Roger Bisby is an instant convert and here he tells you why.
Rapid setting Post Fix cement has been around for quite a while and I don’t know any fencing contractors who don’t use it. The thought of returning to the old days when you had to prop the post and hope it stayed upright overnight have gone. Now you simply pour in the mix on top of the water and tamp it down. By the time you have had a cup of tea it has gone off and you can move onto the next post. However, I would recommend leaving it overnight before fixing the panels because it is firm enough to hold the post but can still be cracked open in a strong wind.
“So tell me something I didn’t know,” I hear you say. Well the old style ballast Post Fix now has some competition from the newer powder mix. Instead of all those sharp stones you have something more like a screeding mix with grit sand. Hanson tell us that there is a more or less 50/50 split between those who like powder and those who like ballast, but I would say that the powder has one big advantage.
The bags of Post Fix may be thrown in the back of your van rather than being carefully placed, and sharp stones in ballast can make small holes in even the strongest bags. You are also lulled into a false sense of security with that ‘fully waterproof bag’ and will leave them out in the rain or on the ground, but if you have tiny perforations it doesn’t take long before the moisture is in and you have lumps. This is very annoying and, though manufacturers have made very strong bags, and would like to blame it all on the end user not being careful enough with the bags, I have had bags straight off the merchant’s pallet that have big lumps in them. It may even be true that manufacturers are not even aware of just how widespread the problem is because most of us just chuck the lumps in and all. It is rare that a bag is returned to the merchant.
The Hanson Fast Set Post Fix powder does just as good a job as the ballast, if not better, so my question is; “How long will merchants continue to stock and sell both?” To my mind the powder has no drawbacks, save for it being a lot more dusty when you pour it, but it does a great job, and if it is a question of keeping your powder dry the absence of sharp stones in the bag can only help.