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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Abilene, Texas
    Posts
    639

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    Fellers, don't tell anybody, but I use a string to line up stuff when working by myself which is about 99% of the time. I've even seen other fellers do it too! (dumb Texans) Now, if I were to move to the west coast I'd have to hire some helpers since owning a string is a violation of policy out that way. Maybe I could even hire some of those out of work movie actors or something to come sight my posts for me. At least I know now that the way I've done it for 40+ years doesn't work. I hate it when that happens. ROFL
    Jim

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,949

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    Quote Originally Posted by FUZZYTX View Post
    I cannot wait till he asks how the best way to saddle pipe. I am sure he will probably have to go with a 3-axis water-jet.LOL
    Best regards from the Great State of Texas!
    Fuzzytx
    "Lee" patterns, "Pipe-Pro" templates, "Flange Wizard" or a trusty chop saw, (set at 30-35 degrees, totally acceptable for corral fencing) and trim the points will be just fine

    A 3-4" wide piece of leather strip, 18" long, is also great for "wrap arounds"

    Of course, one can always use Mathey-Dearman, or a Picle1-II short-saddle machine

    In the case of roll cages, tubing notchers work best.

    Fuzzy, octagons aren't legal in Texas? You guys don't have any STOP signs?

    Just having some fun.................
    Last edited by davedarragh; 01-15-2011 at 05:30 AM.
    "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    WEATHERFORD, TEXAS
    Posts
    40

    Default

    The stop sign? I believe I have seen a few somewhere....... thinking it was along the Red River and they were facing north.LOL

    We tried them along the Rio Grande, but don't guess those folks can read either.
    Fuzzytx

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    309

    Default

    A little sensitive here....LOL

    The keyword here is "professional".

    Professional fence men don't have time to use strings. It's that simple.

    Most of your fence companys out west face fierce competition. Thirty years ago I figured a hundred feet per hour labor for setting chainlink fence. A two man crew was expected to layout, dig, and set, six to eight hundred feet of fence in a day.

    That's all set to height and line by eye because there was no way you could use a string and get that much done. We allowed a little for fence that was short, harder to set, and fence that was tall, again, harder to set.

    Post holes were six or eight inch in diameter and on ten foot centers and two feet deep. All the concrete was mixed in the wheelbarrow using sand, gravel, portland cement mixed five or six to one.

    There are two ways of sighting in fencelines. The most common is called "plumb man". Plumb man is where the foreman sets the end posts on a line. The helper goes to the second post and holds it plumb. The foreman sights down from one end post towards the other. When the post is inline and plumb the foreman runs to the wheel barrow and mixes enough concrete to hold the post. The concrete is mixed stiff, not dry, stiff, some of you will know the difference.

    The foreman then runs (runs) back to sight it in again for line and this time he also sets it for height. When he has that then the plumb man moves back to the first post and the foreman sights it in back to the corner post. When that post is done they move down the line doing the third post and so on.

    Where this takes skill and practice is if the fence has a top rail or not. Top rail fence has line posts three and a half to four inches lower than the corners and gate posts. It's a little tricky getting that second post inline and guestimating the height. Once the second post is set for height then the top rail height is easy.

    Grade adds another degree of difficulty. By the time a man gets enough time on the job to be a foreman he knows how to see grade variation. He knows not to shoot to the peak in a line but a couple of posts each side of it.

    The upside of the plumb man method is you can run two or three man crews. The third man can relieve the foreman mixing concrete and keep the wheelbarrows and water buckets ready. A two man crew works the heck out of the foreman because he's the one mixing the concrete. He does gets breaks between wheelbarrows, usually we would run two. When both wheelbarrows are empty, we figured six posts to a wheelbarrow, the foreman does some touching up and maybe gets the water buckets refilled while the helper is refilling the wheelbarrows and getting them set out down the line. But the two man plumb man crew usually can be identified by the lean and mean foreman, there ain't no other when you run like he has to do all day.

    I learned plumb man from my dad. When I started running a crew I was exposed to the back sight method by a foreman we hired that kicked my butt production wise. It was sad how bad he beat me no matter how hard I worked.

