Frequently Asked Questions and their Answers

Engineers are a strange breed, just ask my wife, but almost all engineers have had to attend a class and/or sign a code of ethics. This code is essentially a commitment or promise to use all of our training for research, reasoning, testing, analyzing and problem solving to best serve and advise the general public. I attended that class and signed the document over 20 years ago, and have made every effort to uphold my commitment to those I serve.

I would like to use this page platform to address some commonly asked question and save me some hot air when you and I visit. I could roll this out with a ton of nerdy dialect that only I, and those like me, would appreciate but I would rather tell you what I’ve experienced. I’ll give those of you interested links to smarter and more mature engineers, who don’t drive a flatbed truck, and have studied far deeper the claims I will make about what I have observed

The Tubular Steel Fence Post

Why is used API tubing my recommendation for a fence post?

First reason is a treated wooden post today isn’t what it used to be and they burn. I am a volunteer fireman and get to watch new posts burn to the ground while the 70 year old cedar, two posts away, is still standing. Secondly, I have quickly determined it may be the only material with a price point Ag folks will consider as an alternative to wood. Finally, our API pipe is seamless and used pipe has already drawn iron particles to it forming a rust layer to protect it from soils corrosion.

How long will they last?

Short answer is I really don’t know. As an oilfield man, I had crews set up a pipe yard in an alkali bed driving tubing for stops at the end of wooden beam racks. I used wood because I had seen this alkali bed consume metal t-posts in less than 4 years. 16 years later, as a fencing man I purchased the used tubing from that yard. I took the tubing used for stops flipped them upside down, drove them into the ground and proceeded to weld on rails. The worst part of those pipes was ground level to 24 inches down. We now refer to it as the wet zone and encourage clients to wrap the wet zone plus 4 inches above ground with poly tape if you’re in alkali or high animal urine/feces areas.

Why do you drive them into the ground?

This one is tough for me not to get engineery. Driving them into the ground doesn’t disturb natural soil compaction because the majority of displaced soil goes directly into the post. Tamping back soil from an augured hole, over-compacts the excavated soil, which can result in frost heave and metal will last longer in an oxygen rich environment. If you’re worried about pulling or sinking under snow load check out our post anchor or build your own. Finally, I promise you metal and cement was not designed for this type of marriage. If you simply must, I recommend leaving the cement at least 6 inches below ground and cover with soil or place a silicon/clay barrier on exposed cement to pipe union.

The Fence Post Anchor
Anchor Tie Photo

What the heck do you do with that?

This highly sophisticated apparatus looks like a piece of No.5 rebar bent into a V shape because it is. I recommend welding this V in a leaning position where the legs of the V pass besides opposing sides of the post. This position will offer greater weld surface, for the welding challenged, and will create an opposing resistance to vertical pressures. If you are using it to combat wire uplift on a post (commonly known as a ‘deadman’) we recommend placing it on the post such that it is positioned a minimum 1 foot below surface.

If you are using a post with pre-drilled holes for clips, properly align holes as desired before anchor enters soil. If you are fighting down pressure on a post in lose soils or swamp ground, we recommend welding the V upside down on the post in the same leaning manner. We have found these work best driven no deeper than 1 foot in the soil. Most high moisture ground only has structure from the vegetation and/or don’t freeze very deep if snow load is to become a factor. If you are still reading about a bent piece of rebar and have more questions about the amazing number of applications, just call me because you’re my kind of folks.

Can I just make my own?

Sure and thanks for asking our permission; no patents on this one. One more fun fact, if you are in crazy loose soil and building a brace: Place one anchor ‘V up’ on the corner post +1’ deep and one anchor ‘V down’ on the brace post –1’ deep for a great brace in loose soils without concrete.

The Wire Clip

What is the benefit of your wire clip?

This one is tough to describe until you see it function on a fence you have to maintain. The clip allows the wire to move with wildlife and livestock pressures without kinking. Our light clips are designed to un-coil before kinking or breaking wire. I’ve been cussed by so many people for this design at first glance, but I dare you to compare maintenance hours against any other clip or staple on the market. If the wire can move down the line you get the full elastic benefit of your line wire, resulting in tighter fences over longer periods.

Wire can also be cycled in and out of the clip without removing it from the post. Wire clips are also offered for woven wire (single curl), which can be helpful in no-climb woven applications or used as a quick let down clip for barbed wire. I do caution folks when using our heavy clips on t-posts in extreme down-pressure applications in loose soils. I have seen line wire pressures and snow load push t-post into the ground before the clip releases the wire.

How hard are they to set in the post?

If there is a chink in our armor it is the need for a setting tool to engage these clips. It can be awkward engaging the set tool into the post, especially for the vertically challenged. Folks have used a stool, ATV and rocks to assist. However, setting the clips is relatively simple if used properly because of the way they are manufactured. The metal has memory and wants to deflect when the curls face down and the tail is struck by the set tool. If you are having trouble striking the clip with enough force to promote proper bend, simply contact the clip and rock the set tool back and forth. The weight and configuration of the tool will properly bend the clip.

What happens if the wire breaks?

