How to Install Chain Link on Wood Posts

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Chain link between wood posts is an attractive option for fencing. It's a perfect balance between an industrial and rural effect, thanks to the contrast between the metal links and the wooden frame. Building and installing a custom chain link fence is a great way to add safety and security to your property.

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A fence with a wooden frame combined with chain links is often referred to as California style. It consists of thick, tightly woven wire mesh stretched across a skeleton of wooden posts.


In order for a California-style fence to be truly secure, it needs both a top and bottom rail. However, if you only desire one for aesthetic (and don't need to worry about children or animals getting in or out) then just a top rail can suffice. Additional vertical rails can help boost the security of your fence structure, but if your mesh is well installed, they're not totally necessary.


By far the easiest way to install a California-style fence is to update an existing wooden fence frame with mesh fabric.

The mesh fabric should be secured to the wooden posts by fasteners placed along the top and bottom rails. You'll want the chain link to be stretched at high tension, so the existing fence must be in good condition to stand up to this. The corner posts are what bear the brunt of this tension, so if they're not up to scratch, they'll likely need to be replaced.


You'll first need your roll of wire mesh, which is wider than the distance between your top and bottom rails. Place it centered between the top and bottom rails, with equal overlap on either side.

Next, secure each edge of the wire mesh using a fencing staple. Then, secure along the whole vertical edge, adding a staple at 6-inch intervals.


You'll then need to unroll the fabric until you get to your next vertical or corner post. Using a fence stretcher, make the mesh as tight as possible. You can then staple this vertical edge of the mesh to the wooden post using the same method described above.

Now, begin placing horizontal staples along the top rail at 3-inch intervals. Once the top is secure, use the fence stretcher to build up tension and then secure the bottom in the same way.

You can then repeat this process until all sides of the fence are attached. Once you're done, trim the edges of the mesh using pliers.