Saturday, 11 January 2014

Recycling Old Fence Posts

With my full time homemaker job role approaching in the spring I'm always on the lookout to save money, and I managed to save a few pounds this week with some old posts.
Ken, one of our next door neighbours, was ripping out a section of fencing on the boundary to our field (not our fence though so we don;t have to pay for it) to replace it with new, higher fencing, that would keep in the mad boxer dog Jilly.
 The old fence post broke off at the ground, rotten where they were in the soil, but otherwise sound. The only trouble was they were destined for his bonfire. I intervened.
 10 minutes with the chainsaw and they all had new points added to them.
Voila! 11 new fruit tree stakes.
They'd be no good for fencing now, too short and not really a big enough diameter, but they'll easily last the few years they're needed to support a fruit tree and as I'll plant a few more this winter it's saved me a bit of money.
Anyone else got a use for old fence posts?

22 comments:

  1. Doesn't it just kill you to see things like this going to waste? I've just rescued a whole load of flood damaged skirting boards from a skip near us, nothing wrong with them, they'll dry out in my back shed. Don't know what I shall do with them yet but I just couldn't bear to see them chucked out! Your fence posts will do a fine job. Oh, congratulations on your future stay at home dad life, but do keep up your carpentry posts, I find them so interesting!

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    1. The carpentry posts will stay (I'm guessing you mean from saw dust in my socks) as I'll keep doing some jobs to keep a bit of money coming in. I have a bit of a reputation at work as I don't like to see anything chucked away.

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  2. We chainsaw them into firewood for the stove.

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    1. Not sure if I like burning tanalised wood in the house though, although it shouldn't matter in my stove I guess. Everything wooden has the final home of the fire!

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  3. Acting like a true smallholder! How exciting that you will be at home full-time!
    Gill

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    1. I think I was acting like one before I had the holding! I'm also what you could call frugal!

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  4. Excellent idea and good save! It all adds up! congrats on the full time stay home :) We use metal posts a lot (purchased most at auctions cheep) they take a bit to get them out of the ground if we decide to move them but we reuse them over and over.

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    1. Metal posts would be great for fencing but they're not very common over here, normally wooden fencing post or concrete sometimes. Any savings I can make count at the moment!

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  5. As you know I have 300 feet of 6 foot high stockade fencing around the two back sides of my property and the cedar posts will usually soak up water and break during a hard blow in winter when they freeze. So I wind up with a lot of 6 footers like you. I do have some lower section of fencing as well and when these break I can re-use the 6 foot pieces from the taller section to replace them. I find that If you tar the end that goes in the ground so the tar line is just 6 inches above ground level it helps to keep them from soaking water in and helps them last a bit longer.

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    1. Could you not change them for concrete posts so you wouldn;t have this problem? We don;t have aproblem with them freeezing like that - it doesn't really get cold enough to snap them off if it does. Over here a lot of people use panel between concrete posts (I've got a bit to do here by one of the sheds so I'll show you soon) then if the wind blows them out you pop them back in or if they rot away you just by new panels (they stand up on concrete gravel boards).
      With your neigbours maybe you should razor wire to the top of yours!

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    2. Ground here is all granite with a thin layer of clay over it. So the ground is very wet. The problem is the wood soaks in the water and rots becoming weak right at surface level and then in winter they freeze hard and become brittle and snap off with a good blow when the solid fencing catches the wind. So taring them waterproofs them and extends life on them a bit. I have never seen concrete fence post here. Might have to look in to making my own mmm? a new line of business? nahh I hate concrete work. Razor wire and broken bottles on top of a cinder block wall as we had in South America... I'd love to do that....zoning board might have something to say about a Berlin wall though.

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    3. Here's a link to a concrete fence post os you can see what I mean http://www.diy.com/nav/garden/fencing-paving-decking/fencing/fence_posts/-specificproducttype-concrete_fence_posts/Grange-Litecast-Slotted-Concrete-Fence-Post-H-1-75m-x-W-90mm-Pack-of-5-10767864?ecamp=SEAPLA11258570&ef_id=Us3PpgAABb33zPaW:20140112204038:s&noCookies=false
      Quite a long link though!
      Sounds like a tough place to live in South America

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    4. Yes you should have seen the school I attended in Caracas, Top of a hill in the middle of a real gritty slum like a citadel on a mountain, it had 20 foot tall concrete wall with broken bottles and barbed wire at top to keep the bad guys out. You ran the gauntlet coming and going. No walking out. You rode the bus or got a ride with someone.
      Those concrete posts are not cheap. 19 pounds piece. UFFFF.. but I get the idea. But how do yo attach wooden panels to it? The original posts on my property are cedar, and they are about 12 yrs old, by now I have replaced at least half of them with 4x4x8 pressure treated post that I tar. About 4$ a piece. The fencing is solid so you can't see through it...keeps the whacked out crack junkie and her antics on her side, and its not tall enough as far as I am concerned.

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  6. Great save, your frugalness will really help as part of your new role. I strongly believe that it is the stay at home persons job to stretch the pennies , my hubby often compliments me by telling me I save us more money than I could earn in a part time job. It's that whole time /money quandry again!

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    1. We're both pretty good at it, but I know what you mean. Hopefully I'll be able to make cakes and things to keep costs down as well. At the moment I have very little spare time so I'm looking forward to the switch!

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  7. You've just reminded me; I've got several fruit tree ties to replace!

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    1. I've got to check all mine and do some light pruning soon!

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  8. My house and cottages are up on eucalyptus poles. The wood is very resistant to rot and termites but nevertheless, before sinking them, we let the lower portion soak in a drum of waste engine oil. Unlike tar, which just sticks to the surface, the oil penetrates preventing the ingress of moisture.

    I am busy recycling all the wood left over from the build into raised beds and a very large chicken coop.

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    1. They used to use Elm a lot over here for piles - but not anymore now the elms are all gone. I'm fencing at the moment and we've managed to get some posts treated with the magic "c" word so I know they'll last longer than me!

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    2. No eucalyptus or elm over here, dutch elm disease killed them all of about 50 yrs ago. The fence post I buy are pressure treated southern yellow pine, its about the best you can do around here. The problem is that here the ground is wet and then in winter it freezes solid, and it tends to shift anything that in the ground, including the concrete foundation/basement on the house. Mine was built in 1937 and every now and then during a real cold spell you will hear these real hard bangs and pops as the ice tries to squeeze the foundations out of the ground, So the fence doesn't just freeze and break off, if it survives it also shifts a lot. Its a harsh climate.

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    3. Luckily it doesn't get cold enough here to do that. Fence post have got worse over the years though and now the tanalised ones only last a few years. That's why I'm so pleased to find some that are boiled in creosote! Oak or sweet chestnut would be the other option to last a long yime but they'd cost a fortune!

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