Installation Instructions for McGregor Dog Fences
1.Start by laying out the fence line with a string and small stakes. The finished fence should have several feet of brush and vegetation cleared on either side of it. If the fence must run through brush, bushes, or low trees, it pays to do this clearing before the fence is installed. Clear the brush with a brush king, pruner, or other equipment down to a height of a foot or so, and cut to the ground anything heavy within a foot of the fence line, so that a mower can go over it. Then mow the ground within a foot on either side of the fence line, so that a two-foot swath is cleared all the way to the ground.
2. Lay down your round posts at the fence’s corners and then lay down the remainder of your posts at roughly equal distances from one another around the fence. If you have a gate, leave about twice the normal distance plus the width of the gate between the posts where the gate will go, because the gate posts will act as additional support posts.
A. Posts without Sleeves on Fences without Top Rails:
Pound each post 2 feet into the ground with your manual post driver if you have one; or dig holes 2 feet deep, insert the posts, and fill in around them if you are using a post-hole digger. In the latter case, use a carpenter’s level to ensure the post is straight. If using a post driver, determine how deep the post should go by marking the 2-foot point on the post with a piece of tape. Then, as the post is being driven in, use a carpenter’s level to make sure the post goes in straight. When you use the post driver, be sure that any assistant keeps his or her hands out of range, because the descending driver can seriously injure hands.
B. Posts with Sleeves on Fences without Top Rails:
Pound all the post sleeves into the ground using a drive cap, a heavy hammer, and a carpenter’s level. When the sleeve is about halfway in, remove the drive cap, insert a post, and apply a carpenter’s level to make sure the post is straight. Then remove the post, replace the drive cap, and continue driving in the sleeve. If the sleeve needs adjustment at any point to keep the post straight, place the drive cap on top and hit the drive cap (not the sleeve!) gently with the hammer to nudge the sleeve in the right direction. Stop driving the sleeve when its top is about an inch out of the ground (to discourage soil and debris from getting in) and insert the post.
C. Posts on Fences with Top Rails:
If your fence has a top rail, arrange things so that your fencing will reach all the way to the ground when it is attached to the top rail. Install the corner, end, and gate posts with vinyl caps one inch shallower than the line posts with loop caps. To make the post go to the correct depth, start by marking the correct depth on the post with a piece of tape. Then, if the post is being driven in with a manual post driver, use a carpenter’s level to make sure the post goes in straight. When you use the post driver, be sure that any assistant keeps his or her hands out of range, because the descending driver can seriously injure hands. If your soil has a lot of rocks or roots it’s a good ideal to prepare the way for the post driver with a digging bar. Mark the desired post depth on the bar with a piece of tape. Then insert the bar a few inches into the soil, using a hammer if necessary; rotate the bar several times in the hole; insert it a few more inches, and continue this way until it has reached the desired depth. If using a post hole digger, dig post holes to the correct depth at appropriate spots, place a post in a hole, fill in around the post using a carpenter’s level to make sure the post is straight, and tamp the soil down well around the post.
D. Note on Gate Posts:
It’s important that your gate posts be installed the right distance apart. Therefore, when you come to the place where your gate will go, first install one post (the one that will bear the hinges), making sure it is good and straight. Then assemble the gate door, attach hinges to your post, and hang the door from the hinges. Now, when you place the gate door along the fence line and lower the fork latches on the other side of the door, those latches will show exactly where the second gate post should go. Install that post to complete your gate.
3. Should you be installing corner and end braces, put the vertical post (or its sleeve) in a cement footing and either put the angled side posts in their own cement footings or prevent these angled posts from moving by placing their ends in the ground against cement blocks known in the trade as “dead men”.
If your fence has a top rail, skip to step 6
4. Put a brace band near the top of each post with the flanges facing inward toward your dog. Pass a carriage bolt through the holes in the flanges, apply a washer and nut, and tighten the nut with a wrench until the brace band cannot move up or down the post.
5. Next, once all the bands are on, attach your black tie wire. This wire does not stretch, and it does not need to be applied under high tension. Simply pass one end of the tie wire around one anchor post (a corner post is a good place to start) just under the brace band; wrap the wire around itself a few times to form something that looks like a small hangman’s knot; proceed to the other anchor post (three or four posts down the line, but always stopping at corners and gates); pull the wire tight enough to run straight and support the fencing without sagging; cut the wire; and wrap the cut end around the incoming wire several times to form another small hangman’s knot. Cut the excess from the end of both the knots you have formed. Now you are finished with this run and ready to start another. Proceed in this way around the fence, stopping your runs at corner and gate posts, so that no run goes around a corner or over a gate opening, until you get back to where you began.
If your fence does not have a top rail, skip to step 11
6, If you are installing a top rail, start by attaching a rail end to the female end of a 1-3/8 inch top rail pipe. Do this by hammering a small dimple into the side of a rail end with a nail set or large nail where you want a self-tapping screw to go. Then drill a hole at that point that is narrower than the screw. Next, insert the end of the top rail pipe fully into the rail end cap and apply the self-tapping screw with an electric drill equipped with a philips head bit. If loop caps have not yet been placed on all your vertical line posts, put them there.
