Pipe Fence – The Hard Way?

Pipe Fence – The Hard Way?

Hi I’m Mike, today we are back to a project
that turned from two days to , well a lot more. We are finishing up a new portion of
fence in the corrals with some recycled methane pipe and solving a few problems along the
way today on our Wyoming life. A little over a week ago, I started a project
that seemed relatively straight forward. The goal was to remove a portion of fence in the
corrals that had already been mostly removed by some pushy cows, and we had been holding
together with a few panels. That section was then to be replaced with
a gate and a section of pipe fence. I decided to split it into two days, one day for the
gate and another for the fence. The gate, it went in pretty smooth but it
was the days between then and now that things got a bit, well screwed up.
We had our first calf of the season, a still born little girl and because dealing with
her and her mom happened on the Friday when this video was supposed to be done, we pushed
it back. Then we saw the ramping up of the covid 19
hysteria and pandemic. We made the choice to actively concentrate on our local community
who were obviously in need of it. We increased hours at our farm store in order to give customers
more options for food. We created sales for beef and pork so that they could buy more
to fill their freezers in this time of uncertainty, Erin took the time to up microgreen production,
a quick turn around locally grown vegetable option and we stayed busy and optimistic for
many who needed to have a cornerstone to lean on.
But, everyday I drove by or went to the chicken house I saw this project looking back at me.
And its not like I didn’t try to get it done, it just took a little time.
And heres why… Weather is always something to be dealt with
in Wyoming and with this fence project we are lucky enough to have just enough room
in the shop to start laying out what we need to get done to make it happen.
We are using 2 and 7/8 inch methane pipe, recycled from right here on the ranch. This
pipe was pulled out of the ground when the methane wells here closed down from lack of
production and rather than see the pipe go, we kept it here for projects just like this.
A few years ago, I cut a bunch of pipe over the winter to build our drive over gate that
we use daily on the ranch to head out and check cows in the gator and today, we are
going to keep using the pipe from that project. Each section is about 8 feet long, and each
end is saddled. That is just so that it will fit right in with another pipe.
There are a couple of ways to do this, one is to use a guide like this, one that you
can trace your saddle around the pipe. This requires you cut each pipe with a cutting
torch to make sure each one is perfect. I don’t have that kind of time. The alternative
is a metal saw, set up to cut at about 30 degrees, cutting each end of the pipe in two
opposing angles, creating roughly the same saddle.
My way may be faster, but its going to leave gaps that will have to be dealt with later.
In order to make this process easier, we will be building the entire pipe fence, all 24
feet of it right on the floor of the shop. This will allow us to make sure we are straight
and square before setting it in the ground. I will be tacking each piece together with
a strong enough weld to hold it together during transport but also not too strong that we
cant get it apart if we have to make any adjustments. Once one side is welded then its out of the
shop to flip it over to tack weld the other side together.
If it holds together during flipping then I can be fairly certain that it will hold
together long enough to put in the ground, get it set up, then come back and finish welding
it in the field. It should be said that this is the first pipe
fence I have built on the ranch. If this works then I can see a bunch more going in and saving
some time and money. Look that that she held and after heading
back into the shop to tack weld the other side of the pipe its time to take it over
to the corrals where it is really needed. A few warm days have removed most of the frost
from the ground. So my first thought is that maybe, just maybe I can push the new fence
into the soil. Skipping a set of drilling post hole and pouring concrete, but the ground
is still too hard. And the pipe is very unforgiving. And can
scare the crap out of you. Good thing is that now I have markers for
where I need my posts dug out and the fence can be set out of the way.
Its then that our tack welds break and the whole plan of having the fence together in
the shop to make it easier to install out here falls flat and is literally shattered.
That leads to a little pouting but the fence needs built so the bobcat pulls a quick change
and becomes a post hole digger and punches us a few hole about 3 feet deep.
Then it’s a plan to lift what is left of the fence into the holes and set it in place,
rewelding the welds that broke. More pouting, a little kicking and its again
a change of plans. Now we are down to one section that is still intact. That section
will go in next to the fence and the rest will have to be rebuilt on site.
Each post is set in concrete and the now lone posts are spaced out using a cross member
to make sure that all of our dimensions stay closely the same as they were in the shop.
A board across the top keeps our tops level and we are all set, once the concrete sets.
Plan C, or D, which ever one we are on to now continues when the weather lets up long
enough to head back out and rebuild our section of fence.
For this stage we will take a small mig welder out into the field. This welder, on loan from
our neighbor Gary is rated up to ¼ inch thick steel and hopefully we can use it to get our
pipe all back in place before heading back out with our miller generator welder combo
to finish the job. Also coming along for the ride, my new welding
helmet, and some gloves. Our concrete is now set, it has been for a
couple of days and we can start laying the pipe back into place. Using some of the same
techniques from the shop, a wooden block to hold our spacing we can start getting the
pipe where it is supposed to be and then welding it. And using a strap to apply some tension
I can take up some of the gaps. Our final piece, the solid top rail is then
put in place. And put in place, before being welded where its needed.
A slight curve is compensated for by strapping it in place and welding it where it needs
to be. With that, our fence is up, its not completely
done, we still have to come back with a bigger welder and finish it all up, but for now,
its standing, the gate closes, and even the peacock seems to think it’s a job well done,
well at the very least, he is impassive, which is sometimes just as good.
Time frames are like seasons around here and some come and go. We like to be on a schedule
but often real life happens and projects get pushed back but eventually we get them done,
and we can cross them off the list. Man that feels
good. Speaking of time, we have a brand new project
that we are going to be getting off the ground here tomorrow and while I can’t tell you
too much about it, I can say its probably the biggest project I have ever tackled here
on the channel. Its going to wear us both out, but in the end we are all going to see
a part of the ranch we have never seen before and hopefully everyone will feel like we got
something done. We are going to launch it with a special video
due out tomorrow we can explain it all to you and during our livestream on Sunday on
Beyond the Ranch we are going to discuss how you can help.
While the world does seem a bit chaotic right now, we have trouble finding where we fit
but we as always invite you to come along with us, explore the ranch life and escape
the ordinary and find a home, right here in our community.
Until I see you again, be safe, keep your family safe and thanks for joining us in our
Wyoming life.

