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The Fence Post

High Tensile Fixed Knot Fencing

August 10, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

rams standing by a fixed knot fence

High Tensile Wire: Thinner is Stronger

A fixed knot fence is effective on challenging terrain and remains rigid between posts. The .64% carbon content steel wire used in a fixed knot fence is noticeably thinner. However, strong as it is, this high tensile wire would be lost without a protective coating. This is why the requisite Class 3 galvanization, with its anti-corrosion properties, is added to offset steel's natural disintegration which enhances its cost-efficiency by delaying repair and replacement. High tensile wire is the choice when a long term fence solution is required as it remains a strong, versatile answer to a variety of fencing needs. .  

Benefits:

  • Lighter in weight, but stronger (thanks to its tensile strength)
  • Won't sag; stays put
  • Less need of tensioning 
  • Smaller gauge/diameter of the wire is more efficient (especially compared to heavier low carbon wire)
  • Though stiffer, ultimately, installation is easier because it doesn't have to be stretched as hard as low tensile wire--tension it and it's ready to go
  • Fewer posts are needed thanks to its strength and vertical stay wires
  • Springs back with animal impacts. It has give, but retains its shape

Fixed knot

Now, low carbon steel wire is easy to work with as well, (also known as mild steel) but it is prone to sagging, stretching and breaking more easily than high carbon-content steel wire. The carbon content for low tensile wire is roughly .28%; while this type of fence is common, it remains a shorter term answer.

Take a look:

As you'll see toward the end of this video, four wires with a similar gauge have very different breaking strength based on the carbon content:

 

And, very importantly:

Here's a comprehensive how-to that details the installation of a fixed knot fence:

 

Farm and Field Fence

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Topics: woven wire, high tensile wire, fixed knot

Goat Fencing

September 30, 2019 | by Joe Morrell


Adult and baby goat in pen

Your Goats: Strong and Smart

Barnyard or backyard, goats may be a source of comic relief or the creators of mayhem. So much depends on the enclosure you provide for your herd. Goats interact with fencing and will test its limits. Your herd of goats will find a fence's vulnerability and capitalize on it for their own exploring and ravenous ends. 

To begin with, a 4 foot high high tensile woven wire fence with 4" x 4" openings is the rule. Goats are strong and smart and your fence has to be as well. Tough and flexible woven 12.5 gauge wire with strong stiff stay knots is imperative. This combination of factors will stand up to the roughhousing that goats bring to the party.

Let's break down some of those terms--

  • Woven Wire--A woven wire fence's linked yet loose structure allows for a large amount of bend, twist and pull without breaking -- a perfect design if you have livestock to contain.This makes for secure mesh, strong enough to hold together well when impacted by a demanding goat. This also adapts to variable terrain.                                                                                                                                                                           
  • 12.5 Gauge--a thickness of wire with a minimum of 1,350 pounds breaking strength, which you'll find plenty strong for your goats.                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  • High Tensile--means higher carbon steel wire, roughly twice the strength of low carbon wire yet lighter due to the higher grade of steel, the payoff being easier handling. Safer than barbed wire for your goats and can be electrified. Standard Class 3 galvanizing protects the wire and extends its life. With proper maintenance it can last up to 40 years.                                                                                                                                     
  • 4" x 4" Openings--goats can't get their heads and horns through, avoiding injury. It's smooth wire; again, reducing injuries.
                                                                                               
  • S knot, (also known as Square Deal): This knot is used insquare deal fence knot making non-climb 4" x 4" mesh sheep and goat fence. The S knot prevents the fence from buckling or sagging. It also provides extra vertical strength and rigidity while at the same time allowing flexibility. These knots add to the fence's adaptability to hilly terrain. One-piece vertical stay wires, attached to line wires--with a crimp--prevent slippage. 

Outsmarting your Goat

Add an extra strand of electric fence wire at the top of the fence to ensure safety, especially for more ambitious goats. Yet, no matter what system is in place when keeping goats: vigilance is required. A break or defect in the fence and your goat will take advantage of it, resulting in runaway goats. Straying goats will munch a rose bush over a clump of grass. When goats are limited to a grassy enclosure, the incidence of worms and parasites goes up. They are known as browsers in their style of feeding--leafy fodder above the ground is of particular interest and they will use a fence to find ways to get at bushy shrubs and the lower growth of trees--or happily climb trees. If you've got a goat that makes a practice of finding new and creative ways of escaping, it may be time to enhance your enclosure for Ms. or Mr. Gruff, upgrading your existing fence. A rebellious goat will readily tutor other goats in your herd with its pillaging tactics.

Look at this goat's ingenuity!

 

If you're desiring a backyard goat, remember that cities and towns may have size and number limits. Consider your neighbors as they can be noisy. You must have space--you cannot share your yard with a goat as your yard won't exist after a goat has its way. As omnivorous as they seem they will not eat what they've peed on so their fodder must be kept off the ground in a raised feeder. 

a black and a white goat in gated entry

Shedding and Fence Stress

Seems to be that shedding is going to be one of the stressors on your fence. Shedding? Yes, this is why a woven wire fence comes in handy; it flexes with the strains of a goat using it to rub off its warm winter undercoat that comes off in spring. You might give your goats a good brushing to prevent wear and tear on your fence. 

