Set fence post in concrete, dirt, or gravel?

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I know I'm beating a dead dog here, but I find myself unclear about the pros/cons of setting fence posts in dirt, gravel, or concrete. More specifically, I'm undecided about which way to go. I need some input from those who have done this. I'm mostly interested in what is strong and what will last the longest. I don't want to have to dig them all out 10 years from now and be stuck with these big concrete chunks.
Dirt: easiest to do, may not be the strongest. It rains a lot here, 9 months out of the year, so I'm concerned about the constant contact with wet soil.
Gravel. Some recently suggested. Cheaper and easier then concrete, gravel drains water from post. Stronger then just dirt, post may last longer. Gravel drains water from post.
Concrete. More work. Strongest. Post in contact with concrete may still rot out in 10 years. Difficult to replace.
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Just had to replace a lamp post that broke from wind shear. I think it was original to the house, 1966. Had to hire someone to replace it for a cost of about $500 because it had to be dug out of the huge concrete chunk it was sitting in, and said chunk had to be broken into removal bits. A real pain. On the other hand, apparently it had lasted forty years. I had the new one set in concrete (with a piece of PVC pipe to protect the electric line so that we didn't have to worry about cutting the power line if we had to break into the concrete again, ever).
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Concrete is obviousl a major PITA to replace, but how long do they last today? In 1966 they used better preservative, and posts would last 50 years. What can I do to my posts today to get at least a couple of decades out of it?

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Ook wrote:

I don't know how long modern wood posts would last. But it's gotta be easier and cheaper to put screws/nails into wood than, say, a cast iron pipe. :) And it's easier than putting a stainless steel achor bolt into the top of a cast iron pipe filled with concrete onto which you could hang your fence wood.
But if you go that way, let us know how it works out. It might look cool. ;)
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I was at the Oregon State Fair yesterday, and one vendor had a system where you pour your concrete plug into the ground and have a square concrete post coming up a few inches out of the ground. Fence post gets bolted to that. Fence post never touches the ground. If fence post rots away, you unbolt it and bolt a new one in it's place. I'd be interested in doing this if I could find instructions and parts.
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Just remember that the bottom of your fence post needs to have a lot of bending strength to resist a wind storm. So if the connection at the base will break at near the same loading level that the post will break at, you might have something worthwhile.
Do you have a link to the hardware in question?
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"Ook" <Ook Don't send me any freakin' spam at zootal dot com delete the Don't send me any freakin' spam> wrote in message

ground, but I set them into concrete. You can replace the posts if the bottom rots, and if you keep the steel painted. When installing, take extra care to keep them level because a slight angle can create a crooked post.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

As a follow-up, and not that I'm recommending anything, but I wonder how that cheap sch 40 black plastic ABS pipe filled with concrete would be as a fence post. I wonder if it'd be strong enough on it's own, of if it'd need to have a little re-mesh inside before you fill it with concrete.
Even if you don't paint it (and it's readily paintable), the carbon black that they add to it is supposed to keep UV rays at bay.
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On 1 Sep 2006 12:57:05 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Why not just make the fence-post out of concrete, at that point? (or buy pre-made concrete fence posts.)
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On 1 Sep 2006 09:40:11 -0700, "Inquiringmind"

They sell some square metal things that set into concrete and are made to fit a common 4x4 post. That way the posts can be replaced without digging. If you dont use something like this, I'd just fill the hole with the dirt. Thats all I did on my pole barn, which takes a lot more abuse than a fence.
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Ook wrote:

concrete of not the wood is going to get wet
get a bucket of drivesealer, mix some kerosene with it dip the bottom of the post in it, stack them let them dry... repeat a few times...
set them in dirt, dirt will settle rilltight
but you haven't said what the application is, or what is going to be hanging on the poastseseseseseseseseses
it matters not really, you stick two feet in the ground they won't fall.. you treat the bottoms LIKE I TOLD YOU they will outlive you
WHATEVER YOU DO RENT AN AUGER
ok, since you're forgoing concrete rent the auger
personally I think you should keep talking about it for a few more days
<G> <--- that's a grin lastly don't listen to ricdejour he's full of bologna sammiches, really he is
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Wooden fence around my 2/3 acre property. Wood posts set 8 feet apart. Fence will be 6 feet high. I'm thinking of a small support in the middle to prevent sag, as most wooden fences I see sag in the middle of each run.

What is drivesealer? Driveway sealer? Why kerosene, and how much? Will this work on pressure treated ground contact rated posts?

High on my todo list. I'm going out today to stake the posts so I can get an accurate count of how many posts.

I might - the more I discuss it, the more advice I get, the more I learn, and eventually I'll know enough (or think I know enough) that I'll be ready to actually get off of my butt and do something <vbg> <--- Very Big Grin
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Personally, I have learned tons from this newsgroup. Usenet may be fading away, but there are still many vaulable newsgroups out there, like this one. My thanks to everyone that has pitched in with comments. Keep them coming!
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Ook wrote:

not if you ask me
google got on the usenet wagon, now google archives these q & a sessions; thus: Google Groups http://groups.google.com /
only difference google carries at the big 8 in the heiarchy, they also allow a user to create their own group, where'as with usenet it's not so easy to get a group started
I agree, it really is an "on time" source of help
how long has usenet been around anyway? since the days of 300 baud modems?
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There are more newsgroups then there have ever been, but a lot of popular groups I used to frequent have died. I wonder if there are any usage stats out there? I'd like to see some historical numbers that are probalby more accurate then my opinion.
I didn't discover usenet until I upgraded to a 2400 modem. I think I still have a couple 300 baud modems lying around. I used to use a 2400 modem built for a commodore 64. I built an RS232 interface from Radio Shack parts and hooked it up to my PC/XT. Worked great :P
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PS. Tell me more about "drivesealer" that you recommend using on the posts.
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Ook wrote:

that's what we used to treat a horse fence, it came reccommended by a fella who raises cyldesdales
you thin it with kerosene in order to make it soak in better, about 1/2 and 1/2
it's no different than railway ties, you know, the black railroad ties you can find laying around
driveseal oppossed to watersealer, I can't see water sealer lasting more than a few years before it loses its properties
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I found it. Driveway sealer. Driveway and paving sealer. Know of any suppliers in the US for this stuff? A brief romp through the Internet showed it readily available in the UK, NZ, Australia, etc. Or can any good driveway sealer work?
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Ook wrote:

oh sure, any home-depot, lowes, ace hardware...
do you have a local DIY home shop? they mighit have it too.. of course if it's cold out.. it will go on a tad thicker and soak in a tad slower
maybe add your city and state to your search terms
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"Ook" <Ook Don't send me any freakin' spam at zootal dot com delete the Don't send me any freakin' spam> wrote in message

It is?
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