When is a Post Not Just a Post? (Chain Link Fence Posts)

chain link fence posts

There are several things in life we never give a second thought to. We don’t usually stop to consider why birds can sit on power lines without being shocked. We often ignore the feat of engineering that is the modern freeway system, especially in major cities where converging ramps resemble a spaghetti bowl. And chances are, you have never looked at your fence and given a second thought to the fence post that is supporting it.

That’s all about to change.

What is a Fence Post?

No, we’re not waxing poetic. It is essential before we dive into what makes a fence post amazing that we are all on the same page regarding its definition. A fence post is a large wooden or metal stake that is set into the ground to support a fence. It is not the fence itself, but rather the scaffolding that holds it in place. In the case of chain link fences, fence posts are made of galvanized or coated steel. Now that we’ve got the strict definition out of the way, it’s time to dig a little deeper.

The Line Post

When watching old Westerns about life on the range, it was common to see the farmer or rancher herding their cows into a corral surrounded by a rickety wooden fence. These fences were typically made of felled trees and were usually used to keep livestock in one place. A hole was typically dug into the ground, and the end of a wood post was placed inside before the hole was filled to support the post. These posts were called line posts and typically had two holes in them, one at the top and one at the bottom, where other logs could rest, creating the fence. In a chain link fence, line posts form the vertical support structure for the chain fabric that will eventually create the fence. Line posts should be four inches below the terminal posts (more on those later) and no more than 10 feet apart. The closer the line posts are, the more sturdy the fence.

chain link fence components

Chain Link Fence Post Components

The Terminal Post

Now, imagine you wanted the fence in the Western came to an end. What would you expect to find?

Well, a terminal post, of course. Terminal posts in a chain link fence include posts where the fence ends, where it turns, and where there are gates. Gate posts also often include hinges on one side for the gate to attach to and a latch on the other to keep the gate closed.

Top Rail

Most chain link fences also include a top rail for added stability. On a wood fence in the old Western, the top rail is where you could find a young cowhand, waiting to close the gate behind the livestock. On a chain link fence, top rails are there to support the chain fabric horizontally. These galvanized steel fence posts connect to terminal posts with brace bands and rail ends for safety and security.

chain link fence post and gate

Here are the components of a chain link fence and gate. Photo credit: lowes.com

Next time you look at a chain link fence, you may find yourself marveling at the framework that goes into creating such a basic structure. Contact Atlantic Fence & Supply with any and all questions about chain link fence posts.

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