How to Build a Chain Link Fence Stretcher

Written by frank whittemore
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How to Build a Chain Link Fence Stretcher
The wire fabric of a chain link fence must be stretched before securing it to the fence frame. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

To properly install the woven wire fabric on a chain link fence, all the tension must be removed from the fabric before the end of the fabric is attached to the terminal post. A specialised tool, called a chain link fabric stretcher, is typically used to accomplish this. The stretcher attaches to the terminal post and to the fabric. A hand winch in the tool stretches the fabric taught. If a fabric stretcher isn't available, make one from a tension bar, a length of heavy duty chain and a come-along winch.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 1-ton come-along winch
  • Heavy duty chain, inside link length 1-1/2 inches, 5 feet long
  • Tension bar

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Attach the cable and hook on a come-along to the centre of the terminal post at the end of the fence.

  2. 2

    Insert the terminal bar straight downward into the links of the fabric about 3 feet from the end of the fabric. When the terminal bar is about a third of the way in, pass the end of the terminal bar through the end link on a heavy duty chain.

  3. 3

    Continue to insert the terminal bar until around two-thirds of the way in. Insert the end of the terminal bar through the link in the other end of the chain. Insert the terminal bar the rest of the way into the fabric.

  4. 4

    Attach the other hook on the come-along to the centre of the chain. Operate the handle of the come-along to put tension on the chain and tension bar. This stretches the fabric.

  5. 5

    Remove any excess links in the end of the fabric. Insert a tension bar in the end of the fabric. Attach the tension bar to the terminal post with tension bands and nuts and bolts.

  6. 6

    Release the tension on the come-along. Detach the cable and hook from the terminal post and the chain from the come-along. Withdraw the tension bar from the fabric to release the ends of the chain.

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