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The Fence Post

Why Choose Stainless Steel?

July 9, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

Stainless steel sculpture

Stainless Steel: Incomparable Durability 

In the long run, stainless steel is an economical choice. Seemingly more expensive at the outset; however, its longevity makes it an excellent buy.

The Benefits of Stainless Steel:

Environmental: stainless steel is 100% recyclable.

Aesthetic: it features an attractive, bright appearance.

Temperature: from high to subzero, stainless steel maintains its properties, strength, and effectiveness.

Safe: Stainless steel is not hazardous to health.

Hygienic: it's easy to clean and sterilize.

Economic: requires less maintenance and replacement.

And doesn't need a potentially polluting surface coating. 

What is it made of?

  • Iron
  • Chromium
  • Manganese
  • Carbon
  • and in some cases nickel and molybdenum.

Chromium is key in bonding with these to create a protective surface film. 10.5% chromium is required to be considered stainless steel. The surface barrier created blocks water and oxygen from getting underneath, which in turn facilitates the protection of its iron  foundation and enables its notable stain resistance. A few atomic layers of this barrier is enough to maintain the whole--we're talkin' a wavelength of light in thickness--so really thin and visually undetectable without significant magnification.

stainless steel welded wire mesh fence

Commonly, there are two main classifications.

Type 304--most common, with great corrosion resistance; affordable, appropriate to household appliances and forms well. 304 has more chromium than 316. 

Type 316--the presence of molybdenum increases anti-corrosion capacity and high heat stability. This takes things up a notch and is crucial for marine environments, refineries, and medical devices. It is used in situations where extreme hardness is required. Fence or mesh used in a coastal or saltwater environment requires 316, also in areas of air pollution, deicing salt, and volcanic activity. 316 also contains more nickel than 304.

  • The difference between 304 and 316 is not detectable with the naked eye.                                                                                         
  • A material test report is something to look for when buying and questioning the grade of stainless steel. 

Stainless and Fencing

When thinking about a fence, the main reason to go stainless is for long life. It repels corrosion and the toughness of stainless steel offsets the initial cost promising less repair and replacement. Unsightly rust is eliminated or delayed. Its properties are indispensable in keeping a business or residence looking sharp and its longevity doesn't waste resources.

 

 

 

Shop Stainless Steel

 

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Topics: stainless steel, 1/2x1/2, 1/4x/1/4, 23 gauge

The Cultivated Oyster

May 7, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

oysters on ice in a wooden box

Oyster Farmers: Man your Cages 

Painstaking methods and ongoing research are required in the process of bringing this coastal crop to our tables. Oysters are luxuriant in the minerals they contain while offering us bountiful nutrition and culinary joy. Unfortunately, oysters have been under attack in the past few hundred years and the current restoration of oyster reefs all along America's coastline is providing some protection for the humble mollusk, which in turn will protect us.

Oysters and Nutrition

A single medium-sized raw oyster contains roughly 5 grams of high quality and complete protein, as well as these life-saving and life-enhancing vitamins and nutrients:

Zinc--the humble oyster is brimming with the stuff. Zinc is important for cell division and is responsible for the function of red and white blood cells in our bodies. It is indispensable for physical performance, energy levels, body composition and maintaining ideal hormone levels. Zinc is also an antioxidant--busy stabilizing stress levels and fighting aging. Low levels of zinc are known to cause reduced libido and infertility.

Potassium--occurs in high levels in oysters: it helps lower blood pressure, relax blood vessels, and provide good cholesterol.

Vitamin D--essential for absorbing calcium and promoting bone growth. Low vitamin D is associated with breast, colon and prostate cancers, heart disease, depression, and weight gain.

Vitamin E--aids in making cellular membranes strong and flexible.

Vitamin B12--oysters are an excellent source. B12 regulates metabolism and formation of red blood cells while maintaining the central nervous system, brain health, and development.

Iron--the main component of hemoglobin, which is a protein that carries oxygen in the blood. Iron is crucial to red blood cell production and therefore to vitality. In its fight against anemia, iron stimulates the nervous system, supporting muscles and energy levels, cognitive function, and stomach health.

Copper--regulates iron, ensures appropriate enzymatic reactions, enhances the health of connective tissues, hair, and eyes. It regulates heart rhythm, balances thyroid levels, enhances red blood cell production, and reduces cholesterol. Amino acids and vitamins are metabolized by copper. The body does not manufacture it and therefore must be added through diet. Consult an oyster.

Manganese--a powerful antioxidant. Creates essential enzymes for building bone, maintaining bone structure, and bone metabolism. Assists in the formation of connective tissues and absorption of calcium while regulating sex hormones, healthy blood sugar levels, and the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.

Selenium--an antioxidant, a catalyst for active thyroid hormone production, necessary for sperm motility, may prevent miscarriage and is thought to be a mood stabilizer. Healthy levels are linked to reduced cancer and heart disease risk.

Yet as always, consume oysters in moderation as they are so vitamin rich, they can result in mineral overdose, and always buy them from reputable sources. Consume oysters as a preventative and not as a medical treatment, especially in the case of established heart disease. And the martini you might add to the mix? Well...life has its trade-offs. 

Methods of Cultivation

One of the most common methods of cultivation is cage-raised oysters. Many of our favorites, indeed a majority, are bred this way. Fortunately, shell-fish farms are high on the list of sustainable methods of farming--pleasing environmentalists and purveyors. Some methods of cultivation are rack and bag, tray, floating and buoy suspension. 

