Two kinds of posts support mesh wire fencing: corner posts and line posts. As suggested by their name, corner posts support lengths of fencing that run in divergent, often perpendicular, directions. Line posts support lengths of fencing that run in a straight line or gentle curve. According to the University of Missouri's Department of Agricultural Engineering, the space between line posts should be between 15 and 20 feet; posts with a diameter of less than 3 1/2 inches should be spaced at intervals of 15 feet, and posts with a diameter greater than 3 1/2 inches should be spaced at intervals of up to 20 feet.
Gauging Proper Tension
Mesh wire, also called welded wire, consists of individual wires welded at right angles to form a grid of rectangular openings. Manufacturers place a small hum at the center of every wire that forms the top or bottom of each rectangle. These humps are called "tension curves," and they represent the easiest method of properly stretching wire between adjacent posts. When stretched between posts, mesh wire fencing's tension curves flatten out; the flatter the tension curves, the tighter the wire. As a general rule, mesh wire fencing is adequately tense when its tension curves are straightened to approximately two-thirds of their original radius.
Method for Curved Fence Sections
Whereas parallel line posts adequately support fencing at intervals between 15 and 20 feet, line posts supporting fencing along curves require closer spacing. To determine the proper spacing for a particular curve, drive temporary wooden stakes into the ground every 16 feet along the curve. Choose three adjacent temporary stakes, and run a string line between the first and third stake. Measure the distance from the center of the string line to the center stake. If the measurement is less than 8 inches, space stakes at intervals of 12 feet; if the measurement is between 8 inches and 14 inches, space stakes at intervals of 10 feet; if the measurement is between 14 inches and 20 inches, space stakes at intervals of 8 feet.