Building a fence - Nailer?

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wrote in message wrote:

My fence sets these a solid 24" into concrete. He strings the top and simply taps them to the right height, not caring of he goes through the bottom of the hole or not. Without air, it would take many decades for this fence post to rust enough on the very bottom, buried end of the dirt.
BUT; we have a lot of areas with limestone bedrock not too far beneath the layer of topsoil. If he can get them in 16" or so, he doesn't mind. He slips bolts into the holes to provide more grab. He puts them through the punched holes with a nut to hold them, and the bolts going into two different directions so it looks like a porcupine.
If he has an errant post that is too tall, he has one guy steady it, and then he cuts through it with a 7" grinder with a metal cutting abrasive blade. The steel is pretty soft and it just takes him about three or four minutes to cut through the top to get it to the right length.

Nothing different when you set them. The key here is that he uses regular or fast setting concrete in bags, but mixes in about 1/2 gallon measured, not weighed of this stuff into his concrete: http://preview.tinyurl.com/423xl8x It is a product known as Por Rock, and is a cement "setting" product to set in all kinds of things into concrete. When I was working on restaurants about a million years ago, we used ot use that stuff to set chairs and furniture into the slabs. Never saw on fail when done correctly.
NOTE: he uses a generic Por Rock that is available at Fastenal as well as the original.
He pours a bit into the hold (6" or so) then puts the rest in the rest of the mix. He pulls the post up and down to "rod down" the concrete into the hole. Then he fills it up and does the same thing again. When he is happy with the position, he fine tunes it and taps the post in a bit or moves it back and forth. It might move a hair one way or another, but close enough for fencing. And with the Por Rock in it, it sets up fast. I mean really fast. When he is in a hurry, he will put almost a gallon into the concrete and he can attach wood crossmembers on in an hour!

Yes, and it works like a champ as helps to keep the top part of the fence from bowing in or out. I can remember which job it was, but check this out; On a <<new>> fence Alex (fence guy) conned me into 7' centers, not eight. He bought 14' 2X material and cut them in half. He did the cap rail, the top rail and the bottom rail by cutting a pile of 14' boards in half. He figured it cut down the time he had to mess with warping 8' pieces, and he didn't get all the trash he got with the normal 8' lengths.
The 14' made a lot nicer looking fence and went up FAST. He outdistanced the picket installers quickly and it was a fast moving operation to get that fence up. He told me he didn't worry about bowing with 7' centers, so no 2nd top rail. Just the one on edge like the middle and top.
But he only goes 7' if it is a <<new>> fence, one he cannot use the old 8'o.c. holes on, and the contractor or client will spend the extra money. Just FYI, it only adds two posts on a 55' run Since he charges $32 a hole/post, the extra sturdiness, and the better looking fence (hey - it even looks stronger!) make that $64 worth it. On an overall fence job, this usually adds 4 posts to the overall cost. He has found though, that no matter how much he screws with it, he can't get these posts to work well on the corners or on either side of a gate. He uses a good 4X4s there, and these allow him to easily attach hardware and hasps.
So the last fence he put up for me where the client wanted a 20 year wood fence, he used 6X6 treated on the corners (go Alex, go!), metal posts in the field, and 4X4s on both sides of the two gates. The client (and me!) were blown away at how sturdy this was. He could have used 4X4s in the corners, but we got the 6X6 treated for only $15 more a post.
So to recap; we put two more holes in across the back of that house, and on up each side. That cost us another $128; add in $64 for one extra field post per side, or another $128. Add in the extra $60 each for four corners, and the whole (hole?) thing cost me another $316 to construct one helluva fence.
A regular cedar three rail costs about $30 (round numbers) or so finished a foot (depending on cedar costs). So at +/- 160 feet at $30 l.f. ($4800) + 2 gates at $80 each, or a total cost of $4960. To get our version of the municipal fence it only adds $316. This is only a 6% difference, and I have no doubt it adds years to the fence life and certainly its appearance. The first time I did this I split the cost with the homeowner so we could both see one up built in this way. Worth it!
I sell fencing on a cafeteria plan, so they get to decide which options they want, so they can add as much or as little as they want to a regular fence bid. That way if I am not immediately competitive, I can pull out the extras and look apples to apples at the fence cost with a client. After that I can add what they want. That way I at least stay in the hunt.
The only other thing we add from time to time is a weed eater board. This is a piece of 2X8 TYP board that he turns on edge and mounts like a rail at the bottom of the fence. It sits directly in contact with the ground, and when installed mowers and grass cutters run their weed eaters across the TYP instead of the soft cedar. FYI, this add $1.5 to $2 a running foot. Well worth it as today's weed eaters chew up cedar really fast. We are getting requests for this bottom board more and more these days.

