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Chain Link Fence Posts

Rustic Home >Chain Link Fence (part 2)


  1. Start with the corner posts by removing the stake and dig a posthole where the stake was in the ground. Dig all of the corner post holes first.
    NOTE: Cover the holes with something solid so no one can step in one by accident; accidents are preventable!

    The depth of the hole depends on the height of the fence. Typical chain link sizes are widths of 36", 42", and 48", and 5', 6', and 8' high. Use the one-third rule, which states that one-third of the fence post is set into the ground. So, a 6' fence post is buried 2', leaving 4' above ground.

    Corner and gate posts may be set 1' deeper for added strength. Corner/gate posts are 2" taller than the line posts for the connections of the top rail. All holes should be at least 3 times as wide as the diameter of the post.
  2. At the first hole, widen the base of the hole with a small shovel to increase the strength needed on corner posts. The footing can be made wider at the bottom for added stability.
  3. Set a rock or gravel on the bottom of the hole to keep the post base from sitting on dirt. This is especially important if you are using wood posts. It raises the base off the dirt and prevents water from saturating and decaying the post.
  4. Set the post into the hole, and refill the hole halfway with the dirt removed. Pack the dirt firmly to support the post, then brace and plumb the post with two notched 1 X 4s. Repeat the process with all corner posts before adding the concrete in order to save time and energy.
  5. Pour mixed concrete over the dirt fill and around the post, tamping it to remove air pockets. Trowel and taper the concrete at the surface, around the post and upward so that water can run off and away from the post and hole. Concrete footings take 24 hours to initially cure and 3 or more days before any pressure should be placed on the posts.
  6. When all corner and gate posts are set, retie the string between them, leaving the stakes in the ground at each post location.
  7. Remove each stake, dig the hole, and set and brace each post as you did with corner and gate posts. Use the string to keep each post in line with the other posts. Dig, set, and brace each post before pouring the concrete.
  8. In case a post is misaligned you can always correct it just before pouring the concrete. If t Pour concrete in each posthole as you did on the corner and gate posts; and allow to cure at least 3 or more days.

NOTE: Use the dry pour method to save time and energy, by pouring dry premixed concrete from an 80-LB. bag, and adding water later. The real trick is to completely saturate the dry mix by providing steady sprinkling of water for several hours, without displacing the dry concrete. Footing dimension guidelines are shown here for line and terminal posts.

The top rail is used to add stability and strength to the fence. The rail is a continuous piece of metal between corner/gate posts that runs on top of the line posts. It is important to be familiar with all the chain link fence components before beginning.

  1. Install eye caps on all line posts. You need to be able to site through all of the caps so that the rail can slip through them.
  2. Attach the center band and tension band to all corner/gate posts.
    NOTE: The tension bands go on first, about 12" apart, the center bands about 2-1/2" below the top of the end posts.
  3. Slip the rail through the eye caps to the other corner/gate posts. Connect rail lengths with sleeve connectors as you slide the rails through the caps.
  4. Attach the rail ends to the top rail. Tighten all bolts hand-tight. Keep all bolts and the straight side of the tension bands to the outside of the fence.

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