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The Fence Post

Understanding Wire Gauges Used In Welded & Woven Wire Mesh & Fence

December 7, 2018 | by Duncan Page

micrometer measures wire gauges

 

Wire Gauge

  • What is it?
  • What does it mean?
  • How is it used to describe wire?

Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines wire gauge as any of various systems consisting of a series of standard sizes used in describing the diameter of wire.

It all starts with heavy coils of large diameter wire called rod made in a rolling mill. The rod is then shipped to a wire manufacturing mill. To make the wire used in wire fence and mesh, single strands are "drawn" through a series of increasingly smaller dies or plates and reduced to a specific gauge/diameter. The gauge is determined by the wire's final use - single strand wire, welded wire mesh or woven wire fence. Heating of the wire is not required in the drawing process.

Wire Gauges Through Time

There have been several different gauge designations since this process was introduced. Numbers have been used to designate wire diameter since 1735. They originally referred to the number of draws used in the process. The first draw was called 1 gauge, the second 2 gauge, the third 3 gauge, on down to the final draw of the thinnest wire being made. This is why thick wires have a lower gauge number than thin wires. 9 gauge wire is thicker than 14 gauge because it requires fewer "draws" than 14 gauge.

The Birmingham Wire Gauge, also known as the Stubs Iron Wire Gauge, was originally developed in early 19th-century England as a means of standardizing gauge sizes. It has been used in a medical setting (needles) since the early 20th century. In 1855, Brown and Sharpe established a formula-based progression of 39 steps - from 1 gauge through 40 gauge. This is now known as the American Wire Gauge and is used extensively in the United States.

Common Wire Gauges

The following values show in inches the most common gauges of wires used in welded and woven wire mesh and fence:

  •  8.5 gauge - 0.155 inch
  •  9 gauge - 0.1483 inch
  • 10.5 gauge - 0.128 inch
  • 11 gauge - 0.1205 inch
  • 12.5 gauge - 0.099 inch
  • 14 gauge - 0.080 inch
  • 16 gauge - 0.0625 inch
  • 18 gauge - 0.0475 inch
  • 20 gauge - 0.0348 inch
  • 21 gauge - 0.0317 inch
  • 23 gauge - 0.0258 inch
  • 27 gauge - 0.0173 inch

There are many different combinations of wire gauge and mesh size manufactured. You can select the right product for the requirements of your project.

 

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Topics: wire gauges

5 Unique Styles of Fence

November 14, 2018 | by Duncan Page

1. Wattle Fence

An Historic Perspective to a Garden Fence

Wattle fences may be one of the oldest types of fencing still in use today. They were used in England long before medieval times. Traditionally the fences are built from straight, slender, flexible suckers or saplings of the willow tree up to 1-1/2" diameter. After the leaves are stripped, the ”withies” are woven between upright wood posts. Willow is an ideal wood because it is pliable and resists splintering. Other species, such as alder, can also be used.

A Variety of Benefits and Uses

Wattle fences are very strong and long-lasting. Willow posts often take root in the ground creating a living fence, perfect for containing animals and enclosing gardens and orchards. And the density of the fence makes an ideal windbreak.

wattle fence

The rustic, handwoven appearance of a wattle fence adds an attractive defining touch to any yard, garden or landscape. Some possible uses:

  • arches
  • towers
  • trellises
  • plant supports
  • garden accents
  • hurdles or fence panels
  • attractive garden borders to line walkways

Wattle construction is a great way to use trimmings for fence building materials. Instead of burning or destroying branches, use them in a creative way to beautify and add interest to your landscaping. Even though willow is the ideal wood, any type of wood can be used.

2. Lace Fence

Having grown up in a neighborhood where the lawns flowed into one another, when some new folks moved in and put up a stark chain link fence around the perimeter of their property, the neighbors were collectively horrified. Mercifully, they grew ivy on it. 

