Thursday, July 19, 2018


You will not see any actual deer fence in this first deer fence project post, but you will see lots of posts in this post.
I actually ordered the 7-foot tall deer fence at the start of the year, but it is rolled up in its shipping wrapper ... waiting.

My Gorilla Cart (aka Faithful Mule)

(Not a paid endorsement, just bragging on an awesome product. This 1200 lb capacity Gorilla Cart has been a wonderful time and back saver.  It has functioned as a cargo mule and a rolling workshop throughout this project. )

 The reason for the wait is it takes a lot of posts, ... really big 10 foot posts to make a deer fence... and time ... and money.
I tend to buy components of major projects bit by bit ahead of project initiation to spread out costs and take advantage of serendipitous sales, etc.
The mysterious UPS arrival of seemingly random items on the doorstep creates confusion when I haven't yet shared my plans... (because they are always in flux)... 

As in, "Tell me why there's a 4 foot long, 100 watt solar panel in your closet".

That's another post (also involving posts) to come.

This summer, while gainfully UNemployed by the school district, I got busy on "Fortress Deeropa".

I started on the deer fence as soon the annual Summer furlough began. 
The first step was simply deciding just how much of this "garden area" needed protection.

Currently, a 16 foot by 16 foot square of high cobbled together fencing is the only deer proof area in the entire garden zone.
The existing protected zone is to the immediate left in this photo. The north end (blueberry zone) is off in the distance behind the aqua colored trough. Fortress Deeropa will extend from the post to the aqua trough roughly.

Most of it is unoccupied, but at the north end there is an old but productive blueberry patch.

The deer never bother the blueberries, so I decided to leave them out of the fencing project.

This cut my garden area roughly in half and left me with a square that was roughly 50 feet on each side.

Post setting is pretty basic skill stuff, but I'll share how I did mine.

Step 1: Create a nice straight line along each side with mason line drawn tight. This is your guide for lining up posts correctly.

Step 2:  Decide on your spacing and dig your post holes.

 I use a shovel to start and then switch to post hole diggers to finish up. Remember to make the hole wide enough to accept the concrete.

Step Three: Use a post level like my ancient, battered Craftsman level in the photo. This allows you to line up to the string AND have a post that is straight.

Step Four: Brace the now "perfectly" aligned and level post.
You need some scrap 2x4s with self-tapping deck screws in them, a few clamps, and your drill driver.

The photo above shows a typical post braced and ready for the quickset cement. 

On my braces, I partially drive a 3-inch Deckmate screw in at one end and then after it's clamped and level, I screw the 2x4 to the post. 

After the cement sets, I unscrew the 2x4 just enough to remove it from the post.
Now it's ready for the next post.

The picture above and below was a special case. The cedar colored post on the left was an existing yard fence gate post that I was tying into with my deer fence. 
I clamped both posts together, then leveled and aligned them correctly.

After that, I used three 8 inch Timberlock self-tapping screws to join these two posts permanently. These Timberlock screws are awesome and I now use them anywhere I once used lag screws. 

My trusty Ryobi driver drove them in with ease.

I am seriously addicted to the Ryobi One Plus 18 volt system. Ryobi got it right with this system.

The Timberlock screws come with a matching driver in the package.

I drove the Timberlocks at an angle since they were long enough to stick out the other side if I went in horizontally.

This is the southwest corner post. I am spacing my "regular" posts at 16 feet, but the corners will all have a brace post about 4 feet on either side.

The chair is not for sitting. It was heading for the trash due to a butt pinching crack in the seat, but I repurposed it into a tool bench to keep my tools off the ground.

So there you have it.
Post number 1 on the deer fence project was ... mostly about posts.
After I have made progress with actual fencing, post number 2 will magically appear.


Anchor Cottage said...

I appreciate your posts about living in Florida...I learn a lot about real vs tourist life in your neck of the woods!

Paul said...

I'm glad I live in a world where people I know use the word ungulates!

Mark P said...

Around here we dig holes with a shovel for the first couple of inches, and then a pick for the next few inches. I have been sorely tempted to use dynamite, but I suspect it would be counterproductive.

Wally Jones said...

Good luck with the project!

I could only read about half of the details as your description of manual labor tuckered me out and I had to take a nap.

But seriously, let me know if you need a hand and I'll bring my tool box.

R.Powers said...

Anchor, Welcome! I'm glad PF helps folks to glimpse what I think of as real Florida.

You know I use big words just to impress you.

Mark, I think about that when I am digging and fussing about the heat. At least there are no rocks.

Thanks pal. This kind of work is kind of my yoga,deep thought time. That's why I haven't called on my strong kids or my very tall son in laws. (I am saving them for the actual hanging of the deer fencing material tho.)