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Woven wire field fence construction

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CaseyR
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 53 Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
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2001-05-01          27633


Don't really see a good catagory for this, so will stick it here...Does anyone know of good web discussion board for posting small farm related questions that are not really tractor related? I need to construct about 1600' of field fence to contain the goats that I hope will eat at least some of the bumper crop of poison oak on my place. I would prefer to do as much of the work as possible by myself. I am thinking of putting 48" woven field fence on the bottom and then an electrified strand above this (possibly the 1" white electric fence tape). I will be using primarily steel "T" posts but realize that I will need something better anchored at corners and at intervals. Any good ideas as how to handle the 330' of woven wire? I have a platform for the 3-pt and I was thinking of mounting a piece of 2" pipe vertically on this to put the woven fence roll over. As I currently have a second working tractor (a Yanmar 155D and a Ford 1900) I was thinking of then using the second tractor to pull the woven wire down the fence line (being complicated, of course, by numerous scrub oaks and pine trees, not to mention the copious amounts of poison oak and blackberries...) I have a small electric winch that I may mount on one of the tractors to winch the wire along rather than just pull it with the tractor. Any thoughts on a better way to do this (aside from hiring some expensive but experienced fence company?) Any thoughts or tips? A 330' roll of field fence wire is not something I like to hand carry very far...And a trivial question (to which I don't know the answer) - why did they standardize on a length of 20 rods - 330 ft - for rolls of woven field fence?

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Bird Senter
Join Date: Jun 1999
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2001-05-01          27634


CaseyR, I used the 48" woven field wire topped by a strand of barbed wire; no electric. Worked fine for goats and cattle both so far. I don't remember what a roll weighed, but I didn't try to carry it; just used the front end loader. But I cleared enough of a strip to lay it on the ground horizontally, unroll it, and then stood it up to the posts and stretched it. I had a helper, of course. And I have no idea how they decided to make the rolls that length. ....

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Roger L.
Join Date: Jun 1999
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2001-05-01          27635


I think my woven wire is 5 feet tall. We put 6" wooden posts in the ground every 8 feet and then put a single top rail on. Carry the roll in a loader, unroll it on the ground next to the posts, and then lift it up and loop it over some 16 penny nails in the posts to hold it vertical. After it is all hung you can tack it to the posts. If the posts are well tamped, and if you have a top rail, and have made the corners sturdy, then you can get the wire tight enough with yourself, a helper or two, and maybe a couple of pry bars for the hard spots. But the real trick is hanging it from the nails and then sort of pulling it all straight by forcing it over those nails and adjusting it there.
Mine is topped off with an electric wire. Tape would be fine, but I used regular smooth galvanized wire. Please use electric wire. We've sewed up too many animals over the years from fence injuries. And I've seen too many good young animals crippled for life by fences. Not from barb wire so much as just from being caught in or around or under any type of wire fence. That and being speared by T posts without caps. Electric wire not only keeps the animals in, it keeps them away from the fence where they can get hurt. ....

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CaseyR
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 53 Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
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2001-05-01          27636


Thanks for the replys. I hadn't thought about using caps on the T posts, I don't remember seeing them at the store, but they probably are around some where. I had originally planned on using the single strand high tension posts, but the lady at the ag store told me a story about how her horse hooked its leg between the strands and almost lost the leg, so I decided to go with the woven wire.

My problem with laying the wire down flat is that in many places I would have to level several hundred oak trees of up to 3" in diameter. Since I live in what is considered a scenic area, such tree removal is frowned upon. As I mentioned, in the other areas to lay it flat would mean that in other areas I have to contend with blackberries and poison oak. I can see that this is going to be real fun...

Another fun aspect is that one corner appears to be a thin layer of soil over basalt rock and the area is too steep to get the tractor up there.

I also need to build a fence around the acre or so that I will using as a garden that will discourage the deer, or at least slow them down. There are several interesting ideas about deer fences on the Internet, so that probably won't be as hard as doing the perimeter of the 4.8 acres.

As to the 330', I just remembered that not only is that twenty rods, it is also within 2' of being 100 meters (328 ft = 100 meters).

....

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shannon bruse
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2001-05-01          27637


I spent part of last summer fencing off the perimeter of our 4.7 acres so that we could keep our goats and dogs in, and also just because i like the look of a fenced property. I also used 48" woven wire and nothing else and so far the goats haven't cleared it. Everyone told me they would be over the fence like nothing but they haven't been over it once. I put our fence up without the use of my tractor as I hadn't bought it yet. A post hole digger fot the wooden posts would have been handy. Here is how I did the fencing: The four main corners had 7" wood post flanked by 6" wood posts (all in quick cement) with a steel (or wood) brace in between. I also flanked and braced any post that a fence hung on. I used steel t-posts everywhere else, with the exception of a
single wood post set in cement that I put right in the middle of my two longest runs (600 feet). I layed the fence flat and rolled it out, then hung it across the tops of every other t-post. Then i used a wench to tighten the fence about every 75 feet, clipped it, and moved to the next 75 feet. On the final pull with the wench i really cranked it. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have, hope this helped. ....

