Note: these instructions are for wood end braces. See here for metal end brace instructions

  1. Measure and cut cross-member

    Measure and cut the cross-member so it will fit between the tops of the brace posts.

  2. Figure height of cross-member

    Measure the fence wire from the bottom wire up to midway between the 2nd and 3rd wire from the top. Record this measurement

    Measure height to set the cross member
  3. Determine brace pin placement
    Mark your measurement from step 2) on the inside surfaces of the brace and end post

    Measure up the inside of the end post and the brace post and mark each post with the length that was recorded at step B) above. If you are not setting the bottom of the wire at ground level, be sure to add the extra height off the ground to this measurement. This measurement will place the cross-member between the 2nd and 3rd line wire of the fence, making it easier to tie off.

    Pins: 1) 4"L x 1/2" diam     
    2) 10" L x 1/2" diam
  4. Set the brace pins in the posts

    Use a drill bit that is the same diameter as the brace pins. Mark a 2” depth on the bit and drill a 2” hole on your mark in the end post. Drill a hole completely through the brace post.

    Drill hole for brace pin

    Drive a 10” x 1/2” brace pin in the brace post from the outside of the brace until it is flush with the inside of the brace.

    Drive brace pin into post

    Drive brace pin through post until flush

    Now drive the shorter 4”x1/2” brace pin into the end post, leaving 2” exposed.

    Brace pin in end post
  5. Set the cross-member into position

    If you are using a wood cross-member, drill a pilot hole in the center of both end faces.

    Note: Never use milled lumber for cross-members, as they will warp. Place one end of the cross-member over the 4” pin on the end post, then move the other end into position. Level the cross-member and center on the post.

    Cross member on pin before final positioning

    Drive the 10” brace pin into the cross-member, leaving 1” exposed on the outside of the brace. The protruding end of the brace pin will hold the brace wire in place.

    Tap the brace pin in to hold cross-member
  6. Set the brace with the brace wire

    Drive a barbed staple into the outside of the end post about 2” above the ground. Leave about 3/8” of the staple exposed so the brace wire can be passed under the staple. Place two buffer staples into the staple driven into the post as shown. These will stop the wire from digging into the post and allow the wire to slide freely when it is tightened.

    Place the staples on which the wire will rest

    Measure two wraps of high-tensile 12.5 gauge wire. Pass the wire under the staple and over the exposed brace pin as shown.

    Wire passing under the end post staple but over the buffer staple
  7. Attach an inline strainer to the brace wire

    Place a crimp sleeve on the brace wire. Loop the wire through the hole in the inline strainer, and then pass the wire back into the crimp sleeve. Crimp the crimp-sleeve to lock the wire and in-line strainer in place.

    Put the crimp sleeve on the wire before looping through inline strainer

    Loop the wire back into the sleeve, and crimp

    Position the strainer about two-thirds as high as the brace, on the opposite side from the fence fabric.

    Use the strainer handle to ratchet the inline strainer center spool

    Make sure that the wire is not crossed at the pin or the staple before tightening the brace wire completely. Continue to tighten the strainer and periodically equalize the brace wire by pulling it sideways a couple of times.

    Pull the wire sideways to equalize the tension on both sides

    Ratchet the inline strainer until the brace has moved 1/4" in the soil

    Tighten the brace wire until the brace post is pulled about a quarter-inch toward the end post. At that point the wire will be very tight, and your brace will be ready to use.

    Note: If the posts are set in concrete, allow the concrete to set for at least two days before pulling on the brace post.

    Note: You can build a brace by tensioning the brace wire with the RE-560 smooth wire puller. Once you have tightened the wire, splice it with a splicing sleeve to hold it fast. The disadvantage of this method is that you won’t be able to easily re-tighten the brace if the posts move slightly.


    Weld or clamp the brace together. The cross-member should be located between the first and second line wire on short fences and the second and third line wires on tall fences measured as shown in Step 2 above.

    Welding a steel post end brace

    Treat the welds with cold galvanization for added life

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