using existing chain link fence posts


Old 07-07-04, 07:04 AM
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using existing chain link fence posts

I am replacing my chain link fence with a 6' wood fence. i want to use the existing 4' metal fence posts with Sims brackets. I have read the other threads and this seems like it might work. However, one thread indicated that 4' posts might not work with a 6' fence. Can I use the existing 4' posts? If so, is there any way to "wrap" them and make them look like wood posts? Thanks
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Old 07-19-04, 07:12 AM
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I have no information to add, but I was thinking of doing the same thing. Except in my case, it would be only a 5 foot fence, not 6.

Are there any detailed instructions for the process.. or is it as simple as "buy the bracket, build the fence section, hang the fence" type thing? I read the recent tips post by "Kongar".

I was also thinking of putting a board on either side of the posts, to make them blend in with the rest of the fence. I was hoping it would be as easy as nailing a small riser (3/4 - 1 inch) to the 2x4 cross beams, and then just nailing a standard 1x6 into that on either side of the post. Any problems with this idea? Is there a better way to do it?

Old 07-19-04, 09:14 AM
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The metal poles I dug up were existing chain link fence sections. I ended up pulling the posts for three reasons:

1) the short poles weren't buried in the ground deep enough to support a 6 foot fence.
2) You want your top cross rail close to the top of the pickets (no less than 12 inches from the top) because otherwise the tops of the pickets will twist. In order to do this on a 6 foot fence, you'll need to hang that PGT bracket at least 5 feet off the ground. I doubt your existing pole is tall enough to do this.
3) The nail in the coffin was this: I realized that when installing a chain link fence, it doesn't matter if the distance between poles is off. However, you really need to be right on the money when putting up wooden fence panels to metal poles. Anything more than 2 inches, and you'll be in trouble. My existing poles were like 8 feet 2 inches apart, then like 9 feet, then 7 feet, etc. Measure your pole distance very carefully - if they aren't dead on, I'd just rip them up.

As far as detailed instructions goes - the hardest part is the measuring. You'll have to think very hard about spaces and things of that nature. (Do the math, 3/4 inch gap plus picket width of 2 and 7/8ths doesn't divide evenly into 8 feet) Depending on how you decide to solve this problem could impact your pole distances. For example, my poles are not exactly 8 feet apart - I hung the end pickets over the edge of the crossmember and accounted for the 3/4 inch gap between panels. I'd be happy to share more details about my project if you guys are doing something similar (semi private wooden stockade fence).

I'd say just jump into building a panel. You'll mess the first one up, but you'll figure it out. Leave the gate and the two adjoining fence panels until the very end - you'll realize you need something special there.

And to the last point - I have to be honest. The metal poles really don't look that bad. You can barely see them on the outside, and on the inside, they don't look as bad as you might think. Your call.

Last edited by Kongar123456; 07-19-04 at 10:17 AM.
Old 07-22-04, 05:12 PM
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Pay attention to what Kongar123456 said about the posts -- a post that WAS supporting a 4' tall chain link fence probably isn't buried deep enough to support a 5' or 6' tall wood fence. (Wind will blow through a chain link fence -- it'll blow a wood fence over!!)

Post spacing -- again, with a chain link fence, the spacing is pretty random. If you are using pre-made fence panels, they are going to be 8' long. A space between 2 existing posts that is 8-1/2' is going to mess you up!!

The LOOK of metal posts with a wood fence -- really not that bad. But, if you don't like it, build boxes around the metal posts. Using three 1X4's can make it LOOK like a wood post.
Old 07-26-04, 07:32 AM
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Hey Lefty,

I thought you were the one who *advocated* reuse of existing chain link posts? So, under what situations is reuse a good idea?

I would be building the fence panels myself and with the current spacing, they would be under 10' long sections. The posts don't feel as though they were sunk really deep, but they are more then 1 ft down for sure. I was trying to save myself some work... but if it'll just create more later, then i'd rather know now.

Old 07-27-04, 10:15 PM
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The posts don't feel as though they were sunk really deep,
-- you answered your own question. If the posts don't feel solid, they aren't solid enough to support the new fence.

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