YOU CAN BUY AMERICAN MADE FENCE!
Nowadays, it seems like everything is made in China or some other country. While this may be true for a lot of products, it is not true for all fence products. There are a lot of fence products still made with pride and exceptional quality in the great U.S. of A! In fact, most fence products are still available from domestic manufacturers.
GBW, GAW, and Vinyl Coated welded wire fencing materials are all available from US manufacturers such as Riverdale Mills (Northbridge, MA) and C.E. Shepherd (Houston, TX).
Keystone Steel & Wire (Red Brand) produces Field fence, Horse fence, Sheep & Goat fence, Deer & Wildlife fence, barbed wire, GBW welded wire, and other products in Peoria, IL.
Bekaert Corp. manufactures all types of low carbom and high tensile Field fence, Horse fence, Sheep & Goat fence and Deer and Wildlife fence in galvanized, zinc aluminum and black paint over ZA finishes.
Stay-Tuff Fence Manufacturing produces high tensile Deer & Wildlife fence, Field fence, Horse fence, Goat fence and barbed wire in New Braunfels, TX.
Oklahoma Steel makes a wide variety of Field fence, barbed wire, Deer and Wildlife fence, Agriculture panels, Horse fence and GBW welded wire in Madill, OK and Centerville, IA.
Franklin Steel produces top quality steel painted and galvanized studded T fence posts in Franklin, PA.
These companies employ hard working, tax paying Americans! American made products are superior in quality, and are surprisingly price competitive versus imported products. American made products provide an overall better value than lesser quality imports because the fence will last many years longer and will not need to be replaced. Just think of the hassle, expense and inconvenience you will avoid! Just like the old saying “You get what you pay for.”
You may be aware of “The Buy American Act” which restricts the purchase of supplies that are not domestic end products. For manufactured end products, the Buy American Act uses a two-part test to define a domestic end product.
- The product must be manufactured in the United States; and
- The cost of domestic components must exceed 50 percent of the cost of all the components.
The Buy American Act applies to all U.S. Federal government agency purchases of good valued over the micropurchase threshold, but does not apply to services. Under the Act, all goods for public use (articles, materials, or supplies) must be produced in the U.S., and manufactured items must be manufactured in the U.S. from U.S. materials. Many states and municipalities include similar geographic requirements in their procurement legislation.
If quality and support of America is important to you, please consider buying products made in the USA the next time you need fencing. Sure you may pay a little more, and you may have to dig a little deeper to find products made in the USA since most retailers and discount on-line sellers primarily sell imported products. But the effort and added costs are well worth it in the long run. Go USA!
BABY SAVER wire is designed specifically for protecting kits (baby rabbits) in rabbit cages. Unlike standard welded wire mesh which has a 1”x2” mesh for the entire width, this wire mesh has a ½”x1” mesh for the bottom 4” which prevents kits from falling or being pulled through the cage.
Even though baby saver wire is more expensive than the standard wire used for rabbit cages, the cost is more than worth it to prevent the loss of kits. After all, what good is a rabbit cage if it does not protect the kits?
Baby saver is welded from 14 gauge wire and is available in both GAW (Galvanized After Weld) and GBW (Galvanized Before Weld) finish. The GAW wire will last far longer than the GBW. After the welding process the mesh is drawn through a bath of molten zinc. The weld spots and wires are thoroughly protected from rust and corrosion. Although more expensive initially, you will save the expense and hassle of replacement.
Rolls are 18”x100’. The bottom 4” has a mesh opening of ½”x1” and the top 14” has a mesh opening of 1”x2”. It is made of 14 gauge galvanized steel wire for strength and security.
Protect your kits from untimely death by choosing baby saver wire so you and your rabbits can enjoy peace of mind! Your Mama rabbits will thank you!
Although the name may make this product sound like a culinary device, it is actually a versatile and uniquely designed fence which is ideal for a host of different applications.
What makes apron fence unique? It is designed with a 12” hinged apron that can be turned 90 degrees in either direction to prevent animals from burrowing underneath. For example, to prevent Beagles from digging underneath the fence to get out, place the apron inside the perimeter of the fence. To prevent raccoons, foxes, and other predators from burrowing underneath and getting in, place the apron outside the perimeter of the fence.
Installation is fast and easy since there is no need to dig a trench - a time bandit hassle. Simply place the apron on the ground and cover with soil or grass for a neater appearance. Vegetation will grow up through the mesh, securing the fence to the ground.
Apron fence is ideal for Beagle training pens, running pens, kennels, as well as game bird pens and chicken pens. Great for garden fence because it protects the garden from hungry wildlife looking for a free and tasty meal!
