How to Make a Post Driver
The most difficult part of installing a new fence is setting the posts. Wooden fence posts, commonly used for older fences, require holes excavated by hand or with a power auger. Modern steel "T" fence posts eliminate the need for digging. Instead, they are driven into the ground with a hand or power post driver. If you are fencing a garden, or other small area, making your own hand post driver is easy and inexpensive.
Thread the cap onto the pipe.
Tighten the cap. Fit one pipe wrench just below the threaded end of the pipe on the left-hand side, and fit the second pipe wrench on the right-hand side of the cap. To get the best leverage on the wrenches, there should be no more than a 15-degree arc between the two handles. Pull the handles of the wrenches together. Repeat until the cap is tight.
Turn the capped pipe upside down, and apply a mild corrosive to the seam between the cap and the pipe. For this application, a commercial thread adhesive or a carbonated cola drink poured over the exposed threads will work.
- Applying a thread adhesive to your post driver will prevent the cap from working itself loose while driving posts.
- Use heavy-gauge steel only. Driving posts will put a great deal of stress on the driver. Many low-cost post drivers will fail after only a few posts.
- Welding handles made of rebar above the center of gravity on your driver can make driving large numbers of posts easier.
- A short section of an old drive shaft, if you can find one, will work well as a post driver.
Finn McCuhil is a freelance writer based in Northern Michigan. He worked as a reporter and columnist in South Florida before becoming fascinated with computers. After studying programming at University of South Florida, he spent more than 20 years heading up IT departments at three tier-one automotive suppliers. He now builds wooden boats in the north woods.
- Old wooden posts and barbed wire farm fence against blue sky. image by GoodMood Photo from Fotolia.com