How to Install T-posts

Jun 26, 2023

T-post fences are one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to contain livestock or exclude wildlife from a garden. The steel posts provide superior strength and durability and are generally much easier to install and repair than wood fencing.
Setting up a t-post wire fence is a relatively straightforward process, so we’ve outlined the six primary steps below.
Step 1: Set the Corner Posts
         The first step to installing fence posts is to set the fence line’s corners and gates with wooden fence posts. Because wire fences place a lot of tension on the ends of an enclosure, you will want to go ahead and mix a batch of concrete in a wheelbarrow to set the posts with. Dig the holes to a depth of ½ the height of the posts, set the posts in the holes, and fill with concrete to secure.
Step 2: Line Up and Space the Posts
         Run a string between all the corner posts as a guide for setting the others in a straight line. Set the metal t-posts 8 to 12 feet apart, using a tape measure to make sure there is even spacing between posts. It can be helpful to lay the posts on the ground under the string before installation to confirm spacing and the number of posts required.
Step 3: Position the Posts
         The anchor plate at the bottom of the t-posts should be positioned perpendicular to the fence line and completely buried during installation. If you are using the fence as a livestock enclosure where animals will be putting more pressure against the inside of the fence, face the studs inward. If you are using it to protect a garden from deer or other livestock, direct the studs outward.
Step 4: Install the Posts
         To keep animals from pulling the posts out of the ground, drive the t-posts about 18 to 24 inches deep — at least until the anchor plate is covered. A post driver is the most common tool to get the job done; however, a sledgehammer or even a regular hammer can be used if necessary.
Step 5: Attach the Wire
         Using a few staples, secure one end of the wire to a corner post with about 18 to 24 inches of excess wire left on the end. Wrap the excess around the main line for a stronger connection, then use a come-along on the next corner to pull the wire tight and secure it with a few more staples. Wrap the excess around the post on that end as well. The wire should be taut, but not so tight that it might break.
Step 6: Add Wire Clips
         Using t-post clips will ensure the fencing wires do not slide up and down or get pulled away from the posts. Set the wire clips in a stud on the t-post, hook the wire with one side of the clip, and wrap the other side of the clip around the wire using a pair of fence pliers. Use a clip for every strand of wire running between t-posts.
Your local Co-op has all the tools and material you need for your next fencing project. Find the nearest location here.
For more content like this, check out the latest issue of The Cooperator.

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