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osage orange gate

 
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Location: Kansas City Area
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.I am in the process of putting up corner braces and such to prepare for a hopefully high tensile woven wire fence to cover 5-7 acres,

The posts are being cut as they are used out of existing osage orange trees.

I am wanting to take two say 12 to 15 foot long curved branches/trunks(8-12 inches diameter)bury the ends, bolt the tops together so it looks like an arch and put a gate between the posts.
Two telephone poles with a gate between them and a cable up high in the air is done here occasionally.
I was hoping for some input as to if the two posts would hold up to high tensile woven wire or if they needed some bracing. Thought about a wire x towards the top of the arch, but would rather not have that to look at.
This is slow project, might take 2-4 years. For now I am just working on the low budget high labor end of the project.
Thanks
 
gardener
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Love the idea Alex - hope you share the pictures when done!

What if you kept the tension off the gate posts?  Brace the fence itself, then sink the gate posts for the gate and build the gate. You could use wood or poles to close the gap.
 
Alex Kosmicki
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I slept on it.

The first gate opening I put in will be next to a corner brace so that at least one side of the gate posts will be braced and then i will connect
the fence to the other side of the opening where the post will be buried 42 inches deep and bolted to a curved brace post on the other side of the opening.

Still thinking about the possibility of an arched gate opening getting yanked out of it's squarish position in the middle of a longer run or if somewhat equal and
hopefully reliable tension from the fence on both sides will keep it square. I might be over thinking it.

 
pollinator
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Alex Kosmicki wrote:
I was hoping for some input as to if the two posts would hold up to high tensile woven wire or if they needed some bracing.



The posts will hold fine.  It is their connection with the ground that is the challenge.  When you sink your post holes, cut a trench at a 90 degree angle to the run of the fence wire.  Bury a log that touches (tangent) to the post in the trench at right angle as deep as possible so the post is supported low in the ground.  As for the top of the arch there are numerous ways to secure the two posts using timber framing techniques.  A bit of carpentry work will need to be done, but a mortice and tenon joint will hold the two together and give it a more organic look.

Sounds like a fun project.  Here is another thought.  If you are several years out from completion of this project, why not grow a couple of osage trees in place!  As the samplings come up train them to bend in the shape you want; and train them to intertwine at the tops.  Once the roots are established and the tops have merged you can girdle the trees so they stop growing or let them continue to develop character.  Either way those gate post are going no where for many decades, as osage is slow to decompose, living or cut.
 
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If you have the gate posts arching and secured together at the top (timber framed connections or just bolts), and there is similar fence tensioning on both sides, the gate will be stable all by itself. The triangle of gatepost structure will not let the frame get pulled out of shape, and the fences on each side will balance each other. A strong top joint will transfer the tension across the gate.

Putting the gate near a corner of the fence will actually unbalance the forces and necessitate stronger stabilization of the gate structure in the ground.
 
Alex Kosmicki
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I was am thinking to build the normal corner brace with two H-braces 90 degrees to each other.
One H-brace is done today with a 12" round log buried 42inches for the corner post.
So then the other side of the corner brace would have half of the arched gate post incorporated into it and
the usual brace piece and diagonal wire.
I have not cut the post yet but might tomorrow. It will be 12" round at the bottom and pinned to the other
half of the arch with rebar or bolts and some sort of lap joint. Seems like enough mass to hold things up, but maybe
some thing in the mix throws the corner off. If it is on the donor tree a wye shaped piece of tree might help.

Glen, mulling it over the gate post closer to the corner might want to pull up out of the ground. Thinking about a wye
shaped horizontal brace piece pointed towards the gate with a tenon type joint to to the gate post on the wye end of the
horizontal brace.

I like the idea of planting more osage,  but probably should not where it will reach out to the neighbors side
The hedge row across the way from me is better than 100 years old-it takes time to
grow sizable posts. better start soon.

Will try to post a photo when its up.

 
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