I have learned the following lessons:
1. T posts have small plates on the bottom. Their spacing up from the bottom is variable, so don’t count on burying the plate to tell you if it’s deep enough. Or, more to the point, too deep.
2. No two t-posts will sink to the same depth. They defy all attempts at uniformity.
2.a. The only thing worse than a t-post too deep is digging out a t-post.
2.b. Despite wearing good gloves turned inside out, using a pick-axe will give you blisters.
3. Power augers are way cool, and are an excellent way to bore holes for the big wooden posts that are needed as anchors at the ends of the run.
3.a. Power augers have a love-hate relationship with tree roots: they love to hang on, and hate to let go. It takes a big pipe wrench and a cheater bar to separate them.
4. Always talk to the seasoned fellow at Tractor Supply. I learned more about fence building in 5 minutes with him than 6 hours on the internet. His name is Doug, ask for him.
5. A 21 year old son is a very useful addition to a fence-building team, and is a very strong worker. (Thanks, Bob!).
6. Fencing pliers are a must. They can do things with wire I had no idea was possible. Buy a pair for your helper.
7. Use good chain to attach your puller-device to the fence when tensioning; the cheap stuff left over from kids’ swings will unravel dangerously.
7.a. Throw the cheap chain away when you’re done, as it’s all streched out.
8. Nothing like actual labor to make you appreciate how out of shape you are.
260+ feet of fence in about 3 days of not killing ourselves, and saved about $1,500 of savings from the bid.
Pics to follow.