Setting a 4x6 post into the ground... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Setting a 4x6 post into the ground...

Hello, hope this post is in the appropriate forum...was wondering if anyone could give me some advice/opinions about setting a 4x6 pressure treated post in the ground: I plan to set in concrete an 8 foot, 4x6 pressure treated post 4 feet into the ground and then attach a 16 foot 4x4 post onto that which will have a 30 pound bat house attached to it. I was going to attach the 4x4 to the 4x6 with 2 inch galvanized lag bolts—4 of them spaced at 12 inches. I am hoping this 4x6 supports the 16 foot 4x4 being in the ground 4 feet although I have read that it should be much deeper. Ultimately, the bottom 4 feet of the 4x4 post with the attached bat house will be secured to the 4x6. Any thoughts are appreciated!
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post #2 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 12:05 PM
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It should be fine, maybe over kill?

I would do the following before setting the post down the hole. The depth seems fine, but put several inches of small stone in the bottom to prevent water from pooling at the bottom. It depends on the type of soil you have in your area and you will find out when you dig the hole. Sand and gravel will be better than wet clay. I would also seal the bottom 24" of the 4 x 6 post with tar or spray on underbody coating. I've done this for about 100 4 x 4 fence posts and about 50 or so 4 x 6 deck support posts. It's cheap "insurance" to help prevent rot. Be sure you get the "underground" pressure treated posts, not the "on grade" type.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 03-13-2019 at 12:47 PM. Reason: typos
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post #3 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I would do the following before setting the post down the hole. The depth seems fine, but put several inches of small stone in the bottom to prevent water from pooling at the bottom. It depends on th etype of soil you have in your area and you will find out when you dig the hole.Sand and gravel will be better than wet clay. I would also seal the bottom 24" of the 4 x 6 post with tar or spray on underbody coating. I've done this for about 100 4 x 4 fence posts and about 50 or so 4 x 6 deck support posts. It's cheap "insurance" to help prevent rot. Be sure you get the "underground" pressure treated posts, not the "on grade" type. <img src="http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/images/smilies/vs_cool.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Vs Cool" class="inlineimg" />
Many thanks for your thoughts and quick reply!
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post #4 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 12:51 PM
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How are you going to get 2" lag bolts through a 4" post? I would use standard 9"(8" may really work when you account for the real size of the posts) galvanized bolts.


George
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post #5 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 01:16 PM
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4" x 6" seems like overkill (and heavy). A 4" x 4" post would be plenty strong enough for a bat house.

Every spring the local newspaper prints plans for bat houses and recommends their construction. Apparently this is more important than ever because of Lyme Disease, West Nile disease, etc. The bats help control the mosquito population.

https://www.mosquito.org/page/diseases

According to Sagulator you could place a 4" x 4" piece of PT lumber on cinderblocks 6 feet apart and load 900 pounds on span and have a deflection of 0.20" (1/5").

I don't know what your bat house is going to look like but I suspect that a 4" x 4" would be strong enough and lighter and easier to carry and install.

Last edited by Packard; 03-13-2019 at 01:22 PM.
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post #6 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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How are you going to get 2" lag bolts through a 4" post? I would use standard 9"(8" may really work when you account for the real size of the posts) galvanized bolts.


George
Sorry, the bolts are galvanized 2 inch diameter hex bolts--8 inch long...I will actually be using a 5/8 inch long one to use as the 'pivot' when raising the whole thing up...yes, we can't sit outside on our patio very long in the summer because the mosquitoes are so bad and are hoping to attract bats to help us out a bit!
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post #7 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a pic...plywood and cedar...
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post #8 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 03:22 PM
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A post set in packed gravel will last much longer than a post set in concrete. The concrete retains water and the post will rot right at the top of the concrete.
If the gravel is well packed, the post is just as rigid as one set in concrete. And, when it does come time to re-do it, it will be a whole lot easier to get out.
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post #9 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 05:17 PM
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2 inch diameter? a little overkill don't you think?
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post #10 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 05:56 PM
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Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial problem. Bats can't help.



Every bat house plan here supposes that the bat houses need to be mounted on the warm side of your house.
Just rig it up so the bat kaka falls unnoticed and not into your chip dip.


Any kind of a wooden pole support is too easy for cats to climb and kill off your bats.
Lower the bat houses, cats can't climb walls, keep the bats hunting where you sit.
They don't interact with people.


