This week’s project is putting up an electric fence around my field, so that Bruce and Robin’s animals can graze the surrounding hay field. They have three very cute llamas and a horse named Justin. The llamas have names too, but I forgot them.
Anyway, we have to set up a fence. It’s been cool learning the physics of fence-building, because I really had no idea–I figured you just stick posts in the ground and stretch the electrified tape around them and voila, electric fence! But Bruce showed me how to do it properly. Everywhere you have a corner or a break in the fence (like for a gate) you have to support the posts, because otherwise the tension in from the electric tape would tip them over.
Here’s a picture of what the support system looks like:
The horizontal 2×4 serves to transfer the pull from the corner post (on the right in this picture) to the post next to it. If that were all there was to it, they would both be pulled over when the electric tape was pulled tight. So we also stretched a wire tightly between the bottom of the corner post and the top of the neighboring post. That way, when they both get pulled by the tension, the neighboring post is held straight by the wire. Since the wire is attached to the corner post at the very bottom, it is stable at that point–only the tops are wobbly. So it provides tension pulling BACK against the tension from the electric tape, keeping the neighboring post–and by extension the corner post because they’re attached by a 2×4–from tipping over. I thought it was pretty cool. Makes me want to draw one of those physics class diagrams with force arrows.
Anyway, we got that one corner done but there are several more to do, plus putting up all the intermediate posts, so I’ll be out working on that a few days this week. I’m going to email out for volunteer help if anyone’s interested. A lot of people have said they’d like to come out and volunteer, but most of the work this time of year is kind of one- or two-person stuff. But for this fencing setup I could use some extra hands! If you didn’t get the email and you’d like to come out, just comment, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, the other highlight of the weekend is that I became bffs with Bruce and Robin’s parrot.