The prerequisite to a successful Finishline Fence Installation is advanced planning, combined with proper tools and quality materials. Before you begin, walk the proposed layout to check for any obstructions that might cause you to have to modify your layout. Modifying your layout is easier in the planning stage than in the middle of installation.
When you feel confident that your proposed layout will work, draw a measured, or to scale, layout of your fence installation. This fence layout will be a valuable planning aid and will also help establish a materials list. Please see Illustration 1.1 to the left. Note that the space between posts and the number of strands installed is determined by the intended use of the enclosure; pasture, feed lot, corral, etc. and what type of animals and how many animals will be enclosed. When you have completed your fence layout, contact your local utility company and schedule an inspection to determine if and where utility lines are located.
Typically, in most localities, a free “One Call” program is available and response is in less than three days. THIS IS VITAL BEFORE DIGGING THE FIRST POST HOLE OR DRIVING THE FIRST POST. Following all safety requirements and guidelines is as important as any component of your plan. This includes, but is not limited to; eye protection, gloves, and steel toed work boots. Also, use ear protection when operating power augers or post drivers.
When installing Finishline Fencing, acceptable post spacing is 8 to 12 feet apart. Finishline recommends using at least one strand of electric when installing your fence line. If you choose not to use electric, please do so with caution. Size of the herd, types of animals being contained, animal personalities, and beauty will influence the numbers of strands needed to contain your animals. Please see Electrifying the Fence on page 5 for more details.
Equine/Donkey - Horse owners for years have used Finishline for safe containment of their horses. When containing horses, it is recommended to use 4 to 5 strands of Finishline Fencing and to space them 7 to 12 inches apart. The top strand should be a minimum of 52 to 54 inches from the ground and 2 to 4 inches from the top of the post. The bottom strand is typically 14 to 18 inches off the ground. Horses which have a tendency to rub fencing continually or "play" with fencing can lead to problems for the fence and the horse. In cases of frequent horse contact with Finishline Fencing, an electrified wire is recommended. Please see Illustration 2.1 on right for examples.
Stallions and Jumpers - For extra fence height, use 6 to 7 strands of Finishline Fencing.
Cattle - Use 3 lines of Finishline with two lines of barbed or electric between strands. Finishline is an excellent sight line for large cattle farms. Please see Illustration 2.1 above for an example.
Other Livestock - For use with other animals such as goats, sheep and minis, place Finishline closer together for optimum containment and use 2 to 3 strands of electric.
Deer - Finishline is an excellent option when your property has problematic deer. Higher installation and closer spacing helps to protect your land from being intruded on by deer. In most cases deer are reported to bounce off the fence without breaking it or clears the Finishline fence line with minimal damage.
Please note: Although many of our customers do not use electric with their fencing, please use caution when choosing this option. As a livestock owner, you understand best the behavior of your animals. Please use extra caution when using this option.
Finishline can be used with any type of post system. The two most common types are wood posts and t-posts. See below for the different ways to attach Finishline to your wood and t-posts. All choices work equally as well.
Wood Posts - There are three main options to attach Finishline Fence to wood posts: insulators, drilling, and stapling.
1. Wood post insulators - To use wood post insulators, simply attach to wood post with galvanized roofing nails. Once attached to the posts, run the Finishline through the holes to keep it aligned.
2. Drilling through the posts - inishline Fencing can also be installed by drilling through line posts and running the Finishline Fencing through holes to the end post where it will be anchored. If through-the-post installation is selected, a wooden template (2" x 2" x 6') with holes pre-drilled at the selected spacing will allow fast hole alignment and allow the horse fence to follow the contours of the land. To drill holes, use a battery-operated or portable generator-operated electric drill with a 5/16" or 3/8" wood drill bit. For large diameter posts, a 5/16" bell hanger installer drill bit permits drilling through the thickest posts.
NOTE: The use of through-the-post installation carries with it a slight risk of abrasion. If this is a concern, you may line the holes with protective tubing. This is rarely necessary. Abrasion can be reduced by using an electrified wire with Finishline Fencing, as this will prevent animals from pushing on the fence.
3. Staples (Insulated or standard U) - Staples (Insulated or standard U) When installing with the Staples, care should be taken to prevent crushing Finishline when hammering each staple. This permits the Finishline to slide freely without wear. (Various insulators are available. If necessary, contact your Finishline dealer.) Please see Illustration 3.1 for an example.
T-Posts - When installing Finishline Fence to a T-Post, standard insulators are the preferred choice.
1. T-post insulators - All standard T-Post Insulators work to attach Finishline to the posts.
2. T-Post Vinyl Safety Cap - Toppers add safety and visibility for livestock.
Start Post - The two most common ways to begin your Finishline runs are as follows:
1. Knotting – 3/8 inch hole
Drill a 3/8 inch hole in your start post. This post along with your corners and gates must be braced. Thread two feet of Finishline backwards or away from your line posts through the end post. Take a fender washer suitable for a 7 gauge wire over the Finishline and place the washer next to the post. Then, tie a figure eight knot with the Finishline to secure the line to the start post. The fender washer will be in between the knot and the post to keep the knot secure. Please see Illustration 4.1.