7. Now take the rail end, with the top rail pipe attached, to the brace band on the post where it is to be secured. Put the rail end’s extension (which has a hole in it) between the brace band’s flanges. Put the brace band’s bolt through the band’s flanges and the hole in the rail end, apply the washer and nut, and tighten the nut and bolt with a small wrench to firmly secure the top rail to the post.
8. If the top rail reaches to the next post down and that post is a line post bearing a loop cap, remove the loop cap, slide it onto the top rail, and replace it on the post, thereby arranging things so that the top rail passes through the loop cap on the post. If the top rail just attached to the post does not reach to the next post down, pass the male end of another top rail pipe through the loop cap on that next post and fit it into the female end of the attached top rail pipe. Proceed in this manner to pass successive top rail pipes through successive loop caps until you come to a corner, end, or gate post bearing one or two brace bands. Estimate very carefully where the last incoming top rail pipe will need to be cut in order for it to fit fully into a rail end and in order for the hole in the rail end to match perfectly or nearly perfectly with the hole in the brace band’s flanges.
9 Now cut the top rail at that point with a hack saw (best done by first placing the top rail in a vise). Use a file to remove any burs from the cut ends. Set the rail end fully onto the top rail pipe and make sure that when this pipe is inserted into the rest of the pipes in line the rail end’s hole matches up with the holes in the brace band’s flanges. Then remove the top rail pipe, placing it on the ground, set the rail end fully onto it, and attach the rail end to the pipe with an electric drill and self-tapping screw. Finally, set this top rail pipe onto the rest of the pipes in line, put the rail end’s tip between the brace band’s flanges, apply the brace band’s bolt, washer, and nut, and tighten the nut to secure this entire run of top rail to your fence.
10. Use whatever part of the cut pipe is left over to start another run of top rail, and proceed in this manner to place the top rail all around your fence. When you are done, you may find certain corners where the top rail coming in from one side is lower than the top rail coming in from the other. Correct this by turning one or both rail ends (and their attached top rail pipes) 180 degrees. Do that by undoing the nut and bolt holding the top rail pipe to the post, extract the male end of this top rail pipe from the female end of the next pipe, turn the pipe and rail end 180 degrees, replace them in the female pipe end and brace band, and re-tighten the nut and bolt. This will permit you to arrange the two incoming top rail pipes so that they are both coming in to the corner post at the same level.
End of Top Rail Instructions
11. Starting at a corner post of your choice, unroll the fencing on the ground just inside the fence line until you come to the next corner, end, or gate. Put something heavy on the fencing to keep if from rolling back up again, and return to the post where you started.
12. Raise one side of the fencing up to the top of the post. Attach the top of the fencing to the top rail or top support wire with a zip-lock tie, and attach the edge of the fencing to the post at a point near the top of the post, using another zip-lock tie. Then do the same thing at the next post down, arranging things so that the fencing material is taut between the two posts. If it is helpful, use a couple more zip-ties to attach the fencing to the tie wire or top rail at intermediate points between the posts. Now use additional zip-ties to attach the fencing to both posts at roughly 1-foot intervals, proceeding from the top to the bottom of each post and pulling the fencing taut when you are applying the zip-ties to the second post. Finally, use zip-ties to fasten the top of the fencing to the tie-wire or top rail, applying one zip-tie per foot of fence.
13. Now go one post down and attach the fencing the same way. Then attach the fencing to the top wire or top rail with a couple of ties if this is helpful; attach it the post itself at one-foot intervals, and then attach it to the tie wire or top rail at one-foot intervals.
14. Repeat step 13 with each line post until you reach a gate opening, an end, or a corner, or until you come to the end of the fence roll.
15. Ends: If you reach a place where the fence ends (because it butts up against a building, wall, or other fence) install a post (if you have not already done so) as close to the building, wall, or fence as possible. Then overlap this post with enough fencing to reach the building, wall, or other fence; attach the fencing to the post; and then attach the fencing to the building, wall, or other fence, using whatever means seem most appropriate.
16. Corners: If you reach a corner, terminate the fencing with your wire cutter at the last vertical wire that can connect conveniently to the corner post. Attach the fencing to the corner post as above, using zip-lock ties. Before starting a new run of fencing, as in steps 12 and 13 above, cut off all short protruding lengths of horizontal wire on the remaining roll of fencing with your wire cutter.
17. Grade changes: Should you come to a place along the fence line where the grade changes, place a post at the point with the greatest apparent change, terminate the fencing at that point by cutting it with a wire cutter (after attaching it to the post) and start a new run of fencing that follows the new grade.
18. Continue as in steps 11 through 17 above until you come back to where you began, joining the last part of the fencing to the outside of the corner post where you started using the techniques described above. Finally, install your ground stakes evenly around the fence bottom, making sure that the fencing reaches the ground all along the fence line. Should the ground be uneven, leaving significant openings at the bottom of the fence, fill these openings with soil, tamp the soil down well. Your fence is now complete.