Tension wire holds the wire panels of cyclone fencing in place, and it makes it harder for animals or intruders to push their way under the fence. If your cyclone fencing doesn't have tension wire built-in, you can add it. Here's a look at the steps involved:
1. Collect your supplies.
First, you need tension wire -- it typically comes on a spool, and you should exercise caution when cutting the length you need. You need to hold the end of the wire attached to the spool tightly and then reattach it to the spool when you are done. Most spools have a small hook or spot to place the end of the wire. If you drop the end of the wire attached to the spool, the loss of tension may cause the whole spool to unravel and make it hard to store.
In addition to the wire, you need two brace band ratchets for every panel to which you plan to add tension wire. Finally, you need a wire cutter, pliers and a tension bar. You may also want work gloves to cushion your hands and create traction, as you are going to do a lot of gripping and pulling.
2. Make a loop in the tension wire.
So that you can connect the tension wire to your fence, you need to make a loop. Take one end of your wire and make a loop with your hands. It should be about the size of the ring you can make with your thumb and index finger.
With your pliers, grab the short end of the wire making the loop, and coil it repeatedly around the long end of the wire. When the wires are tightly secured together, snip off the excess with your wire cutters.
3. Attach the wire to the post.
Take one of your brace band ratchets. This looks like a c-shaped metal cuff, and the ends are held together by a nut and bolt. Remove the nut and bolt, and slip the cuff on your fence post. Position it near the ground on the bottom of the post.
Push half of the bolt through the hole on the brace band, and slip the loop of your tension wire over the bolt. Let the bolt continue through the other hole of the brace band, and attach a nut to tighten the cuff and hold the bolt in place. Now, your brace band is locked around your fence, and the loop of your tension wire is attached to that.
4. Pull the tension wire to the next post.
Now it's time to pull the tension wire to the next post. As you extend the wire toward the next post, weave it in and out of each diamond along the base of your cyclone fence panels. When you get to the end of the panel, pull the tension wire as hard as you can toward the fence post.
At this point, you are going to make a loop around a brace band, and if you feel like you have a cumbersome amount of extra wire, you should cut it before you begin. After cutting the wire, attach your brace band to the base of this post and pull your tension wire through it, using your hands. Ideally, the wire should come in through the bottom of the brace and go upward toward you.
5. Tighten and coil the wire.
At this point, you need your tension bar. This looks similar to a pry bar, but instead of having a u-shaped wedge at the top, it has a hole in it. Slip the end of the wire through the hole in the tension bar, and wind the bar to tighten the wire. Essentially, the bar is giving you the leverage you need to tighten the wire as much as possible.
When it's tight, remove the tension bar, grab your pliers, and use your pliers to coil the end of the wire around the tension wire. Finally, cut off any excess.
If you want more pointers on choosing the right tension wire or installing it, contact a cyclone fencing expert.