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junkpole wood fence: chickens, turkeys and deer  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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The mission: build a fence that uses very little purchased materials and a LOT of materials that we have oodles of on the lab.

We started with a sort of "woven" fence, but that ended up with a fair bit of gaps that chickens could get through. So a bunch of us sat down and did some brainstorming and came up with this:



The first implementation didn't quite follow the plan and it had problems - but it was about four times faster to build. Then those problems were solved with something else that didn't work. And ... go round and round a few times .... And then the original plan (in the drawing above) was tried and that is working spectacularly well.



This design has the following features:

- holds in chickens
- keeps the wild deer and turkeys out (unless the turkeys try to fly in)
- uses a few deck screws - but not many
- uses lots of pole wood that most foresters burn
- it does go up slower than field fence, but if you are low on cash and loaded with help, then this is probably a better solution
- any rot at the ground level and the poles can slide down
- any gaps in the fence can be easily mended
- the thick part of the poles are at the bottom to keep chickens from squirming out
- the thinner part of the poles are the top allowing more sunlight through

The key design thing that you need to stick to is to look at the "top view" of the drawing and note that there are "fence posts" and "filler poles". Note that the filler poles are smaller. In the drawing, there are only two fence posts showing, at the ends. There are three horizontal pieces. Two, and only two, are attached to the posts. The third horizontal piece is attached ONLY to the poles and not to the posts.

The first error was to attach the third horizontal piece to the posts. That leads to the poles being too loose.

This fence testing is being done on basecamp where the ground is a giant rock. So instead of regular fence posts, we used a rock jack. At the lab, folks would use a regular fence post.

I hope that as more fences are built with this design, we'll add more pictures to this thread.
 
Burra Maluca
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Similar to the concept of hurdles, only not so movable.
 
C. Kelley
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I've built similar fences when time was abundant and cash was not, they are time consuming but low impact and fairly low in required physical skills to end up with a functional fence.

One thing I found when my fence was too short in one area, it was easy to replace a few poles at regular intervals and then use a more traditional wattle-hurdle type technique to make a top extension out of skinny twigs, it let sunlight through while still providing the emergency extra height to keep the more adventurous ducks out of the peas.
 
Alan Loy
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Just a suggestion about the filler posts rotting. As you have a plentiful supply of rocks you could put a rock under each filler post (or 1 rock under a number of filler posts) so they sit on them rather than the ground and the water will run off.

This a technique I've seen in Asia with large wooden buildings so they don't rot in the wet environment. You could call them foundations but a simple rock doesn't seem to justify such an important term.

I have seen rocks placed on top of fence posts as a "cap" to shed water and reduce the water lying on them and causing rotting.
 
matt hogan
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paul wheaton wrote: There are three horizontal pieces. Two, and only two, are attached to the posts. The third horizontal piece is attached ONLY to the poles and not to the posts.

The first error was to attach the third horizontal piece to the posts. That leads to the poles being too loose.


I can't get this clear in my head. I understand the layout of the wood members, but not what is attached to what.

Is it: the top two horizontal pieces are attached to the posts but not the poles, and the bottom one is attached to the poles but not the posts?

Or am I way off here?
 
paul wheaton
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The top and bottom horizontal pieces are attached to the posts. The middle horizontal piece is not attached to the posts, but instead attached to the filler material.

Does this help?
 
matt hogan
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I think I get it after looking at the pictures again. So the top and bottom horizontals are also attached to the posts, and also the filler poles on the ends, right? I was wondering how the filler poles didn't just fall down since the middle horizontal was only attached to the filler poles.
 
paul wheaton
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This style of fence is turning out to be excellent.

Here is evan using it on his plot:



Brian calls this wood "peckerwood" which does, somehow, seem appropriate. I did a google image search for "peckerwood" and that didn't seem to result in anything valueable. So then I searched for "peckerwood fence" and it did result in some fences kinda like this.

Anybody ever seen this design before? Did I invent something that has already been invented, or did I invent something new?

Below is a picture that I took with a camera that willie smits gave me.
junkpole-fence.jpg
[Thumbnail for junkpole-fence.jpg]
junkpole fence
 
paul wheaton
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In this pic, you can see the gate.

Evan and Nick reworked this gate several times. And the fence surrounding the gate. Fortunately, once you have all the wood lined up, it comes apart and goes back together pretty quickly. I think the gate and the latch could still use some work.

