I’ve been torn between doing a traditional barbed wire fence with wooden posts and a barbed wire fence with pipe for posts. Pipe is going to cost a lot more, but if some idiot starts a brushfire up near my ranch, a pipe fence will survive far better than a fence put together with wooden posts.
Brush fires are a real possibility at Dove Ranch, and could easily undo a year or two of fence work in a matter of minutes. Yeah. I’ve talked myself into doing a barbed wire pipe fence. The problem is that even though they’re common in this part of the west, finding documentation on how to do them is not well documented. So, I’ve taken it on myself to put together some documentation on how to do them while putting together my first 100-ft section of barbed wire pipe fence.
My unique requirements for building my fence are that all parts need to be light enough that I can move them myself, and small enough to fit in the 9-feet of cargo space I can squeeze out of my Subaru Forrester. Traditional wooden posts are barely at my limits for carrying by myself, and fitting in my Forrester. Pipe for a fence is actually much easier for me since I don’t have the ability to haul around a trailer full of wooden posts.
My biggest concern is what size of pipe should I use as terminal posts. I stressed over this for months, until I realized that if I fill the pipe with concrete, a 2 1/2-inch or 3-inch pipe will easily handle the stresses of being a terminal post. I’d love to see a test on this, but I suspect that a 3-inch pipe filled with concrete is going to have more strength (not to mention fire resistance) than a 8-inch wooden post.
I know how to connect barbed wire to a wooden post, but wrapping barbed wire directly around a pipe seemed like a formula for slippage. I realize that stays would help a lot, but still it bothered me. I don’t want to have to adjust the position of the barbed wire every spring in addition to other standard maintenance.
After some research, I figured out that I could just use brace bands to connect barbed wire. That also have the benefit that the barbed wire won’t rub off the galvanization from the pipe. In dry areas like Utah, rust isn’t a huge concern, but the longer the pipes last, the better.
Another concern was, how do you connect support posts to pipe? I realized that I just need a rail end cup that hooks to the brace band’s bolt and then set the end of the support in concrete.
Overall, a pipe barbed wire fence is looking very doable. I just need to figure out if I want to order parts online or if I can find what I want locally.