95 Replies to “Pipe Fence – The Hard Way?”

  1. Y'all are fab, God bless you and your family! 🥰🌞🌻✨😎 I wish you could know how much and how often you make me laugh – I thank God for you 🙏.

  2. That’s cool you helped supply local food. Anyone getting them can’t beat getting local food and produce! 🥗🥦🥕🌽🥬🥒🥩🥩🥩🙂

  3. Mike, my feelings about food waste have changed dramatically in the last 10 days. Did you eat that still born calf? Sell it at the farm store as veal?

  4. I am suspicious of channels that never show the way things really are. Thanks for being truthful about ranch life.

  5. The frustrating projects always make for the best stories. I like that you have enough humility to share them with us. That skid steer with the auger attachment is way nice!

  6. Pouting? There would be so many words out of my mouth I'd have to repent. Thank you for giving back to the community where you can, that's awesome. Great video Mike.

  7. Thanks for taking care of the people in your community. Don't know what I like better the large cut off saw or post hole digger. Great job on the fence. We had a large company that just sold every kind of new & used pipe. Would buy several 20 foot lengths of used pipe that had a couple inch split that we purchased for next to nothing to use for cattle pens. Also used 16 or 24" used pipe. Cut it in halve then installed it between 2 cattle pens for a watef trough. Nice to see a former white collar worker get so dirty and do a great job welding plumbing etc. You are on you way to jack of all trades.

  8. You are a animal and farm care taker . I enjoyed your video of showing how to do gates. God bless you with your lovely family and those amazing animal on that lovely farm.

  9. Sorry Mike, I had to laugh out loud when the new gate panel kept falling apart every time you touched. I know it certainly wasn’t funny when it happened, hope the replay at least made you smile.

  10. I might have sworn a couple times if I was in your shoes. Oh heck, let's be honest I'd have been cursing up a blue streak.

