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Hydraulic-Powered Wire Stretcher
If you have trouble stretching long lengths of fence wire or if you use long stretches of wire for other purposes on the farm, you'll be interested in this hydraulic-powered wire stretcher invented by hops farmer Henry Charvet of Grandview, Wash.
  The powered stretcher consists of a 1 1/2-in. dia., custom-built cylinder with a 3/4-in. dia. rod and a heavy duty come-along pinned to each end. The cylinder is controlled by an open center valve that's equipped with a built-in relief valve. It's powered by tractor hydraulics. The remote control valve is equipped with a pressure gauge.
  Charvet grows hops on heavy-gauge wire strung 18 ft. off the ground, 7 ft. apart. The hops climb up strings that trail down to the ground.
  "It was a relatively simple device to make. We use thousands of wires to grow hops. We don't have to tighten them all every year, but we do quite a few.
  "The relief valve keeps the operator from over tightening the wire. We usually keep the relief valve pressure at between 400 and 600 lbs., although that figure will vary depending on the wire size and type. We use a low carbon no. 4 wire. We use a formula to calculate how much pressure we put on the wire. It should be noted that the pressure on the gauge is not the pounds of tension on the wire. To determine the pounds of pull on the wire, use this formula: Force in pounds equals gauge pressure times cylinder area minus the rod area. For example, using my cylinder and the above formula, 200 psi gauge pressure equals 270 lbs. of pull where area equals diameter squared times .7854."   
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Henry Charvet, 1551 Chase Road, Grandview, Wash. 98930 (ph 509 882-1368).

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2001 - Volume #25, Issue #3