didn't have this forum to ask, I'd put the 3x4 in a garden tin and let the cement set some place where I could nail it up overnight and then put the tin in the ground and cement around it.
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• posted on January 22, 2004, 10:18 am
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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• posted on January 22, 2004, 6:50 pm

A tree house for cats, actually for my wife, for her cats. She saw something on the internet with 4x4 with 'branches' made of 4x4 slanted upward with cat houses on the ends of the 'branches. A little embarrassing.
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• posted on January 23, 2004, 12:47 am

Don't be embarrassed. I'm owned by two Siamese.
The 4X4 for this use, would not need to be in cement, with normal soils. It should be treated or rot resistant wood. Remember if it is treated, to make sure the treatment does not make it dangerous to the cats.
No less than 20% (30% is good) of the post must be underground. If the soil does not have good drainage, then add about 6 inches of gravel under the post (yea, that means the hole has to be that much deeper.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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• posted on January 22, 2004, 2:41 pm

If I remember correctly, when we were building our deer fence many years ago (5' high above ground) we dug a post hole about 12-18" deep. set the post in the hold and surrounded with gravel or cement, depending on if it was a corner or main support. Leveled it and braced it with 2X4's nailed to stakes driven in close by. Didn't take much time or effort - took longer to dig the hole.
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• posted on January 22, 2004, 8:12 pm

I bet that fence didn't last real long, with 5x as much above ground as below. Rule of thumb I always heard was 1/3 of the length of the post in the ground.

-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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• posted on January 22, 2004, 2:55 pm
Quick,
To set posts in the ground I recommend renting a gas powered auger. Dig the holes deep enough that the post end is below the frost line. The depth of the hole is also affected by the use of the posts but figure around 25% of the post should be buried. If drainage is a problem put gravel in the hole before you put in the post. Now put in the post and use a couple of 2X4's to hold the post straight. Make sure that the post is aligned with the other posts and is not tilting. Fill the hole with cement leaving about 6 inches from the top. After the cement is set and cured finish filling the hole with dirt Then check with the wife. Remove the posts. Put the posts where she wants them. Repeat until the divorce decree is finalized.
Dave M.
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• posted on January 22, 2004, 4:13 pm
Posts should be set so that the post end is below the frost line, however where there is no frost, they should be set with 1/4 to 1/3 of the post below ground or there will be a risk of wind blowing the fence over especially if the wind cannot blow easily through the fence.

the
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• posted on January 22, 2004, 6:53 pm

the
Is a one man auger useable and safe? It would be cool to have a base where the 4x4 could be removed leaving the cement post hole. I do make things more difficult than they need to be sometimes.
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• posted on January 23, 2004, 12:00 am
I used a one man auger several years ago and would recommend a two man auger. I found the one man auger to be heavy and difficult to control.
Dave M.
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• posted on January 23, 2004, 12:20 pm

I'll second that, and add this: in moist clay soil, you're far, far better off to dig postholes by hand with a clamshell-type post hole digger -- augers just screw down into the soil. They don't have a reverse setting. And it's a royal pain to pull one back up.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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• posted on January 23, 2004, 4:52 pm
snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) writes:

we have a bulb planter (~3" auger goes to a BAD (Big a\$\$ drill) and it does that if you try to go too fast... (my wrists lament the fact) I can imagine what it'd be like with a post hole digger... ungh!
--
be safe.
flip
Verso l'esterno! Verso l'esterno! Deamons di ignoranza.
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• posted on January 22, 2004, 11:11 pm

the
I'm not sure about that frost line requirement. I live in Minnesota, and our frost line is 48". There is no way we bury fenceposts that deep. We had a fence contractor put up fence for us about 10 years ago. Part of the run was 6' cedar, and part was 4' chain link. The 4X4 fence posts for the cedar fence were not 10' long. If I recall, everyone who did fence bids for us used the standard 1/3 below 2/3 above. So our 6' cedar posts were buried 2' below grade and cemented in place, so total post length was 8 feet. I think that the chain like posts were also buried 2', so the total post length was maybe 6'. This fence has no heave problems at all. When I build my deck, we needed to pour footings 48" deep, but that is for decks and the like.
Dave

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• posted on January 23, 2004, 4:59 am

Dig
depth
25%
with
the
for
buried
We're in Nevada so we don't really know what a frostline is unless it has something to do with a refrigerator. : -)
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• posted on January 22, 2004, 4:25 pm
"Not so quick" wrote in message

If you're using 4x4 treated, and set them in cement. You will find out they shrink, leaving you wobbly posts in the cement.
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• posted on January 22, 2004, 6:24 pm

Perhaps if you drill (and water treat) some holes through the post you will end up with a more secure post.
Perhaps drill, water treat, then put rebar through the post, then sink it into the concrete.
--
be safe.
flip
Verso l'esterno! Verso l'esterno! Deamons di ignoranza.
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• posted on January 22, 2004, 5:39 pm
On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 22:21:24 -0800, "Not so quick"

I installed a PT wood 4x4 for my mailbox 12 years ago and it is still as strong as ever. I used a post-hole digger to get a 2' deep hole, dumped in a half bucket of gravel, set in the post, nailed in 2 stakes and sticks to hold the post plumb, and filled the hole with concrete. I mounded the cement to help shed water.
I have read not to use concrete, just use gravel. The concrete may rot a wooden post.
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• posted on January 26, 2004, 3:13 am
Yust a thought, if you plan on renting an auger, 1 person or 2, please do your self and anyone near you a favor, contact MissUtility to determine if you have any buried utilitys where you plan to dig.
wrote:

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• posted on January 26, 2004, 6:25 am
wrote:

Thanks, you might have saved me a lot of grief.