I got a few new fencing supplies via mail order today. The first was a one-hander gate latch, a style I’ve admired at several friends’ farms, but could not find locally. It was hard to search for it on the web, as I didn’t really know what to call it. It’s just a simple hook for a chain, but it’s easy to operate with one hand, while being difficult for clever animals to nose open. I imagine it’s only suitable for small, man-sized gates, but those are the ones you most frequently go through with your hands full, so it’s inconvenient to mess with a chain-around-post lock. I found these at Jeffers Livestock Supply, for $1.99 apiece. Nice!
From Kencove, I got a batch of “Wedge-Loc” brackets that allow you to use metal T-posts as diagonal and other kinds of braces. I am interested in using these for a small fenced area I have to create to protect the septic drain field from too much animal traffic and soil compaction. This area is probably only going to be about 60′ on a side, but I do still plan to tension the field fencing there, so I need some kind of corner bracing. Yet, I felt that full H-braces would probably be overkill on something like this. I thought these brackets looked clever, easy to install, and maybe cheaper than using wood, so I’ll give them a try. Though they are sold by many vendors, I couldn’t find a lot of personal testimony on the web to verify how well they work.
I was interested to see they have an example of using their brackets to make little loafing shelters out of T-posts and a piece of plywood for a sloped roof. This might be convenient for rapidly making inexpensive and moveable weather shelters for small animals or livestock. Hmm, food for thought.