The most common methods of setting wooden fence posts are driving the posts directly into soil or embedding the posts within concrete. To fence large, rural properties or agricultural operations, builders often drive posts directly into the soil. For many residential applications, builders embed posts within concrete. If you learn about the hand tools and power tools used to install wooden fence posts, you can select a set that suits your project's size and budget.
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Manual Post Driver
The manual post driver tool allows builders to accurately pound both wooden and metal fence posts directly into the ground. The manual post driver consists of a hollow, metal cylinder with C-shaped handles protruding from two sides. While one end of the post driver's cylinder is open, the opposite end is welded shut. To use a post driver, builders position the post's tip on the ground and slide the post driver over the post's top. The builder grips the post driver's handles and pounds the driver up and down on the post's top to force the post's tip into the ground.
Power Post Driver
Power post drivers resemble manual post drivers in function but benefit from motorised, hydraulic or pneumatic assistance with pounding. Like manual post drivers, power post drivers consist of a hollow cylinder that slides up and down upon a post's top. Whereas some power post drivers attach to tractors or loaders, other are stand-alone, pneumatic power tools. As with manual post drivers, builders use power post drivers to pound both wooden and metal line posts, typically for agricultural or large-scale applications.
Post Hole Digging Tools
For installations that require wooden posts set in or atop concrete, builders dig post holes with both manual and power digging tools. Manual digging tools include the familiar square-nosed and round-nosed shovel and the clam-shell-shaped post hole shovel. Power digging tools include post hole augers, which attach to tractors and loaders, and backhoes equipped with digging buckets.
Anchoring Posts to Concrete
Posts for fences and structure foundations often attach to an above-grade slab or pier of concrete. To anchor wooden posts to concrete, builders commonly connect post brackets to the concrete surface with concrete screws, concrete expansion anchors or epoxy-fastened anchors. To bore holes for concrete fasteners, builders use hammer drills equipped with masonry drill bits. Additionally, builders must bore bolt holes through wooden posts with a power drill and wood drill bit, such as a spade or auger bit.
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