Apron fence is made of 17 gauge galvanized steel 1-½” hex wire, making it more than twice as strong as standard 20 gauge 1” hex chicken wire. This greater strength and durability provides longer life. Made in the USA by Red Brand (Keystone Steel), it is available in two sizes – 60” (48” fence height, 12" apron) and 72” (60” fence height, 12" apron), and in galvanized or vinyl coated finish.
The vinyl coating is bonded to the wire and is UV stabilized for long life. The black vinyl coating is more attractive and blends into the background, becoming nearly invisible. You can easily see what is inside the fence, an attractive advatage in your garden. Paying more up front for vinyl coating will save money and time in the long run because it will last years longer than the galvanized, and will eliminate the expense and hassle of replacing the fence.
Whether your objective is to keep animals in or keep them out, Apron fence will exceed your expectations!
Relax, this is not a commercial for Geico, and no Ducks are ever harmed using DUCKBILL® EARTH anchors! So, you may ask, “What are DUCKBILL anchors and what are they used for?” Glad you asked!
The anchors work very much like toggle bolts in soil. They are driven into the ground with no holes, no digging, and minimal soil disturbance creating a safe and environmentally sensitive installation. The anchor body is driven into the soil with a re-usable drive steel (drive rod). Once the anchor body is placed to the proper depth the drive rod is removed. With an upward pull, the anchor tendon rotates the DUCKBILL into a perpendicular “anchor lock” position in undisturbed soil resulting in superior holding capacities. Plus, there are no potentially hazardous metal eye bolts or hooks above ground to trip over or for the lawn mower to hit.
DUCKBILL earth anchors are used in a wide variety of applications.
There are reported losses of millions of dollars per year due to theft. DUCKBILL anchors reduce theft and unwanted movement of objects like:
- Trash cans
DUCKBILL Tree Guy Systems are perfect for keeping trees vertical and limiting motion, letting the roots establish themselves for quicker, healthier growth. It protects trees from being blown over and killed by the wind. Easy, safe installation means more trees anchored per hour and a more professional appearance. When the guy systems are not possible or desirable, such as in playgrounds, parks, or where sidewalk plantings are required, use the Root Ball Kit. It is specifically designed to hold the tree’s root ball firmly in place, with only the tree protruding above the ground. Each kit comes with three anchors with D-ring and one strap with hand ratchet.
- Tree guy support system
- Root ball stabilization kit
DUCKBILL earth anchors are used worldwide to secure any object that can be stolen, moved or blown down like:
- Mobile Homes
- Playground Equipment
- Turf Reinforcement/Erosion control
Anchors are available in 4 Aluminum alloy models and 3 Galvanized ductile iron models (for very hard soils). The anchors range in holding capacities in normal soil from 300 to 5,000 pounds. The anchors are designed to function in the total range of soils. Normally, wherever you can drive a stake or drill a hole, you can use a DUCKBILL.
The next time you need to secure something to the ground, consider using a DUCKBILL earth anchor. They are safe, strong and easy to install, and are designed to work in a multitude of applications.
Can you think of any additional ways DUCKBILL anchors can help you feel more secure?
You've worked hard to put up your fence. Everything looks great. The wire mesh is tight and straight. But over time, something may happen that causes the tension in the wire to slacken. What can you do fix the problem? Watch this video and learn how to tighten up your fence using a pair of pliers.
You can use this simple technique to tighten many types of fencing materials: welded wire fence mesh, woven wire fence, lawn and garden fence, single strand wire, field fence, etc. Keep your fence looking tight and secure!
Do you know of any other different ways to tighten a fence?
Wire mesh and wire fencing is one of those things that many people just don’t have knowledge about. It’s not common enough so that someone in the big box home improvement store, or a relative, or neighbor is sure to know something about how to select it. Wire fence is sort of a specialty item, and if you find yourself in need of it, information tailored for the end consumer can seem scarce. An ignorant seller can pass on this ignorance to the customer and you end up with an unhappy buying selling relationship. Even a good intentioned seller can spread costly misinformation while meaning to help. The customer meanwhile is more inclined to believe what he or she is told when that means a lower price.
The following fictional conversation will give you an idea of how innocently bad information can be circulated. Let me give you the short story of Big Box Bob and Frugal Fence Francine.
Players: Big Box Bob- mowed lawns and weed-whacked as part of a grounds maintenance team. Is now in school to be an electrician and is working as an apprentice.