No. They make a regular version of this post, and a heavy duty version. Neither of them can you pound into the ground unless you used a really short piece. The metal is soft, regardless of which version you get. If I was going to put in a temp version of fence with metal posts I would use the old faithful green, ranch style steel post and rent/buy the driver
http://preview.tinyurl.com/3f94jc8

Anytime.
Robert
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THANK YOU ROBERT!
For years I have been laying out 8' rails on the ground and placing my posts "near the ends" I never have measured out the exact distance for the rail lengths. I then custom fit each rail between the posts. For me this takes less time than trying to get the posts in the exact spot for a given length rail board. So basically I kinda use the 7' between posts too. It is really not noticeable if the distance between the posts varies 3~4 inches and the time saved in lay out is well worth my expense of an extra post or two.
I like the idea of buying the 14 footers to get better material!
I really don't offer alternatives except for picket material. You refer to the weed eater board, I call it the rot board. Again I will seldom offer to build a fence with out that board. I tell them you can pay me $22 per foot for a fence with that board or you can pay me $22 per foot with out that board. In the Houston area that board keeps the ends of the pickets out of the grass that is typically soaked in morning dew. I typically use a TP 5/4 1x6 deck board. Additionally the time savings in putting up pickets is "considerable". I tell the customer you can pay for the board or you can pay me the extra time to hang the pickets. With the rot boards you simply stand the pickets up on top and not worry about keeping the top of the picket line straight. Every 9~10 pickets I double check for plumb and all pickets are next to each other with no gap during installation.
Ill look into the additive for the concrete. As mentioned before, I use the Quick setting stuff, 2~3 times more expensive but again it saves time. I dig all the holes first and then start pouring in the concrete. By the time I get to the last post the first is usually ready to go. That said however after manually digging 10~12 post holes and dragging the bags of concrete around I normally wait till the following day to put up the rails and pickets. I'm tarred at that point. ;~0
Concerning the post master posts and my temp fence, I probably forgot to mention that our Great Dane would not think of trying to go over a 30" tall fence. ;~) Id cut the posts in half. But thanks for the other idea of the green ranch posts.
Thanks again for all the information.
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Mentioning that materials don't last these days, my dad has a gate in his atrium that was built in 1974. I have had to replace the cedar posts on both sides but the gate only looks a couple of years old. 37 years ain't bad for a cedar picket gate, 8" wide pickets at that.
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wrote:

You guys use the term "picket" too loosely for my tastes. They're usually 42" tall or less and 1x3 or 1x4". Like this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Classic_Picket_Fence.JPG
Are you guys talking about plain old straight (or dog-eared) fencing _boards_?
-- If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do. -- Samuel Butler
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"Larry Jaques" wrote in message
Picket, the part that provides the privacy. Check out what your local lumber yard or Borg calls them. A picket does not have size constraints.
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Search?keyword=picket&langId=-1&storeId051&catalogId053
scroll down.
http://www.lowes.com/SearchCatalogDisplay?Ntt=picket&langId=-1&storeId151&catalogId051&N=0
scroll down
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wrote:

Weird.
Ditto.
Even HD calls them "fence boards" on other pages. http://goo.gl/aT9pc
Every movie I've ever seen which mentioned a "white picket fence" referred to the short, narrow, open-spaced style shown here. http://goo.gl/LY8IM
-- If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do. -- Samuel Butler
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On 5/13/2011 8:04 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

That's in Pleasantville, where it is always 72, the basketballs go swoosshh, and fences don't require fasteners of any type.
--
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"Larry Jaques" wrote in message
Do you believe every thing you see in a movie? ;~)
The key words you mention above, "white picket fence" describes a particular type fence and picket.
When I hear cedar picket or PT picket fence I think 1x6x72 dog eared pickets.
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wrote:

Of course, as well as believing everything I read on the Internet. Don't you?

You also have odd tastes in tools, eschewing HF. ;)
-- It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctively native American criminal class except Congress. -- Mark Twain
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"Larry Jaques" wrote in message
Well heck yeah! LOL
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Limp Arbor" wrote:

------------------------------ Unless you want to be a slave to a wooden fence, build it out of reclaimed HDPE.
Here is one source in Green Bay, WI.
http://tinyurl.com/y976voo
Lew
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