  11. I needed this break from everything going on. Puts me back grounded and clears my head of the craziness going on around me. Thanks

  12. Your video have really opened my eyes and I'd love to work on a ranch the only problem is theres no ranch around here for me to work at, maybe one day thought

  13. Sometime things never go wrong. But you got it and it looks great. If you want it done right then do it yourself. God bless you and your family. Be safe . I plead the blood of Jesus Christ over your ranch.
    Thank you for being a rancher. Love your channel.♥️🇺🇸🌹

  14. If you are going to cut an “arrowhead” with a straight circular saw like you showed in your video, do yourself a favor and grind out the insides of those points. You’ll find it wraps around the pipe a whole lot better and is much easier to weld.

    I prefer saddling, but in a pinch will cut a point like you did and either saddling or making a point, the insides of those tips have to be ground down quite thin in order for it to pass over the radius of the pipe it is being attached to (the host).

    Also, when your “tack“ pieces together, you’ll find if you start your weld on the host metal, then lace over to the crossbar, you will get much better penetration and if it turns out you need to cut it, you can use a cut off wheel in your high speed grinder and just follow the shape of the saddle or the point and it will pop loose.

    Also, it is ALWAYS Easier and faster to build a welded-steel pipe fence in place. All you need are string and two levels.

    Lat out where your holes go, drill them and then stretch a string on either the inside or the outside of the pipe (just be consistent) to get them all straight in a row and then set them individually using a level each way, pour in half a gallon water, dry concrete, add a little more water and move onto the next one.

    After you’ve done it a few thousand times, it’s a cakewalk.

  15. I felt really bad for you building this fence all alone. I really wish I could have been right there cussing with you. Glad you made it work though.

  16. to cope pipe easy cut in 1 3rd of pipe diameter into pipe all the way from outside outside to center point. substract that 1/3rd measurement from pipe from length for both ends.
    find the center then cut to that. for easy example 1 1/2 inch tubing would measure 1 1/2 inch divided by 3 outside to center of .5 inch . you loose a 3rd inch from both ends but the pipe or tubing will fit good enuff to weld.

  17. I don't understand why you wouldn't just set your posts in the ground then weld the horizontal pipes on thereafter. The whole carrying the fence tacked together in the shop seemed like such an unnecessary step.

  18. Here in Ohio I've also had some similar welding projects that had problems. The reciprocating saw and cutting torch come in handy at those times.

  19. Surely enjoy your vlogs. Had to send my welder/fabricator husband this one. He is Mike as well. Ranchers have such a strong sense of community. Thank you for finding ways to make things better especially during a time when too many have a difficult time using common sense. Take care, hope you thaw out soon. Green green here in East Texas!! 😄

  20. Your video reminds me of one of life’s great lessons. You just keep doing it till it’s done. You don’t have to like it. You just have to do it.

  21. Gotta love the way you at least admit you're "pouting" when things fall apart and I must laugh with you; not at you. Really enjoy your candor and you sharing your Wyoming Life. Thanks for sharing.

  22. I would have welded it up solid in the shop…..and then measure those holes and drill them…..but it worked out in the end for you….👍

  23. Hi Mike, I am a welder, 30 years worth. I personally would weld it all in the shop, but you did an excellent job and I appreciate your work ethic and charity to your community. Your Wyoming Life is incredible to watch, you tackle jobs with inspiring grit. Wish I was able to come out there and build fences for you, beautiful ranch.

  24. Make a jig and hang it from the top rail once it's hung. Use a grinding wheel to dish out the ends of the rails.

  25. Hi Mike, I know that working alone does not take twice as long as two guys, but three or four times as long. I know that the channel is family friendly, but I find swearing a lot just seems to feel better when plans go awry. lol .

  26. Good work of reuseing old used middle pipe, which sometimes there's always something reusable materials that can be made out of something different, on a farm. But inerways good video.👍 sir.


  28. Up north here we have been using pipe panels. They are made from the 2 and 3/8 drill pipe and sucker rod. They just have feet welded to them so they are totally portable if you want to move them for cleaning up manure and such.

