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How strong is 3/4" rebar ?  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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So,  looking for stuff to use as fence posts I found 20 foot lengths of  3/4" rebar for $15.49.
At $0.77 a foot that's damned cheap.
But is it strong?
My experience with 3/8" and 1/2"  rebar is that they are too flimsy to hold up chain link fencing.
3/4" rebar seems like it would be damned stout,and I bet it would  drive pretty well,  better than a "U" post probably as good as as a t post.

Does anyone have any experience using this stuff?
 
master pollinator
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I use 3/8 to hold up my chicken wire to keep woodchucks out of my garden.

What are you using the Rebar for? You said fencing, but what kind of fencing?

It would be woefully inadequate if you are trying to hold up field fence (also called Page Wire), but if you are holding up a few strands of electric wire, 3/8 will do that since the shock is the barrier, and not the fence integrity itself holding the animals in (or keeping predators out).

The other factor is connections from the wire to the post. Here wood posts are cheaper than the 3/4 rebar you cite, but then factoring in the special connections it would take to connect the fence to the rebar would cost quite a bit too.

I did the math and a rebar post would be $4.62 where as a wood post here is $3.50 a post. I do not see a steel post lasting that much longer then a wood post.
 
pollinator
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He is using chain link.

It should be fine if you use heavier posts at corner, then use heavier post spaced maybe every 4th or 5th post on the straight runs. The corners take the force when you stretch it. The other other posts just keep it upright.

Set your corners first then run a string from corner post to corner post. This will get you a nice staight fence.

Look around for "sucker rods". They are 7/8 thick and can be bought cheaply sometimes.
 
master pollinator
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3/4" rebar is very strong. The problem with using it for fencing is that it can come out of the ground as easily as it goes in. Anchored in concrete it is quite effective.  
 
William Bronson
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Thanks for your replies.
Not that I'm a purist,but treated wood posts deteriorate into toxic debris , eventually.
I favor also favor metal posts due to the rocky soil on my lot.
Driving an 8 foot post two feet deep is  easier than digging a two food deep hole through the rubble.
My last attempt used "U" posts screwed to lumber.
Even with buttresses, the fence still fell when buffeted by high wind.
The heavy gate attached to it did not help.
To be clear, this is a fence made of cedar offcuts over a 2x6 frame.
It's heavy duty.
The posts were not.

I mentioned chainlink, as I want posts that are least strong enough for that application.
Connecting the fence to the post shouldn't be hard, I have a collection of bootleg methods that seem to work great.
"Hose clamps" for example.
The plan is to use more posts, closer together, digging post holes where I can, driving posts in where I can't.
I will also buttress it again, better this time.

I have used all sorts of posts, and I will continue to do so, but I need something good for this repair.
I'm even considering a stack of  1 and 1/2 IBC totes as a rock and earth filled column, for the corner of the gate.
With a 4' x 3.5' base, no deep digging should be necessary, just leveling and compacting, maybe some gravel...hmm...



At the local menards, which tends to be the cheapest big box for such things , hearabouts, the prices for 8 foot posts look like this:
8' chain link terminal posts cost  $14.99
10.5' of top rail costs $9.99
An 8' pine fence post costs $8.09
Direct ground contact treated wood AC2® treated 4"x 4"" x 8' cost $7.88

At $7.75 a post, not counting the 4' of leftover steel, rebar is still winning.
But 8 foot T posts cost only $5.59!
At 1.3125 lbs per foot, it's not as stout as the rebar which is 1.5 lbs a foot, but the T bar cost less and might be better steel.

I need to take trip to the salvage yard, to see what 8 feet of steel costs there.
Not much drilling around here, so sucker bars(or well casing!) probably wont show up.
The 3/4" rebar I will keep in mind , especially for domes or hoops, etc. but transporting it in full lengths would be a chore anyway.