Note that the fence at basecamp has rock jacks - that's because basecamp is one big rock and it's huge effort to get fence posts in the ground. Evan's plot has regular fence posts.

junkpole-fence-2.jpg
[Thumbnail for junkpole-fence-2.jpg]
junkpole fence
 
paul wheaton
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Another view of the gate.
junkpole-fence-gate.jpg
[Thumbnail for junkpole-fence-gate.jpg]
junkpole fence gate
 
Mike Cantrell
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paul wheaton wrote:Brian calls this wood "peckerwood" which does, somehow, seem appropriate.


You might or might not care, but that's a racial slur in the southern US.

It's probably less offensive than 'nigger' or 'gook,' and on the same level as 'beaner' or 'chink.'

Could be fine since A) you're in Montana and B) you're white. Spreading it around the internet, though, I can imagine it might lead to some unnecessary hassle sometime.
 
paul wheaton
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I made this graphic using the original drawing to clarify the most important point.
junkpole-fence-closeup.png
[Thumbnail for junkpole-fence-closeup.png]
junkpole fence design closeup
 
paul wheaton
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Mike Cantrell wrote:
paul wheaton wrote:Brian calls this wood "peckerwood" which does, somehow, seem appropriate.


You might or might not care, but that's a racial slur in the southern US.

It's probably less offensive than 'nigger' or 'gook,' and on the same level as 'beaner' or 'chink.'

Could be fine since A) you're in Montana and B) you're white. Spreading it around the internet, though, I can imagine it might lead to some unnecessary hassle sometime.


I just looked it up. Apparently, poor white people.

I am trying to come up with a word that fits the kind of wood being used. Bigger than a twig and smaller than a pole. Wood that is normally cut, piled and burned in winter to reduce fire danger. I'm thinking I would much rather see it turned into a useful fence than burned in a pig pile.
 
Art Held
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re: acceptable names:
I've heard those called "thinnings" - as in what is left after you thin a stand of pine.
 
paul wheaton
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The dominant wood here, what I've been calling "peckerwood" for the last week or two, is from conifers that grow in a thicket.

Image searches for "twig fence" "stick fence" or "thicket fence" seem to pull up stuff that is closer than "peckerwood fence" although google also says there is nothing that has an exact match for "peckerwood fence".

 
matt hogan
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I was thinking 'thinnings' as well. Or 'stylus fence'.

Or you could go non-descriptive. Along the lines of world domination gardening, you could call it The Brain Fence, as in:
"What do you want to do today, Brain?"
"The same thing we do every day, Pinky: Try to take over the world!"
 
paul wheaton
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I think we need to start with a word for the size of wood we are using.

Twigs are pencil size up to maybe an inch thick. This stuff is about two or more inches thick at the base.

You could say "branch" - but branches will be curved and this stuff is straight.

A pole is going to be at least three inches in diameter. Plus, searching for "pole fence" brings up a totally different style of fence.

Sapling?
 
allen lumley
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- I'm sure someone has a regionalism that is innocuous to most ears and can be adopted as a Harmless-sounding descriptive word-phrase .*


Many places this growth is called sucker wood and sucker wood thickets - Which potentially causes its own negative associations !

I was going to nominate Squaw-wood fences, as a general term to describe Dead wood in this size category, but I am sure that some

people think this Native American word has Negative Connotations also !

For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL


*Lots of tools have "Jack -Jacks " added on to their descriptive noun-phrase ladder jacks, pump jacks, Thimble jacks, And fence jacks -

( This practice seems more common west of the Mississippi )

 
Devin Devine
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Pecker-thick wood.




Funny guy, right? No, but descriptive terms for useful materials generally win, on my jobsites. I'll say "get me some fries, some cocks and some pizza slices" and my workers then bring me lunch. Kidding, I mean they bring me the right sizes and shapes of stone. Anyway.




I also like "sapling-sized". Equally descriptive, but less jocular.




 
Lee Daniels
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I googled "pole fence" and found these pics.










I'd say pole fence is an accurate description of the original fence picture.

- L. Daniels


 
paul wheaton
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I thought the word "peckerwood" was good. A sort of reverse on "woodpecker" and puts an image in my mind of "waste wood" or wood eaten by woodpeckers (although that is not what woodpeckers do).

But I can see how some folks would get their knickers in a twist over this, so I spent some time fishing for an alternative. A little brainstorming with jocelyn and: junkpole.

I am writing more now ....
 
paul wheaton
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I made a new thread for this. Hopefully the new thread is clearer and a better overall start on this design:

http://www.permies.com/t/47946/labs/junkpole-fence-freaky-cheap-chicken


I'm going to lock this thread in an attempt to get further discussion to happen in the new thread.
 
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