Fence post question

I have a couple of fence posts (CCA 4x4) that have split open at the top. Split is about 3/4" wide and 5" long. The fence itself is in good shape. How can I keep these posts "together" or at least prevent the gap from getting worse? Some kind of special bracing or fastener? Wood putty?
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big screws, then paint or seal somehow
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tom g wrote:

Hi, If I were you, Sqeeze in some epoxy into the crack, wrap it with a metal band using screws, then install a ornametal cap on it. Wide jaw clamp may be handy.
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tom g wrote:

I have seen large U shaped nails that appear to be used for that exact purpose. I don't know where you might find them, I have seen them on post.
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

Andy writes: They are called "fence staples" and are used to fasten wire, such as barbed wire, into wooden posts..... They might work if the split is narrow. However, the best fix is to get some galvanized wire, such as is used for electric fences, and wrap about 10 turns around the top of the post, in effect binding the split together.....
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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Andy wrote:

The ones I am thinking of are like 3-5 inches from leg to leg.
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On Sat, 17 Jun 2006 18:43:53 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

Big-ass hose-clamp?
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That is why you see the little pyramid shaped caps just make for a 4x4. They are about as thick as a beer can and are usually gold anodized finish. They also make much fancier ones up to and including lighted ones if your pocket book can stand it.
Another approach is to cut a slop on the top of posts. Both methods are attempts to get the moisture off the top of the posts.
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Have you ever seen them for round posts?
My posts are about 4" in diameter. The only real problem is the plant life living in the holes in the ones that don't get a lot of sunlight, but sometimes that seems like a big problem.

For square posts, I've seen it suggested that the tops be cut at an angle. I don't know if I would like that, and I'm not sure if I've ever seen it, but that's what it said.
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wrote:

Well, Down Home (southern Indiana), out along the country two-laners, I often still see corner posts on fields as large as 12-18" tree trunk sections or recycled telephone poles. They cap those with galvanized sheet metal, or whatever is laying around the barn, hammered over and nailed into the sides. Even seen old license plates, Coke signs, etc, used for that.
aem sends...
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On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 21:55:35 GMT, "ameijers"

When I lived in Indiana, I didn't spend enough time in Southern Indiana. Mostly because I didn't have a licens most of the time, and not a car, most of the time I had a license.

I wouldn't mind making one, but I'm never going to make 6 (that already have holes in the top) or 12 (counting the ones that don't get sun now that the surrounding trees are taller) or about 30 (if I did all of them). Too many other things to do, when they would only cost a couple dollars each if I could only find them.
It's been 27 years and they're in pretty good condition, at least above ground. If they can look good for 39 more years, I'll be 98 years old and dead or near dead. But I would still buy a set of 30 if I could find them.

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Have you ever seen them for round posts?
My posts are about 4" in diameter. The only real problem is the plant life living in the holes in the ones that don't get a lot of sunlight, but sometimes that seems like a big problem.

For square posts, I've seen it suggested that the tops be cut at an angle. I don't know if I would like that, and I'm not sure if I've ever seen it, but that's what it said.
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SS band camp.
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Ding Ding Ding. Correct!
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Anway you can put water-proof glue in the split and get it clamped back shut? Then put a cap or slope the top of the post....
Charlie
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tom g wrote:

3/4" wide by 5" long? That's a large split.
Get a very large C-clamp (or a bench vice that will open 6 inches) and some polyurethane glue ("Gorilla" glue). Dampen the inside of the split with a spray bottle. Use a small brush or a popsicle stick or a bamboo skewer to "paint" both sides of the inside of the split with the glue as best as possible. Put a scrap piece of flat hardwood or steel on either side of the post to distribute the load and draw the split closed using the C clamp. The poly glue expands as it cures, and will fill in all the gaps. Leave the clamp on until it cures. When it's done curing, if your installation allows it, wrap the top with a dozen turns of fencing wire for belt-and-suspenders. Then install a post cap to keep the rainwater out.
A different approach would be to get a 5" carriage bolt and some large thick washers. Drill a hole perpendicular to the split, apply the poly glue, and use the carriage bolt to draw the split closed; the washers distribute the load and keep the bolt from digging too deeply into the wood. Leave the carriage bolt installed for extra strength if you don't mind the appearance. Put a cap on the post to keep out rainwater, or soak heavily with deck waterproofer.
Hint: for the first half hour after clamping the split closed, continually wipe off excess glue as it expands and oozes out. If you wait till it has fully cured, you'll have quite a chore chipping it off.
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Ether Jones wrote:

In my earlier post, I was visualizing the 3/4" "width" to be how far the wood had split apart.
But perhaps you meant the 3/4" was how deep the split penetrates from the surface into the wood. If such is the case, and if the wood isn't split apart too far (say less than an eighth of an inch), then I wouldn't bother trying to draw it back together. I'd just soak the top of the post heavily with deck waterproofer (letting it soak down into the split), and then put a rainwater cap on it. It there's room, and you aren't put off by the appearance, wrap the top of the post several times with fencing wire to prevent the split from widening, or use a large automotive radiator clamp and draw it tight (put the screw part of the clamp on the side with the split). Paint the clamp (or wire) to help it blend in.
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wrote:

Yes, 3/4" is the actual width of the gap - the wood has split clear across. I think I'll try your previous advice with the gorilla glue. Thanks a bunch for writing it up!
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tom g wrote:

Basically, you can't. Wood posts are cut longitudinally and most CCA 4x4's are cut from branches barely large enough to make the post out of these days and so are likely to have circumferential grain in almost a full circle. When it dries, it inevitably will split.
As some others have noted, you _may_ be able to keep the movement to a minimum by mechanical restraint, but a fence staple won't be strong enough (if that is what another poster is really talking about).
There are S-shaped wedges made to drive into the end of posts (mostly in larger sizes for things such as railroad ties where they are used routinely).
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