Installing a Gabion Basket With a Hog Ring Tool
Rectangular gabion baskets help prevent erosion and increase privacy. When filled with rock, they also reduce the impact of moving water, creating tightly bound, highly adaptable structures. To install a gabion basket, it’s best to use a gabion hog ring tool in addition to c-rings/fasteners.
If you’re installing a gabion basket—keep reading this article. We’ll cover everything you need to know about the installation process, starting with the tools and materials that you need.
Tools & Materials
Before the installation process begins, it’s important to have the right tools and materials. As previously mentioned, you’ll want a gabion hog ring tool and c-rings. In addition to these tools, you’ll also need:
- Safety Glasses
- Work Gloves
- Flat Shovel
- Spade Shovel
- Gabion Basket
- Post-Hole Digger
- Tape Measure
- Wire Cutter
- Spud Bar
- Line Level
- Hog Ring Pliers
Preparing Site Layout & Reinforcements
Once you have your tools, you’ll need to prepare your site and set up reinforcements for your gabion basket.
To create a level, firm base for your gabion basket or wall, first string lines between stakes, marking the corners of your gabion basket’s perimeter. Remove any weeds, sod, rocks, roots, or other objects to ensure a level working surface with no obstacles.
If your soil in the work area is soft, like sand or clay, you’ll need to install at least six inches of gravel or a concrete footer. This will ensure that your gabion baskets do not sink after you add the stones.
Additionally, gabion baskets need internal support posts. You can use treated lumber or galvanized pipe, setting them below the frost line in solid concrete. Level them up and allow them to fully cure before beginning installation of your gabion basket wall sections.
This is a crucial step to creating a quality finished product. Without these internal upright supports, the wire meshing of the gabion wall will likely bulge outward when you add the stones.
After preparing your site and installing support, the next step is assembly. To assemble your gabion basket, you’ll want to follow these steps:
- Sort out your wire mesh panels, separating tops and bottoms from the sides and ends.
- Place and position the bottom panel over the internal upright supports.
- Position a side panel next to the bottom panel. Attach them together using your hog ring tool. Affix a C-shaped hog ring about every six inches to join the two sections together. Repeat this process with the remaining three sections.
- Fold up each of the sides and attach them together with hog rings to form a standing rectangular frame.
- Finally, use galvanized wire and a gabion hog ring tool to attach the front and back of the gabion basket to the support post. Affix them firmly, anticipating the bulging effects of heavy rocks. This is a crucial step that you don’t want to skip. Use these support wires on the front and back of the basket approximately one-third and two-thirds of the way up from the ground to the top.
Once your gabion basket is framed and supported, but not yet closed, you can begin filling it with rocks. You’ll want to line the exterior of the basket, on all sides, with rocks that are at least four inches or more in diameter.
Take the time you need to do an excellent job packing the rocks. The more scrupulous you are, the more professional and compact your finished product will be.
If your gabion basket is part of a bigger, continuous structure, then you will need to stack sections on top of one another. Here’s how to do it:
- Carefully pack your lower basket full of rocks without overfilling it. Place the lid on it, and then affix it firmly with your gabion hog rings and hog ring tool.
- Next, repeat the process of building a gabion basket, just like you did on the prepared foundation. Start with the bottom section placed over the center supports.
- Now, attach each of the four walls of the basket with hog rings, just like you did before. Once all four sides are affixed all the way around with hog rings, it’s time to support the centers again to prevent bulging.
- Finally, you’re ready to begin the filling process again.
When you have your rocks placed precisely where you want them, and they’re tamped down securely, it’s time to “close” your gabion basket (e.g. attaching its lid). The process is the same as before.
Before you attach the c-rings, ensure that there are no bulging sections or glaring voids where rock needs to be filled in.
When you’re satisfied with your rock packing job and ready to install the lid, use your hog ring tool to affix a C-shaped hog ring about every six inches around the entire perimeter.
Lastly, take your hammer and inspect the entire basket/wall that you have constructed. If you see any sharp edges of metal sticking out anywhere, hammer them until they’re smooth.
Still Need Help? Contact King Steel Fasteners Today!
Serving clients since 1995, Kings Steel Fasteners is a trusted supplier of quality hog rings, including special c-rings for joining gabions, as well as hog ring tools. Although we’re based in Michigan, we help clients across the United States.
If you need help selecting the right tools for your gabion basket installation project, please reach out to us today. We look forward to earning your business!