Scrounging for fence posts
Today, we have once again confirmed that I do not think like an engineer. Thankfully, I am married to one. I’d say that was good planning on my part, but I wasn’t savvy enough to plan it for ALL the good traits he has.
The exercise was fence building, because the acre pasture may grow too rich to be healthy for my one horse, Penelope, to have unrestricted access. It is our first spring at this location, so a new dividing fence was required.
Fortunately we had just been given a few used t-post fence posts. On top of that, the previous owner had left about 10 of them in the shed. *All* we had to do was use bolt cutters to remove globs of barbed wire, then bend the posts back to being straight.
My husband is both thrifty and handy, so we may very well have done this whether or not we were supposed to shelter in place. If it had been just me, I would not have known how to easily get the barbed wire off and the fence would not yet exist.
I did get a chance to use the bolt cutters myself and can testify that they are easy to used for this. Sometimes my husband does something easily, then hands me the tool to give it a try and it is embarrassingly unproductive. As in, nothing happens. Like I’m not even trying. But the bolt cutters empowered me!
We still needed to straighten the crooked fence posts
Steel fence posts are not something you casually bend. That’s why we used our magic willow tree branch. Hahahaha.
I’m sure my husband would have come up with another lever system to bend the fence posts, but when we were working under the old willow tree for the shade, I noticed a very odd branch.
This branch looks like it self-grafted quite a while ago. We’ve only lived here for a few months, so we weren’t around to see it before.
Both for a more comfortable grip and for leverage, my husband got a large pipe from his stash. Because, yeah, he just has large pipes laying around in case he needs to bend something. The pipe was very heavy and it was awkward to get it to stay on the end of the fence post, so he asked for help from little ole’ me.
Then he just bent the fence post back to almost perfectly straight. Just like that.
He looked up the length of the fence post to check it and wasn’t completely satisfied. It only needed a touch more bending, so he just used his bare hands this time. Whether he is just super strong or he knows how to get magic from the willow tree, either way, I am totally impressed.
Gate latches and hinges
The first thing we did for actually building the fence was put huge hinges into one of the wooden perimeter posts. He purchased these at D&B Supply for a lovely welded gate he made. The gate was not made to be a horse pasture gate, but we don’t have a more pressing need for it on this new property, so the pasture gets this bit of bling.
He used a very large drill bit to make a hole for screwing in the hinge. Then he got another pipe, smaller this time, to turn the hinge and screw it tightly into the wooden post.
He gave me a turn screwing in the lower hinge, but had to run to the garage for another special pipe because the ground was in the way. If you look at the photo below, you can see how he connected two pipes to make this lever.
While I was slowly pounding in fence posts (count 8 pounds, rest, count 8 more), he went to work on welding the gate latch our of rebar. He had already used various large pieces of metal and the willow tree to bend the piece of rebar into a handle shape. The piece of rebar on the gate fits into the handle shape, then turns to keep it latched.
I have to admit that after pounding in 10 fence posts, I was too pooped to pop. And I was getting light headed. So dear husband pounded in the remaining 5 steel t-posts lickety split while I experimented with putting the plastic electric wire holders on the other t-posts.
I’ll be taking a hot bath tonight to soothe my aching shoulders. Okay, I take a hot bath almost every night, but my shoulders and neck will particularly appreciate it tonight. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have a photo of the finished fence for you, just to prove we did it.