Introduction: How to Patch a Wire or Barbed Wire Fence
It's an old Fence Stretcher/Splicer and this Instructable is going to show you how to use it to splice a wire fence.
It's spring and we've already had a few tree-dropping storms, so I've got a few fences to repair...Let's go !
First step, gather the tools needed:
- Fence Splicer/Splitter - this one has been around, but I see they can still be purchased ...your local farm supply store or even on Amazon
- Wire cutter (I grabbed a tin snips...there are better tools for this job but alas....)
- Large screwdriver
- Fence Staples (1 1/4")
- Pliers or vice grips
- Tape to mark the repair
Safety first, if it's an electric fence turn off the electric fencer :-)
Step 1: Get Loopy
In the location of the split, clear fallen trees and plant-life so you have room to work. If it's an electric fence you'll want to keep plants from touching the line anyway.
De-kink the wire and pull it reasonably tight. You may have to check down the fence line a bit to be sure all the kinks are out.
You may have to remove some fence staples to clear things up.
Grab one of the split fence ends and bend the wire to create a loop. Similar to a simple fishing line knot, you want to twist the wire and run it back through the loop so it can't easily come unwound by animals pushing against the fence.
Cut a section of wire from the spool of spare wire to use as a "splice wire"...you'll want some extra length, so make it maybe 3 feet long. Slip one end of it through the loop you just created and join the two sections by creating another loop.
Step 2: Stretch Time
Kind of tricky to explain...but here goes....
- The stretcher has two clamps that are designed to pinch onto wire and grip it. You can see the stationary clamp in the first picture above. The small lever is used to open and close the clamp.
- Spread the move-able clamp as far away from the stationary clamp as possible.
(same as if you were opening a pipe clamp to it's largest/widest setting)
- Attach the move-able clamp to the wire loop.
- Pull the end of the splice wire (which as yet doesn't have a loop on it) as tight as you can by hand and clamp it into the stationary section of the Fence Stretcher.
- Slip the loose end of the splice wire through the loop held by the move-able clamp. Things should look roughly like picture 3.
Step 3: Let's Wrap This Up
Ok, now we're ready to start cranking the long lever on the Fence Stretcher.
Like an old fashioned tire jack, or a come-along winch, each pump of the lever tightens the fence.
Be Careful here, these Fence Stretchers can slip and the clamps can lose traction as well...but in general I find this a heavy but very good tool to have for fence repair.
Once the fence is tight to your satisfaction, bend the loose splice wire end and create another loop knot.
Don't worry if you notice some slack here..we'll fix that next.
You can take off the Fence Splicer now, and take out a small amount of slack by using your screwdriver and a random stick or your pliers. Just slide them into the loops as shown and twist them in opposite directions.
Step 4: And Finally!
Now you can replace missing fence staples.
It's a good idea to have the wire on the inside of the fence...so hungry animals pushing on the fence don't pop the staples out.
Put the staples in on the diagonal as shown in the picture also so they are less likely to pop out.
Don't hammer them in too far as you can damage and even break the wire.
It's a good idea to mark the newly repaired fence with tape...just to give everyone and everything a fair warning that it's there.
That's it, do a little happy dance and then on to the next project!