However, a new type of fencing has been introduced by the Demakersvan design studio in Holland. Called lace fence, it is a combination of chain link fabric and the art of lace making.

lace fence

The design possibilities - from floral themes to contemporary patterns and designs - are infinite. And you can submit your own designs. With this opportunity to customize each job, every lace fence is unique. Chain link fencing, a basic functional fence, can become a decorative and attractive work of art. Imagine coming up with a theme related to the property or space you are defining.

Lace Fence can be woven from both 11 and 12-1/2 gauge wires, either galvanized or vinyl coated. The wire mesh is securely clamped to a tubular frame. There are many different types of locations - both interior and exterior - where Lace Fence is currently in use, including but not limited to:

  • barrier fences in parks and other public areas
  • interior partitions in banks, restaurants, hotels and gyms
  • railing safety mesh on stairways, decks and balconies
  • decorative panels on the facades of commercial buildings
  • safety fences on apartment buildings
  • museum displays

Photograph of Lace Fence at The Design Center at Philadelphia University is used by permission. See this blog article to see more pictures of this unique fencing. 

3. Worm Fence  

Definition:

A fence, zigzag in plan, made of rails resting across one another at an angle - according to the Random House Dictionary.

This style of fencing is also known as Snake Fence, ZigZag Fence and Battlefield Fence - the latter term due to its presence on many Civil War battlefields (see video below). Worm Fence (also known as Virginia Worm fence) has been used in America since the 1600's. Easy to build, split wood rails are stacked on each other to create the fence. The ends of the rails alternate, creating the openings. For stability of the stacked rails, each section of fence is angled from the previous one, giving the appearance of a worm or snake.

worm fence at Gettysburg

No Post Holes, Rocky Terrain bonus

No vertical posts are required to build the fence. This both eliminates the need to dig post holes and makes the fence easy to install - a particular advantage in rocky terrain. Sometimes a pair of crossed posts would be used at the junction point of each section. This would allow the fence to be closer to a straight line. With a plentiful supply of wood and ease of construction, it is easy to understand why worm fence was the most common type of fence used in America by the late 1800's. It is gaining popularity today for use as a rustic fence that will add to the appearance of a piece of property and it is used in many outdoor historical museums.

     

4. Living Snow Fence 

Strong winter winds can cause dangerous driving conditions. Not only does blowing snow dramatically reduce visibility but also treacherous drifts can accumulate across roadways and other open unprotected areas.

A Natural Windbreak

Several states have successful programs in place using living snow fence. The Iowa DOT has been developing and improving theirs for over 40 years. Living snow fencing is a natural barrier created by planting a combination of shrubs, trees, and grasses that act as a windbreak. In Iowa, rows are five feet apart and shrubs are set three feet apart within the row. Plantings are arranged so that the gaps in one row are filled by the plants in the next row.  As the speed of the wind is disrupted and decreased, snow settles among and downwind from the plantings. Research shows that drifts will form downwind 10 to 12 times the height of the trees (100 to 120 feet downwind from a 10 tree). A concentrated and closely spaced placement of trees and shrubs results in shorter and deeper drifts. When positioned properly, living snow fences can greatly reduce the amount of plowing needed to keep roads open for travel. Winter travel is safer.

living snow fence  in winterliving snow fence summe

Environmental and Aesthetic Advantages of Snow Fences

There are benefits in addition to safety when living snow fencing is used:

  • Highway beautification is enhanced with native species of plants.
  • Environmental stewardship is promoted.
  • Trees, shrubs and grasses are excellent wildlife habitat all year.
  • Living snow fences slow and reduce erosion.
  • When measured during winter months the temperature of the pavement surface in areas protected by living snow fence were higher than the surface temperature in unprotected areas. In areas with severe cold, this greatly increases the effectiveness of chemicals used to prevent icing.
  • It is no longer necessary to install and remove wood or plastic snow fence. 

5. Papercrete Fence

Ever heard of a fence made out of papercrete? What exactly is papercrete?

