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Russell W. Wood, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: woodr5678

Post Number: 39
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 04:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I've checked what seems like a dozen sources and have as many answers. I'm trying to determine the height of chain link fences that require a Mid-Rail.
MasterSpec says for fences 6' or higher.
My specs say 8' or higher.
Arch Graphics Standard & Master Halco says 12' or higher.

Does anyone know what it should be?
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 80
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 04:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

What does the Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Association say?


I suspect it varies according to heavy duty, residential, or other use class. I haven't been on their website in quite a while, but when I needed it in the past, they had a wide variety of downloadable information.
Jo Drummond, FCSI
Senior Member
Username: jo_drummond

Post Number: 20
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 04:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Chain Link Fence Manufacturer's Institute (CLFMI) spec says 6 feet or over.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 426
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 05:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

MasterSpec will always base its language on some sort of standard--they don't "make stuff up". If you are a subscriber, you can always call them to inquire about where a requirement in the section text comes from, if it's not clear in the section evaluations.
Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 236
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 07:17 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Forgive me for being a little off-topic, but just had an experience where we found a provion in MasterSpec for which we could find no authority or basis in a standard.

To their credit, I contacted MS and had a good conversation in which they openly admitted they had not thought the provision through, and indeed, had no backing for it. They are still working on it, as are we, to properly resolve it.
Russell W. Wood, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: woodr5678

Post Number: 40
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 09:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Maybe I'm going blind, but I have checked the Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute Product Manual, but could not find that data. I'll check again.
Jo Drummond, FCSI
Senior Member
Username: jo_drummond

Post Number: 21
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Saturday, October 15, 2005 - 11:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Russell, I'm not sure I am looking at the latest edition, but I don't think there have been any startling changes in chain link fence recently.
My copy buries it in a paragraph entitled "Post Braces" and says: "Post braces shall be provided for gate, corner . . . when top rail is omitted or with fabric 6 feet or more in height, and shall consist of a round tubular brace extending to each adjacent line post at approximately midheight of the fabric."

BTW, I have a client who details chain link fence in isometric, including the hinges on the gates, the U-latching devices, and wires holding the fabric to the posts as well as the ADA required signage. Too bad they don't know that sizes and gauges vary with the height of the fence and that the details vary from one mfgr to the other. They drive me crazy, but they pay their bills.
David J. Wyatt
Senior Member
Username: david_j_wyatt_csi_ccs_ccca

Post Number: 11
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2005 - 09:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

After college and before becoming a specification writer, I spent about ten years (20 with overtime!)bidding and installing commercial and residential chain link fence systems.

Although "real life" experience is nearly always at variance with consensus standards, I will try to share some practical information.

On chain link fences six feet and higher, a brace rail should be installed at terminations (corner, end, and gate posts) to prevent deforming the post at mid-height when the fence fabric is put under tension (stretched).

A brace rail consists of a length of rail (usually 1-5/8-inch OD nominal) fastened at the corner, terminal, or gate post and at the closest line post.

In elevation, the brace rail should be fastened horizontally at half the fabric height and parallel to the top rail. The rail should also be trussed diagonally from the fastening point at the line post to the base of the terminal post with a 3/8-inch steel truss rod to prevent the stress on the terminal post during fabric stretching from merely transfering to the line post.

For the most part, once the fabric is stretched and tied to the toprail, brace rail, and all of the line posts, the fabric tension is evenly distributed over the entire line and the brace rail is no longer necessary. But it is left in place nevertheless.

A picture is easier to understand and CLFMI has well-developed details.

I couldn't resist! You made my day! I thought no one would ever ask!

Dave Wyatt
Jerome J. Lazar, RA, CCS, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: lazarcitec

Post Number: 188
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2006 - 11:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Chain Link Answers needed:
David maybe you can provide some simple answers - chain link available in aluminum and aluminized steel - what is the difference in durability...when using aluminum chain link is the framework steel or aluminum? if using aluminum chain link is there a separation problem with the steel framework? If so, how is this corrected? Our application is on the Oceanfront? Anyone know where I can download a doc file for aluminum chain link fence? Thanks for your help.
David J. Wyatt
Senior Member
Username: david_j_wyatt_csi_ccs_ccca

Post Number: 18
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Monday, January 23, 2006 - 04:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Although we just talked about this via telephone, I'll post this for the benefit of the other people in the forum.

Aluminized steel chain link fence is a great product. It is steel with an aluminum coating that adds 5-10 years to its life. It was developed by the Page Fence Division of the American Chain and Cable Company (ACCO) a long time ago. Great durability (15-20 years without much oxidation). It costs about 20 percent more than galvanized but is well worth it.
It is installed with galvanized steel pipe posts and framework. The industry hasn't been very successful with aluminized pipe for various reasons.

Aluminum fence systems are a good choice for marine exposure, but they have some limitations as well. Aluminum is very expensive - 2-3 times the cost of steel systems and it does not hold up to physical abuse (impact). Nevertheless, it is slow to oxidize and is light in weight.

The most reliable source for aluminum chain link fencing systems is the Aluminum Fence & Manufacturing Company, in Struthers, Ohio. Telephone: (330) 755-3323. They fabricate and distribute all over the US and Hawaii. Ed Joseph is the owner - he's a great guy to talk to for design advice.

If corrosion is the issue, as in marine environments, fusion-bonded vinyl-coated chain link systems give us a less-expensive and strong alternative. Fusion-bonded vinyl systems are less expensive than aluminum and are stronger by virtue of being steel. The base pipe and wire are fabricated from galvanized steel with a coating of vinyl physically-bonded to it. If the coating is damaged, the corrosion remains isolated. So, if you get into VE issues with aluminum, be prepared with this alternative.

Note that extruded vinyl coatings are less expensive than fusion-bonded and far more common, but the coating is softer and not bonded in the same manner and therefore is more prone to widspread corrosion in a marine environment if the coating is damaged. Extruded vinyl systems are, however, suitable for lots of other applications.

For general information on chain link fences, I suggest looking on the Chain Link Manufacturers Institute website. It has good, free downloads of many of its standards.

If anyone wants a guide spec for chain link fence,just e-mail me at info@wyattswords.com or visit www.wyattswords.com.

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