Frugal Fence Francine- Francine is an accountant by day and tends her garden and cares for her two Doberman Pinschers on nights and weekends
Scene: In the lawn and garden section of a local big box retail store
Francine approaches Bob in the store: I want some fence to replace the rusty old chicken wire I put around my garden. There were a couple rolls of it when I bought the house and I usually just replace it every couple years when it gets too mangled to deal with. I’m sick of that though. I can’t be replacing fence every year, and plant my garden, and still have time for my dobies. I’d rather just put something up that’s going to last. I’ve looked online a little and found that there are several options for a garden fence. They all sound like they are built to last a long time, but there is so much difference in price between the different types of galvanized wire, and then even more disparity between the galvanized and the vinyl coated wire. Incredibly, not even all vinyl coated wire is the same price. Is there really that much difference in quality, or is all a big scam? I’m so frustrated. I just want a fence that will be permanent. What I value, is reliability and I don’t want to pay for fancy stuff that I don’t need. Please help me!
Bob: Francine I totally understand your frustration and I think I can help. I’ve actually never worked with wire mesh or fencing, but I do have some knowledge about what galvanizing does and I have some thoughts about what you are paying for with some of the fancier vinyl coated stuff.
Francine: Great Bob! Please tell me how it is.
Bobzo: Fran, It’s like this. Galvanizing is a process by which a protective zinc coating is applied to steel or iron so that it does not rust (Wikipedia). If the fencing is galvanized, then that is all you need for it to last indefinitely assuming it doesn’t get cut or trampled. All the other things like galvanized after weld and the different types of vinyl coating are for aesthetic purposes, or to make it stronger to keep animals in or something. So, if want to save some moolah and still have a fence that lasts forever, I would just get the inexpensive, galvanized before weld, welded wire. Any other questions Franny?
Franny: Hmm. What you say sure sounds technical and smart. I’ll admit that saving a few dollars would be really nice. I really appreciate you not pushing the pricey stuff on me. Are you sure galvanized won’t rust?
Bobby: Yes. Sure, looked it up me-self…first sentence about galvanization on “Wikipedia.”
Fran: Okay Bob. I really appreciate it. I’ll take a roll and some 6 foot steel posts please.
So, you can see how there are no bad intentions here. Bob thinks he is being very decent and fair, and Francine feels as though she has been treated well and will never have to replace this galvanized fence. Unfortunately, Bob’s instincts have not served him well, and Francine’s trust has been misplaced. Galvanized does not last forever. The chart below from Bekaert Corporation gives an idea how long galvanized can last and the difference between types of galvanized wire.
Depending on the type of galvanizing that is done, Francine could be looking at one year or less before she starts to see rust forming on her “rust proof” fence. How will Francine feel about Bob when the first signs of rust appear at the weld points on her fence? What distinguishes a long lasting fence from a semi-temporary one can be seemingly subtle differences. It is worth it to find someone who has taken the time to know the difference between the vast varieties of products available.
Whether you’re making a kennel floor, putting a fence up in your yard or building a cage, you may have extra fence lying around and you think, what can I do with all this extra wire? Well here are some ideas.
Gabions originally were cylindrical wicker baskets filled with earth and stones used in building fortifications. You can cut to size your square or rectangle pieces of fence or wire mesh to form a box. Then use hog rings or j-clips to hold the box together. Fill in the boxes with stones and then stack them. Gabions can be used in many ways around the home, including:
- retaining walls
- outdoor fireplaces
- decorative walls around a garden or pool
- benches and seating areas around the yard
You can find more ideas for gabion use here.
Screen porch sliders and windows
Trying to keep your screens looking great is not always easy with dogs and cats around. Put your extra wire mesh up as a screen guard. This will make it harder for the animals to pull at the screen. It will ease up the constant changing of your screens - unless you have teenagers who forget their keys and decide to rip open the screen instead of pulling the cord!
Build a large trellis or a smaller portable one. Simply by using some wood posts and welded wire mesh, tee pee two panels on each side with two horizontal posts at the top for support. Some of your leftover fencing with 1"x2" mesh or bigger openings are best. Fasten it to your frames. Train the cucumbers as they grow by winding the plants up the fence. Growing your cucumbers vertically can save space for other vegetables and stop them from rotting by sitting on the ground.
With some imagination there are many things you can do with that left over wire mesh you have hanging around.
- Cat enclosures
- Trash containers
- Small garden covers
- Cubed storage shelves
- Wire mesh cabinet doors
- Stairway and deck railing fillers
What other ideas for uses can you think of?
Ever wondered how to stretch a fence to get it tight? This video shows you how to make and use a homemade fence stretcher you can use to pull your fence tight. In the video, 2"x4" galvanized welded wire mesh is being installed. But this type of stretcher can be used for all styles of woven wire fence as well. Steel stretcher bars are also available to buy, if you don't want to make your own.
