This weekend’s progress included stretching a ~340′ section of fencing. My dad helped out this time. Here is a photo from up above by the house- you can’t really see much of the fencing, but it runs acrosss the field where the lightest mowed patch is. The shipping container is Neighbor Nick’s solution to his storage needs. Much of the background is neighbor Dick’s nursery tree crop. It’s really looking nice this time of year, many vibrant colors!
The fence stretching part goes pretty quick, I just tie off on one end post, unroll (this time, I got smart and used the tractor- I put the roll on a metal rod in the loader and backed up), tie the other end off to a metal tube, hook that to the tractor, and pull it until the tractor starts losing traction-that seems to be about the right tension. Then snip one horizontal wire at a time, wrap it around the end post, secure, and move on. When we got down to 3 wires, we slacked the tension, and then hand-tensioned each one of those using a fence stretcher. That took just a couple of hours.
Then came the hard part, that takes twice as long- the T-post “clippies!” Though only a few per post are required, I prefer to use more, to make the fence stay nice and flat- for aesthetic reasons mostly. So, I bet we put in a several hundred of those things on Saturday! My dad said his hands were cramping that night!
I have a couple of tools for twisting the clips, but my favorite one is the Fence Pro. It makes splendid looking clips, and is easy on the hands. The downside: it’s really easy to fling the tool a few yards by accident- and always, of course, on the opposite side of the fence from where you are working! And, the dang things get lost in the grass too easily, they embed in tall grass like Barbie-sized javelins, never to be spotted again. 🙁
I’ve ordered a couple more tonight, both to replace one that I lost, and also so I have more around to share when I have helpers. It’s nice to have a long one for good leverage, and also a half-sized one for tight spaces (you can cut them to your preferred length). It seems a little silly to pay $7.50 + S&H for such a simple thing, but I don’t begrudge the makers, this is indeed a fine tool!
My second favorite tool is the Wire Twist Tool from Kencove Farm Fence Supplies. It works great on the bottom clips that are near the ground. Kencove has a lot of really cool products and advice on their website and in their catalog. They have a good price on wire crimps, which saves me quite a bit compared to buying them five-to-a-packet at my local farm co-op. And, I like their slick (re-used, I think?) spice shaker bottles to hold them- no spewing crimps out of a bag onto the grass! I had some free web dollars to spend from a promotion, and I spent them all on fencing tools from Kencove! 🙂