Believe it or not this is usually when doubters fall in love with us. Potential negative, barbed wire will usually retract though 1-2 clips in one or both directions; barbless wire can recoil through 3-4 clips on tight line wires. Benefit, wire can easily be cycled back into the clips without removal and stretched tight through the clips. If it is in an area of grade changes, barbs can get hung up but a quick bump with the fence plier is better than unclipping everything for 100 yards either direction on traditional clips to get things ‘kind of’ tight.

The Setting Tool

Fireproof Fencing Setting Tool Closeup Photo

Do I need the tool to set your wire clips?

Smart guy answer is no, but you won’t like how they work. We do recommend using the set tool to properly engage the tail of the clip within the post. We understand this is a fugitive cost so we truly sell them at our cost, offer the components individually and our build design is on the web. I promise the value of the clip system will dwarf the frustration of needing a tool.

Why is there a notch in the end and the plate on top

The notch in the set tool end will play in your favor allowing you to easily bypass the tails of clips on your way out of the post. The notch in the top plate is only there to remind you where the notch is on the other end when it’s at the bottom of the post. This top plate will also keep the set tool from disappearing down your post if you lose grip

What’s with the weird slide hammer on one model?

We don’t sell many and many who purchase that model end up cutting it off to reduce weight and noise. We made it at the request of a beautiful lady, mature in years, which needed a little help setting clips without engaging shoulders; ironically while standing on the back of her ATV. However, I had a shoulder surgery and found I wet myself less the week following if I use the slide hammer model also. It’s a bit spendy, but the hammer is made from mechanics tubing and sells for over $100/ft.

The Brace Tensioner

Why do we always see you using the cross or x pattern?

Holy cow this is the hot one! First disclaimer, please configure it any way you like just buy them from us. Second disclaimer, engineers see braces in force arrows and moment arms with no offense intended for how granddad built them. I’ve been cussed over this one more than them all. Most criticisms usually come with a dissertation about how the triangle is the strongest shape in the world. Be careful if you look closely at the x pattern, you might see four triangles. The key to a functional x pattern for tension wires is a single tension component. Bottom line; if I was building fence for you and warranting my work I would use the x pattern and keep the position of my tension wire spaced relative to a level cross brace bar (seriously, no disrespect Granddad. Thank you for all you taught me).

Do you have to use the cables?

No. But, why wouldn’t you? For 2 pre-assembled cable loops and a tensioner, you simply cannot pay yourself and string out two runs of wire for less money. The cables can also be tensioned much more efficiently during construction, whereas, you will see the stretch from line wire within the first year allowing the brace to move. Cable is also much more forgiving when it comes to kinking under pressure.

What is the real benefit to me over fifty cents of wire and a stick?

About 5 years ago I took a rebar through the face while tensioning a brace and began contemplating a new design while spitting out blood and deciding if there was anything salvageable about the teeth in my hand. Honestly, the initial payout is the safety factor. The slick part come into focus when you’re tightening your brace with a socket, instead risking a fate like mine trying to tighten with line wires in the way of your winding bar. One of the quickest ways to start lift on a corner post is to tighten line wires with slack on your brace wires. Once you get handy with it you will learn how to adjust the position in which you position the tensioner to level a post or place greater back pressure on a corner if wire takes off on a quick grade. Trust me, there is way more to this design than meets the eye!

The Gate Hinge
Fireproof Fencing Gate Hinge Closeup Photo

Will my gate lean my brace being connected off-set?

It all falls back to a properly built gate and support brace. The key is to always hang the gate with its primary position in-line with its supporting brace. Everyone loves to throw in an angled gate where they need to corner the fence and seem shocked their wives are yelling at them the next year because she can’t hold your gate up and open it at the same time. So long as you have your support brace, gate and closing post positioned in a straight line you will have no issue with your brace leaning. The lug collar is so close to the post and welded directly to a collar on the brace post, all meaningful weight of the gate will pull in the proper direction. We would recommend using a support system on all fence types if a gate will spend a lot of time in a non-supported position.

Do you have to use the cables?

Yes, is the short answer without a bunch of surface contact pressures and shear direction positioning conversation. If it causes any anxiety toward the unknown, you can simply drill another hole for another clip, enlarge and use heavy clip, or even weld it up. Helpful part about the clip, or so I’ve heard; if a teenager doesn’t tie the gate back during heavy wind and it catches the hay trailer it can serve as a shear pin. This in-turn should make a noise causing the teen to look up their phone and hopefully stop the vehicle while gate is salvageable.

What is the story with the third hole?

ALong story short, we started showing folks how to cut the ends off threaded tap lugs for wood posts that usually come with light gates and welding them to a standard bolt to repurpose. One neighbor that didn’t trust his welding, placed a wooden plug inside the hinge and used the threaded tap lugs as-is. Manufacturer’s disclaimer; you will get a fair amount of movement when operating your gate using this method, but the customer is always right. So we added the third hole in hopes these customers will thread the lug through the wood until it hits the back of the collar, hence giving you a more rigid connection.

The Gate Collar
Gate Collar Photo

Why offer it alone?

