Things You'll Need
Pneumatic rock drill
Rock drill bits
Pneumatic jack hammer
Shovel with pointed blade
Fence post level
Pre-mixed post cement
Use pressure-treated posts or railroad ties as these won’t rot.
Cut all the holes first and then go along and cement the posts in place. Larger amounts of cement can be mixed at once and save time over mixing individual amounts.
Use a quick-set cement made for fence post work.
Use spray paint to mark post positions on rock.
Pneumatic tools require strict attention to the job; injuries can happen fast.
Wear safety equipment, eye protection, leather gloves and boots and hearing protection. Rock chips will be flying.
One of the most frustrating and challenging aspects of building a fence is encountering solid rock. Fence lines often need to be run over areas of pure rock, for instance, when putting up stock fence in rural areas. Posts, whether wooden or T-posts, can be set in solid rock. It is a hard job that is best done with two workers. The result is a fence line supported by solid posts.
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Measure out the fence line and mark on the rock where each post is to go. At each mark, use a rock drill to cut a series of holes in a circle and inside the circle. Drill holes to create a circle twice the diameter of the post and 6 to 10 inches deep.
With a medium-size bit, use the jack hammer to break all the rock out from inside the drilled circle. Scoop all the rock fragments out of the hole. Repeat the drilling pattern down another 6 to 10 inches. Break this up with the jack hammer and clean out the hole.
Continue drilling and hammering out the rock until the hole is 2 feet deep. Set the wooden post in the hole with the fence-post level locked onto an upper corner of the post.
Mix a sack of the cement in the wheelbarrow. Hold the post in position and check it with a level. Have an assistant shovel cement into the hole around the fence post. Fill the hole, then add extra cement at the base of the post. Use the shovel to sculpt the cement to make a rise around the post; this will keep water from pooling up around the post.
Brace the post perfectly level as the cement sets.
Set steel T-posts in rock by drilling a hole slightly larger in diameter than the T-post. Knock the spade off the bottom of the T-post. Drop the bottom end of the post in the hole. If it is snug, tap the post down with a hammer. If it is loose, fill in around the post with cement.
Allow 24 hours for the cement to fully harden before stretching wire and attaching it to the posts.
Dave P. Fisher
Dave P. Fisher is an internationally published and award-winning Western novelist and short-story writer. His work has appeared in several anthologies and his nonfiction articles in outdoor magazines. An avid outdoorsman, Fisher has more than 40 years of experience as a hunter, trapper, fisherman, taxidermist, professional fly-tyer, horsepacker and guide.