Expedient Jig Lets You Crank Out Chain Link Fence

After the zombie apocalypse or whatever is coming, folks like us will be in high demand as the people who know how to fix things, generate electricity, and scavenge parts. But keeping out marauding zombies and neighbors requires fencing. Can you make your own chain link fence? If you watch [Diamleon]’s recent video, you might be able to. Admittedly, the bulk of the video is about fabricating the jig and you should expect to do some welding and cutting.

However, you might be able to make a similar jig with a little less work. The jig is essential a spool on a shaft with a crosswise cut to guide the wire. The whole thing is powered by an electric drill turning a sprocket much like a bicycle.

One pass through the machine makes a nice twisty wire. Once you’ve run off a few lengths of twisty wire it is relatively easy to interlace them into fencing panels. It is one of those things that is hard to visualize until you see it. We were impressed with the drill drive and immediately thought about modifying the design to wind large coils. There are probably many other uses for such a thing. So even if you don’t want to build a fence, you might want to check it out.

As for us, we’ll probably just make our fence out of wood. Or do something electric. Oddly enough, we saw a hand-crank version of this same type of machine last year.

17 thoughts on “Expedient Jig Lets You Crank Out Chain Link Fence

    1. I have done that when making my own chain mail and rolling rings from steel wire. Used impact dampening gloves which absorbed most of the squeezing of the only snag I hit in 6000 or so 1/2″ rings. The main problem was weird callous formation where I guided it even through the gloves so switched to a cutoff of wood with a v cut into it. Just little pieces to push it horizontally as needed in a belt driven equivalent of this setup. Went through 3 cuts because it kept wearing too far into the wood so thankful I had the sense to stop doing that.

      1. Next: home made chain link chain mail!
        Obviously people have shown up draped in shag carpet, chain link and Freon tank helmets in the past.

        I’m talking crafted, chain link mail, made out of about chainmail wire gauge. Bet their was a historic precedent and a big word.

  1. During all the video, I could only notice how every fabrication step was done on a budget, from the welding without inert gas, to the surface roughness during the turning. It has the benefit of showing how nearly everyone can do it.

  2. That is an impressive mech-hack, the last time I was in the workshop I dropped something on my foot and only managed to dance an expletive laden jig.

  3. I wonder if the change gear ratio to produce that spiral groove would be possible with a typical lathe, or if the lathe could be hacked to produce such a long pitch. Maybe motorize the leadscrew and use an arduino and encoder on the spindle.

  4. Seems to me like he could have chucked up the centerpiece and then attached the outside guide tube to a rest and just did the same thing straight off the lathe…… as a matter of fact if you slow it down and use a foot pedal you could probably lace it as you make it

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