Installation

Installation

Chain link fences come with a skeleton structure made out of rails and posts that are held together with caps. Once the skeleton has been installed, a chain link mesh is set into it by being stretched tightly across the skeleton. A metal bar, known as a tension bar is installed into the end part of the mesh and then attached to end posts with the tension bands. Here in this guide, you will learn how to set up a chain link fence by using these parts.

Typically, mesh is available in the market in rolls of about 4, 5 or 6 feet high. When it comes to the mesh material, steel is preferred due to its strength. Compared to steel, aluminum mesh is much lighter.

To carry out a chain link fence installation project, you will need the following tools and materials:

Tools

  • Level
  • Pliers
  • Shovel
  • Pull bar
  • Trowel
  • Hacksaw
  • Line level
  • Pipe cutter
  • Plumb bob
  • Fence puller
  • Power auger
  • Work gloves
  • Mason’s line
  • Safety glasses
  • Rubber mallet
  • Post hole digger
  • Socket wrenches


Materials

  • Slats
  • Posts
  • Gates
  • Gravel
  • Hog rings
  • Tension wires
  • Pre-mixed concrete
  • Chain-link fabric mesh
  • Tension bars and bands
  • Accessories (end rails, post caps, hinges)


Digging the post holes

  • Dig the postholes 3 times wider than actual post diameter; i.e. 6-8 inches for the corner and end posts, 4-6 inches for the line posts and about 1/3rd of the length of a the pole along with 4 inches for the gravel.
  • Fill all holes with about 4 inches of tamp and gravel.
  • Add around 6 inches of fine concrete to the gate, the corner and the end postholes only.
  • Put the posts in wet concrete and then use a level to plumb them.


Filling holes with concrete

Filling holes with concrete

  • Finish filling in the gate, the corner and the end postholes with fine concrete.
  • Look to check through posts for plumb once in every few shovelfuls; make adjustments if felt necessary.
  • Make sure that you slope the top part of the concrete as it can help to drain water away from posts.
  • Allow the concrete to cure for about 2 to 3 days. Do not simply fill the holes in for line posts with the concrete and do not put line posts all in place.

Attaching the tension bands and the gate hardware

Attaching the tension bands and the gate hardware

  • Slide the tension bands onto each gate, corner and the end post. The tension bands are going to help holding the mesh in its place after it has been installed. You will need to use 3 bands for a 4 foot fence, 4 bands for a 5 foot fence and 5 bands for a 6 foot fence.
  • Make sure that you put the hinges and the latch hardware onto gateposts roughly around their final positions so that they can be installed later.
  • Make use of a rubber mallet for driving the end post caps on the gate, end and corner posts and just slip a fine brace band over every installed post.

Installing all caps

Installing all caps

  • Install the looped caps, the end post caps as well as the rail caps.
  • Drive the looped caps on the line posts using the mallet and then put posts in the holes. However, do not fill the holes.
  • Take a rail cap and bolt it to each and every brace band, tightening it just enough for holding the cap in its place. Then feed the rails from the looped caps.
  • If you feel it’s necessary, cut the rails by using a hacksaw or pipe cutter. If you require longer rails, simply join them together by using the rails with somewhat smaller wedged end which can easily fit into a full-sized rail.

Attaching the rails

Attaching the rails

  • Fit all of the rails into rail caps. Then lower or raise each cap to final height of mesh, including the 2-inch clearance at bottom.
  • Tighten all the brace bands and fill all the holes around line posts using tamp and dirt until it is firm.

Unrolling the mesh and installing a tension bar

Unrolling the mesh and installing a tension bar

  • Lay the whole chain link mesh on ground just outside the fence area.
  • Take a tension bar and run it through the links that are present at the end points of the mesh.  
  • The bar helps to make the end point of the fence rather rigid and offers something that can be attached to the posts.

Attaching tension bar to posts

Attaching tension bar to posts

  • Use a helper to stand the mesh upright and with a socket wrench, bolt tension bar to tension bands on the end posts.
  • Align mesh in a way so that it overlaps rail by 1-2 inches and then sits around 2 inches above ground.

Stretching the mesh

Stretching the mesh

  • The chain link mesh should be pulled taut otherwise it is going to sag. The stretching is carried out with a tool known as a fence puller.
  • Insert the pull bar through unattached mesh just a few feet from final post.
  • Get the yoke attached to pull bar.

Tightening the mesh

Tightening the mesh

  • Crank fence puller as long as the mesh loops move not more than about ¼th inch when you gently squeeze them together.
  • In case the mesh got distorted or changed height during tightening, simply pull on it for reshaping it.

Inserting a tension bar

Inserting a tension bar

  • Without having the fence puller released, insert the tension bar in mesh just close enough so that it can be easily fastened to all the tension bands placed at the end posts nearest to the fence puller.
  • To get the excess mesh present between tension bars and the end post removed, just open a loop around the top and the bottom and then get the strand free by twisting and pulling it.

Attaching the tension bar

Attaching the tension bar

  • Use your hands to pull tension bar into tension bands around the end post. Then get the bolts tightened on the bands by using a socket wrench.
  • Release fence puller and then get rid of the pull bar to which the fence puller was attached.
  • Repeat the whole hanging and stretching procedure along all the remaining fence sides.

Tying the fence to rails

Tying the fence to rails

  • Bend a single end of the aluminum tie wire to form a hook and then take hold of the bottom strand present with the opening that is present above the rail.
  • Loop in the tie wire craftily around top rail, then pull it firmly and fasten it back on the mesh.
  • Space all of the tie wires about every 12-16 inches along rail and attach them to line posts.

Running a wire through bottom loops of the mesh

Running a wire through bottom loops of the mesh

  • Insert a tension wire smoothly through bottom loops of a mesh and then tighten it around end posts.
  • To fasten the wire, wrap it around itself multiple times. 
  • A good alternative to actually threading the wire would be to attach the wire to the mesh at every 2 feet distance or so using hog rings.
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