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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I typically use round pressure treated posts and pound them in with our tractor mounted pounder. I had some locust trees come down in a storm and I am considering getting some square posts sawed out of the trunks. Has anyone pounded posts like this in? I am wondering if the post will split under the pounding pressure if the grain isn't 100% straight. I detest digging post holes and tamping posts so I really don't want to go that route.

If pounding woulding work my neighbor has a skidsteer mounted auger. I was wondering if I could use the auger and make a hole but not pull the dirt out of the hole. Just loosen it all up, then pound the post into the loose dirt. Anyone ever try that?
 

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You will have no problem pounding the posts in they way they currently are, I have put in many of them straight out of the woods. Let them sit a few months and the bark becomes loose and when you start driving them the bark comes off, the posts go in better if you turn them upside down. My dad has told me if you put them up in the orientation as they were standing in the woods and the bark is left on them they will grow, I can tell you that yes spruots of limbs may start but they will also start on ones put in upside down with the bark still on them. 2-4D in your fence spray mixture will take care of that issue.

I have sawn some of them and used them for lumber, the wood is very hard and tough to work with. IF your sawyer can read the log as he is cutting then yes you can get a squared post that will be structurally sound. My experience with Locust is the tree don't usually get real big diameter and on occasion you may get 6x6's 10' long, more common for a true 4x4 8' long, but if the sawyer can't read the log right you can get something that will warp/bend/bow within a month of sunlight.

I have also taken my cut to length posts and split them lengthwise. This is not as hard as it may seem and with two axes you can work through a small pile fairly quickly and double your post count. You can end up with a post that was 6" round on the small end and have two posts that are 3" half rounds on the small end, makes for a pretty good post.

When driving them I will add don't stand in the path the pieces and parts of the tree/post will go if it blows out.

I have also augered a hole and set them, works as well as anything else. I have not augered a hole and drove a post, I would like to get a 2" auger for my gas powered auger just for doing that in hard ground. Cutting a wedge or pencil point on the bigger posts helps, isn't always required and in my experience doesn't make anything less stable. If they aren't cut symmetric they will drive crooked. I could take you on a walk around our farm and everyone within a mile and show you miles of old locust fence posts that were there as far back as my dad can remember that were cut and dug and packed in the ground the same day.
 

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Ill also add if you leave the bark on it will eventually fall off. I have done it both ways, I think it looks prettier after the posts have sat a month or two then the bark loosens and comes off on its own (for the most part). Once it is loose pick up the pile with your end loader and drop them all on the ground a few times, whatever is still attached will come off when you hit it with your pounder.
 

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I would not recommend pounding them. Not sure how square posts would be but a friend of mine was hand pounding sawed locusts posts and pending how the grain was he had several that shattered. He advised me to only buy hand split posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would not recommend pounding them. Not sure how square posts would be but a friend of mine was hand pounding sawed locusts posts and pending how the grain was he had several that shattered. He advised me to only buy hand split posts.
Yeah, Thats kind of what I was thinking. Thats why I was wondering if I could just loosen all the dirt then gently tap the posts in the with pounder. Less force on the post but not near as much work to set the posts.

Is there still demand in PA area for locust rough round posts? Not sawed but bark still on type?
 

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Yeah, Thats kind of what I was thinking. Thats why I was wondering if I could just loosen all the dirt then gently tap the posts in the with pounder. Less force on the post but not near as much work to set the posts.

Is there still demand in PA area for locust rough round posts? Not sawed but bark still on type?
Are they to small to split? Up here there is a lot locusts fence posts for sale every year. Local consignment auction in the spring has 5-10 stacks with 50-100 posts per every year in addition to local retailers. Auction prices run $2.75/post IF your lucky to $4.00/post up to $4.75 at local feed mills.

I would think there would be some interest. Do you troll craiglist? It would give you an idea if there are sales in your area.
 

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Several years ago we pounded round locust posts. I wish we had just used treated. Anyway, some people in very hard shale around here will either auger or pound a pilot hole and then pound the post into the pilot hole. I think I’d much rather try than than augering a larger loose hole and trying to pound into the soft dirt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It seams in this area long just posts have gone out of style. At least for round posts. I really dread the idea of tamping augered holes for the sawed sq posts...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The smallest auger I find for a skidsteer is 6". I agree, I like your idea, but not sure how to implement it...

I wonder if I could pound in a smooth steel pipe, then pull it back out and use that pilot hole to pound the wood post into.

I know pulling out pounded in wood posts is tough but maybe pulling out a smooth 4" steel pipe would go a lot smoother...
 

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The smallest auger I find for a skidsteer is 6".
Could you adapt a 2" auger from a direction drill?

This idea probably isn't even worth one cent today.

Larry
 
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The smallest auger I find for a skidsteer is 6". I agree, I like your idea, but not sure how to implement it...
I wonder if I could pound in a smooth steel pipe, then pull it back out and use that pilot hole to pound the wood post into.
I know pulling out pounded in wood posts is tough but maybe pulling out a smooth 4" steel pipe would go a lot smoother...
Yes, pounding in a steel rod is one way that I've seen locally for creating a pilot hole. I think it was only 2" or 3".
 
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