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Build Yourself A Belt Fence
Attractive, durable fencing made of rubber belting is new from Northwest Feed Research, Oshkosh, Wis.
Called Belt Rail, it can be strung in as many strands as you want. You simply unroll the belting, stretch it with a truck or tractor, and secure it to wooden posts, using rubber "facer" strips which keep individual strands flat and straight.
Belt Rail is made from used industrial rubber belting which is machine trimmed to eliminate frayed, torn or worn edges. Because it's used, it sells for considerably less than new belting. However, because it's trimmed to virtually eliminate frayed or worn edges, Belt Rail is slightly higher priced than lower quality used belting sold "as is" without any trimming.
Standard size Belt Rail is 4 in. wide, 1/2 in. thick and comes in varying size rolls generally ranging from 200 to 300 ft. in length. It retails for 28 cents per ft. in quantities up to about 3,000 ft., and less in larger quantities.
Individual pieces are easily spliced together on a post. "Just drill a hole in both pieces about an inch from the end, and bolt them together," says Paul Fowler, owner of Northwest Feeds. "To stretch it, you put a bolt through a hole near the end, wrap chain around the bolt and pull the belting tight with a truck or tractor. The belting is tough enough so the bolt won't pull through."
Will horses or cattle chew a Belt Rail fence?
"I don't know of a single chewing problem with either cattle or horses," answers Fowler. "For horses, all you need is 3 to 5 strands of belting used alone. They won't poke their heads through. For cattle, because they'll poke their heads through the strands, you'd have to string up an electric wire to keep them away from the fence."
Here, according to Fowler, are other key features of Belt Rail:
It isn't adversely affected by extreme heat or cold and retains its "stretch" under varying temperature extremes.
It's fast and easy to put up, and never needs painting or other maintenance to preserve it. It won't wear, rot, chip or peel.
For maximum strength and appearance, it's recommended that the end, corner and brace posts be at least 6 in. in dia. Line posts should be at least 4 in. in dia. and set about 8 ft. apart. Horizontal strands of Belt Rail are not secured to posts but are free to slide inside the vertical "facing" strips. Consequently, it isn't imperative that spacing between posts be uniform since each strand is one continuous length. "It's not like putting up a wood fence where post spacing has to be exact to fit pre-cut board lengths. The key is to put up strong corner posts," says Fowler. "Belt Rail is heavy, weighing about 1 lb. per running foot. With good corner posts, it should last 25 years or more without any maintenance whatsoever."
For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Northwest Feed Research, 5333 Fahrnwald Road, Oshkosh, Wis. 54901 (ph. 414 235-7808).

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