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How to Build a Pipe & Cable Fence

Keith Dooley

A variety of fencing options are available for use in an agricultural setting. Fencing livestock such as horses requires the use of fencing materials that are not only strong and durable but are also highly visible. Pipe and cable fencing is an option that is used especially when fencing larger land areas. Although pipe and cable does represent a greater investment up front than some other fencing materials, pipe and cable does typically last longer.

  1. Dig holes for the fence with post-hole diggers along the edge of a pasture area. Space the holes 8 feet apart in a straight line. Dig the holes at least 3 feet deep and 1 foot across.

  2. Place 4 inches of gravel in the bottom of each post hole. Position a cable fence post with cable tabs in the first hole. Position the post with the tabs facing the pasture area. Add 6 inches of gravel with a shovel around the post and tamp it down with the shovel handle. Level the post with a torpedo level.

  3. Fill the hole to within 6 inches of ground level with quick-set concrete. Follow the manufacturer's directions for adding water to the concrete. Leave the concrete to set and cure for 24 hours. Repeat the post installation process for each fence post along the line.

  4. Fill the top of each hole with dirt. Level each hole with the surrounding ground.

  5. Attach the end of a 1/2-inch cable to the first post. Feed the end of the cable through the top cable tab on the post. Wrap 1 foot of cable around the first post.

  6. Secure the free end of the cable to the main cable length with cable clamps. Add a second cable clamp to the cable based on length of the fence line and personal preference. Tighten the nuts on the cable clamps with an adjustable wrench.

  7. String the cable through the top cable tab of each post. Secure the cable to the last, end or corner post with cable clamps. Pull the cable tight to take up slack before tightening the nuts on the cable clamps.

  8. Attach a length of cable through each of the tabs along the length of the pipe posts. Perform a final tightening adjustment, beginning with the middle cable. Tighten the cable in the middle first followed by the cable just above it. Move to the cable just below the middle cable then tighten the cable two up from the middle. Continue to tighten one high then one low until all of the cables are tightened securely.