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Jim Youtz
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2001-05-01          27638


Casey, the other folks have given you good advice, so I'm just going to respond to the part about needing to build a corner in an area of thin soil. The easiest way to go about this if you can't dig holes for the post is to build a rock crib corner. Just pound 2 T-posts at the corner, in line with the fence 3' apart. Then, go midway between these and pound another 2 posts perpendicular and midway between the others (each one is 1 1/2 foot out from the fenceline). This 4 post pattern will form a plus (+) design. You don't have to pound the posts very deep in the rocky ground for this to work, but try to get down a foot or so. Then wrap a 3 foot diameter circle of your woven wire around the posts. Fill this wire crib up with rocks. Now you can attach your fence wire to the posts and stretch as much as you need to. You won't pull this corner over, and it will last for years. ....

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Mark E. Lamprey
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2001-05-02          27647


Just a question or request for a definition. When you guys say Woven Wire, what exactly do you mean. I picture in my mind what would look like Chicken wire
( maybe of a heavier guage wire) is Woven wire the same or similar ? Mark ....

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David W. Walker
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2001-05-02          27648


The 330 ft standard comes from cutting up township sections which are 1 square mile. When they divide them, they get 5280/2 = 2640/2 = 1320/2 = 660/2 = 330. Therefor, 330 is a managable length that makes sense.

Dave ....

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Roger L.
Join Date: Jun 1999
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2001-05-02          27650


Well, it sure enough could be chicken wire, or rabbit wire....or even window screen when you call it "woven wire". But when you call it "woven wire field fencing" it is a different animal. It is a series of fairly heavy....maybe 10 gauge.....parallel wires about 4 to 6 inches apart. These lay horizontal. Sometimes they are closer together at the bottom than at the top. These heavy parallel wires are connected by a group of thinnner - maybe 14 gauge - endless wires that are about an inch or two apart and are wrapped around each horizontal one and then goes to the next - progressing endlessly as they zig zags from top to bottom and then back again. Visually this up and down wire forms a series of lightweight overlapping "V"s, within the pattern of heavy horizontal wires. It is pretty good stuff, though like all fencing it is not foolproof. I've seen foals get their feet caught in and under the bottom mesh. Again I'm asking you all to consider augmenting with an electric wire to keep animals away from the fence. ....

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Mark E. Lamprey
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2001-05-02          27651


Roger, Thank you for the explanation. I guess I have never seen it. I grew up on a small working farm and my Dad and I did quite a bit of fencing but we never used anything like that, back then in New Hampshire it was mostly barbed wire (30 yrs. ago) give or take. Mark ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2001-05-02          27653


Roger, while your explanation is a great one, it is an almost exclusively 'Western' one also. In the Central, Eastern and here in Canada, the 'normal' wire fence is something called "Page Wire" fencing after the name of the manufacturer. It is slightly different from your style in that the openings are rectangular and larger. The horizontal wires are set about 6" apart, the verticals about 9" apart. The horizontal wires are crimped into an undulating form so that they form a crude type of spring in order to maintain tension. The big advantage of this type of fence is that with larger opening it is lighter and less expensive (less material required to make it). The bonus is that with larger openings, animals can disentagle themselves very easily, and being lighter it collapses under their weight should they manage to mount it. We lay it out by hanging on a spindle from the front bucket of a TLB and reversing, then tension it using the hoe as a puller. Works great. Best of luck. ....

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CaseyR
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 53 Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
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2001-05-02          27658


Thanks for the replies.

Out here in Oregon, I have seldom seen the type of fencing with the "V" design as described by Roger. Much of the older fencing has uniform openings of about 4"x6" while most of the newer stuff has the decreasing sized openings toward the bottom as mentioned by Murf, although I don't remember seeing any with a 9" opening. The Ag stores and the big box stores around here generally sell a general utility type fencing such as the "Ranch Hand" shown on the web page:
http://www.daviswire.com/products/ag/info_wovenfield.html
and a more expensive type labeled as "no climb" which has smaller openings that is supposed to prevent livestock from being able to catch their hooves in it. I have only seen this in 100' rolls - which is generally priced about 10% to 20% more than the standard fencing in 330' rolls.

