Stretching Barbed Wire Between Metal Braces

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JHALL

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Hey guys, putting up a five strand barbed wire fence. Some of you may have seen my previous post of setting pre-fabbed brace and corner posts. I know some said it wasn't a good idea, but with my available tools, it was my only option for using metal posts. Most are 4.5" (OD) pipe set approx 4ft in the ground with 200-250 pounds of concrete per post, with four 10ft spreaders between the posts. They're not perfectly square with what will be the line of the fence, but are close. If it comes around to bite me, so be it.

On to my question, what is the best way to stretch the strands of barbed wire between posts? I have a come-a-long and the tool to hold the wire that attaches to the come along. I was planning on wrapping one end around the post a couple of times, tie it off to itself, and have the come along on the other to stretch it and wrap the excess around several times and tie it off to itself. With wood posts, you can put a few staples in as well to help hold it, but all our corners and braces are metal.

Is this the best/easiest method or is there another way? Is there another tool or something that would make it easier/quicker?

Thanks for your time!
 

M.Magis

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I'm not sure I follow exactly how you plan to tie off the end you're pulling.
The professionals here will have a more definite answer, but this seems like the perfect situation to use Gripples or ratchet tensioners.
 

Farm Fence Solutions

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Glad to hear the pre-fabed braces worked out well for you. Post a pic or two if you get a chance. Like M.Magis stated, Gripples are perfect and easy. Ratchets would come in second place and more expensive, IMHO. On wood posts, fence wire should never be hard stapled. It's hard on the galvanized coating, as well as the wire. If you don't want to use a permanent inline mechanical tension device, you can simply pull to the end with a goldenrod or your comealong, and tie off under tension. With the exception of an end strain on some net wire last week for a demonstration, I haven't tied off any fence under tension since I started using Gripples. I nearly lost religion over that end strain last week. Give me a shout if you need some Gripples, and I'll be glad to fix you up.
 

greybeard

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I understand what he's describing. He's just making a normal tie on one end, (except he is wanting to make 2-3 wraps around the post instead of just going around once) and tie back to the wire, then, going to the other end to make his pull with the comealong. Probably using a wire dog or one of those other gizmos to clamp the comealong to the wire. Once under tension, he intends to "make several wraps around" the opposite end post before tieing the end back to the wire.






JHall, IMO, going around either of the posts more than once is un-neccessary, but I've only used wooden posts. The only advantage I can see to doing that is that the extra turns around the post gives you some extra wire to work with if you ever have to untie the strand and then retie it, and might help keeping the wire from slipping down the steel post. (sometimes, when un-tieing it and re-tieing it, the 'bitter end' breaks off and if you previously made several turns, you can just back off one turn and tie with a 'fresh' end.)
 

pdfangus

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I use high tensile in line strainers for quick and easy repairs to even barb wire....just have to strip a couple of barbs off....
 

greybeard

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With the exception of an end strain on some net wire last week for a demonstration, I haven't tied off any fence under tension since I started using Gripples. I nearly lost religion over that end strain last week.
That's one of the reasons I always put a couple staples in the wire at the brace post before I begin the tie off. Learned it when I was a kid after seeing my father get his glove ripped off and the top of one hand ripped open when the fixture holding the comealong to the wire failed just as he was starting to tie off. This was 1965-'66 just to give you an idea how much I was impressed with how dangerous it could be.
That 'fixture' was the only way I knew how to pull wire for years. A long 5/8" eye bolt with a cable clamp on it. Tie the wire to one end of the fence, unroll the wire till yya got to the other end (carrying the roll on a piece of pipe between brother and I).Dad had one old ancient rollerchain coffing hoist/comealong he had bought at a gov military auction after ww2, and that's we used to tension the wire. It was a cantankerous piece of equipment, but it would pull the world. Get to the other end, chain the comealong off to the end of the corner, pull the roller chain out to near the end of it's travel diassemble the clamp and put the strand of barbed wire between the clamp body and the eye bolt, and hook the eye in the hook in the end of the roller chain and start ratcheting. One of us would have to walk back along the wire, making sure it wasn't kinked or hung up on any brush or sump, picking it up and shaking it to make sure it got stretched good and tight. If that clamp let go or slipped, it was ugly. When we got it tight, we would then pull the end of the wire around the end post and get as much slack out with a big pair of channel lock pliers. (we was poor and couldn't afford real fencing pliers) One day making a long pull, my dad was on the pliers, starting to make his tie, and about that time one of us shook the wire back down the strand and that ancient hook pulled clean out of the end of the roller chain, the wire recoiled back with the barbs giving him that cut. That's when we started driving staples right behind a barb in the brace post before we tied off and I've done it that way ever since. Something goes amok, the only tension is whatever the pliers created.







