how to extreme

Stabilize a Leaning Fence

Construction How-To, Fencing April 17, 2017 Sonia

Hook the turnbuckle onto one of the eyes and run the steel wire from the end of the turnbuckle through the eye on the leaning post.

Pull the fence post into plumb position as you pull the slack out of the wire.

Secure the wire to the upper eye with a couple of wire nuts.

Tighten the threaded connection of the turnbuckle to apply tension to the wire and, in turn, the fence post. Tighten the turnbuckle until the post is as plumb as possible and no longer moves.

Here’s the completed repair. It’s not the most beautiful repair in the world but it’s effective, and will keep the fence in shape until we get time to dig out the post base and reinforce it with more concrete.

Side Note 1

Don’t Saddle a Dead Horse

I’ve learned that “don’t saddle a dead horse” is a common saying among tradespeople who attach a lot of wire nuts for a living. What is the “saddle” of a wire nut? It’s the metal bracket between the U-bolt and the nuts. What’s the “dead horse”? It’s the short length of wire that loops back through a steel eye. “Don’t Saddle a Dead Horse” is a guideline to avoid clamping the saddle part of the wire nut over the wire turnback. Instead, you should orient the wire clip so the saddle clamps against the main run of wire, and the U-bolt clamps against the turnback. The reason is that once you use a wrench to torque down the wire nut, the U-bolt will kink the wire. Over time this kink can lead to damage or even breakage. If that happens, you want the turnback to break and not the load-bearing main wire. Therefore, “Don’t Saddle a Dead Horse” anytime you’re clipping steel wire.

Side Note 2

TruClose MultiAdjust Heavy Duty Hinges

The TruClose MultiAdjust Heavy Duty Hinge is billed as “the world’s most adjustable gate hinge.” Ideal for DIY installation of wood or vinyl fence gates, the TruClose hinges feature patented adjustable spring tension as well as 3/4-in. (19mm) gap adjustment, combined with up to 3/4-in. (19mm) horizontal and vertical adjustment. The hinges deliver convenient and reliable performance with quick, self-closing operation and smooth, even closure of gates up to 132 lbs. Built for long-lasting durability, the TruClose MultiAdjust Heavy Duty Hinge is made of a UV-stabilized, super-strong engineered polymer (self-lubricating) with internal stainless steel spring and components.

For more information, visit

Side Note 3

Simpson Strong-Tie E-Z Mender

Replacing a fence can be an expensive and difficult task, but Simpson Strong-Tie offers a line of products designed specifically to help you make some of the most common fence repairs, easily and economically. The black powder-coated E-Z Mender (FPBM44E) allows easy repair of rotted or damaged 4×4 wood posts installed in concrete or dirt. Made of 12-gauge steel, E-Z Mender reinforces weakened wood posts without having to replace the post or the concrete. Sold individually for use in pairs, the E-Z Mender is driven into the ground at the post base and attached using six HDG nails or screws per part. For more information, visit www.strongtie.