Wire fences, typically constructed of metal wire stretched between posts, require a number of techniques in construction. Crimping, the act by which a piece of fence wire is bent or crushed, is one of those techniques. While few, the tools used in crimping wire fences are unique and important.
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The pliers used by a fence builder can be those typical to most contractors, such as blunt-nosed or needle nose pliers, as well as fence pliers, which are shaped and configured in such a way to make them notably more versatile for fence and wire work. When used in crimping, pliers can be used both to crimp the dangerously sharp edges of newly cut fence wire and to compress crimping clamps.
Sleeves and Clamps
A fence crimping sleeve is a small metal tube you use to connect two ends of fence wire, typically a high-tensile steel fence. A crimping clamp similarly is a shallow metal sleeve or ring, used to crimp together softer fence wire. When the wires are brought to the desired tension, then they are either bound together in a twisting fashion or inserted into the sleeve or clamp unaltered. The sleeve or clamp is then crimped around the fence wire, thus binding the wires together via the friction within the sleeve. The sleeve is compressed using a tool simply referred to as a crimping tool.
The crimping tool looks like a combination of wire snips and common pliers. The distinguishing feature of a crimping tool are the small, cylindrical shaped slots cut into the tool's bite. Those slots are meant to be the beds in which the sleeves are placed. The crimping tool is then compressed, thus crushing the sleeve and creating the necessary tension to hold together two pieces of fence wire.
There are different crimping tools and sleeves, dependent on the gauge of the fence wire, the configuration of the fence, and the fence components. Also, the sleeve material is key in regards to the use of the fence. A fence that must withstand a significant amount of moisture will require rustproof sleeves, while an electrical fence typically must be joined with intersecting loops, typically accomplished with fence pliers or a twisting tool. Make sure you purchase and utilise the appropriate tools for the appropriate wire and situation.
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