This has probably been our largest and most rewarding project to date. Getting our children involved from beginning to end made this a wonderful learning experience and brought us all a sense of accomplishment!
We decided it was time to fence about 10 acres of our property. One of our goals is to always save money so we decided since we had pine trees that needed to be thinned anyways, we would start there and make our own posts for H-Frames. (For those who don’t know, an “H” Frame helps strengthen the wire fencing and we placed our “H” Frames approximately 100 feet apart from each other) Now, we did get lucky here since two sides of the property already had fencing up.
Step One: Find the trees you need to cut down and make sure you have a sharp chainsaw blade to do it! We “fell” about 12 trees to get 36 posts @ 3 posts per tree. It takes 3 to make one H-Frame.
Step Two: De-bark the posts you’ve cut. This process took most of the afternoon but, truly went pretty quickly since we had the tools to do it! I believe they are called “draw knives or blades”.
Debarking a tree is serious work! I’m so thankful our children were able to do this! They decided to have a contest on who could finish fastest. As you can see below, the hubby was pretty exhausted!
Step Three: Lay out your new posts about 100 feet apart from each other. No need to measure exactly yet, that comes when you’re ready to dig holes in the ground!
Step Four: Dig a hole. We used a manual auger since our ground was pretty saturated from all the rains and a tractor would’ve been stuck. In the photo below, you can see the pink tape used to measure when the hole is deep enough. (We went 2 feet down)
Step Five: Use the largest post end and put it in the ground. It takes one 50 pound bag of cement for each post in the ground.
Step Six: Measure each post at a width of 8 feet from the center. Cut notches 55″ from the bottom up and mark your line for the first notch to cut out. This will be the bottom cut. Then, measure the log at each end and make another mark for the top. Slide the post in the notches and use a VERY LONG nail to pound in each end. We then took barb wire and wrapped it around each post cross-wise. U-nails were used to hold the barb wire in place and yay! You have an H-Frame!
Step Seven: Oh yay. The T-posts need to be driven into the ground! We placed our T-posts 8 feet apart. We marked them with spray paint 2 feet up from the bottom so it was easier to tell when they were driven into the ground deep enough.
Step Eight: Now, we are ready to unroll our fencing and attach it! Starting at the first H-Frame, use U-nails to do this part. Then, unroll the fencing until you hit the next H-Frame. I will be editing this to show what we used to unroll the fence easier and how we were able to stretch it very nicely! It involved a come-along, ties and a homemade contraption on our side by side. (Hubby can be quite the genius) 🙂
Step Nine: Add your gate!
Step Ten: We started out using aluminum fence ties which I actually thought were pretty easy to tie. Once we ran out, we ended up purchasing T-Post clips made of steel. Ehhh. To me, they were harder to maneuver around the fencing but, I’m told they hold up longer than the aluminum ones.
I have to say, if my kids and I can do this? Anyone can make it happen! It is even more rewarding to look out at the fencing and know all that hard work is helping protect our animals!