How to Build a Barbed Wire Fence in the Corner


Barbed wire fences need a bit extra support, especially on the corner posts. 

When installing a barbed wire fence in a corner, be sure to secure the corner post with 2 or more additional pieces of wood and tightly wound smooth wire to the adjacent posts. These are called “H”, “N”, or “X” posts. This ensures that the corner post doesn’t lean or fall over. 

How to Build a Simple “H”
Corner Post

There are a few different ways to add support to the corner posts of a barbed wire fence, but the simple “H” post is the most common method.

Building an “H” corner post for a barbed wire fence is very helpful when you’re trying to add some stability and longevity to the corner fence post.

By adding this extra support, the corner post is much less likely to sag, lean, or fall over once the barbed wire is installed.

Barbed wire places a lot of torque and pressure on all the fence posts, but the corner posts seem to take on the most weight. By adding extra security measures to the corner and adjacent fence posts, you’ll increase the lifetime of the barbed wire fence and ensure its stability.

Pro Tip:

Instead of using regular pressure treated fence posts for the corner posts, try using railroad ties. They’re much heavier and will bear the torque and weight of the barbed wire better.

The materials needed to build a simple “H” post are pretty minimal. In addition to the pressure treated fence posts, you’ll need:

  • 2, 4’ diameter brace posts
  • 4 brace pins/rebar poles

Step-by-step: how to build a simple “H” post

Once you’ve measured out where all the fence posts are going to go and dug the holes at least 2 feet deep for the posts, you can start building your “H” post.

  1. Place the corner and adjacent poles no farther than 8 feet apart
  2. Mark holes 12 inches below the top of each post for the brace pins or rebar and place the pins/rebar
  3. Cut the brace posts to size and drill holes directly in the center on the ends of the posts for the pins/rebar
  4. Install the brace posts by inserting the pins/rebar into the holes on either end of the brace post. Do this between the corner post and both adjacent posts.
  5. Install the barbed wire fencing

This simple “H” post will help bear the torque and weight of the barbed wire fencing and keep the posts, corner posts especially, from leaning or falling.

Added measures and extra materials

Now, some people prefer to provide even more support to their “H” posts aside from just the 2 brace posts they’ve already installed. This is sometimes referred to as a secure “H” post. To build a secure “H” post and add the extra support you’ll need the following materials:

  • 10 gauge metal wire
  • In-line ratcheting strainer
  • Wire cutters
  • Fencing staples

In order to construct a secure “H” post, you’ll need to build a simple “H” post, first. Once the simple “H” post is built, you can advance it to the secure “H” post.

The first step is to install the fencing staples. These should be placed on the bottom of each adjacent post facing away from the corner post. Then, take the 10 gauge wire and attach the end to the staple.

With the wire, in a figure 8 pattern, weave it from the staple on the bottom of the fence posts, to just above the brace pin/rebar on the top of the opposite post. Wrap the wire at least 4 times to ensure stability and try to leave about 8 inches of overlap.

After the wire is set, trim the excess with the wire cutters. Lastly, run the end of the wire through the ratcheting strainer, bend the end over, and ratchet the wire tight.

With a secured “H” post, the brace post runs horizontally between the adjacent post and corner post, and the wire runs diagonally between the posts.

By doing this, you’re adding extra support and helping ease some of the strain from the barbed wire on the corner and adjacent fence posts. This will ensure the posts stay upright.

Different Ways to Add Support

Now, we understand that the corner post of a barbed wire fence needs extra support. Again, this is because the barbed wire fencing, when installed correctly, places so much weight and pressure on the posts that if they’re not secured properly, the posts will start to lean and eventually fall over.

This is an issue, especially with the corner posts. They bear almost all of the weight from the barbed wire fencing.

So it’s never a bad idea to take extra measurements to make sure they aren’t bearing all the weight. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Simple “H” post
  • Secured “H” post (upgraded simple “H” post)
  • Simple “N” post
  • Secured “N” post (upgraded simple “N” post)
  • “H+N” post
  • “X” post

You can find direction and explanation on simple and secure “H” posts above, which are the most commonly used method in securing corner fence posts.

Simple “N” Post

Building a simple “N” post is pretty easy. You’ll need the same materials as an “H” post and the step-by-step process is almost the same, as well. So, once you’ve placed your corner post and adjacent posts, you can start to assemble the “N” post.

In addition to the pressure treated fence posts, you’ll also need:

  • 2, 4” diameter brace posts
  • 4 brace pins (you could also use rebar poles)

Step-by-step: How to Build a Simple “N” post

A simple “N” post is the same as a simple “H” post, the only difference being where the brace post is placed between the corner and adjacent posts.