Ours looked way more like this one (or worse) than the fine shiny one in the picture above)
vintage-coffing-roller-chain-hoist_1_281f96f8d5c9edf078857b37e86e04bd.jpg
 

greybeard

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They will when the jaws wear some. I used to think I was getting the strand tight with a goldenrod. Now I know I wasn't. They do have their place tho.
 

callmefence

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On a quarter mile stretch of low tensile barbwire that's rolled out neatly you will get around 10' of stretch. Take this up with a come along and wire dog. You should pull a ton come along till it pretty much bottoms out. If you end up with more than a few feet of slack between the dog and the end post. Take it up with the goldenrod. Make a wrap and grab the wire with your pliers and lever the last little bit of slack. Now make your second wrap and tie it off.
Grab the finished wire in your hands and act like your trying to bend it. If it's tight there will be zero deflection.

Oh yeah.

Throw your jacket over the wire down stream of the come along in case something breaks
 

dieselbeef

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you cant set a post good enough on our sand to do that. I used to do it that way but 20 yrs later those posts are pulled in and theyre 8'' posts 4 ft in the ground..but I use the same tech..just cant go as tight. I even use double h braces
 

callmefence

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dieselbeef":25l1o9rj said:
you cant set a post good enough on our sand to do that. I used to do it that way but 20 yrs later those posts are pulled in and theyre 8'' posts 4 ft in the ground..but I use the same tech..just cant go as tight. I even use double h braces

No YOU can't. :D
I have no problems driving a post seven to eight foot deep in soft ground. Do it all the time.
There's a video in the fence tips thread.
 

Tbrake

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I always double wrap on hedge post. Triple on pipe. Why would you not? Takes much stress off of your wrap, and on pipe keeps it from sliding
 

Tbrake

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I have a question for the guys that have built a lot of fence. When I use pipe H braces (4.5”x10’ long pipe with 7’ 2 3/8 runners) I’m going to try to make sense, we will see. Will I loose holding power if I tie off to the closest post on the H brace instead of the far one? I have always tied off to the far post, but if welding a gate on, it would be handy to not have the wire to deal with
 

M.Magis

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You HAVE to have tension against the corner post. Otherwise it's no longer a brace. It's all in the geometry. I suppose you could experiment with running the diagonal wire the opposite way, but you'd likely just pull your corner post out of the ground.
 

dieselbeef

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driving,,,meh..yer so tough

we dig holes and if it aint wet sand it aint soft. 1 ft down the hole fills with water..3 ft down is hardpan the water wont go thru..this is fl..its a whole new deal. I came form pa..we couldn't dig a hole there..here you can dig it with yer hands
 

callmefence

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dieselbeef":2xnlaf9v said:
driving,,,meh..yer so tough

we dig holes and if it aint wet sand it aint soft. 1 ft down the hole fills with water..3 ft down is hardpan the water wont go thru..this is fl..its a whole new deal. I came form pa..we couldn't dig a hole there..here you can dig it with yer hands

Thanks for the compliment but I ain't so tough. Sometimes my wife drives em for me.




 

Farm Fence Solutions

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Tbrake":3kuqcmrx said:
I have a question for the guys that have built a lot of fence. When I use pipe H braces (4.5”x10’ long pipe with 7’ 2 3/8 runners) I’m going to try to make sense, we will see. Will I loose holding power if I tie off to the closest post on the H brace instead of the far one? I have always tied off to the far post, but if welding a gate on, it would be handy to not have the wire to deal with

Weld the gate on first.
 

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