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Can you Help....I want to replace an existing stockade fence, the post are 7 feet apart...I want to use the existing post holes...What would be the best way to remove the original post? They were installed with crushed stone about twenty years ago...90% of the stone is gone...Thanks... (name withheld by webmaster) P.S. nice home page...
Just pull the front loader up to the post and and yank them out with a chain! You don't have a front loader? Then try one of these ideas.
First of all, reusing 7' post spacing won't work on traditional sections of stockade fence, that are normally spaced 8' apart. Furthermore, many times the original installation may not have had perfect post spacing that would match a new fence. This fact and the fact that the old holes will probably be very odd shaped and huge, once the post is removed, makes it a losing situation, especially if you intend to pour concrete around the new posts. It is normally easier to cut the posts off below ground unless they pull out easier. Don't cut them off if a new post will have to go there though. It is a lot easier to pull the post out when it extends above the ground.
If you insist on removing the posts here are some ideas. Posts that are not set in concrete probably will pull out with a little persuasion. Wiggle the post back and forth as you lift it. That makes all the difference. Shake it back and forth violently and pull up. Repeat the process and the post will eventually lose the battle.
If you are grunting more than lifting, you need a little leverage. A lift stand is a steel tripod that has a ring at the top for a come-a-long to hook into. This will turn a 90 pound weakling into the fence post pulling champion of the world.
You may not want to make a lift stand for a few posts, so use a steel spud bar or heavy pipe as a leverage tool. Pipe works great. Stand up a 5-6' length next to the post. Place a board under it so it doesn't bury into the earth. Hook a come-a-long in the end of the pipe top. Wrap the bottom cable around the post a couple of times and hook it to itself. Crank the come-a-long tight. Now pull back on the pipe and watch that post move up. Don't crank your come-a-long too tight. The real action takes place when you 'lean' back on the pipe with your weight. Cranking hard on the come-a-long will only break or damage the tool. Remember to wiggle that post horizontally between tugs.
We remove hundreds of posts every year just this way. What is a come-a-long? We sell them on our tool page. By the way, I would "kill" an employee for wrapping the come-a-long around the post. It does tear up the cable eventually. We use cable slings instead, which is a 1/4" cable with loops at each end. They are easier to replace then come-a-long cables. You will remember this little tip after just one time grabbing at a frayed cable that sinks tiny wires up under your fingernails (hurts to think about it).
If you have a lot of posts, cut a hole in heavy plate steel that is just slightly bigger than the post. Make a hole on one end of the plate for a chain or come-a-long hook to grab onto. Slide the plate down over the post and when you lift it from the one side with the chain, it will bind up on the post and give a death grip that will not let go (it would break or bend the post first).
Note: If you would like to purchase a post puller, you can find them on our tool page. It's called the Post Popper.