arrange pickets in constructing a 1-1-1 and a 3-2-1
combination picket holdfast.
In constructing the 1-1-1 combination (fig. 6-46),
drive three single pickets about 3 feet into the ground,
3 to 6 feet apart, and in line with the guy. For a 3-2-1
combination, drive a group of three pickets into the
ground, lashing them together before you secure the
guy to them. The group of two lashed pickets follows
the first group, 3 to 6 feet apart, and is followed by a
single picket. The 1-1-1 combination can stand a pull
of about 1,800 pounds, while the 3-2-1 combination
can stand as much as 4,000 pounds.
The pickets grouped and lashed together, PLUS
the use of small stuff secured onto every pair of
pickets, are what make the combination picket
holdfasts much stronger than the single holdfasts.
The reason for grouping and lashing the first
cluster of pickets together is to reinforce the point
where the pull is the greatest. The way small stuff links
each picket to the next is what divides the force of pull,
so the first picket does not have to withstand all of the
strain. Using 12- to 15-thread small stuff, clove hitch
it to the top of the first picket. Then take about four to
six turns around the first and second pickets, going
from the bottom of the second to the top of the first
picket. Repeat this with more small stuff from the
second to the third picket, and so on, until the last
picket has been secured. After this, pass a stake
between the turns of small stuff, between EACH pair
of pickets, and then make the small stuff taut by
twisting it with the stake. Now, drive the stake into the
If you are going to use a picket holdfast for several
days, it is best to use galvanized guy wire in place of
the small stuff. Rain will not affect galvanized guy
wire, but it will cause small stuff to shrink. If the small
stuff is already taut, it could break from overstrain.
Figure 6-46.Preparing a 1-1-1 picket holdfast.