2. One-Way Anchor Vice – 5/8 inch hole
To start your fencing with a One-Way Anchor Vice, drill a 5/8 inch hole in your start post. Then begin threading the line back through the hole while holding the pointed end of the vice at the first post. Insert the line through the vice then insert the vice into the post. Please see Illustration 4.2 for diagrams on how to tension.
NOTE: It is not necessary to secure the vice to the post.
Stretching for Proper Tension at Your End Post
A One-Way Anchor Vice is inserted into the end post for each strand of Finishline that is being installed. Thread the Finishline through the vice and pull all slack from the fence run. Once this is done, it is time to tension your fence.
Pull Finishline Fencing from both ends, for proper tension, unless starting with a knot where this would be impossible. Always start at the bottom strand and work your way up to the top strand. Always be sure to leave enough extra fence (6-10 inches) on both ends to attach a strand stretcher or vice grips. Finishline can also be tensioned by hand, eliminating the need for special tools. Please see Illustration 4.3 for tips on tensioning your Finishline Fence.
Finishline Fencing requires a tension of 4-5% of total strand length. For example, a 400-foot length with a 5% tension is 20 feet. (.05X400). As a result, you would need to tension your fence twenty feet.(.03X400). As a result, you would need to tension your fence twelve feet.
After determining the length needed to tension the fence, measure in from the end post to the predetermined length and mark the fence line with a marker or ribbon. Begin stretching with hand strength, fence stretcher, or vice grips until the determined length is pulled through the end post vice. Using a mark on the fence or ribbon will help insure proper tension is being applied. After tension is reached, cut all but approximately one foot of your fence line. Tack extra Finishline with a staple to the post for future tensioning purposes. Please be advised: do NOT pull down hard on Finishline with a tensioning tool or vice grips. Pull directly towards you.
Splicing/Repairing - If your job requires more than one spool of Finishline, it will be necessary to splice the spools together. This is also the way you would repair breaks in the Finishline. To use a Wire Link, put both ends of the line that you are splicing into opposing holes at the end of each Wire Link. Please see Illustration 5.1 of the Wire Link in use.
Only a livestock owner can determine what is best for his/her animals with regards to how much electric current is needed for safe containment. Finishline Fencing cannot carry an electrical charge itself, but a Finishline Fence can be electrified in several ways. We have listed below some common installation techniques.
1. Attach a strand of electric on the inside portion of your posts using an insulator.
2. Reduce your Finishline Fence Line by one and install an electric line in its place.
3. Wrap an electric line around one of your Finishline strands. Using this technique will reduce the amount of labor necessary to upkeep electric. Because Finishline rarely loses tension, you can support your electric line by wrapping it around one of your Finishline strands. This will eliminate the need for you to re-tension your electric strands. Several options of electric that work with Finishline are available at agricultural store. A 17 gauge aluminum wire can be easily wrapped several times around a Finishline strand between posts. The electric wire will need to go through an insulator on each post. Finishline acts as an insulator and will not short your line. Please see Illustration 5.2 for example.
The inclusion of electric is recommended as the best way to reduce animal contact with the fence. Several products are available that will complement your Finishline Fence at your local agricultural store.
In Illustration 6.1, there are only 4 end posts where the Finishline is being terminated and tensioned. These are marked by the word “Vice”. In the example provided, this person was using 5 strands of Finishline. To determine the amount of One-Way Anchor Vices required, multiply the number of posts where you are terminating by the number of Finishline strands you are installing and this will tell you how many vices to purchase. In this case, this person needs to purchase 20 One-Way Anchor Vices.
In Illustration 6.2, there are 5 end posts where the Finishline is being terminated and tensioned. In this example, this person was using 3 strands of Finishline. To determine the number of One-Way Anchor Vices required, multiply the number of posts where you are terminating by the number of strands you are installing. This will tell you the number of Vices to purchase. In this case, this person needs to purchase 15 One-Way Anchor Vices.
With time, Finishline Fencing may loosen due to movement of fence posts. Fencing should be checked occasionally. If fence can be pulled towards you easily, it is recommended to tighten the fence by pulling at the One-Way Anchor Vice. If loss of tension is due to loose posts, it is important to locate the loose post and correct.
Helpful hint: If your gate or a start post is less than 100 ft away from the next corner, feel free to wrap around the outside of the post and tension at the next gate or end post. This will save on the One-Way Anchor Vices needed. It is recommended to put some sort of protective covering around the Finishline Fence to eliminate abrasion. Common household items work well for this such as an old garden hose. Please see Illustration 6.3 for example.