Installation of wire fencing around the perimeter of a piece of property is a way to denote boundaries. Whether you live in the country and want to enclose 100 acres or a portion of a small city yard, all wire fencing must be stretched. Stretching wire fence will keep the wire tight and keep single wire or woven wire fence from sagging.
Ever since the original homesteaders moved across this country for free land after the civil war, barbwire fencing became popular. The barbwire was cheap and inexpensive to erect. Support posts could be placed in the ground every 10 to 20 feet and then the wire attached to the posts. If the wire was not pulled tight or stretched, it would not be effective for keeping the animals out of the enclosed area. When the wire is pulled tight and tension is placed on the barbwire, it provides an effective barrier due to is resiliency and sharp points.
Fence stretchers provide a method for gripping onto the single strand wire and allowing it to be pulled as tight as it can before breaking. A come along or hand pulley is used to pull the gripping tool to a firm support. Once the proper stretch is in the fence it is nailed or stapled to the support posts. Woven wire fence is stretched in much the same method but uses a different type of tool for gripping the square weaved fencing.
A woven wire fence stretcher is constructed from two 2-by-4s that are the same length as the height of the fence. Round head, square neck bolts are placed every 12 inches along its length and down the center of the 2-by-4. The 2-by-4s are placed on either side of the woven wire and the bolts placed through the holes. The bolts are tightened to firmly grip the wire and a come along or hand pulley is attached to this to stretch the open weave wire. A single wire gripping tool simply fits over the strand and locks into place by the tension of the pulling device.
When a fence is properly installed it will keep unwanted guests from the property. A properly stretched fence will last for many years if not decades as long as the posts that are used are of a high quality and resistant to rotting. If wire fencing is properly stretched and secured it only has to be done once.
Over stretching a fence can be a dangerous event. The wire can break and backlash onto the installer, wrapping the wire around the arms, legs and body. Extreme caution should be taken when stretching any type of fencing, as a weak piece of wire can break and move faster than you can get out of the way.