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14 Ideas for Fencing and Gating

  • 01

    Lift for tired wire
    Wire in pasture fences tends to sag. Instead of cutting the wire, Kenneth Meyer uses this crimping tool he made out of ½-inch rod to restretch it. Hinged in the center, it creates a soft bend, usually twice between posts, to stretch the fence on his Baileyville, Kansas, farm.

  • 02

    Barbed wire spacer
    Ray Schroeder, Buhler, Kansas, made this device to support the barbed wires a few inches from the post, which frees both hands for driving staples. The 2-inch pegs made of ¼-inch iron are welded at a slant onto ½-inch iron rod. The pegs are spaced for a three-wire fence on one side and for a four-wire fence on the other. A plate welded to the bottom makes a base.

  • 03

    Fencing post driller
    Tired of pounding electric fence posts into frozen ground, Frank Potter of Callaway, Nebraska, bought a 12-inch-long, ½-inch concrete drill bit for his power drill. By using a generator in the back for his truck, he can drill holes for the posts, which then go right into the frozen ground. “No more hitting my hand with a hammer,” he says.

  • 04

    Walk-through fence
    Without a latch or chain to undo, it’s much easier to go through a fence, says Jerome Hofer of Mitchell, South Dakota. This modification creates space that is wide enough for a person to pass but not wide enough for a cow. He says that if he wants to open the fence, he just lifts the pipe piece out to make a larger opening.

  • 05

    Latch
    Jadon Hofer of Platte, South Dakota, built this latch by attaching a length of pipe to ¼-inch cable. That pipe slides into slightly larger pipes welded to his fence. It catches in place with a spring and a sprocket. The three pieces of pipe could also be clamped on, he says, but welding is stronger, and it’s much easier and quicker to simply pull the cable than to undo a chain.

  • 06

    Heavy-duty eye
    Eyes made of wire often bend out of shape. Unable to find a company that makes an eye for a heavy-duty electric fence gate, Art Jansen made his own at his Fordyce, Nebraska, farm. He used ¼-inch chain quick link and a heavy wood post insulator. A chain quick link opens, so it’s easy to wrap electric wire around it, he says.

  • 07

    Gate in gate
    Linda Holbeck and her husband weren’t able to locate creep feeder panels in their area (Chewelah, Washington), so they had their welder put a small gate into their tube gate.
    The small gate allows calves to come and go in the barnyard without compromising the structure of the tube gate. This way we don’t have to store creep panels, either.

  • 08

    Dirt packer
    Using a piece of 6-pound pipe, 5/8-inch rod for two 4-foot-long bars, and two bicycle hand grips, D.H. Smith Jr. and his son made this device to pack dirt extra tight around fence posts. A half-moon-shape welded on top makes a good guide, he says. His son got the idea while fencing with the latter method in Jamesville, Virginia’s 90-degree heat.

  • 09

    Self-closing gates
    Rodney Woods of Baylis, Illinois, cut a 12-foot bent tube gate into three 54x54-inch automatic ATV gates. He bolted 2-inch-wide rectangular tubing to the top of each as stops and for mounting pulleys. A 10-pound weight is on the end of each 5-foot cable. The pulleys are on the top and back of the tubing and the front of the gates. The gates are secured to the ground with 3-foot-long metal stakes.

  • 10

    Wraparound hinge
    With its conventional hinge, Vance Haugen’s gate would only move 180 degrees. With the hinge he built in place, he can fold the gate 350 degrees. This makes it easier to maneuver the tractor and skid steer on his Canton, Minnesota, farm. Since it’s a 16-foot gate, he used ¼-inch gussets and steel to keep it from flexing too much.

  • 11

    Punch-packing PVC
    The bull on Sanford Nissley’s farm near Catlett, Virginia, quickly discovered he could break out the boards from their new vinyl fence and escape. So they drilled holes in the posts and ran electric wire on the inside of the fence behind the center board. Nissley says it won’t short the fence, doesn’t mar its beauty, nor does it require insulators. And the bull leaves it alone.

  • 12

    Spring tightens
    Stanley Stewart of Fairbury, Nebraska, says he uses old springs from car hoods to keep his electric fences tight. Available in salvage yards, they have saved him a great deal of breakage, he reports – even if a deer or cow fails to see the fence, it still won’t break. He attaches the springs to the corner posts.

  • 13

    Automatic lift

    Jim Brimeyer no longer has to jump off and on his skid loader to get in the cattle yard since he mounted a garage door opener on the silo to pull the wire up and down. The Holy Cross, Iowan mounted 1.5-inch pipe on the silo with a 4-inch PVC collar that slides up and down as the opener moves.

Check out these tips for the farm's gates and fences (text by Dave Mowitz)

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