You made the decision to build a chain link fence. You have the posts set. You even figured out how to get the rail ends on and have the top rail in place. Now its time to put the bottom tension wire on. No matter how hard you try or how hard you pull the wire, you just cant seem to get it taut.
The common cable used as bottom tension cable on chain link fencing is a 9 gauge galvanized wire. It usually comes in rolls of 170? or more. The wire is thick, heavy, and is difficult to stretch. Here is a simple way to tighten the wire, and all you need is a pair of pliers. Start by attaching one end of the wire at a terminal post (also known as an end post or corner pole). Put the wire through the brace band and wrap it around its self a few times. It is not recommended to try and pinch the wire in the brace band to secure it. Reel the cable out along the fence line.
Cut the cable a couple feet past the next terminal post you are securing it to. Walk the fence line again and make sure the tension wire has no kinks, is not caught on any roots or under growth, and get out as many of the loops (caused by it being spooled) as you can. Take the free end of the tension cable and thread it through the brace band at the terminal post you are going to attach too. Pull the cable as tight as you can get it, and wrap it around itself a few times as you did at the first pole.
The wire should be fairly tight, but may push away from the poles about a foot. Tighten your brace bands. Take your pliers (lineman pliers work best) and grab the tension cable with the pliers by either one of the terminal poles. With a firm grip, twist the pliers to the left or right. The tension cable will form a z were you twisted. Work your way down the fence line twisting the tension wire in this matter at every pole.
You will notice the farther you work down the line, the harder the wire is to twist. This is due to the wire getting tighter and less slack being able to be twisted. Put as many twists in the wire as needed to achieve the tension you desire.
This is a simple way to tighten bottom tension cable and make sure the bottom of your chain link fence is secure.
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