If you're etting rid of that chain link fence in favour of a wooden fence, don't remove those metal posts. Use them as the main supports for your new wooden fence with the help of brackets or by drilling through the metal posts. Your fence will be just as sturdy and attractive, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble. Here's how to build your wood fence using those metal posts.
Purchase specialised fence connectors, such as those from Simpson Strong Tie company (see Resources below). Simpson makes two different kinds for using metal poles with wooden fencing: normal, for fence-line poles, and angled, for corner poles.
Order the right amount of fence connectors for the fence you are constructing. You will need two to four per post, depending on how many horizontal support pieces you are using. You want at least two horizontal support pieces, and probably three if your fence is 5 feet tall or over.
Use chalk or marker to mark the appropriate spacing for your horizontal support pieces on each metal post.
Slide the fence connectors over the post. Tighten the connectors over the marks using the horizontal tightening screw that goes through the neck of the connector.
Get someone to hold your horizontal support piece in place, and install screws through the holes on one side of the connector and into the horizontal support piece. The holes on the other side of the connector should be used for the next horizontal support piece, which supports the next section of fencing.
Repeat for all horizontal support pieces on all poles, then install vertical fence pieces onto your horizontal support pieces.
Put three evenly spaced marks on each metal post.
Use a drill and a bit for drilling through metal. Drill one hole at each marked point on each post; aim to make the hole through the exact centre of the post.
Cut a 2x4 to the exact height of each metal post.
Have someone hold up the 2x4 while you install a long bolt through each hole in the post and all the way through 2x4. Use a nut to keep the bolt in place where it protrudes through the wooden support.
Repeat the step above until you have one 2x4 vertically attached to each metal post.
Screw or nail your horizontal support pieces onto the 2x4s that are now attached to the metal posts, then install vertical fence pieces on your horizontal support pieces.
Wear appropriate safety gear: work gloves to protect your hands, safety glasses to protect your eyes. Be sure the drill bit is securely installed on the drill before drilling into the metal. Use a drill bit designed for drilling through metal.
Keep your safety glasses on whenever you use the drill to prevent metal shards from getting into your eyes and possibly causing serious damage. Never use a warped or damaged drill bit.
Tips and warnings
- Wear appropriate safety gear: work gloves to protect your hands, safety glasses to protect your eyes.
- Be sure the drill bit is securely installed on the drill before drilling into the metal.
- Use a drill bit designed for drilling through metal.
- Keep your safety glasses on whenever you use the drill to prevent metal shards from getting into your eyes and possibly causing serious damage.
- Never use a warped or damaged drill bit.