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If you are installing a top rail, start by attaching a rail end to the female end of a 1-3/8 inch top rail pipe. Do this by hammering a small dimple into the side of a rail end with a nail set or large nail where you want a self-tapping screw to go. Then place the rail end fully over the pipe and fasten it to the pipe with a self-tapping screw, placing the point of the screw on the dimple and driving the screw in with an electric drill equipped with a Phillips head bit. Follow this by placing similar dimples on all your other rail ends; and if loop caps have not yet been placed on all your vertical line posts, put them there.

Now take the rail end, with the top rail pipe attached, to the brace band on the post where it is to be secured. Put the rail end's extension (which has a hole in it) between the brace band's flanges. Put the brace band's bolt through the band's flanges and the hole in the rail end, apply the washer and nut, and tighten the nut and bolt with a small wrench to firmly secure the top rail to the post.

If the top rail reaches to the next post down and that post is a line post bearing a loop cap, remove the loop cap, slide it onto the top rail, and replace it on the post, thereby arranging things so that the top rail passes through the loop cap on the post. If the top rail just attached to the post does not reach to the next post down, pass the male end of another top rail pipe through the loop cap on that next post and fit it into the female end of the attached top rail pipe. Proceed in this manner to pass successive top rail pipes through successive loop caps until you come to a corner, end, or gate post bearing one or two brace bands. Estimate very carefully where the last incoming top rail pipe will need to be cut in order for it to fit fully into a rail end and in order for the hole in the rail end to match perfectly or nearly perfectly with the hole in the brace band's flanges.

Now cut the top rail at that point with a hack saw (best done by first placing the top rail in a vise). Use a file to remove any burs from the cut ends. Set the rail end fully onto the top rail pipe and make sure that when this pipe is inserted into the rest of the pipes in line the rail end's hole matches up with the holes in the brace band's flanges. Then remove the top rail pipe, placing it on the ground, set the rail end fully onto it, and attach the rail end to the pipe with an electric drill and self-tapping screw. Finally, set this top rail pipe onto the rest of the pipes in line, put the rail end's tip between the brace band's flanges, apply the brace band's bolt, washer, and nut, and tighten the nut to secure this entire run of top rail to your pool fence.

Use whatever part of the cut pipe is left over to start another run of top rail, and proceed in this manner to place the top rail all around your fence. When you are done, you may find certain corners where the top rail coming in from one side is lower than the top rail coming in from the other. Correct this by turning one or both rail ends (and their attached top rail pipes) 180 degrees. Do that by undoing the nut and bolt holding the top rail pipe to the post, extract the male end of this top rail pipe from the female end of the next pipe, turn the pipe and rail end 180 degrees, replace them in the female pipe end and brace band, and re-tighten the nut and bolt. This will permit you to arrange both incoming top rail pipes so that they are both coming in to the corner post at the same level.


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