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Hey carpenter friends. I had a lumber yard put together a package for me for a fcne im building. They suggested that I set my 4x4 posts in concrete, & I would like to auger my holes then set the posts, then hang fence sections. I am worried though that I will not end up with exact spacing on my posts for my stringers which are supposed to hang on the inside if I build it like the picture I've attached. Please advise on how I should attack this. Thanks!
 

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Old School
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For that style of fence, the pickets usually overhang the 2x4's enough to meet in the center of the 4x4. I installed 110 ft of board on board 8' sections, and installed the posts first. IOW, I just measured the length of the first and last picket, and centered the post on that measurement.

Looking at the style in the picture, just measure the length, and figure the gap between pickets, so on the other side it looks uniform. If you are concerned about the spacing, then you could do one at a time.






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I've always done them as I went for the same reason. You may need to rip a board or two down at the ends...or fudge your spacing a little to make them fit, but unless you get your posts set exactly on center, the spacing may not work out.
 

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One at a time provides the most room for error. Nothing cumulative. Nail the panel in place and then pour the concrete. You may need an occasional brace to keep all vertical.

Incidentally, when I am concreting fence posts I do not premix the concrete. I just pour the dry mix out of the bag and then wet it down.

George
 

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Incidentally, when I am concreting fence posts I do not premix the concrete. I just pour the dry mix out of the bag and then wet it down.

George
There is concrete designed for post holes where you pour in the concrete, and then add water. I don't think ordinary concrete works like that...the kind that needs mixing.







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cabinetman said:
There is concrete designed for post holes where you pour in the concrete, and then add water. I don't think ordinary concrete works like that...the kind that needs mixing.
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All Portland cement based concrete works like that. It wants to hydrate and will pull moisture from the soil in most places to do it. The only place I've ever been that it didn't was Vegas.

The prime determinant of concrete strength is the water to cement ratio. The less water the stronger the concrete.

If you just place the bagged mix dry, and tamp it in you will end up with extremely strong concrete.
 

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I read an article a while back that recommended that posts be set in gravel, not concrete. The article asserted that the gravel drains better and that the concrete around the post promoted rot by capturing water. I have a fence that was built 5 years ago and the contractor set the posts in concrete; some of those posts are already rotten. I have a post that I set in gravel 10 years ago that's still solid. I packed the gravel with the tamper end of a digger bar and it felt as solid as if in concrete.
 

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Normally with a fence like that the horizontal 2x4's are nailed to the face of the post instead of between and the exact spacing isn't that critical. What I would do with that design is buy some cheap 1x2 furring strips and temporarily nail them to the face of the posts to hold them in exact placement. You can also run some on a angle to a stake to hold the fence post plumb. Once you get all the posts set in place in their holes then mix cement and set the posts. Three or four days later you could take all the 1x2's off and finish the fence. I think cement would be alright for pressure treated posts but if you are using redwood or cedar I would fill the holes with gravel. If you are using pressure treated I would test them. I would cut one in two and see if it is green all the way through. Some unscrupulous manufactures will put the wood in an open tank to color the wood instead of actually pressure treating it. If it is pressure treated it should be green all the way through.
 

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There is concrete designed for post holes where you pour in the concrete, and then add water. I don't think ordinary concrete works like that...the kind that needs mixing.







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It has worked for me. Of course I do use a small shovel and mix a little when in the hole.

I just replaced a chain link gate post like that a few days ago.

George
 

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I read an article a while back that recommended that posts be set in gravel, not concrete. The article asserted that the gravel drains better and that the concrete around the post promoted rot by capturing water. I have a fence that was built 5 years ago and the contractor set the posts in concrete; some of those posts are already rotten. I have a post that I set in gravel 10 years ago that's still solid. I packed the gravel with the tamper end of a digger bar and it felt as solid as if in concrete.
I've switched to the metal posts - not as visually pleasing, but seem to out-fox the termites we have here. When I did wooden posts I used sort of a compromise: bottom of post buried in about 6" gravel and concrete above, to the ground surface. Made sure to "dome" the concrete at the surface to drain water away.
 

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My parents had a wood fence put up a few years ago, metal posts pneumatically driven 3-4 feet in, no concrete or gravel, and the posts are covered with wood on the back side. Looks slick, no metal showing, and no rot to worry about.
 
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