At the scrap yard I will look for rigid conduit 1" diameter or bigger, EMT 1/12" or bigger, and chain link posts 1 5/8" or bigger.
If any of those are less than $5.59 for 8 feet or better, I will buy them.
Bed rail,or other L beams also seem like good steel, if it's long enough.
While I'm there, I can prospect for sheet metal-I have some privacy issues to deal with.
First opaque fences, then willow trees, and finally bamboo, of they won't piss off.

Craigslist has one good lead, for square tubing at less than $11 for 24 feet, 35 cents a pound!
Even that is at a scrapyard, so I think I will hit my regular scrap yard first.

Any other input, would be welcome.








 
steward
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William Bronson wrote:But 8 foot T posts cost only $5.59!
At 1.3125 lbs per foot, it's not as stout as the rebar which is 1.5 lbs a foot, but the T bar cost less and might be better steel.


Remember though, the shape of the steel matters more than the weight.  The t post is designed for the application so it uses its weight in the optimal way for "post duties".  I'm pretty sure I'd have an easier time bending 3/4" rebar than a t post.  Plus the t post is likely made from better steel as well.  And it won't start out rusty.  And it won't pull out of the ground as easily.  And it should pound in easier.  I'm sure the rebar would be better in some respects but I'd put my money into t posts...
 
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If a T post is the same or similar to what we call a star picket they are a much better choice. They are the best option for fence posts IMO. If they are galvanized they should last longer than anything else too. You can also rent machines that drive them into the ground.
 
William Bronson
pollinator
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Good points on the t posts.
Another thing,  I might actually be able send the missus to pick some up!
I really can't do that with any of the scrap,or the rebar.

Things are thawing out here,  so maybe  I will do a clean-up-the-yard scrap run,  followed by a trip to Menard's.
That square stock could be the start of a tasty structure,  so I will be looking at that as well.

One monster hole with a huge post might be needed for the gate.
I should say,  gates,  since I've decided to split the one into two.

 
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I have built miles of fences.
I am having trouble working out what you are trying to achieve, you simply talk about alternatives instead.
If I want a secure fence that will not blow or be pushed down, I would use 2 inch galvanised water pipe,or the same posts often used for no parking signs. They are high tensile strength.
Gate safe always an issue, how wide do you want?
can you put a beam over the top?
Can you install a support block in the middle of the closed gates and also in the open position, if so that will reduce immensely the loads on the posts and reduce the 'pull over ' effect.
I always concrete my posts.
 
William Bronson
pollinator
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I want a post I can drive into the rocky ground of my growing lot, that will support the weight of a hefty fence.

That might not be feasible, financially or otherwise, therefore I consider alternatives.

2 " galvanized plumbing pipe is a decent alternative, pricey($38.00) , unless I can get it at the scrap yard.
I have a hand-built post  driver that's big enough to hold a 2" pipe, but I'm not sure how well it will drive.

The sign posts have a narrower cross section,  I imagine they drive more easily.
They are about 14 dollars for 8 ', so they might be a good
thing to find at the scrap yard.




 
pollinator
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I agree on the T-posts as well, they are designed to resist movement in the soil in a way that a round post or pole is not, especially with the added spade on the side.
Incidentally, the T-posts are a re-manufactured product, made by rolling used railroad rails to the new size and shape (after first splitting them top to bottom).

We had a problem with our fence where we have a 4' x 8' metal gate hung on 6" wood posts, driven 3 feet deep. The post that the gate was hung from became compromised about a foot below the surface, and made the gate difficult to use at best. (To be true, it may well have been the gate that caused the failure and it hadn't worked perfectly from the start)
It is the end post of a HT deer fence, and H-braced back to the second post in that line. It would have been a bear to replace it!!

In under 3 hours, which included a trip to the home improvement store on a Saturday, I had added a rock jack to the compromised post, and the post is now ROCK SOLID!! and the gate works better than when it was installed.

permies thread about rock jacks

edit: link to the correct thread...
 
Been there. Done that. Went back for more. But this time, I took this tiny ad with me:
Intrinsic: An Agriculture of Altered Chaos
https://permies.com/t/95922/Intrinsic-Agriculture-Altered-Chaos
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