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good fences

Our neighbors could care less about our fences but good fences do make for happy farmers.

I put up some hi-tensile fence this weekend. It took me a little longer than I had hoped but not bad considering it was pretty much a one man operation. And I took extra time to make it as straight as possible.

It's a two wire, hi-tensile (electric) fence using fiberglass posts. Right now the bottom wire is the only one hot (electrified). I haven't decided if I like the wire heights but they'll do for now.

Here's a glimpse of the first fence Jamie and I put in, almost a year ago. It's probably 2-3 times longer than the one I just put in. And, in all fairness, it has tons of corners and curves because we were trying to work along existing boundaries. But you have to see it in person to appreciate just how ugly it is. Boy did we learn a thing or two in the process of putting this up. I ruined a brand new roll of hi-tensile wire for one thing and this was one of the times that Jamie ended up in the E.R. One of the times...

Just One  – (January 13, 2012 at 7:40 PM)  

What did you learn? How did you ruin the wire? DH and I are going to continue working on a fencing project this spring that was started last fall. I think he has most of the posts up but I'd love to have more guidance.

Farmer Jon  – (January 13, 2012 at 10:56 PM)  

Good questions. I ruined the hi-tensile wire by cutting the banding off before having it in place on the spinning-jenny (aka dereeler). Even though I had a good grip on the wire roll, the wire just unraveled and turned into a giant mess. Funny thing is, there was already a giant mess of hi-tensile wire on the farm from the last guy. Which is why I thought I would be smarter than that and have a good hold of the roll. Turns out, you have to have it in place and locked down on the spinning jenny before you cut the bands off. It still blows my mind how it can get tangled so quickly one way and yet come off so smoothly another. I'm just glad I found out the right way to do it because at $99 I couldn't afford to mess up much more. (Although now I buy my fencing direct from a distributor for dealer pricing)
Putting up this new fence - I learned that using a piece of pipe barely larger than your post, cut to the length you want your post out of the ground, with a cap on the end works great for pounding in fiberglass posts. I also learned that binoculars are a must have when trying to align a fence by yourself. And finally, the most important thing I learned was that even I can build a straight fence. As long as I start by putting in my end posts (and any posts for turns and corners) and from there halving the distance by putting a post in the middle of my fence (or in the middle of your straight runs,if your fence curves/turns) and then halving the halves. Making sure to go to the end of the fence/straight run and look down it with my binoculars each time to ensure it's straight. At some point, you can go ahead and string your wire and pull it(somewhat)tight with a wire stretcher. Then you will have straight lines to follow while filling in the rest of the posts.

Farmer Jon  – (January 13, 2012 at 10:57 PM)  

Thanks for the comment, by the way. What kind of fence are you putting up and what is it for?

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