This video will show you how to make a 4' by 8' section of fencing - real DIY stuff, folks. A recipe follows--

Papercrete Ingredients--

  • 30 pounds of concrete
  • 18 pounds of joint compound
  • 1 pound of boric acid
  • 90 pounds of newspapers
  • Just add water and you're good to go!

But would you really want a papercrete fence around your house?

 

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Topics: vinyl coated, Wire Coating, living fence, worm fence, lace fence

Philadelphia Zoo's Revolution

November 5, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

 This month our spotlight shines on the Philadelphia Zoo

tiger

Philadelphia Zoo, America's first zoo and host to 1.2 million annual visitors now features the internationally ground-breaking and very captivating Zoo 360.

Zoo 360 is a campus-wide network of exploration trails--for animals!  Featuring elevated trails surrounded with see-through hexagonal wire mesh that allow animals to roam above, across, and around the park. Animals are able to explore, circle through and around visitors, who can see them through tunnels of galvanized mesh, creating more interest and exercise for the animals and revolutionizing the experience for visitors. This allows animals to be observed in action and doing more of what they would do in the wild.  Rather than existing in stationary exhibits--animals can wander, be more active, are less bored, which: 

  • enhances their quality of life
  • lets them travel longer distances
  • allows them to explore a variety of environments
  • links habitats, where appropriate

Some examples of these roving exhibits:

  • Treetop Trail--smaller primates can visibly walk or swing through tops of trees.                                                                                                                                                monkey 
  • Gorilla Treeway--higher places to observe and explore with an extensive area to move about.                                                                                                                gorilla 
  • Big Cat Crossing--tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards, pumas, and others are able to prowl about and get some exercise.                                                          leopard 
  • Meerkat Maze--an underground world where Meerkats can do what they do--running, digging, popping their heads out of their burrows and observing the scene above.                                                                                                                                                                             meerkat  

Here is a video that will give you a look at the latest developments at the Philadelphia Zoo.

 

And these smart folks at the zoo know that stainless steel mesh resists rust, corrosion, and stands up to harsh chemicals. They also use rust resistant vinyl coated mesh which resists destructive elements such as acid rain and guards against abrasion while the black coating works as an invisibility cloak, creating an undistracted view--much better than green and not as prone to glare as the galvanized grey. And the happy answer here is less maintenance because the galvanization is reinforced with highly bonded PVC which extends the life of the fence indefinitely. 

Now, thinking about the animals' experience...

Inside those walls of mesh--an animal's environment can be enhanced through the provision of:

  • trees with various levels for perching
  • vines
  • a variety of ground, soil and rock modifications
  • nesting and den possibilities
  • programs of positive reinforcement that stimulate cognitive abilities
  • familiar and unfamiliar scents
  • recordings of sounds that would be heard in the wild
  • food that is hidden, buried or scattered so that an effort must be made to attain it as in the wild
  • toys that would be of particular interest to a given species
  • programs where you can sponsor a specific animal and also make contributions for toys etc.                           

Progress is being made and the Philadelphia Zoo is evidence of that. We here at Louis Page applaud all this innovation and fine work!

 

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Topics: vinyl coated, Wire Mesh for Zoos, zoo, cages, wire mesh, hex mesh

Florence and After

September 20, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

An ongoing state of emergency 

 flooded homes and businesses

The Dangers are imminent

Our hearts go out to the people of North Carolina and the massive suffering that they are enduring. The dreadful personal loss, psychological trauma, and physical setbacks are monumental. It is overwhelming to think of the reconstruction and the distribution of supplies that will be necessary for the short term and ongoing. Here, a short example of their present distress: 

 

Beyond Drastic 

Farmers are devastated. The poultry industry has never seen such unprecedented losses with millions of chickens and turkeys taken by the waters as well as the numerous pork farms that have lost so much. Not only livestock, but also barns, containment structures, and equipment have been damaged and most will face enormous replacement costs. Wire mesh fencing will be a necessity for many farms and parks--both state and federal. For farmers, this will be a watershed (no pun intended) moment as they consider whether to stay in business. Erosion along the coast will require sand fencing and costly structural safeguards. Overall damage estimates may run to 22 billion dollars, and that is probably lowballing it.

