Cutting down chain link fence posts

Yakiman

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LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2012
58
Yakima, WA
I apologize in advance if is is the wrong place to post this. We are going to improve the appearance of our "backyard oasis" this year.

Step one: remove ugly chain link fence posts!

These things are right next to the concrete pool deck so digging them out does not seem like a good option, I assume they were set in concrete. So I would like to cut them off at ground level.

Can anyone recommend a good tool and/or technique for doing so?

Thanks!
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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May 19, 2010
43,003
Tucson, AZ
Angle grinder with a cut-off wheel would be my first thought.

The tricky bit would be if the pipes are filled of concrete. There are metal wheels and masonry wheels ... not sure what would happen to a metal wheel when it got into the concrete.
 

Yakiman

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2012
58
Yakima, WA
Not sure whether or not they are filled with concrete, they're capped. I'll take a look when I get home tonight.
 

davelinde

Well-known member
Sep 18, 2012
391
Lake Nona, Florida
When I pulled ours I was able to dig to the top of the concrete and whack it with a sledge or chip it with an air hammer. When I got lucky the slug of concrete would split and the post just lifts out. Come to think of it, I think I was able to get a few done by just whacking the post at the bottom sideways then getting some leverage on the post and spinning it - if it spins it can be lifted out. IIRC I used some chain and a lever. If that is not OK to try, you can also score the post as low as possible with an angle grinder or sawzall. Once you weaken the sidewall a bit you can pull on the top and it will give/bend at the score line. You can rock it back/forth and snap it off by fatigue of the metal, then use a sledge to smash the broken edge as low as possible and bury it below grade.
 

ar15

Active member
Apr 5, 2013
27
I sawzall'd my last chainlink posts. Worked well because it was a slab and I could get parallel to the slab. It went fairly quick, but have a couple of blades.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,538
SW Indiana
You might try twisting with a big pipe wrench first. You may be surprised. The concrete doesn't grab that pipe all that well, and the result would be cleaner if you could pull the pipe. If they'll twist, they'll pull out with some force.
 

cramar

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 10, 2010
1,143
Sault Ontario
Waaay back, my father put a tether ball post in our yard, after many years we outgrew tether ball and to get rid of the post he wacked away at the base and then bent it back and forth until it broke free.
Some time later, as a young lad playing soccer in the yard, I slid along the ground to get the ball.....right where the post was. :shock:
2 massive (as in several inches each) scars along my leg that are still visible 30+ years later.

My only point is to make sure those metal edges are pounded down, covered, removed, something.
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
23,406
SouthWest Alabama
Many years ago there was a fence that had poured bases and when they removed the fence they left the bases. I'm still digging up the chunks of concrete that they left. I would remove the bases if I could when you take the posts out.
 

ElGood

Member
May 11, 2011
24
Mesquite, Tx
Our sign crews remove damaged posts the way davelinde suggested, they will almost always seperate from the concrete with a little help from a sledge hammer at the base of the post and usually most of the concrete debri can be removed by hand after the post is removed.
 

Durk

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2007
654
New Jersey
I'll just chip in with an old farmer's trick for pulling posts that I have used with success. Find an old wheel rim (without tire)--the bigger the better. Tie off a tow chain on the bottom of the post. Stand the wheel rim on edge with the front against the post and run the chain over the top of the wheel rim. Hitch to tractor and pull. Non-farmers can substitute a pick-up or SUV with 4x4 low.

The rim will make the pulling force vertical and will pull a concrete base up along with the pipe if the pipe doesn't separate. I just did this with a satellite dish pole sunk in concrete that had to be moved. Worked like a charm. (I own a tractor.) Good for dead bushes, too.
 

davelinde

Well-known member
Sep 18, 2012
391
Lake Nona, Florida
Durk said:
Good for dead bushes, too.
I had a dead bush in a side yard and did not want to risk rutting up the grass with my 4wd - so I used a long rope and kept the truck on the pavement. The rope stretched a bit before the bush yanked out and I was more than a little surprised at how far it slinghot when it let go. just sayin'
 

Durk

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2007
654
New Jersey
davelinde said:
Durk said:
Good for dead bushes, too.
I had a dead bush in a side yard and did not want to risk rutting up the grass with my 4wd - so I used a long rope and kept the truck on the pavement. The rope stretched a bit before the bush yanked out and I was more than a little surprised at how far it slinghot when it let go. just sayin'
That's one good reason I said chain. The wheel makes the force vertical so the bush just goes up in the air although only a foot or two. No slingshot my way.
 

Taterfink

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2012
552
NE Florida
Man! I learn more stuff on this forum! Thanks for tip on using a rim and chain. We have some chain link /posts to remove and this stands to make it a whole lot easier!
 

troy1

Member
Apr 15, 2013
11
Central Florida
I agree with several others that if at all possible it is best to remove those concrete bases. They will find a way to haunt you for years to come.

The OP said that these are right next to the deck though - so the brute force ideas may damage the deck. This calls for more finesse. Here are a couple techniques I have used.

Get up high enough to swing a sledge hammer down on top of the post. Pickup truck tailgate is what I usually use, but you may have to work out something else. The idea is similar to the post about trying to turn it. If you can get it to move even a little in the concrete you can usually tease it out.

Another one I have used is to get outside the deck and post etc and dig a new post hole right next to it. Then wiggle the post and concrete until it falls into your new hole. Then you can drag it out. This method is deck friendly and low tech.

If you are going to try to turn it though you are going to need something a heck of a lot bigger than any vice grips. I have a pipe wrench with a 3 foot handle, and I'd still bring a cheater pipe that fits over the handle if I was going to use that method.

Maybe do both. Dig a post hole and THEN attach the giant pipe wrench.

Go slow. 1 at a time. Maybe a pause for refreshment between posts.
 

Smykowski

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
I need to fix a couple of wooden fence posts and I have to pull the bases. Here's an idea I heard and it's what I'm going to try:

Rent/borrow a 1.5-2ton engine hoist/crane. Dig about 6in to a foot down to expose the pylon. Wrap a nylon strap (the furniture mover/truck tiedown type) or chain several times around the exposed pylon and hook it to the hoist. Slowly lift the hoist and the pylon should pop straight up. As soon as the suction is broken, it will pop like cork. The magic is that as the vertical tension increases the "tightening" force increases as well.