Many folk find themselves wanting to add a metal gate to an existing set of corrals or metal brace. If you have rails or wires you don’t wish to remove and access to a welder, simply tack these on your structure and mount up your favorite gate in record time. We recommend sliding the collar on the gate lug, hold gate level and tack. This will take a lot of guess work out of alignment.

Why are those holes so freakin big?

Bull gates around here come with a 1” lug and we’re not a very good clothing store; one size fits all. Before you cuss it with a smaller lugged gate, mount one up and you might like the ability to shift lugs within the hole for a better swing if your post is not perfectly level. Just tighten those nuts once you have got it dialed in.

Free bonus tip because we don’t have a third question

For those of you using our collar or blowing holes in pipe, but still struggling with movement near the lugs on an oversized/overcut hole; simply tighten everything up were you like it and tack your washers directly to the collar or your post. This will take all the play out and still give you adjustment and remove capabilities. You there, the handy bugger that’s been welding his whole life and never thought to do this, you’re welcome. Now, throw us a bone on something we are overlooking.

The Cross Brace Bar
Fence Cross Brace Photo

Why don’t you just weld them up?

We do! People are always quick to cuss us on this when they see our use of the clip connection. If you can get a welder to it, go for it. Our pre-coped cross braces will save even the best hand, with a torch, grinder or any other ingenious method you have for cutting a cope, time. The perfectly cut copes meeting your post diameter on not one, but both posts will save a ton of weld rod. The holes are for us who can only get around to fencing when the ground is so dry a neighbor will pop warning shots if he sees you bringing a welder into the back country. Wyoming also has plenty of ground you cannot get to even horse back; that’s when a cordless drill and the clips come in handy.

How do I make sure my posts are properly spaced?

Buckle up the opinions are going to fly! If you are driving the posts directly into the soil or have augured a hole, I recommend placing the cross brace on the ground ‘level to how you intend to position it in the air’ then level the next post against your line directly in the coped mouth of the cross brace. Once again if I was building/warranting a brace on your land; I would use a bubble level to drive my corner post and use the same bubble level to align my cross brace with 90 degree level change (NOT in-line with the grade of the soil below it). Remember, I don’t care how you build it as long as you buy it from us and aren’t mad I didn’t say something. The rule above still stands even if you have posts level to a bubble and a cross brace level to the ground to properly space posts. Disclaimer, if you use the post bubble and cross bar ground level combo in your build the coped edges will not equally come into contact with the two brace posts and you may want to account for some grinding.

What is with the 3 holes in the center of the bar?

I put them there before I designed the tensioner and are intended for a wire clip to hold a No.5 rebar winding bar in place. Once you get the desired snug on your tension wires you can slide a wire clip over the bar and insert into the hole. The pressure will hold it against the pipe and the clip will keep livestock from rubbing it out of its position. Clip can be removed from hole, yet remain on bar if the tension needs to be adjusted, and reinserted.

The Cross Brace Collar
Cross Brace Collar View 1 Photo

Why do you offer those things?

Our commitment is truly to reduce costs in fencing materials and maintenance. Some folks can get their hands on 2 3/8” pipe and cut their own cross brace bars, but don’t want to weld or cope. This offers an inexpensive alternative to many of the connection collars on the market, and gives you the same pin connection opportunity as our stock cross brace. We have also sold a ton to folks building top rail fence with 2 3/8” pipe. These collars can slide right up the post and weld up to your top rail hiding any variation in pipe height you may not like. They also make for a quick way to finish corral rails against a gate post or corner.

What makes yours better than others on the market?

The most common advantage over most of the lower end chain-link (band/bolt/cup connectors) would be how it connects with the post. Many folks in our area quickly learned that the chain-link hardware is not designed for long run elastic pressures of barbed wire. The entire brace relies on a bolt connection being in perfect alignment for the pressures sent through the brace bar. We have experienced a ton of cup/bolt connectors failing under snow load , tree and wildlife pressures. Our collar simply traps the cross bars position against your posts giving all forces the full material benefit of your posts. Oh, and did I mention we’re cheaper?

How do I know yours will work better?

You don’t until you try it. I don’t want to get into better and worse as I’m hopeful good people design the other systems with good intentions and more than one product may accomplish your fencing application. Our commitment is simple, if our design doesn’t accomplish what we say it can, simply return it and we’ll give you your money back.

The Gate Latch Cap


This one leaves a bit to the imagination. I needed to offer something that allowed folks to use their favorite wire gate tension lever. It’s simple, but gives the owner the ability to affix their favorite latch at the ranch by weld or bolt. Downside is you have to wire a clip around the post or use a rivet to hold the latch assembly in place. Benefit is you can easily remove the cap if there is damage to the latch or you need to enter the post with a set tool.

The Fence Post Collar

Is that seriously a piece of 2 7/8” with 3 little holes in it

Yes it is, sorry not sorry. This one accidentally hit the website as it part of the gate hinge. However, some folk have found it crazy useful to weld all kinds of objects to that afford a swivel or pinned connection when slid over 2 3/8” pipe.

Got More Questions?

Post your questions on Fireproof Fencing Facebook page today.