Last year we bought some mesh wire fencing in an attempt to keep the dog and Firecracker in the yard. Setting up the fence was simple enough but we found that the mesh sagged. No matter how much you pull on the material you just can’t get it taut. This summer I was suppose to put up another section or two of fence but I never got around to it for a few reasons. Lack of money, lack of time, and lack of knowledge. Recently I did some digging online and was able to fix at least one of those problems.
This is my home made fence stretcher. It’s nothing more than 2 2×4 boards held together by bolts. I used a couple boards I found in the garage. The one is a bit rotted but so far it’s getting the job done. All it cost me to build was $0.79 worth of bolts and a $17 door stop (don’t ask…). All in all it worked out pretty well. Buying a premade one would have cost at least twice as much and I wouldn’t have my nifty door stop.
The idea is that you screw the boards down as tight as you can (which is problematic when one is rotted) and this causes the boards to grip onto the length of the mesh. Then you can pull the entire fence evenly and with a whole lot less effort. This part of it went pretty well. I did have to drill one extra hole and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. I drilled all three holes together with one board on top of the other. So if the other two holes line up how the could the third possibly be out of whack? I don’t know, but either way, I drilled one more hole and it work fine.
The difficult part was finding a anchor and some sort of pulling system. Online the people who did this sort of thing were farmers who also have heavy machines, such as tractors, to use as an anchor and of course they have chains just lying around. What do I got? A lawn mower and some cheap ratchet straps.
For the record, yes, I realize that this is not a good idea. But you know what? It worked! The other hard part is figuring out how to attach the post to the fence once it’s stretched. I’ve tried a couple methods and I guess you could say I’ve still got some kinks to work out on that one. In the meantime though, I’ve got several sections of fencing that is quite taut and looks good. And now that I’ve got one excuse for not setting up the fence out of the way perhaps I’ll get some more fence set up soon!