Sunday, May 27, 2018

Fixing a Broken Top Rail on a Chain Link Fence

The top rail of our chain link fence broke sometime during the winter.  We can't say for sure how it happened but our theory is that the post to the right of the break, heaved out of the ground during a freeze.  This caused the post to bend away from our property until it broke the insert connection on the top rail.  This left us with a broken connection on the top rail and a bent post.
You can see, in the photo above, the broken top rail insert inside the top rail. The photo below shows the bent post with the chain attached for the ratcheting come along.
 Here are two diagrams to help familiarize yourself with chain link fencing.  I should also say that I dislike chain link fence but due to the size of our lot we cannot reasonably even think about any other type of fencing.  This fence is old and rusty so I painted the fence in front of our house in a satin black but did not paint the north side because it is jointly owned by us and my neighbor who is not fond of painted chain link.  I painted the fence to match the driveway gate and because black makes the fence visibly disappear.  Believe me I want this fence to disappear.

The first step was straightening the post.  We used a chain and a ratcheting come along.  The come along chain was wrapped around the fence post and another chain connected the truck bumper (we used the unused hole for a trailer hitch ball) on the truck to the come along.  The truck bumper was the fixed point and by ratcheting the come along, the post slowly straightened.  We over corrected because we figured that there would be some rebound and we were correct.
Check out this video of the post straightening process. 

You can hear the Indy 500 on the radio in the background.

At this point we have a straight post but a broken rail and we need to insert the rail sleeve so that the top rail is once again one continuous rail.  But to do this we need to go to the end of the rail and remove the rail from the rail end.  This will allow us to use a small sledge hammer to make the space longer between the two pieces of top rail.
We then slid the rail sleeve onto one end and then lined up the other end of the sleeve and the other end of the top rail.  I held it so that it was aligned and R tapped the far end of the top rail until it was into the rail sleeve.  He then put on the rail end and bolted it back into the brace band.
And we were done.
R purchased the rail sleeve at Home Depot in the fence department across from the bags of concrete.  He also purchased a bag of fence ties.  These keep the chain link fence attached to the posts and top rail.  We were missing a lot of the fence ties at the bottom of the fence where it attaches to the post.  We had a long list of stuff to do so we didn't get to that today.

Total cost for 1 sleeve and 1 bag of fence ties.....$10.20 

Easy peasy

Reuse Repurpose Recycle 

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