Enemies

Your goat may be wily, but it is also vulnerable to attack. “Coyotes are very good at killing sheep and goats. They will eat anything from newborns to adult animals. They are a threat year-around,” says Reid Redden,Texas A&M extension sheep and goats expert. Other trouble makers are:

  • dogs
  • bobcats
  • eagles
  • vultures
  • mountain lions

He confirms there are various trapping methods but for success there is nothing like a good fence.

Goat Facts:

  • First and foremost--goats are social animals and being isolated is stressful for them.
  • They walk immediately after being born and are weaned around 3 months.
  • Birth occurs in spring, after 5-6 months gestation, producing 1 or 2 kids.
  • A male goat is known as a billy or a buck; if castrated, they are called wethers.
  • Females are does or nannies. They are generally ready to breed once they have reached 80 lbs.
  • Lifespan of domesticated goat: generally 12-18 years and varies with the breed.

GOAT FENCE

 

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Topics: goat, woven wire, high tensile wire, 12.5 gauge

Alligator Easily Scales Fence

September 5, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

Chain-link Fail

When thinking about alligators in the U.S. one imagines first and foremost Florida, then perhaps Georgia and Louisiana. However, their presence goes much further than that--add Alabama, Mississippi, South and North Carolina, the eastern part of Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, and the bottom tip of Arkansas. 

Here is a stunner. There is a plethora of safety guidelines available online for avoiding these threats to life and limb.

 

The estimated number of alligators in just Florida is 1.25 million. By the late 80s, the American alligator was considered endangered. It has quickly recovered its population since being protected. As humans encroach upon the habitat of alligators, the incidences of interacting with these significant reptiles have increased dramatically. 

In any case, the alligator safety basics are:

  • Do not attempt to deal with alligator yourself
  • Call your local animal control or 911
  • Do not approach an alligator
  • Do not feed an alligator
  • Avoid sudden movements                                                                                                                                                                        
    gray alligator at daytime
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Topics: wire mesh, fencing materials, woven wire, welded wire

How To Install Field Fence On Studded T Posts - Video

July 11, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

The Neighbor's Dogs

This video shows some folks putting up a field fence on studded T posts to keep out some unmanaged dogs and keep peace in the neighborhood.. 

 

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Topics: woven wire, field fence, video

What about Zinc Coating?

March 26, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

  rust covered artistic reliefRusty Padlock on Metal Gate net
The Enemy: Rust


Oxygen and moisture working on iron and its common alloy, steel, result in rust. When thinking in terms of the wire used for fencing, sometimes being number one is not always tops. A Class 1 coating for your mesh or fence is anything but top rate. Now think again about that coating. It can mean: this looks fine or it'll do. In the long run (or short run), it will not stand up to the ravages of

  • air
  • moisture
  • abrasion

However, a coating of zinc reacts differently to these factors. As it corrodes. It forms a barrier or patina, running interference between it and the steel or iron that it is sheltering.

The Classes of Zinc Coating 

Class 1--lightest coating of zinc; widely available and lasts 2 to 11 years in non-coastal climates. (.28% zinc per sq. foot)

  • protection drastically reduced in humid climates. (For the record, there is no Class 2.)

Class 3--heaviest coating of zinc; lasts 13-30 years, often must be special ordered (.80% zinc per sq. foot)

  • however, in humid conditions, the coating may last at least 15 years with wider wire gauges lasting longer.

Zinc galvanization--a coating for mesh and fencing that lasts

After wires are either welded or woven into a mesh, the entire finished product is drawn through a bath of molten zinc (830°F.) This galvanization-after-weave or weld method (GAW) creates mesh that emerges with a thick coating tightly bonded to the wire. Each strand of wire is protected and more importantly, each vulnerable welded or woven area is thoroughly sealed. In some circles, this is known as "galvanic healing!" Officially, this is termed, cathode-anode protection.

Jaguar Emblem

More zinc = more protection. Delaying the time until rust sets in. So the more zinc per square foot, the longer it is until it rusts.

What is Friability

If something is friable, it is subject to the rubbing process that works on the surface of unprotected iron or steel, which offers no natural corrosion resistant patina. Friability describes the flaking and breaking apart of a solid substance.

So what are the benefits of a Class 3 zinc coating?

  • Lowest cost over the long run
  • damage resistance--the zinc patina guards the metal underneath
  • cheaper than stainless steel
  • consistent results
  • longest life

What does the ASTM standard mean?

Seeing this on a product, such as for zinc coatings, shows that a company is adhering to a certain set of criteria for the quality of a product. These are internationally accepted guidelines, based on research, for the specifications of materials, products, and services as approved by a  governing board. (ASTM International was once known as the American Society for Testing and Materials.) Buyer beware: a company's adherence to these standards is voluntary.   

Other factors for deterioration:

   airborne sand and dust                          chemicals                                    salt                                air pollution 

Wrecked Ship

Some zinc facts:

Zinc is the 27th most abundant element in the earth's crust. 70% is mined, 30% recycled. More than 50% of this is used to coat steel and keep it from disintegrating.

Zinc is found in rocks, soil, air, water, the biosphere as well as in humans, plants, and animals. (If you're an oyster lover, you're in luck: zinc is plentiful in oysters and it is essential for optimum health.)

Biology: organisms must have zinc to exist. For example, in the human body, zinc is important for cell division and is responsible for the function of red and white blood cells.

And finally, a short video:

Here's an example of zinc galvanizing in action:

 

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Topics: woven wire, welded wire, vinyl coated wire, galvanized after, galvanized, galv after

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