Fence post spikes

L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
22
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Morning all, I would welcome your comments (good or bad) on this:
Has anyone used these (fence post spike) when constructing a garden railway?
134316_61f183e7a17aed232b75597ed5143451.png

I'm looking for a way to build a slightly raised layout simply without using concrete or blocks (if at all possible).
Any suggestions for alternative methods welcome too.
Thank you,
Les.
 
LGB-Sid

LGB-Sid

Registered
19 Sep 2016
884
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UK
I used a couple,
but changed them for ones you cement in as it was next to impossible to get them in the ground vertically in both directions., I suppose it depends on the soil where I used them we have a lot of sand stones in our sandy soil and I hit one each time so it went in angled :)
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
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Royston
The best thing to do with them is to dig a hole and either fill it back up with the post in position, or cement them in. As Sid said getting them to stay upright whilst whacking them in doesn’t work too well. Besides the lump hammer has gone missing
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
23,676
557
Tamworth, Staffs.
They are rubbish for holding a fence post in! - You can't drive them in straight, and there is not enough depth to the 'socket' to resist windage.

Probably OK for something low, like a railway?? But if you are going to go waist-height, then you will need something better IMHO.

I would use recycled plastic (for maintenance-free longevity). Probably with a metal-plate, and threaded studding/nuts, to adjust levels over time..
But I am on clay, which moves inches, from winter to summer..

There is a 'ladder' system using recycled plastic, but if you use it for the road-deck, use plank-like sections across the width. - Plastic has a large range of thermal expansion.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,056
469
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Morning all, I would welcome your comments (good or bad) on this:
Has anyone used these (fence post spike) when constructing a garden railway?
View attachment 257577
I'm looking for a way to build a slightly raised layout simply without using concrete or blocks (if at all possible).
Any suggestions for alternative methods welcome too.
Thank you,
Les.
Look at the build of my Railway linked below (A new Railway is started). Shows how I used them for supporting my line that is 3ft from the ground. In short I dig a small hole put them in place then use Post Crete to secure them. I ensure that the wood used is above ground so only the pointy bit is buried in Post Crete. Can be reworked within 30 or so minutes thus progress along the line is quick.
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
22
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Look at the build of my Railway linked below (A new Railway is started). Shows how I used them for supporting my line that is 3ft from the ground. In short I dig a small hole put them in place then use Post Crete to secure them. I ensure that the wood used is above ground so only the pointy bit is buried in Post Crete. Can be reworked within 30 or so minutes thus progress along the line is quick.
Wow, I’ve just spent over an hour reading your posts including the met post and postcrete bit. To say I’m thoroughly impressed with your efforts would be a gross understatement! I can’t envisage my prospective layout approaching the complexity of yours but it’s certainly food for thought. Thank you.
Les.
 
beachdonkey

beachdonkey

Model railways, classic cars, music
14 Sep 2015
257
1
59
bedford
I used them on my railway and found them to be OK. I have heavy clay soil so they drive in quite straight and are firm once in the ground.
 
J

James M

Registered
5 Feb 2017
59
5
61
Essex
My railway is entirely supported on posts in spikes and has been up for twenty years now. I’ve had to replace a few posts and have to level the line every so often but otherwise it’s been fine. I knocked posts in checking the vertical in both planes frequently and then cut post to length after it had been knocked in.
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
22
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Many thanks to all for your suggestions and comments, not to mention the glimpses of your railway/railroad setups.

I’m not too sure which way I’ll be going yet but I’ll probably post a photo or two.
Les.
 
John Pinfold

John Pinfold

Registered
3 Mar 2018
4
0
68
Cheltenham
Hello Les,

I've used the metal, drive-into-the-ground type of fence post holders for all the posts supporting the raised track on my layout. They have worked just fine!

