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Build a Chain Link Barbwire Fence

Objective:  By mastering this lesson, you will be able to barbwire installation.

Equipment:  2ea. come-a-longs, pliers, bolt cutters, chop saw or hand saw, wire rake for the appropriate height wire, speed wrench with ½” socket, barb wire dog, T-bar, and hammer.

Key Question: How do I install barbwire?

chainlinkbarbwirefence-1.jpgHow do I install barbwire?

Unlike tension wire, barbwire is manufactured from mild steel materials.  The spring in barbwire comes from the twisting of two 12 ½ gauge wires around each other, completing five twist per foot.  When the wire is stretched it causes the twists to bind, thus creating a spring like action.  Like tension wire, be careful when cutting loose the barbwire roll.  Again, it will want to unravel and tangle so firmly keep it in your grasp.  Barbwire has either two point or four point barbs every 4” or 5” respectively.  Consequently, it has a tremendous capacity to cut and harm.  Be sure that you are wearing safety glasses and gloves, keeping control of the materials at all times.

  1. Having already installed the barbwire arms when stretching the fence, you will have already determined if the barbwire is to go in, out or vertical.  If this is not clearly shown on your plans, specifications or proposal, obtain this information before preceeding with installing the arms.
  2. Install three end bands on each terminal post.  Evenly spaced and with the ears pointed down the fence line, tighten the bands.
  3. Locate the spool at the far end of the stretch.  Cut the banding.  You may use a stationary barbwire spooler to spin-out the barbwire as you pull the barbwire along the fence line.  Or you may walk along the fence line allowing the barbwire to spool-out as you walk.
  4. Either way, slowly pull the barbwire along the inside of the fence line to the other terminal post.
  5. With your pliers, bend a six inch section of barbwire around the nut and bolt located in the end band.  Start with the lower end band.  Wrap the barbwire around itself 
    with tightly wound loops at least four times.  It is important that you don’t leave loose loops around the wire because when tension is applied the wire may come unraveled.  Cut away any tails.
  6. At the other end of the stretch, pull the spool past the terminal post and estimate how much wire you will need to complete the stretch.  Cut the wire. 
  7. Pull the barbwire taut by hand along the fence line.  Place your wire dog approximately ten feet from the terminal post. 
  8. chainlinkbarbwirefence-2.jpgWrap the cable end of your come-a-long the terminal post above the end band.  
  9. Place the fixed end of the come-a-long into the eye of the wire dog. 
  10. Keeping constant pressure on the cable, crank the come-a-long until the barbwire is taut. 
  11. A common mistake in stretching barbwire is stretching it too tight.  When stretching the wire, there will remain a considerable amount of sag in the wire when stretched from terminal post to terminal post.  This is to be expected. 
  12. Cut your barbwire and attach to the end band.  Then remove the come-a-long.
  13. Using your fence pliers, gently twist the wire at each barbwire arm to get the wire into the angled slot.  Do not over twist thus causing the wire to pop-out.
  14. Repeat this for the remaining two stretches. 

When stretching short stretches, use a T-bar in lieu of a come-a-long and wire dog. 

  1. Pull the wire taut past the terminal post. 
  2. Leaving approximately a one foot tail cut the wire. 
  3. Thread the wire through the top of the end band and down through the hole in the T-bar.  The T-bar should be located on the bottom side of the end band. 
  4. Twist the T-bar so that the initially turn draws the wire toward from the terminal post.  Keep rotating the T-bar until the wire is tight. 
  5. Once tight, turn the T-bar in the opposite direction one complete turn to draw the fabric around the bolt.  This will cause the wire to spin off the T-bar and allow you to cut a 6” tail.  Be careful to not turn too far or to pull T-bar down.  This will cause the wire to un-crease at the end band, allowing it to loosen.
  6. Cut the wire and wrap around. 

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© 2018 The American Fence Company. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial use, copying or distribution is prohibited without express written permission from The American Fence Company.

© 2018 The American Fence Company. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial use, copying or distribution is prohibited without express written permission from The American Fence Company.