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How To Install Chain Link Fence - How to Stretch Bottom Wire Chain Link Fence Installation Manual
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Stretch Chain Link:

    Weaving The Chain Link Fabric:

Chain Link fence is easy to 'cut' down, or extend in length sinply by adding, or removing links.

  1. Starting at one end of a line of fence, roll chain link out on the outside of the enclosed area or the side you previously have chosen.
  2. Roll out another roll, if more is needed to reach the next end post. Chain link is stretched in one continuous length of woven chain link from end post to end post.
  3. 'Weave' chain link rolls together. This can be a little tricky, if never done before, and requires some explanation.
  4.  Each weave is continuous from the top to the bottom along the vertical or height of the roll. If you follow the strand, starting at the top, you will see that it zig-zags back and forth to the bottom. It starts and ends with either a 'knuckled' or a 'twisted' end.
  5.  To remove a weave, unbend the end of the weave 'knuckle' straight. Unbend the adjacent weave that is knuckled to it. If it has a twisted end, simply untwist the two weaves until they can be separated.
  6.  Follow the weave to the other end as it zig-zags back and forth and untwist or unknuckle the opposite end. Be certain you follow carefully, so you undo the proper weave.
  7.  At the top of the fence or the bottom, spin the weave in a counter-clockwise direction, as if to unscrew it from the roll. Most newly manufactured chain link spins out counter-clockwise, whereas some chain link manufactured years ago spins out clockwise. Continue spinning and you will see the other end unweaving from it's adjacent weaves. If you are having difficulty, you may have disconnected the wrong weaves at the opposite end. Also check that you have bent the far end straight or it will snag as you try to spin it. Another problem that may occur is the chain link is stretched to tight; give yourself some slack.
  8. The procedure for weaving two rolls together is just the opposite except it can be tricky getting started. It is easiest to weave two rolls together when they lay flat on the ground, however rolls may be wove together in the upright position as well.
  9. To start weaving: Chain link forms squares or 'diamonds' as they are frequently called. You must match two sections or rolls together before you start weaving in such a way that one roll has a full diamond and the other roll has a half diamond. This match will be at the top and bottom of the rolls. When you add a weave, you will end up with a full diamond and two ends to knuckle or twist together.
  10. Many rolls of chain link will have a loose wire in the roll. Use this to piece two rolls together or remove one wire from one of the rolls to splice with. Spin the single weave into the first full diamond.  Spin it through the next full diamond of the other roll. Continue spinning and make certain that the weave end goes through each full diamond on each roll in each revolution.
  11. If you have trouble, it could be from one or more of the following reasons: Your chain link is too tight; give some slack. You missed a diamond somewhere; unweave and try again. Lastly. you may have mismatched rolls that came from different manufacturers or the rolls have different mesh sizes; count the number of full diamonds in each roll, they should match in number and size.
  12. After you have successfully woven the two rolls together, twist or re-knuckle the ends together.  If you have no counter weave to fasten to, you started with either two half diamonds on each roll or two full diamonds on each roll. Take it apart and try again. Sometimes you have to flip the one roll over (most have a half diamond at one end and a full diamond at the other) or remove a weave from one roll to create a starting half or full diamond.

Stretching The Fabric:

Stretch chain link fence using a stretch bar, come-a-long, and a tension bar.

       

  1. After rolling out the chain link and weaving the rolls together, 'hookup' one end. Space the tension bands evenly as illustrated above (Fig. F51). Make sure the nuts are on the inside of the fence so they can not be removed from outside the enclosure.
  2. If you have a sharp incline approaching a terminal post, the fabric must be cut on the end. This is called a 'bias cut'. See details on how to make a bias cut in chain link fabric.
  3. Pull the chain link tight by hand to the other end. You may stand the chain link and lean it against the posts or leave it on the ground and lean it up as you stretch the fabric later. Generally the later is easier and better on long stretches.
  4. Hook up stretch tools as illustrated on inside of fence (Fig. F51). Slide a tension bar 10-12' away vertical in chain link fabric; hook stretch bar to it on inside.
  5. Make sure the come-a-long hook faces away from the fabric or it may get caught in the diamonds.
  6. Tighten the come-a-long slowly. Check that the fabric is not getting caught on posts, tree roots, or other obstacles.
  7. 'Dress' the fabric as you tighten it. 'Dressing' involves straightening the fabric diamonds so they run true. This is vital for heavier gauge fabrics. Some spots will be higher than others as you sight down the top. Lift the fabric in the low spots. This must be done before the fabric gets too tight. Once it is tight, little can be done to straighten the fabric. Some fabric dresses easily, some does not. If the fabric does not dress up properly, you can always loosen the come-a-long and try again. Check top and bottom diamonds for any wires that may bind out of proper shape. Lift and shake fabric to assure an even tension throughout roll(s).
  8. The fabric is stretched sufficiently when you can't squeeze the diamonds together with one hand. Do not over stretch or post damage will occur. The top of the fence should 'snap' back to the posts when pulled out a little.
  9. Hand stretch the small section of chain link left between the come-a-long and terminal post by hand.  Remove a weave to 'cut' the fabric to proper length. Slide the tension bar into the mesh and make your last hookup. Once all bolts are in place, remove the stretching tools. Click for Page 8 - Tying off Chain Link Fence
Related Images:
(Click to Enlarge)

Stand up rolls on shorter stretches; use a pul-jak to stretch.
Stand up rolls on shorter stretches; use a pul-jak to stretch.

Hook up tension bands using 5/16" x 1-1/4" nuts and bolts. Adjust height before tightening.
Hook up tension bands using 5/16" x 1-1/4" nuts and bolts. Adjust height before tightening.

View of fence from inside: Notice flat side of tension band faces out, nut is on inside.
View of fence from inside: Notice flat side of tension band faces out, nut is on inside.

Weave additional rolls together to get the desired length. This is easier done laying horizontally, however it may also be done vertically.
Weave additional rolls together to get the desired length. This is easier done laying horizontally, however it may also be done vertically.

Remove a weave to 'cut' the fabric to the correct length.
Remove a weave to 'cut' the fabric to the correct length.

A pul-jak is the ideal tool for short stretches of chain link fence.
A pul-jak is the ideal tool for short stretches of chain link fence.

A come-a-long is required for longer stretches of chain link fence.
A come-a-long is required for longer stretches of chain link fence.

It is best to lay chain link rolls down flat for longer stretches.
It is best to lay chain link rolls down flat for longer stretches.

Tentatively adjust height before tightening nuts and bolts.
Tentatively adjust height before tightening nuts and bolts.

Stretching The Fabric:
Illustration - Stretching The Chain Link Fence

Stretch chain link fence using a stretch bar, come-a-long, and a tension bar.
Stretch chain link fence using a stretch bar, come-a-long, and a tension bar.

Hook-up chain link fence to one terminal post and roll it out towards other end. Weave additional rolls of chain as necessary to achieve the length of stretch required.
Hook-up chain link fence to one terminal post and roll it out towards other end. Weave additional rolls of chain as necessary to achieve the length of stretch required.

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