There is a chart which gives the weights of rolls of 330' at
http://www.oklahomasteel.com/fieldfence.htm - or about 200 lbs for a 330' roll of 47" fencing using 11 gauge wire.

Just curious, has anyone used the heavy gauge 16' long welded wire panels? Aesthetically they don't do that much for me but it looks like they would do a better job of resisting livestock that like to lean against fences (of course, that is what the electric fence wire is supposed to do.)
....


Link:   Wire fencing advertising pictures and descriptions

 
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JeffM
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2001-05-03          27707


The type with 4" x 6" rectangular spacing is what we called "American Wire" fencing 30 years ago in the NY Champlain Valley. Like "Page Wire" it was named after the manufacturer. We would sandwich the fencing between two 2x6s bolted together with a short chain loop running top to bottom, and then draw on the chain loop with a tractor or a come-along to stretch the fence during installation. ....

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terrip
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1 new mexico
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2007-08-24          144990


How do you join two rolls of wire? Just twist them together? And what is the best way to end the fence at a corner post? I'm having problems keeping the fence tight. ....

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crunch
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 264 Niagara County, NY
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2007-08-24          144991


I am not an expert on this but when I joined my 100' rolls I just twisted the wire together. I pounded my end posts in 2' so that was good enough to keep the fence tight for me. If I wanted it tighter I would either concrete in the end posts or put a 45 degree anchor wire beyond each end post with a tent stake. ....

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Woven wire field fence construction

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2007-08-24          144997


Terrip,

To join the two rolls of wire, you should do it at a fence post.

Double the fencing wire over, making about a three inch overlap, then wire that piece of fence to the post. Do the same thing with the other piece of fencing wire. Use separate wires to tie that end to the same post.

When you stretch your fence tight, you'll have to anchor your tractor to the post you made the joint at. On the other end of the fence, you use a fence stretcher, or a come-along hand winch to pull the fence tight. We used a come-along winch attached to the receiver hitch on the pickup.

At the corners, you'll need to beef up your posts. Most people use three Railroad ties, three utility poles, or three steel pipes.

Sink these posts into the ground about 3 feet from each other, with the center post forming the corner -- or in other words, place your posts so that they are arranged in the shape of "l", with the middle of the three posts placed at the corner.

Attach heavy support wires, or galvanized cable, from the top of two end posts, to the bottom of the center post.

Your corner post will never move an inch, and it will last nearly a lifetime.

You'll have to stretch your wire along the outside of these corner posts. Once tight, simply staple the wire to the corner posts. If you double the fencing wire over at this point, it will provide a much stronger and longer lasting hold.

If you decide to use steel posts at the corners, you might want to weld several hooks on the posts for which to attach your fence. After stretching the fence tight, simply place it over the hooks you welded to the post, and then let the tension off of your stretcher.

We used 3/8" steel rods, about 4 inches long, bent into the shape of an "l" for these hooks. Use about a dozen hooks on each post when using chicken wire, or woven wire. For barbed wire, one hook for each wire is all that's needed.

Joel

....

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bvance
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 280 The Great Pacific NorthWet, Olympia, WA
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2007-08-25          144998


As Joel says, the best way to tighten woven wire is with a hand operated come along. You can chain it to a split cedar post preferably one that is set in tandem with another about 6 feet apart fastened together with another cedar horizontal cross piece at the top and a double wired cross piece that goes from the top of the post closest to the wire hooked diagonally down to the bottom of the second post. After you have looped smooth wire in a long circle you can then put a stout stick in the middle and twist it several times to really tighten it and bring the 2 posts together nicely.

The best way to attach the come along is to sandwich the wire between two 2X4's that are bolted together 3-4 places. Then place a small chain around the 2X4's in the middle and hook the comealong to it and back to the post. Once tightened, just staple the wire to both posts and loosen the comealong.


Hope that makes sense.

Brian ....

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2007-08-25          144999


Thanks Brian!

Yes, it helps a great to first fasten a post to your fence BEFORE attempting to stretch it.

Things don't work so well when attempting to stretch a woven wire fence, when pulling on the wire itself. It is best to attach a post, or a couple of 2x4s to the fence before attempting to stretch it.

By doing this, the stretcher is able to put a great deal of tension on the fence, without breaking the woven wire where the stretcher is attached.

You'll be applying equal pressure to the entire width of the fencing, rather than attempting to stretch it at a single point in the woven wire.

Thanks again Brian.

Here's one of those cases in which a picture is worth far more than a 1000 words. A picture would make things so much easier for everyone.

Joel ....

