Splicing a broken wire in your fence may look like a difficult job and leave you wondering how to get the tension back into the wire if you do repair it. With the proper tools, anyone can make the repairs and save the money a fence builder will charge to make this simple splice.
Things You'll Need
- Fence stretcher/splicer
- Fencing pliers
- Wire to match the strand to be repaired
- Leather gloves
- Claw hammer
Put on your gloves. Take the end of the broken wire on your right, bend several inches of it back on itself forming a loop. Clamp the loop with the pliers and twist the end of the wire over the wire strand to close the loop. Taking the end of the wire being used for the splice, slide it through the loop. Make a loop in this wire, clamp the loop in the pliers and twist the loop closed, four turns of wire is enough. With the pliers, squeeze the loops to form long loops rather than round loops.
Use a fence stretcher/splicer, which is a metal bar with a clamp on each end that slides out and a ratchet handle in the middle, to properly splice a fence wire. Slide the two clamps on the stretcher to the opposite ends of the bar. Pull the broken wire on your left side toward the stretcher, open the left clamp on the stretcher and lay the wire in it so that 6 to 8 inches of the wire extends into the middle of the stretcher, close the clamp.
Open the right hand clamp on the stretcher, pull the stretcher toward the right side wire with the piece you attached for the splice in between the clamps. Pull the right side wire toward the middle of the clamp, lay it in the clamp and close the clamp. The stretcher now has both ends of the broken wire clamped onto it.
Ratchet the clamps toward each other by pulling the handle to the left and pushing it back to the right to reset it and again back to the left to tighten. The wire will pull together creating tension. Continue ratcheting the stretcher until the wire is tight and won't pull any further. Let the stretcher hang on the wires as you prepare to complete the splice.
Take the attached splicing wire in your right hand and the broken fence wire in your left hand. Pull the pieces together and bend them over each other making a single link like in a chain. Bend the right wire over and twist it to make a loop as you did at the beginning. Cut the excess wire off flush with the strand. Cut the excess splice wire off with the pliers leaving several inches to complete making the twisted loop and repeat the twisting procedure. The splice is now made.
Release the stretcher by standing back and striking the handle with the hammer on the left side forcing the handle to the right and down toward the bar. The handle will reach its release point with a snap; the wire will jump up and become tight. You can now pull the release levers on the clamps and release the wire. The repair is completed.
Should the fence in need of repair be a woven wire field-type fence with more than one horizontal strand broken, the repairs are made in the same manner. Stretch and repair the strands one at a time until all the splices are made. Any vertical strands of wire that are broken can be cut free and a piece of wire put in its place by twisting both ends onto the horizontal fence wires above and below the broken piece. No stretching is necessary on vertical repairs; you are only putting in a new piece of wire to replace the broken one.
Tips & Warnings
- Buy a fence stretcher/splicer at a building or farm supply store and ask the salesman to show you how it works.
- The wire for the splice can be a single piece, longer than the amount needed to make the repair, or a full roll where you unroll as much as you need and cut it off when the pieces are pulled together.
- When wrapping the wire back on the strand to secure the loops, twist them tightly, neatly snugging each wrap to the previous one; this will give you a neat appearing repair.
- Wear leather gloves when making any fence repair to protect yourself from cuts.
- When releasing the tension from the stretcher after the repair is made, stand back, extend your arm and hit the handle with the hammer as earlier described. The stretcher will be tight and may require more than one hit on the handle. When the tension comes loose, the wire will spring up and snap tight. To avoid injury, you want your face and body to be away from the fence when it does.
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