How to Make a Stone Fence Post
A stone fence post will enhance your lawn and garden with rustic, natural appeal. Metal, wood and vinyl fencing panels can all be affixed to stone posts. Depending on your aesthetic preferences and what is available in your area, many different types of stone can also be used, including flagstone, slate, fieldstone and cobblestone. Secure stackable stones together, using mortar modified with hydrated lime to ensure solid, long-lasting fence posts.
Demarcate a 20-by-20-inch square at the desired fence post location, using stakes and string.
Dig out the area within the square 14 inches deep, using a shovel.
Compact the dirt at the bottom of the hole, using a hand tamper.
Fill the hole with 2 inches of gravel and sand. Compact the gravel and sand with the hand tamper.
Cut a square of wire mesh to fit in the hole, using wire cutters. Place the wire mesh squarely in the bottoms of the hole on top of small stones so it is elevated approximately 2 inches.
- Demarcate a 20-by-20-inch square at the desired fence post location, using stakes and string.
- Dig out the area within the square 14 inches deep, using a shovel.
Mix water gradually to a dry concrete mix until you achieve a thick, soupy consistency. Mix concrete in a wheelbarrow or large bucket, using a shovel. Fill the hole with 6 inches of concrete. Level the concrete, using a concrete trowel. Allow the concrete to cure for the time indicated in the dry mix manufacturer's instructions.
Create a mortar mix. Combine six parts sand, one part cement and one part hydrated lime. Mix in water until you achieve a thick, goopy consistency. Add concrete pigment if you want to change the color of the mortar to better complement the stones. Allow the concrete to cure for 48 hours. Periodically mist the concrete with water throughout the curing process.
- Mix water gradually to a dry concrete mix until you achieve a thick, soupy consistency.
- Level the concrete, using a concrete trowel.
Lay the first layer of stones on top of the concrete footer. Add half of mortar to the concrete surface, using a trowel. Add 1/2 inch of mortar to the bottoms of stones and set them into mortar on the concrete.
Continue to build up the fence post to the desired height. The mortar between stones should be approximately 3/8 inch thick. If necessary, split stones to fit, using a chisel and a 3-pound hammer. Wipe any mortar that smears onto stones as it occurs with a damp sponge.
- Lay the first layer of stones on top of the concrete footer.
- Add half of mortar to the concrete surface, using a trowel.
Cap the top of the post with one large, flat rock or with a concrete post cap.
Smooth down the mortar joints with a wood dowel. Hold the dowel at an angle and run the rounded edge along the mortar joints.
Paint the mortar joints with grout sealer, using a small, round paintbrush. Wipe any sealer that smears or drips onto stones as it occurs with a damp sponge. The stones can be painted with stone sealer. Sealers protect against water, mineral, oil and grease stains.
- Cap the top of the post with one large, flat rock or with a concrete post cap.
- Paint the mortar joints with grout sealer, using a small, round paintbrush.
Cover the posts with plastic and allow the mortar to cure for 48 hours. Periodically mist the mortar with water throughout the curing process.
Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.