setting line posts for chain link fence

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Old 10-17-08, 04:13 AM
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setting line posts for chain link fence

Hi, I'm really hoping someone who has experience with chain link fence can help me. I'm installing 375 feet of fence on rolling terrain. I've read that the line posts should be set to the height of a string that's been stretched taught between terminal posts. However, if the posts are all set to the height of the string there will be spaces underneath the fence whenever the ground changes in elevation. How much can I "stretch" or "angle" the fence upward or downward to accommodate for changes in the grading?

I've also read that some people attach the top rail to the line posts before concreting the line posts so that they are able to make adjustments prior to the concrete hardening. Any thoughts on this method?

Thanks for your time!
 
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Old 10-17-08, 07:01 AM
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Having experience with installing any chain link fence and assuming I could explain its installation in certain practices are two completely different thoughts.
In regards to installing a chain link fence with an uneven grade, or as you put it a "rolling terrain" (Nice description) I would have to ask if you prefer to roll with the terrain or are you trying to keep the fence straight on top?
Plus , how much of a roll are we speaking about ? Your having a 375 foot run,would you consider the terrain having drastic or steep pitches? If they are drastic/steep changes in height your fencing skills would have to be put towards your hookups on your terminal posts. If the hills are spaced out and you have a significant amount of footage between peaks and valleys you should be able to maintain the bottom of the fence without having too many gaps.
What I wouldn't give to see some of the details up front and personal ... Sometimes a real view is worth a thousand words.

Ok , getting back... Are you looking for a fence line to roll with the land? or are you looking for a step job. By saying step job I am referring to the top of the fence being more or less straight and there being more terminal posts to tie off to.

Not being a writer as much as I am an installer I would have to figure out a way to instruct mitering a link... Surely that is where you are heading in your installation of chain link on a rolling terrain.

At the same time, maybe someone else can answer it better than me.

I'll be back.
 
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Old 10-17-08, 09:01 AM
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Thanks so much for your response.

To answer your questions.....I'm trying to roll with the terrain rather than keeping the fence straight on top. It seems to me that if all my line posts are in line w/ a masonary string, the fence will have gaps in it (where the ground is low) or the fence will be several inches lower than the ground (where the ground is high).

My dilemma is that I've read about two different ways to install the line posts....the first way I've already mentioned (using a string). The second method consists of just marking each pole and making sure this mark is at ground level upon installation. Each pole would be uniform in height (height of fence = 6 foot - 2 inches = 70 inches). However, I'm wondering how I stretch the fence lower or higher in order to accommodate those posts that have been placed in either peaks or valleys. These are not severe pitches, just gradual elevation changes.

There is only one steep pitch to worry about and I'm planning on having terminal posts and an "angled" run to deal w/ that section.

Thanks again for any input you may have. I'd really like to get this right the first time.
 
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Old 10-17-08, 09:38 AM
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Ahh ,.... adding a stone to the gears with now finding out you are planning a 6 foot high fence as opposed to what I assumed to be lower...maybe a 4 footer... lol

Ok ,.,, six foot high chain link is fairly heavy. This would mean that you would probably be using a 1 5/8" top rail. The smaller diameter top rail would probably bend or bow from the excess weight between posts.
This being the case you would have a more difficult time in bending your top rail if you plan to roll with the grade. Or perhaps your grade is not that drastic,,,, ?
Using the string line for the cut heights of the line posts is still suggested even though you would be not interested in having a straight top rail. Using the string line and measuring down from the line to the ground you can always change the height of the string line with a piece of tape... Putting the line on the posts and taping them down where you would want the top rail to line out would be a great way of seeing the top rail before you actually cut the posts... You would need a little bit of imagination in looking at the string line as if it were a top rail with the fence beneath.
Keep in mind that when you make a mark on the line posts, you mark the higher end of the string line, not the lower. The lower would represent the pitch of your fence, and that may be considerably lower than you need your posts to be . It is always better to cut less first... it is easy to cut more off later... it is a real pain to pull a post and replace it because you have cut off one inch too much.

So ,yes, the string line is an ok way to go.. I may even do it that way myself... some times I do not need a line... it is all in the eye... but then again, all the years of fencing I sometimes find myself working more or less blind after the sun goes down.

As for your original post .. I would not install the top rail to anything before the posts are cemented.
I would go one of two ways.

One to be installing all the posts... lines and terminals. Leaving all the posts a little higher than expected.
Using the string line and cut them after the cement has cured.
I find this much easier on slopes of high pitches.. this makes it much easier to install the fence becuause there is much stress on the pull of the chain link.

The other option is to cut or sledge hammer the posts to the right height, pour the concrete, install the top rail and install the chain link all in one day.
This option is more desired for straight runs,., or step jobs.. and or slopes that are not soo drastic.. Kind of like installing 100 foot run and the slope goes down about 3 feet for the entire run. That ,depending on the type of digging, would be very easy to pull off in a matter of hours.

Both options I would use a string line for leveling my posts and maintaining a straight line... Both options I may either use or not use a string line to maintain a height of the line posts in relation to the grade.

Yes, that is the use of 2 seperate string lines... One on top and one on the side.

Make sure your string lines are tied off to a sturdy post on the ends.. otherwise you may pull them off level towards each other.

Good luck... I hope I was of some help.

Greg~
 
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