By Ben Hoffman
I happened to meet a U.S. Forest Service engineer who worked on fences and structures for range lands. He introduced me to a fence corner that had been tested in both the United States and Australia that outperformed other designs with multiple posts and cross and angle braces. The key is that the triangular brace is free to float on the ground surface. As long as there is no post or clod at the point of the triangle to act as a fulcrum, frost will not heave this corner out of the ground. One with five strands of wire has been in place on my former farm for 32 years. The key is a triangle with the ground distance 2 1/2 times the height of the triangle on the post. If the angle brace is 3 feet above the ground, the ground distance should be 7 1/2 feet. Four wraps of fence wire from post to a notch in the brace are twisted with a 12-inch piece of re-rod to tension the triangle side along the ground. Be careful – tensioned wire can spin the re-rod and break a finger. The point of the triangle should rest on a flat rock or pressure treated board so that it is free to move. A professional fence installer agreed that this design is the best, but many of his clients want more substantial looking corners that often require up to two additional posts and two to four braces. Work smart, not hard!