  1. Place the corner and adjacent poles no more than 8 feet apart
  2. Mark spots for the brace pins or rebar poles at least 12 inches above the ground on the adjacent post and 12 inches from the top of the corner post (or vice-versa)
  3. Measure and cut the brace posts to size and drill holes in the center on each end of the brace posts for the pins/rebar
  4. Install the brace posts by placing the brace pins or rebar into the holes (the brace post will run diagonally from the adjacent post to the corner post)
  5. Repeat on the other side of the corner post
  6. Install the barbed wire fencing

This simple “N” post will help bear the torque and weight of the barbed wire fencing after it’s installed and keep the posts, corner posts especially, from leaning or falling.

Added measures and extra materials

Just like with a simple “H” post, you can add more support to a simple “N” post. Along with the basic materials of the “N” post, you’ll need:

  • 10 gauge metal wire
  • In-line ratcheting strainer
  • Wire cutters
  • Fencing staples

Once the simple “N” post is built, place fencing staples 6 inches from the top of both the adjacent posts and the corner post. Attach the end of the 10 gauge wire to one of the staples and, in a figure 8 pattern, run the wire from the staple on the adjacent post to the staple on the corner post.

Wrap it at least 4 times to prevent unwanted stretching and increase longevity. Cut the end of the wire, run it through the in-line ratcheting strainer, bend the end of the wire over, and ratchet it tight.

With a secured “N” post, the brace post runs diagonal between the corner and adjacent post and the wire runs horizontal between the posts.

Again, this will help relieve some of the torque and pressure put on by the barbed wire on the corner post.

“H+N” Post

There are a few ways around using the 10 gauge wire, wire cutters, and in-line ratcheting strainers. One simple way around this is to build an “H+N” post. This process is fairly simple and takes very little time to install.

Along with the basic materials for the fence, and the pressure treated fence posts, you’ll need:

  • 4, 4” diameter brace posts
  • 8 brace pins/rebar poles

Step-by-step: How to Build an “H+N” post

When building an “H+N” post, the process is the same as building a simple “H” or “N” post. But with this method, you’ll just need to add a few more steps. They are as follows:

  1. Place the corner and adjacent poles no farther than 8 feet apart
  2. Mark holes 12 inches below the top of each post for the brace pins or rebar on the “H” posts, and place the pins/rebar
  3. Mark 2 more holes on the corner post 16 inches from the top of the post (4 inches below the first hole) for the “N” post pins/rebar
  4. Mark holes 12 inches above the ground on the adjacent posts for the brace pins or rebar for the “N” posts, and place the pins/rebar
  5. Cut the brace posts to size and drill holes directly in the center on the ends of the posts for the pins/rebar
  6. Install the brace posts by inserting the pins/rebar into the holes on either end of the brace post. Do this between the corner post and both adjacent posts.
  7. Install the barbed wire fencing

With an “H+N” post, there are brace posts running horizontally and diagonally between the corner and adjacent posts. Because there are 2 brace posts, there is no need for the added wire support that is required with the secured “H” and “N” posts.

“X” Post

Now, if you don’t want to use more wood and would like to use more wire for extra support, you can build an “X” post on the corner of the barbed wire fence. Along with the basic materials to build the fence, in order to build an “X” post, you’ll need:

  • 10 gauge metal wire
  • In-line ratcheting strainer
  • Wire cutters
  • Fencing staples
  • 2, 4’ diameter brace posts
  • 4 brace pins/rebar poles

Before you can construct an “X” post, a simple “H” post needs to be built first:

  1. Place the corner and adjacent poles no farther than 8 feet apart
  2. Mark holes 12 inches below the top of each post for the brace pins or rebar and place the pins/rebar
  3. Cut the brace posts to size and drill holes directly in the center on the ends of the posts for the pins/rebar
  4. Install the brace posts by inserting the pins/rebar into the holes on either end of the brace post. Do this between the corner post and both adjacent posts.

Once the simple “H” post is built, you can add the extra support from the “X” post:

Install the fencing staples on the top and bottom of each adjacent post facing away from the corner post. Take the 10 gauge wire and attach the end to the staples. Then, in a figure 8 pattern, run the wire from the staple to above the brace pin on the opposite post. Leave about 8 inches of overlap.

Once the wire is set, trim the excess with the wire cutters. Lastly, run the end of the wire through the ratcheting strainer, bend the end over, and ratchet it tight.

So, with an “X” post, the brace post is running horizontally between the corner and adjacent posts, and the support wires are running diagonally across each other, between the corner and adjacent posts.

It should be noted that an “X” post typically isn’t the recommended method when it comes to barbed wire fences. This is simply due to the fact that wood brace posts bear the torque and weight of barbed wire better than more wire does.

But, if you don’t want to use more brace posts, and would just rather use more 10 gauge wire, this is the method to use.

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