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Concrete Posts Endure In Alaska
Bernie Willis’s concrete electric fence posts save him money and have held up well through Alaska’s tough winters. So far, the only thing that has ever damaged them was a hungry moose that was caught in the high tensile wire and fought so hard to get free that it broke one off.
  Willis got the concrete post idea from his father-in-law, a Washington contractor who made posts instead of wasting leftover cement. Willis also once saw concrete posts on a trip to New Zealand.
  About 10 years ago, when he needed to fence paddocks for his horses, treated corner posts cost about $15 each in Alaska. He purchased Portland cement and made his own posts for about $5 each.
  Willis makes forms out of boards and plywood for 7-ft. long posts, so about 42 in. of the post is out of the ground. He embeds scraps of 3/4-in. square by 4-in. log plastic (UHMW) for insulators. A hole is drilled through both ends of the plastic – to secure it to rebar inside the cement post. Wire runs through the hole outside the post.
  Instead of braces above ground, Willis secures the post with treated boards next to the posts and flat just under the ground for side resistance.
  “The cross piece acts as a fulcrum to keep the post from tipping over,” he explains.
  He forms each post with a taper, from 6 in. to 4 in. for corner posts and 12 in. to 6 in. for gate posts. To set a cement post, he digs a hole with his backhoe, then chains it to the bucket and drops it in, backfilling the hole by hand.
  Willis has made about a dozen posts for his paddocks with plastic electrical conduit as spacers between the high tensile wires.
  “With these strong cement posts, I only need a post in the ground about every 100 ft. when the ground is flat,” he notes.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bernie Willis, 7362 W. Parks Hwy. 246, Wasilla, Alaska 99623 (ph 907 357-4233).


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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4