The Anonymous Widower

Removing Fence Posts

I have always been an inveterate inventor.  At school some of my poorly drawn efforts actually won prizes.

On the stud, we had a lot of what is known as Keepsafe fencing.  Unfortunately, the idiots who put the fencing in used poor quality posts that were always rotting.  So I developed a device for getting the post out of the ground without too much hard work. I’ve never been a great one for hard phyical work, although the mental stuff is a bit different.  Luckily I’ve usually been able to earn enough money to afford to get a man in. Perhaps that’s the Jewish side of my mind, as one of my friends always tells me!

What follows is copy of a post from the stud blog, which shows C using the device to remove a fence by the side of the house.  I’m posting it, as one of the photos is one of my favourite ones of my late wife as it sums her up so well.

We had a fence by the side of the house that needed to be removed. The fence was typical post and rail, with the posts buried half a metre into the ground. Luckily they were not embedded into concrete.

At this time, the tool was a few months old and the use had developed so thatyou could use with a high lift jack to remove fence posts without any great fuss or danger. Health and Safety fanatics please note!

As an aside here, just try the normal method of wrapping a chain round the post and then using a tractor to pull the post. This method makes a lot of mess and is very dangerous if the chain breaks.

Fence Post Removal Tool

You start by just dropping the tool over the post, making sure that when it is lifted, it will bite into the post.

Positioning the Tool

Note that there are no moving parts in the tool and it doesn’t need to be adjusted.

Note too, that the post in this example is in pretty good condition. If the post has broken off at the ground as they often do, then all you need to do is dig a perhaps ten centimetres into the ground so that the tool can grip the good part of the post.

The tool is linked to the jack using a shackle with a breaking strain of about a tonne and a half.

Attaching the Jack

Note that the high lift jack is stood on a fence rail to equalise the ground pressure.

The jack is now lifted to pull the post out of the ground.

Lifting the Post

This pull took about a minute and the post came quickly out of the ground. Note C’s ever present Scholl sandals.  How Health and Safety!

C did most of the pulling for these posts as it’s actually quicker if someone else (me) holds the post vertically. This just shows how powerful the jack/puller combination is. Even a wimp can pull well over three tonnes!

Virtually Done

Note that little damage is done to the ground and in many cases a new post could be driven firmly into the old hole.

The jack can also be used to lift the heavy gate off its hinges.

Lifting a Gate

This picture shows how easy it is to pull a post in a restricted space.

Pulling in a Restricted Space

The wall wasn’t damaged or even touched.

In the end five fence posts and one gate post were pulled in about half an hour.

A Job Well Done

I will be taking the tool to London, not that I will have any use for it, but surprisingly, the old page gets a few hits and I’m always being asked for drawings or a tool.

So I’m going to publish the drawings on this blog, so that if you want to create one, you can do it.  There will only be two conditions.

You must say thank you, if you like what you create.

And as C died of cancer of the heart just a few months after these pictures were taken, with our youngest dying of pancreatic cancer just a few months ago, the next time that a cancer charity tries to tap you for a few pounds, dollars, euros, yen or whatever, then contribute, especially if it is to do with pancreatic cancer research.

I don’t mind if you don’t contribute, because if you don’t, I suspect the Devil who has been haunting me these last few years, might have found another victim and might leave me alone!

The basic drawing is shown and don’t complain about the quality, as it is rather poorly drawn.

Fence Post Removal Tool

Perhaps one day, I’ll get a proper drawing done.  There are also some notes to the forge who made the original.

  1. I haven’t put any dimensions on the side pieces as I will assume that you will use something close to 5 cm. L-section steel.  One is upo one way and one the other to give a cutting and leverage effect.
  2. The endplates can be either flat or L-section.  Whichever is easier and/or stronger. 
  3. The only dimensions are that there must be 14 cm. between the ends and the width must be sufficient to allow a post of just under 18 cm. to be lifted.
  4. The attachment point on the front will have to be pretty strong as the jack can pull up to 3.5 tonnes.

Happy lifting!

December 5, 2010 - Posted by | World | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Good device. I like things that are simple and work. Incidently to help prevent posts rotting it is a good idea to make the post hole deeper than required and then put plenty of gravel at the bottom. This allows water to drain away.
    Good system designers are often inventors, as both require the ability to use existing knowledge in ways that solve a new problem. Amogst software developers there are coders who can turn a solution into a working piece of software, and then there are those that come up with the ideas. In my experience the latter are rare and make all the difference between the success and failure for a sofwtare company.
    I have always been a bit of an inventor and would really love to be able to put my occupation down as “Inventor”. I have only one patent to my name, for an automatic pallet handling device, but it has now been superseded by later inventions by others. A number were however produced in the late ’80s and are still in use.
    Somewhere I have a list of ideas that I have never pursued, but when I retire again later next year, maybe I will did it out.
    Like the pictures of C.

    Comment by John | December 5, 2010 | Reply

  2. Well the posts do not look that rotted do they, by the way a chain wrapped around the posts at the base and using a long crowbar for leverage gets them out no problem has always worked for me for the last 40 years.

    Comment by Raymond Joseph French | September 2, 2011 | Reply


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