It is important to have a level pull uniformly across the height of the fence to avoid distorting the mesh. The amount of tension is determined by the type of mesh. Welded wire fencing material cannot be tightened as much as woven wire meshes, such as field fence, horse fence, deer and wildlife fence.
Don't forget to bring along a helper like Little Bit!
Oh those pesky gophers! Who can forget the classic movie “Caddyshack” and Bill Murray’s ongoing battle with the varmints! It was hilarious in the movie but when it’s your yard being attacked, they don’t seem nearly as cute and cuddly. What can you do? Well, you could always try to hire Bill Murray to blow up your yard or bring in a Gopher snake or Barn Owl to eat the rascals. OR, you can take a more sensible and less dramatic approach…install gopher deterrent fence.
Sure it’s a lot of work, but if protecting your lawn, trees, shrubs and garden is important to you, then it’s worth it! Even one Gopher can cause tremendous and costly damage. And in fact, in most cases it is only one gopher terrorizing your property since they are extremely territorial and solitary animals. It just looks like there must be a whole “herd” of them from all the holes and damage.
The first step is choosing the right type of fence to use since it will have to withstand the rigors of being buried. Choosing the wrong type of fence can be a costly and very frustrating mistake. Chicken/poultry wire or aviary fence is not intended to be buried and will fail in a short period of time. Galvanized After Weld, Vinyl Coated, or Stainless Steel wire provides protection from rust and corrosion and will last for many years. Obviously, these are not the favorite choices of gophers! In terms of mesh size 1/2”x1/2” is ideal because the openings are small and stiff enough to prevent gophers from gaining access to the surface.
For protecting lawns and garden areas, the fence should be buried 2”-6”deep, covered with soil, and the sod or plants installed on top of the soil. The wire should be secured using sod staples or “U” pins placed two to three feet apart. Be careful to have tight overlaps of 4-6 inches without buckling or openings. After the gopher bumps his head a few times, he will move on to greener pastures! For above ground use, these meshes can easily be made into baskets to protect individual plantings.
Perimeter fencing can also be installed to help keep the gophers out. The fence should have small openings and the bottom of the fence should be buried 2’-3’ deep with at least 6-12” above ground to prevent gophers from burrowing underneath or invading from the surface. The buried portion of the wire should have a ninety degree bend to the outside.
For additional weapons in the war against gophers, try putting a pine scented cleaner or chili powder in the burrows. Gophers hate this!
Don’t let gophers defeat you. Take back control of your lawn and garden so you can spend time playing golf or whatever it is that you enjoy.
And, be sure to say hello to Bill for me!
You’ve Got My Goat
When my son Daniel was 11 he announced he was getting goats. “You’re doing what?” I exclaimed. We had recently moved to a house on four acres in Massachusetts. He was looking at about two acres of grass to cut and being an entreprenuer at heart, he was determined to figure out the fastest solution to getting that job done. After much discussion, we headed to Crystal Brook Farm in Sterling, MA so Daniel could apply for a job. Ann Starbard the goatherd hired him. How could she resist when he blurted out “I want to work for you and you don’t have to pay me.” That was the beginning of our life with goats and it all started with twins: Mr. Tumnus and Sherlock Holmes. Of course before he brought the goats to their new home he needed a shed and a fence to keep them in.
Then Ann gave Daniel a female goat for his birthday and no one bothered to tell me that she was pregnant! And true to many goats she had triplets: Amos and Andy and Abigail. And then there was Roo. Twelve years later we still have the original twins. Fencing them in and keeping them in has had its challenges through the years. Goats do roam and love to do it. They ate all my David Austin roses, our nice big strawberry patch, and my holly bush with the most berries ever one Christmas. We found the weirdest streaks on our truck last winter: they had been licking the salt off the truck. I came home late one afternoon to find them playing in my neighbor’s front yard. Have you ever tried to get seven full grown goats home? Without the neighbors hearing you? Not an easy feat. To a goat, the grass is always greener on the other side, especially after a New England winter.
Why fence goats in? There are two things you must accomplish with fencing in your goats:
- Keeping the goats contained so you don’t lose your roses or your neighbors or expose them to potentially harmful shrubs such as rhododendron.
- Keeping your goats safe from predators: coyote
Things to Consider:
- Type of fencing
- Land area you want to fence
- Size of your herd
- Your budget
- Do it yourself or hire someone
What are my choices for wire mesh fencing materials?
Are you thinking about getting goats? Do you already have goats in your life? Just remember one of the important things Daniel learned: A good secure fence is a necessity.