Fixing wooden fence posts

Options for wooden fence posts:
(1) Dig a hole, put the end in, ram the earth down
(2) MetPost spikes, no hole
(3) Dig a hole, PostFix the post in
Which ones are likely to last 5 years for 6' * 6' fence panels? Post into earth seems the cheapest but what with all the windy weather I wonder how long this will stay firm. Don't know how strong MetPost spikes are. Don't want to have to go back (or pay someone) to re-fix the posts and panels.
Proper way is to use concrete posts in postfix and concrete gravel boards but this is for a rental property to be sold in about 4-5 years time.
Cheers
Dave R
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For a *good as new* look in 5 years time you should bolt the uprights to concrete stubs.
I usually ram small rubble/stones to secure a post as I think concrete provides a shear point and may encourage rot by trapping water. If you do go for *post into earth* spend a few pennies on preservative for the 6" above and 12" below soil level.
regards
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On 12/12/2011 11:22, Tim Lamb wrote:

I guess as you are selling the pain of digging out the old postfix next time doesn't bother you.

That's what I always do. And I reckon when the fence does go all I'll need is a spanner to put the new one up. No more big bars, spades, trowel down the hole...

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David WE Roberts wrote:

That should last 5 years with pressure treated posts

Spawn of the devil - always wobble

That works - post dies as fast as 1
and
4) 2" angle iron concreted in, 2' prominent above ground, fix posts with coachscrews or bolts. Advantage: easy to change the posts, not that you care in this instance.

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In the US, high density two part PU foam is becoming popular, saw a site promoting it for small and big stuff, up to the size of utility poles. Sounded to me like it would be good as it will be closed cell (if using the right stuff) and so should protect from rot.
And can I remember the site name, no, but it was US anyway so google would be needed to find something over here anyway.
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fred
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<>

That (or very similar) is being used to fix motorway crash barriers. Can't see why it would protect from rot though. Rather, I guess its impact on rotting will depend in the local factors such as wetness of ground, funneling of water into the post, etc., just as with concrete.
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Rod

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In that case I thought the posts were pushfit and the foam was just to stop the hole filling up with water <?>.

Different from concrete in that it is not moisture permeable (the right stuff is closed cell) but see what you mean as rot tends to happen at the interface between buried post. I haven't used it though so can't be sure either way.
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fred
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It would be good to know exactly what is done and why.
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I've found that when concreting wooden posts take the concrete around an inch above the soil level. If you just concrete and then infill with soil the post will rot quickly at the soil level.
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or cement/ballast mix.
The trick is to get good quality fence posts [1] , and make them deep enough. 2 feet deeper than the panel is ideal.
[1] There are 2 fence suppliers within a mile of me, and one at 7 miles away. i only ever use the one 7 miles away as his panels and posts are far superior to the others.
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On 12/12/2011 10:59, David WE Roberts wrote:

Hmmmm....
Work very well. Buy the tool. Drive a spike in first, if they hit a rock they can twist. Keeps post base off ground & prevents rot.

Also good, but more work than (2) Rotted posts can be repaired with repair spikes.

2 + 3.

+1
Very.
Wickes are actually quite cheap for Metposts.
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On Mon, 12 Dec 2011 19:02:37 -0000, The Medway Handyman

They very much do twist. They are effectively unusable here - ground is flints separated by little heavy clay.
When I did try one (first thing I tried to do in the garden here) I couldn't get it to drive in straight, far enough or without becoming totally mangled. And that was with the 'proper' tool.
All later fencing done with postfix. Each posthole has a story of scraged knuckles, broken steel tools, etc. But at least they worked. I could probably have got away without the postfix if I could have dug the hole neatly - I swear I'd only need about a 6-inch deep hole for a 6-foot fence panel. (I did go much further, but often less than the recommended depths - with ground like concrete it isn't easy to summon the will to go any deeper than appears necessary.)
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Rod

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In the mid 80s, I put up a 70' long, 5' 6" fence using MetPosts in clay/flint ground (I hesitate to say 'soil'), and had no problems - apart from first having to make a few pilot holes with a spike where it was really stony. My MetPosts were not the type which clamp onto the fence post. They were simply a whack-it-in interference fit. Instead of 'the tool', I simply used a slightly thinned-down piece of old fence post.

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Ian

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On Mon, 12 Dec 2011 20:33:56 -0000, Ian Jackson
<>

Yep - same type I tried. I really don't see what option the point has but to buckle when it hits a huge flint - many of the ones I have taken out have been 6 or more inches across. Mind, smaller flints might have moved.
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wrote:

Should have said that it is very light soil, so ramming a spike in isn't likely to hold too well. Easy in, easy out.
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On 12/12/2011 19:20, polygonum wrote:

http://www.wickes.co.uk/invt/190347/?tapopen=cm
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On Tue, 13 Dec 2011 20:04:42 -0000, The Medway Handyman

They might have helped some of the knuckle damage, but not that much, I feel. :-(
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wrote:

Got one like that for doing my own fence properly - concrete posts and gravel board. Wonderful for clearing out a hole but no good at all for digging in hard soil (or aggregate/rubble/whatever). A mattock is a wonderful thing. As is a 6 foot long wrecking bar.
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On Tue, 13 Dec 2011 22:41:58 -0000, David WE Roberts
<>

6 foot wrecking bar was my choice as well.
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I used a 3/4 tonne digger and in some places a diamond core drill because the rocks were too big to move.
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