  29. You are one hard worker, taking care if the family and animals… I love watching your shows… i wish i was there to just give bnb u a hand of help… keep it up your doing great

  30. Hi again MIKE
    But you Won the pipe fence war! There will always be times like that but with patience and perseverance you did it! Another entry for that resume Mike lol lol!! Nice you've had some warmer weather. It's always that last big storm that usually can show up. Great for moisture but a muddy result!! Maybe this year you'll get a break in time for those new calves.
    Hope you all stay healthy out there. Looking forward to another new project but I surely hope burnout won't soon be knocking on the door! Take good care and thx as always for sharing Mike…

  31. Like how you admit and share that things aren't picture perfect on the
    Ranch like losing the 1st calf and the fence building doesn't go as planned, but glad you got it done and hope the weather cooperates during calving season as we have gotten close to 8 inches of snow in the past 10 days and sounds like we could get some more next week. So much for a early spring. Cant wait to see your video coming out for tomorrow. Also Happy that you could help out the community during these trying times, God Bless and say some prayers during these difficult times that our country is going through !!

  32. "My boss used to say, "If ya don't have time to do it right the first time, how are ya gonna find time to do it over again?" Hmmmm

  33. Great video Mike, Thanks for taking us along with ya. Thoughts and prayers for all. Be safe Take Care & God Bless

  34. Thanks for the vid. Its kinda weird here in Atl. Oh well.. We all will get through this. Bless you and all your viewers..

  35. Anytime I ever tack welded something because I was afraid, it just never worked out. Get that big Miller out and fill all those gaps. Use the bigger tractor to place the fence. Skid steer is like a roller coaster.
    I enjoyed the video. Lol

  36. I use a hole saw setup to notch pipe for fence. it works well. Hard to believe the welds broke, I have had a gate I made hot by a car and twisted but not one weld broke. Around here every post hole has to be drilled because the ground is almost continuous coral rock. Then again we don't even have a winter here, it's been over 85 degrees for a high for two weeks now.

  37. Murphy's law! It's horrible when you have belief in a plan then it all falls apart on ya. Thanks for another great project.

  38. Hi Mike , hey the fence looks great, you did a nice job. Well ya missed a step oh well you'll get it!
    I'm sure it's a bear in winter to make.
    JO JO IN VT 💕😊

  39. Wonder if he ever had the opportunity to play with Lincoln Logs as a child….he's sorta doing it now with that fence.

  40. Good job getting that fence put in, even if it did put up a fight!
    Good on y'all for trying to find ways to help out your community during times like these. Just too bad you can't grow a few packs of toilet paper, lol. What is the obsession with hoarding tp right now?

  41. Happens to everyone at one time or another. At least nobody got hurt…. except your pride. But after a little pouting and kicking almost everything insight it's all good.

  42. Mike maybe might want to give the post setting foam a try its actually cheaper and faster than concrete and belive it or not stronger sets in minutes to point that could finish welding instead of days

  43. Hi Mike, I see the gate pipe that you installed has a different weld joint. That's the same joint I use in welding pipe fencing, it's much easier and fit-up is faster, all you need is a hydraulic press to squish the pipe end flat. Then welding is just a simple straight bead on each side. That's why the gate maker does it that way. Good luck 🤠

  44. Mike, I can’t tell you what a great example you set for the “One Man Operation.” You simply press on in a methodical way, all the while planning, then doing….. (Ooooops) then planning (again) and while there’s colorful vocabulary in your mind, never allowing words to interfere with the job at hand. Then, miracles happen…….”JOB DONE” and one more felt tipped line on the list (Does seem like one-armed jobs should get more notoriety than a stupid line on the board). But, be of good cheer since all of your many fans are so very proud to know folks like you. Congratulations, my friend!

  45. I bet you sold a lot!! Crazy here and we’re small town !! Thought people had more sense!! Reference toilet paper….

  46. Never would have had the gumption to try placing that pipe fence without 2 people to hold it in place. Also Mikes JD with the bucket filled with sand would have enough weight to easily push those poles in the ground

  47. Pout… good one… I have had days like that and you amaze yourself at how you finally figure it out and then years pass and a similar project comes up and you don't remember how you did it… lucky now that you have filmed it but to find the film when you need it and that is the new problem. Have a good one 🙂 and stay safe.

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