A Future

Let's get these people to Thanksgiving Day--that they'll have something to give thanks for, as our country and each of us individually reflects now on the measures to be taken in helping these folks just survive and then rebuild. Interestingly, sending supplies can be more disruptive than helpful, forcing people on the ground to receive, organize, house, and spend time apportioning the goods. Regrettably, what is sent often misses the mark. Sending cash to trusted aid organizations is best for the most part. At Louis Page, we are doing what we can to give assistance with these efforts. 

 

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Topics: hex mesh, vinyl coated

Platform Tennis

August 14, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

 

 

Platform Tennis Court--Mesh

 

Mesh: a centerpiece of the game

The screens that surround your Platform Tennis (or paddle tennis if you prefer) court are relied upon unceasingly as the ball remains in play. These walls of mesh can take a beating during play, also from the elements, and from ordinary wear and tear. Now there is a superior mesh on the market all over the U.S. (and indeed, internationally) that sets the bar high for the overall resiliency and longevity of a platform tennis court.

Cause for concern

However, products are flooding the market, in particular, the mass-produced Chinese sources that may be adequate in the short run, but may not stand up in the long haul. Proper galvanization, the tensile strength of the wire and its accurate diameter, and specification of the mesh size are all essential for optimal performance of the game. As the ball hits and bounces off the screen in umpteen directions, the reliability of mesh is key in the moment-to-moment strategizing of the game.

And here we have answers

It is vital that as a court ages, that the durability of the mesh can stand the test of time as the court is exposed to the elements and daily use. In the past, the galvanized wire cloth used for the screens of our courts were machined by Gilbert & Bennett from Georgetown, Connecticut, a company that had made all the wire cloth in the country. The company's closing in 1989 left a void in sourcing mesh for the paddle tennis industry and thus the search was on for an equivalent manufacturer. Regrettably, this is when poultry netting produced in China appeared on the scene as the worldwide hunt for a source ensued. Thankfully, a steel wire company in Belgium named Betafence emerged and became the manufacturer until a few years ago.

From Belgium to Bogota

With map in hand, we now travel to a small town near Bogota, Colombia named Cajica, where a factory exists that carries on this tradition of creating the finest platform tennis mesh. The identical state-of-the-art machinery, that Betafence has maintained for 28 years, has made the voyage to Cajica and the company Andimallas y Andimetales S.A. has now been established, producing a mesh of that same high quality.

hexa factory

It's in the details...

The installation of these machines was carried out by the same technicians that had been involved in Belgium for generations so that the quality, standards, and specifications have been maintained scrupulously. There are huge advantages of working with this type of mesh: it is smoother, easier to install and it can also be tensioned to have exactly the same rigidity as the galvanized after weave mesh, and the galvanization is stronger than the other galvanization system--240 grms-zinc/m2. Rolls are 16 gauge, 1” mesh, 72” x 157.5’ and weigh 296 lbs. 

Winning Team

The mesh is known as "Hexa Sport" and Louis Page has exclusive rights to supply and distribute this mesh for the American market. Louis Page is excited to be teamed with the international company Andimallas y Andimetales S.A., a specialist in the production of hexagonal mesh and we endeavor to supply and rejuvenate Platform Tennis courts across the nation. With 125 years in the business, Louis Page stands front and center in its commitment to delivering the finest in mesh and fence products available. With your game hanging in the balance, here is a resilient mesh that will keep that ball in play.

Rolls are in stock and large orders (40 rolls/container) are made to order.

 

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Topics: 16 gauge, hex netting, platfrom tennis, paddle tennis, 1" mesh

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