    Back sighting is where the foreman does all the sighting in looking back down the line and having the helpers mix the concrete. A good back sighting foreman will kill two good helpers in a day if he isn't careful.

    It is the only way to set fence if you're working by yourself.

    The way it works is the ends and the second post is set just like with the plumb man method. Then the forem grabs the first post and sights back across and over the second post towards the far end. He instantly yells "mud" when the plumbed post is in line. He pulls it to height and runs to the third post and grabs it. He has the plumb in one hand against the post. He's watching the bubble in the plumb as the same time he's watching the post in his hand hide the next post in line. When it disappears he once again yells out "mud". The cement has to be stiff and well mixed or they have to wait until it does. Formen don't allow helpers to give them bad mix or make them wait. Once the third post is set then the foreman is off to the fourth and so on. Every third post or so he will run back a couple of posts and make sure he's not drifting out of line by sighting back towards the end post he's working towards.

    I'm only five eight so tall fences give me pause. I won't carry a bucket for standing on so I put on a sight mark on the post. I use the sight marks to shoot height as I'm going. I can set a seven foot high fence with the same accuracy and speed as I can a five footer once the sight marks are in place.

    That foreman that inspired me to learn to back sight, well, we were a pair to draw to you competive types know what I mean. One day we set a twenty six hundred foot line of six foot chainlnk, set to height and in line. We had four survey pins and he started at one end and I started at the other. We literally met at the middle and when we stepped back you couldn't see where that point was. I'm sure the four helps we had remember that day as clearly as we do, just not for the same reasons.

    I brought those skills to my pipe fence building here in Texas. In California no one heard of welding pipe fence at that time. I built alot of ranches in California with schedule forty pipe and V Mesh but we did them all with fence fittings.

    I use almost exclusively galvanized pipe. If you've ever cut galvanized pipe with a torch in the field you know why I set my post for height and line by eye. It takes me no longer to set a fence line with one helper than it does a good Texas crew using string lines and two or three helpers with one caveat. That is we use the same amount of concrete per post. But where it pays off is when it comes time to weld her up. All I have to do is layout the toprail and get welding. I never weld a joint between posts. I set my posts on nominal eight foot centers. My schedule forty two inch (2 3/8 o.d.) pipe comes in twenty four foot lengths. I carry a portaband and usually end up with two to six inch stubs off of a length of pipe as I cut the joints to be welded over a post.

    I had a client ask me awhile back how many sacks of sacrete I used in a post hole. I had to smile. I don't use sacrete ever if I can help it. If I'm not using mixed concrete then I use Maximizer.

    "Well" I told the client, "let's see, an eighty pound bag of sacrete mixes out to six tenths of a cubic foot. My holes are three and a half cubic feet. I guess about five to six".

    End of that conversation.
    Last edited by wroughtnharv; 01-15-2011 at 10:43 AM.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Abilene, Texas
    Posts
    639

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    That's a great explanation Harv. I've seen what you do and I'm envious..... not sensitive. I guess I'll have to keep my string handy since I'm neither a professional fencer nor do I have a crew.
    Jim

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The Colorado Gas Patch
    Posts
    185

    Default Fencing Alaska

    I'm thinkin' we need to get the fine folks at the discovery channel to do a show on this topic..We could go to Alaska set up for corner posts and have four teams with their own special skills and tools each do a side..

    Heck we might even find some gold in them thar' post holes ..but hey they already have a show on that..
    Steve

    Bobcat 250EFI

    Syncrowave 250

    Millermatic 350P

    Hypertherm 1250

    A Bunch of tools

    And a forklift to move the heavy stuff with..

    Looking at CNC Plasmas

    It's Miller Time - Get Back To Work!

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    yuma az
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pass-N-Gas View Post
    I'm thinkin' we need to get the fine folks at the discovery channel to do a show on this topic..We could go to Alaska set up for corner posts and have four teams with their own special skills and tools each do a side..

    Heck we might even find some gold in them thar' post holes ..but hey they already have a show on that..
    yeah with only two guys capable of welding anything in an out fit that runs on heavy equipment

  8. #28

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by spotsineyes View Post
    Since you're new, I get to pick on you: I have never heard of 2-3/8" pipe.
    "I have never heard of 2-3/8" pipe." LOL

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