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The shape of ancient crux

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I think crux at ancient Romans time presumably have two wood pieces down alongside of the timber, where foots whose nailed (sideways), without damage the timber, and when damaged the two wood pieces were easy substitute.


Assistant executioner

I think that is a good idea. For a post/stipes that was going to be re-used, it would be economical to have smaller boards for the nails. There would have been some execution areas that would have had posts meant to be re-used. It would be sensible to have parts that could be replaced.

(Does that seem like a Roman-style economy you other viewers?)

I have thought that there might be short posts (almost as thick as the stipes) before and maybe behind the stipes perhaps a meter into the ground -- a support to keep a re-used stipes from sagging forward or backward from a hole in dirt. A post that went into a hole in pavement (brick, squared-stone, or concrete) might not need extra support in front or behind.

It would be good to have the comments on what real crux posts might be like from carpenters or others who work with larger posts, such as sign-posts and fence-posts or poles for electric wires.

Thank you for the ideas
Yusebby Deliny


I'm not a carpenter, but I've done a lot of carpentry work for myself, relatives, and volunteer projects. I have also set a lot of posts in the process of building miles of barbed-wire fence, building barns and such.

So, in my experience the things that make posts lean are continuously saturated ground, heavy equipment running too close to the posts, posts not set deep enough in the ground, and poor compaction of the fill around the base of the posts. The first three causes, saturated ground, tractor mowers and posts not set deep enough are what led to me having to straighten up a leaning board fence earlier this year.

The rule of thumb for setting posts is that one-third of their length should be in the ground. This assumes that concrete is not poured around the base of the post. Concrete bonds well enough to a post so that it acts mechanically as part of it, so it adds weight and creates a wider base that resists overturning. So for an eight-foot-tall cross set in earth, you'd need a twelve-foot long timber with four feet set in the ground.

Compacting the fill around the base of the post is important, too. If voids are left, then there's a chance the post will lean. I've always done compacting around fence posts, barn posts, etc. using the end of a shovel handle or a piece of pipe. It's best done with something narrow enough to enable you to concentrate force on small areas of the fill at a time, so you can poke the dirt into the voids and close them up.

All of this is common-sense stuff that ancient peoples no doubt knew as well as builders do today. This also assumes that you are setting a post that you intend to stay in place for a long time.

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