All very best, JP.
134883_a8690b3c6fed4bb2399fb8bf8126c158.jpg
 
Trains and More

Trains and More

Registered
11 Aug 2019
8
3
84
B.C. Canada
I used fence posts on my first layout, same idea. I had clay soil. The problem arose in the winter. When the top layer froze solid it clamped the fence posts and as the frost went deeper the soil expanded pulling the fence post upward. When the weather warmed up again the ground settled back down, not so the fence posts. Every year they came up a little higher, eventually I gave up, pulled them all out, and laid down a concrete bed. At least it settled down in the spring. Posts are a good idea if you don't have soil that holds moisture or there is never any frost in the ground.
 
Scot Lawrence

Scot Lawrence

Registered
30 May 2018
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45
50
Rochester, NY USA
I used fence posts on my first layout, same idea. I had clay soil. The problem arose in the winter. When the top layer froze solid it clamped the fence posts and as the frost went deeper the soil expanded pulling the fence post upward. When the weather warmed up again the ground settled back down, not so the fence posts. Every year they came up a little higher, eventually I gave up, pulled them all out, and laid down a concrete bed. At least it settled down in the spring. Posts are a good idea if you don't have soil that holds moisture or there is never any frost in the ground.
Yep, that is "frost heave"..
Im using concrete post supports *on* the ground rather than *in* the ground because of that exact problem..



Anywhere where the ground will freeze in the winter, even if its only for a few days, shouldnt use those spikes.

Scot
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
22
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Hello Les,

I've used the metal, drive-into-the-ground type of fence post holders for all the posts supporting the raised track on my layout. They have worked just fine!

All very best, JP.
View attachment 257861
Thanks John,
Ive more or less decided to go with the metal spikes, mainly because I don’t fancy laying concrete foundations.

Nice layout, how big is it?
Les.
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
22
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
I used fence posts on my first layout, same idea. I had clay soil. The problem arose in the winter. When the top layer froze solid it clamped the fence posts and as the frost went deeper the soil expanded pulling the fence post upward. When the weather warmed up again the ground settled back down, not so the fence posts. Every year they came up a little higher, eventually I gave up, pulled them all out, and laid down a concrete bed. At least it settled down in the spring. Posts are a good idea if you don't have soil that holds moisture or there is never any frost in the ground.
Hi Scot,
Our soil is pretty good, not clay and we don’t suffer from ground heave. We haven’t had a really heavy frost for a few years now, so the spikes should be okay.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,056
469
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
I used fence posts on my first layout, same idea. I had clay soil. The problem arose in the winter. When the top layer froze solid it clamped the fence posts and as the frost went deeper the soil expanded pulling the fence post upward. When the weather warmed up again the ground settled back down, not so the fence posts. Every year they came up a little higher, eventually I gave up, pulled them all out, and laid down a concrete bed. At least it settled down in the spring. Posts are a good idea if you don't have soil that holds moisture or there is never any frost in the ground.
We tend to not get the amount of Deep Cold in UK as you guys in Canada and US, though we had that ‘beast from the east’ last year it did not last long enough to cause the depth of freezing in the ground that would apply over the other side of the Pond.
 
Alpineandy

Alpineandy

Registered
25 Oct 2009
1,635
16
Alpennines
RE:- cementing fence posts in.

4 part building sand
1 part cement

mix dry and pour in around the post. Make sure post is set vertical.
Cement mix will absorb moisture from ground and in a couple of days you will not be able to move it. :)
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
22
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Update:

The fence post spikes arrived yesterday, (at least the first batch did), now I just need to plan the layout and decide if I use a normal loop or go for reverse loops.
Then, of course, do I stay with analogue track power, move to DCC or try R/C and battery power? I've also come across an interesting thread about the 'cheapish' MSS steam kits!

I never thought this would escalate so quickly!
Les.
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
3,287
272
56
Royston
Update:

The fence post spikes arrived yesterday, (at least the first batch did), now I just need to plan the layout and decide if I use a normal loop or go for reverse loops.
Then, of course, do I stay with analogue track power, move to DCC or try R/C and battery power? I've also come across an interesting thread about the 'cheapish' MSS steam kits!

I never thought this would escalate so quickly!
Les.
Never mind, just be careful with the wallet opening business, and don't search eBay after a few beers