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greg_g
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1816 Western Kentucky
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2007-08-25          145004


I raise sheep and have a few guard llamas. But I wanted to build a boundary fence that would be suitable for all livestock (except fowl). So I constructed a combination fence; HT barbed, HT woven, HT smooth - mounted on 8'x6" treated SYP posts, 25' on center. One strand of coated barbed goes right at ground level to prevent predators from digging under. One inch above that goes 8/32/9 woven wire. As previously mentioned, the 9" vertical stays prevent death by hanging. So far we're at ~33" of height. Above the woven wire go three strands of smooth at the 39", 45", and 51" levels. I use the appropriate wire stretchers and my tractor to stretch the barbed and woven to the posts with Class III staples. The smooth is mounted with electrical insulators. I don't use springs, Jake's tighteners are used to fine tune the HT tension. The insulator mounts permit electrification of the smooth if/when required.

I strongly recommend horizontal braces. Goats can learn to walk up diagonal braces. When that happens, no amount of fence can keep them in. Obviously, if you mount your wire inside the braces, it doesn't matter. I also strongly recommend an inside scare wire mounted at about the 8" level. Once insulated and electrified, it will keep the goats from poking their heads through the woven wire. If you mount the woven wire inside the posts, you'll need arm-type extender insulators. When properly installed, their shins will hit the electric wire before their heads make it through the woven wire. They'll quickly learn that - even if the grass is greener on the other side - they'd best leave it alone.

Oh, crimp splices will save a lot of wear and tear on your fingers when it comes to joining wires and sections. Enables you to pull tighter, and makes for a neater looking fenceline when you're done.

//greg// ....

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2007-08-25          145008


Dear friends,

I finally found a site that shows some decent pictures of how to construct the corner posts.

See the link below.

Joel ....


Link:   Constructing Fences and Corner Posts

 
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bvance
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 280 The Great Pacific NorthWet, Olympia, WA
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2007-08-25          145019


Joel,

Good job in finding the example you posted. That is exactly what I was trying to explain verbally. In my earlier post, I even tried to put together some X's and O's to show the picture but that didn't work.

I grew up on a cattle ranch and we built miles and miles of 4 strand barb-wire fences with the exact corner post set up as pictured in your link. If anyone is interested in stringing 4 strands spanning over a hill or over a valley, I can bore you with how that is done too!

Brian

....

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2007-08-26          145024


Brian,

My uncle put me to work building a permanent fence, back in 1976. We finally finished it in 1979, just before I left for the Army. It's still standing, and it looks as good as the day we finished it.

If you have Google Earth, here's directions to the farm I grew up on, and the fence we built. You can see it in the satellite photo.

Type in Glenburn, North Dakota. Go south 1/2 mile to Glenburn Road. Travel east 2-1/2 miles, to 21st Ave. Northwest. The farm is located on the south side of Glenburn Road, and immediately to the east of 21st Ave.

Or....go to these coordinates.....

48 degrees 30 minutes North
101 degrees 10 minutes West

Now there's a fence!

Posts are set 8 feet apart, and are made of 4" steel pipe.

The Top Rail is made of 2-1/2" pipe, welded into saddles cut into the top of each vertical post. The saddle ears were then heated with a torch and hammered over to cover the top rail.

There are four smaller rungs, each made of steel oil-well sucker-rod, 7/8" in diameter.

Each sucker-rod is run through three pipes, joined in the middle, and welded on the outside of both sides of each vertical post.

There are a total of 9 welds on each post. There are 8 holes burned into each post, as well as a saddle cut into the top of each vertical post. All of this was done with a jig that we moved from post to post as we cut the holes and the saddle.

The fence is over 5 feet high, and each post was set into the ground using a surveying instrument to locate them. Every post is set in a perfect line with the others. All vertical posts are sunk in concrete. They are EXACTLY 8 feet apart, as the sucker rod is 24 feet long, and must join exactly in the middle of every third post.

The corners are made at 45 degree angles, and are 24 feet long.

The entire fence was then painted white, by hand.....by Guess Who? hehehe. Well, OK, my brother did about half of the work. He painted on one side of the fence, as I painted on the other. Total length is about 1 mile....maybe a bit longer.

Joel
....

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dansporer
Join Date: May 2012
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2012-05-03          183446


Casey,
Back in the day my grandfather in SD told me that a rod is the distance between fence posts (16.5'). That makes it easy to calculate fence materials. As a Professional Land Surveyor I learned that there are 4 rods in 1 chain, 80 chains in 1 mile, 80 chains x 80 chains = 640 acres or 40 chains x 40 chains would be 160 acres or a quarter section. ....

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