Thursday, July 16, 2009

PowerFlex Fence Project :: Day Two

Tuesday was a nice day. It was partly cloudy with a breeze that kept things cool for all of the work. Tuesday night into Wednesday it stormed and stormed, but when we woke up yesterday morning the sun was shining and except for all the mud it was another great day to work. So, with the weather in our favor we started early and got quite a bit of work done. If you were out on the farm working with us today you probably would have heard me say things like this:
  • "Ahh, my boots are stuck in the clay/mud/goop!"
  • "I am ready to be done with the wood posts and move on to the rest of the fence."
  • "There is no way I could have every got this done without the help of you (talking to Gary Duncan of PowerFlex)."
  • "I cannot believe how light weight these posts are."
  • "There is no way I could pull one of these out of the ground."
  • "I've put a few different kinds of posts up on this farm in the past year, but by far I like putting this one in the best (in reference to the PowerFlex posts)."
  • "Check this out, I'm carrying the post driver and five posts with no problem. No way I could do that with steel posts."
  • "You know, I think even I can figure out how to do this (in reference to putting up the fence myself)."
  • "That is so cool, but I can't do it (me talking about how Mr. Duncan breaks off the wire with a clean break)."
That is just a small sampling of the positive things I had to say about our new Hi-Tensile fence and PowerFlex posts. I really can't believe how cool the process is of putting up this fence and strength (and looks) of the posts. One really cool thing about the PowerFlex posts is how easy it is drive them into the ground. Granted, the ground was soft after the rain, but we drove them in so quickly with just a regular post driver. If the ground is more solid you can just pound a pilot hole and then pound in your PowerFlex post. Let's just put it this way, in about thirty minutes time we put in about 70 posts!

Another thing that I found really exciting is how easy it is to attach the wire to the posts. We made a guide to place the holes at the correct spacing on the posts and then just used a cordless drill and a 7/32's bit to drill through in no time. Now we have one section of fence along the road completely done. I can't tell you how great that is and how amazing it looks!

Today we are back at it again and I think we will finish up the rest of the fence along the road. After that I will move onto the three-wire fence along the inside of the trees. I have set that up with a couple of gate openings so that I can get back there with a tractor to cut wood and also so we can flash graze the cattle in the woods and along the edges. Make sure you check back tomorrow to see what we get done!

Also, if you are in the area today, feel free to drop on by to see the process and talk to Mr. Duncan.


John said...

In the first picture, why do you use the black tubes on the non-electric lines and insulators on the electric? I would have thought the non-electric could go direct on the pole and the tubes could be used for the electric, so that you did not need insulators?


PS, the lowest line is electric, I see. How will you keep it from grounding out with weed growth?

PPS - what is the inch spacing on the fence?

Art Blomquist said...

5 a.m. this morning my wife decided it was time to run some electricity around the yard perimeter. The cows always seem to find away through the four strand barb wire. Will be checking for a local supplier..

Suz said...

Wow, you are inspiring me. 70 posts in 30 min? Holy crow!
At my place (Vermont) we thought we could get away another year with movable electric net for our goats. That is turning out to be FALSE. So now back to the original plan to do what you are doing: fence the perimeter with Powerflex posts and high-tensile woven wire. Being where we are, we will most likely have to figure it out by ourselves. You are giving me courage. Thanks for your blog!

GARY said...

The reason that we used the wrap-a-round insulators on the ground wires is to give Ethan some options for the future. He has baby pigs as well as possibily some goats down the road. (he hasnt formally admitted he is getting goats, but after working with him for 3 days - he is getting goats someday, haha)
By doing it the way we did, he has the option of running the lower two wires either hot or ground simply by using some clip-on jumper leads. He can also add an energy limitor to the bottom hot wire if he wants. This will automatically turn off the bottom wire during periods of heavy vegitation or heavy dew mornings, thus, not putting a drain on his entire system. That bottom wire at 6" off the ground will incur a load at times.
We also drove in a ground rod at the entrance, so the ground wires are well grounded.
Additionlly, we did a lot of things with "future options" in mind on Ethans fence. As we worked on this project together, we talked over a lot of "what if" scenerio's. I feel confident that Ethan will be well prepared to make changes on his system as his grazing skills and livestock choices change and evolve in the future.
The line spacing on this fence is 6inches all the way up with the top 2 being 8". The posts are 66" tall, they are 18" in the ground. The top of the posts are 48" and the top wire is 2" from the top at 46" off the ground.

Yeoman said...

I love the photos of your hats in this thread. Can I swipe one, and attribute it back to you, for my annual "put on your darn hat in the sun" thread on my blog?

GARY said...

Yeoman - you can use my hat, but, do NOT wash it before you send it back !


Ethan Book said...

Yeoman - Feel free to use the picture. My wife was out taking pictures and of course making sure I had my hat on!

Yeoman said...

Ethan, thanks. And thanks should go out to your wife for making you wear a hat.

Gary,. . .um. . .thanks. . . I think.

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