How to make a barbed wire roller

Written by t.j. allen
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How to make a barbed wire roller
Common barbed wire (Rusty barbed wire fence in the field. Shallow depth of field. image by GoodMood Photo from

Barbed wire, true to its name, has barbs that can inflict harm if mishandled and these same barbs make it hard to roll this wire into a usable form. Making your own barbed wire roller requires moderatel wood working skills and once done makes storing the barbed wire stress-free and safe.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2-by-4-inch-by-8-foot lumber, 3 pieces
  • Cross cutting saw
  • Carpenter's hammer
  • 16d Nails
  • Pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • Drill
  • 3/8" drill bit

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  1. 1

    With the tape measure and pencil measure out and mark all of the lumber every 2 feet. With the saw cut the lumber into 2-foot sections

  2. 2

    Place two of the 2-foot pieces of wood on top of each other. Make sure they are on their flat side and lined up flush with each other. With hammer and nails, fasten the two sections together. Turn the completed piece sideways showing the 2-inch edges. Place another 2-foot section flat on top of the sides of the first fastened sections. Make sure all boards are flush on all sides and ends and fasten with two nails in the same manner. Turn the piece over exposing the opposite two 2-inch sides and repeat the process. This completed piece of four fastened 2x4s is the middle section of the roller.

  3. 3

    With the tape measure and pencil, measure the end of the middle sections and mark the exact centre of it them.

  4. 4

    Stand the middle section on one end. Center a new 2-foot piece on the top of it, forming a T with the middle section below. Nail it to the middle section in the previous manner. Place another 2-foot piece on top of that structure perpendicular to the previous 2-foot piece, forming an X out of the two 2-foot pieces with the middle section as a base. Fasten that one to the previous board and to the middle section. Ensure all pieces are secure, adding any additional nails as needed.

  5. 5

    Repeat the process on the other end with the remaining two 2-foot boards, ensuring that both Xs (now at opposite ends of the middle section) are parallel to each other. When finished, the roller will stand on the ends of the Xs with the middle section suspended and parallel to the ground.

  6. 6

    Wrap one end of the barbed wire around the middle section of the roller and fasten to itself in a loop. Push the roller, "rolling" it on the Xs, toward the barbed wire to roll it up. Begin with the wire on the ground if possible. Keep the wire tight while you are rolling it up; tie the far end on a solid, stationary object if possible.

Tips and warnings

  • To hold the beginning end of the barbed wire to the roller, you may prefer to drill a hole through the middle section to thread the close end of the wire through instead of looping it all the way around.
  • Always wear gloves when handling barbed wire. Do not wrap any more wire onto the roller than you can safely handle.

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