How to Set Posts Using Metal Stakes

Written by mark morris
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How to Set Posts Using Metal Stakes
Use a sledgehammer to drive your stake in firmly. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Fence posts and other load-bearing posts should be set in deep footings, surrounded by gravel or concrete. Digging a hole and mixing concrete may be more work than you are willing to do for a semi-permanent sign or lightweight post for a letter box. You can use post stake brackets to install posts without digging holes.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 4-by-4 post
  • Circular saw
  • Post stake bracket
  • Level
  • Sledgehammer
  • Socket wrench
  • Pry bar

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  1. 1

    Select the location for your post, away from buried pipes and electrical and gas lines. Call the local underground marking service to locate and mark your utility lines. If you are unsure whom to call, contact your water company to find out who does the marking in your area.

  2. 2

    Cut off a 12-inch piece of 4-by-4 post using a circular saw. Fit this post stub into the square top of the post stake bracket. Press the bracket firmly into the soil as far as you can with your hands. Use a level to check and adjust the bracket to be vertically level. Tip the bracket as needed to line the bubble up in the indicator front to back and side to side.

  3. 3

    Use a sledgehammer to drive the cut post and bracket into the soil. Strike on the centre of the post and work to drive it down as straight as possible to maintain level. Use the level to check and adjust the bracket once you have driven it halfway in. Continue driving the bracket down until the collar reaches the ground level.

  4. 4

    Remove the cut post and insert the actual post into the bracket. Check the post for level and adjust as needed. Insert the bolts supplied with the stake into the holes in the bracket and tighten them with a socket wrench. Do not over-tighten.

  5. 5

    Remove the bolts from the bracket and lift the post out when you are finished. Dig out enough dirt on one side to slide a pry bar under the edge of the bracket. Lay a cut piece of 4-by-4 next to the bracket on the side you removed the dirt from. Use the pry bar to lever the bracket up out of the ground.

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