Friday, July 10, 2015

The Orchard - Summer 2015 - Permanent Fence - Update I

After putting in the fence posts around the orchard for the more permanent fence, it was time to stretch the net wire. It had taken me a while to get to it, because it rained almost the whole month of May! (Wow, thanks to God for that gift of abundant water! It was worth the wait! :) )

I did try pulling the wire after wrapping the t-post corner brace system I was trying; but once tension was on it, enough for this kind of longer fencing where I needed it pretty taught, it didn't look like the aluminum pieces were going to hold long-term, and it appeared the ground was getting loose around the posts. So, I went ahead and installed a wood post system at that end as well.

And then, it was back to pulling fence.

Here's a post wrapped and ready to have the fence stretched against it:

Starting Net Wire Wrapped at Fence End Post


For this project, and I assume others at some point, I decided to get a good, metal net wire fence stretcher. It has ended up working great as it really grips the fencing, which has often been a problem for us using 2x4s bolted together or the like. I did find that even though I had chain pulling on top and bottom of the stretcher, I needed tension to be in the middle because the stretcher would bend once tension was applied, so I tied a piece of barbed wire from the middle hook of the stretcher to a middle point on the chain, and this has helped:

Net Wire Fence Puller


I hooked the stretcher to the come-along, and hooked it to the truck's ball hitch:

Fence Puller Hooked to Truck with Come-along

Come-along Hooked to Truck Ball Hitch


And then moved the truck forward until the stretcher was standing up straight. Then, it was just a matter of getting the right tension on the fence using the come-along:

Fence Puller Pulled Taught


And here's a corner, each strand double wrapped around the post and then wrapped tightly like a cork-screw around the its own wire going back the other direction:

Net Wire Stretched & Wrapped Around Corner Post


With the fencing stretched, it was time to install the gate. Using the crescent wrench to turn the gate lag bolt works great!

Using Crescent Wrench to Screw In Orchard Gate Lag Bolt


And here is the hung gate:

Orchard Gate Hung


And down that fence line:

Looking Down the Gate & Fence Line


It's all stretched at this time...I just have to go back and install the t-post clips, a job I try to spread out over time, doing a post or two a day.

We're always grateful to the Lord for granting the provisions to continue on homestead improvement!

-- David

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