I have a second floor balcony off my dining room.
It is one Hello of a flying leap up there from the neighbor's fence.
A couple of cats are regular visitors, all the same.
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post #11 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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2 inch diameter? a little overkill don't you think?
Well, I do want the 4x4 post tight against the 4x6...about to drill now, wish me luck!
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post #12 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 06:48 PM
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We have a typo here ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus64 View Post
Sorry, the bolts are galvanized 2 inch diameter hex bolts--8 inch long...I will actually be using a 5/8 inch long one to use as the 'pivot' when raising the whole thing up...yes, we can't sit outside on our patio very long in the summer because the mosquitoes are so bad and are hoping to attract bats to help us out a bit!
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Well, I do want the 4x4 post tight against the 4x6...about to drill now, wish me luck!

That should read 1/2" diameter, not 2".
shoot summ likes this.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #13 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 06:49 PM
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I don't see a 2" diameter bit there, looks 1/2" to me?

The largest I can find is 1 1/2".
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post #14 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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I don't see a 2" diameter bit there, looks 1/2" to me?

The largest I can find is 1 1/2".
Geez, sorry about that! Yes, 1/2 inch bolts and one 5/8 to use as a pivot...
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post #15 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
I don't see a 2" diameter bit there, looks 1/2" to me?

The largest I can find is 1 1/2".
Geez, sorry about that! Yes, 1/2 inch bolts and one 5/8 to use as a pivot...
Bolts...1/2 diameter, one is 10", one is 8"...
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post #16 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus64 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
I don't see a 2" diameter bit there, looks 1/2" to me?

The largest I can find is 1 1/2".
Geez, sorry about that! Yes, 1/2 inch bolts and one 5/8 to use as a pivot...
Bolts...1/2 diameter, one is 10", one is 8"...
This time with photos!
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post #17 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 07:34 PM
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The cat killer issue ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial problem. Bats can't help.



Every bat house plan here supposes that the bat houses need to be mounted on the warm side of your house.
Just rig it up so the bat kaka falls unnoticed and not into your chip dip.


Any kind of a wooden pole support is too easy for cats to climb and kill off your bats.
Lower the bat houses, cats can't climb walls, keep the bats hunting where you sit.

They don't interact with people.


I have a second floor balcony off my dining room.
It is one Hello of a flying leap up there from the neighbor's fence.
A couple of cats are regular visitors, all the same.

If you use a steel pole, like 2" EMT or a PVC pipe, the cats can't climb it. I would hate to see you go to all this work, only to have a cat killer issue. No need to "bait" the neighborhood cats, since they are probably well fed anyway.




The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 03-13-2019 at 08:16 PM.
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post #18 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial problem. Bats can't help.



Every bat house plan here supposes that the bat houses need to be mounted on the warm side of your house.
Just rig it up so the bat kaka falls unnoticed and not into your chip dip.


Any kind of a wooden pole support is too easy for cats to climb and kill off your bats.
Lower the bat houses, cats can't climb walls, keep the bats hunting where you sit.

They don't interact with people.


I have a second floor balcony off my dining room.
It is one Hello of a flying leap up there from the neighbor's fence.
A couple of cats are regular visitors, all the same.

If you use a steel pole, like 2" EMT or a PVC pipe, the cats can't climb it. I would hate to see you go to all this work, only to cat a cat killer issue. No need to "bait" the neighborhood cats, since they are probably well fed anyway.



<img src="http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/images/smilies/vs_cool.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Vs Cool" class="inlineimg" />
Yes, was thinking about the cat issue but I think I will chance it. Many thanks to everyone here!
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post #19 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 08:21 PM
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There's an easy "fix" .......

Just slip a piece of 6" thin wall PVC on the 4 X 4 post before you bolt it on. Stove pipe will work also. You can also retro fit it if the bat murder rate increases to the point the bodies start piling up around the base of the post.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #20 of 75 Old 03-13-2019, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus64 View Post
Hello, hope this post is in the appropriate forum...was wondering if anyone could give me some advice/opinions about setting a 4x6 pressure treated post in the ground...Any thoughts are appreciated!
Hi Gus,

Looks like your already well into this project and have little to do than get it into the air?

I will assume you are just following standard "web base" plans for generic bat houses also.

I will add to others advise here...NO CONCRETE!!!..it will last longer and be more secure with just well packed rock and gravel around its base.

You can also extend the life span of the PT wood by charring the outside portion that goes into the ground and there are also "borate" and/or decay inhibitor "pills or plugs" that can get drilled into the wood at a later date should you wish or need more protection. PT wood is not as "rot resistant" in many of its forms as it is advertised by the manufacture.

If your design for the Bat House doesn't work as intended, don't hesitate to come back here for more assistance or drop me an email. I'm no longer an active member of BCI (Bat Conservation International) but once was in a professional capacity. Should you want to look at other examples of bat houses, check out "Chiroptera Architecture," for some ideas...I update it once or twice a year...

Good luck!

j

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