Stone Fence Posts

We couldn’t help but notice all the stone fence posts along the byways in this part of Kansas. Miles of them! Trees were scarce in pioneer days but Greenhorn Limestone was plentiful. I have included several links and even instructions if you want to try your hand at making these. 😉

Along every byway in this area
Miles and miles of post rock fences
At the boat ramp in our campground
Used for all sorts of construction in the past. I pulled over somewhere out in the prairie when I spotted this old building and windmill.
This way?

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/old-tobias-water-tower-and-jail

Old water tower and jail in Wilson KS. Another use for the limestone
I peeked thru 😳
Was a little startled!
Hotel used in the movie Paper Moon was also in Wilson
Modern usage
“Feathers” placed in drilled holes
Marks left by process used to split open the stones

https://geokansas.ku.edu/post-rock-country

https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/post-rock-cutting-kansas-folk-art/16558

https://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/may/24/limestone-fence-posts-are-sculptors-medium/

Post Primer:

• Greenhorn limestone formed tens of millions of years ago as the skeletal remains of coral and other organisms settled to the floor of interior seas then covering Kansas. Look for fossils and petrified wood on the surface of post-rock.

• Each post weighs between 250 and 450 pounds and is 8 to 12 inches thick and 5 to 6 feet long.

• Settlers hauled cut posts with teams of horses pulling a sled or wagon.

• Post holes were a minimum of 18 inches deep and set 15 to 30 feet apart.

• A 160-acre farm required some 360 posts and 40,000 feet of wire.

AND HOW-TO:

With slight variations, the “plug and feather” technique used
to create stone fence posts is one stonemasons have employed since the days of ancient Egypt. The method, described below,
is also known as “plugs and wedges,” “feather and wedges,” 
“wedges and shims,” “pins and feathers” and “feather and tare.”

1. Drill a row of holes into the rock some 6 to 8 inches apart.

2. Drop into each hole two half-round metal shims (aka
“feathers”), each bent at the top to keep them from slipping
into the hole.

3. Drop a wedge (aka “plug”) between each pair of shims.

4 Pound the wedges in succession with a hammer until they
emit the same telltale tone.

5. The next hammer strike should split the stone along the row.

6. Repeat until you’ve crafted a four-sided post.

Published by karenebarker

Free Range Human traveling North America by RV with her Beloved

2 thoughts on “Stone Fence Posts

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