Cage-raised Oysters cultivated above the bottom of a bay are:

  • kept cleaner
  • protected from predators
  • thinner-shelled oysters
  • resulting in better yields
  • sometimes mixed in their cultivation--cage-raised above, then transferred to the bottom of the bay toward the end of their development--creating stronger shells   

Oysters raised on the bottom of the ocean floor are:

  • similar to how oysters grow in the wild
  • stronger shelled
  • vulnerable to mother nature
    • oysters may suffocate under the bottom of the bay
    • suffer attack by predators, such as the oyster drill or the New England dog whelk, commonly found in intertidal areas of Rhode Island
    • frozen in ice and taken out to sea

Methods used to raise oysters on the bottom of the ocean are many and may depend on geography--beach versus bay, local regulations, predators, and weather. Louis Page will stock your enterprise with a variety of necessities, be it 12.5 gauge galvanized after, 14 or 16 gauge vinyl coated wire mesh in 3/4" x 3/4', 1" x 1", 1.5" x 1.5" openings or hardware cloth which comes in 1/2" x 1/2" and 1/4" x 1/4". The wire mesh heights typically used by the oyster industry range from 12" to 48".

Learn from a farmer in action:

 

Cleaning and Maintaining the Environment

One adult oyster filters 30 to 50 gallons of water every day. Pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon dioxide are filtered from coastal waters by oysters, rendering them clearer and cleaner. The presence of oysters helps to control algae as they build up ecosystems by attracting various types of sea life. A keystone species is central to keeping an ecosystem functioning and as such, oysters are relied upon by other species in maintaining biodiversity along coastlines and in estuaries.

The Mollusk That Fed New York

350 square miles of Oyster Reefs. In the 1600s, that was the approximate number of oyster reefs occupying the waters around the city of New York. Oysters were plentiful and by the 1800s oyster carts were the hot dog stands of the day. At the time, half of the world's oyster population was found in that area. 85% of oyster reefs have disappeared around the world in the last 100 years, due to higher ocean acidity, over-harvesting, and disease. By the early 1900s, the oysters were gone, eaten. Wouldn't you know it, these reefs control erosion and act as buffers from high waves during storms; hence, major cities are protected by them. Oyster reefs act in a sponge-like way, drawing the energy out of passing waves and are actually more effective and inexpensive than steel walls and wooden bulkheads, which increase sand erosion ahead of these artificial structures.

Military and environmental groups are working together to plant miles of oyster reefs along the coastline of New Jersey, which has suffered much storm damage in recent years. Other reefs are being built along the East Coast as far south as Florida. Amazingly, every coastal state in the U.S. is using oyster reefs for the buffering of storms and/or water amelioration. As they struggle to survive, it is best to leave these wild oysters and their reefs to their important work, and rely on farmed oysters for consumption. 

oysters on the half shell

Growing Hope                                                                                                                                           There is a project afoot to rebuild the oyster reefs around the New York Harbor in the next twenty years. The Billion Oyster Project sets its sights on building 100 acres of oyster reefs which will become home to a billion oysters by 2035. Oyster larvae, known as spat, naturally attach to oyster shells and after many generations, build up the reef. Based on the success of a scheme in the Chesapeake, restaurants are returning oyster shells so that after curing for an extended time, they are put back onto the reefs that are being rebuilt.      

Louis Page is committed to sourcing and delivering the finest fence and mesh available to do the rugged and exacting work of cultivating oysters. You can be assured that the products we sell are the best-engineered on the market today. 

 

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Topics: hardware cloth, GAW, vinyl coated, 3/4x3/4, 1x1, 16 gauge, 1.5x1.5, 1/2x1/2, 14 gauge, galv after, 12.5 gauge

Gopher vs. Fence Materials - What Is The Best Defense?

March 16, 2013 | by Rick Hoffman


Gopher in hole with Bill Murray from film Caddyshack

The Battle with the Wee Beasties

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.

 

gopher pest control

 

Fighting Gophers, Corrosion, and Rust

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” x 1/2” 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

Another option to help keep the gophers out is the installation of perimeter fencing.  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.

To Conclude

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!

Rick signature  Rick VP sales Louis E. Page, Inc.

 

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Topics: gopher fence, stainless steel, galvanized after, vinyl coated, 1/2x1/2

Vinyl Coated Welded Wire Mesh vs. Skunk - Which Will Win?

March 6, 2013 | by Josh Lane

The Skunk Under My Shed 

skunk in grass

A Certain Presence 

I have to think twice before taking the garbage out at night or going to find something in the shed after dark. When I go from car to house or house to car after dark, I move quickly with eyes scanning the ground for a fluffy shadow or set of eyes twinkling in the moonlight. My dwelling is terrorized by a skunk that wages a putrid form of guerrilla warfare against my household. It has made its home under our shed and I am loath to engage it in battle. It has to go. We can’t stand the thought of more summer evenings spoiled by the threat of an altercation with the hostiles. The question is: how does one get rid of a skunk?

Rumored Methods

Modern life offers a lot of very easy solutions to problems that were confounding to earlier generations. Unfortunately, there is no “easy button” for skunk removal. Unless I am willing to damage the shed (what I’m calling the tip and run method), the animal (poison), or both (flooding/burning) I don’t know how to avoid the physical act of removing the animal. There are some tips on how to get rid of them, but the ones that don’t risk an encounter with the skunk, seem not to work. For example, I read that putting a dirty sock by their entrance would make them move their home. This is untrue. I put a post-basketball sock out there and if this sock wasn’t dirty enough, we might be better off with the skunks than a dirtier sock. I waited a few days hoping that the skunk's repeated encounters with the sock would send it packing, but alas, the skunk remains.

skunk markings

Chatting with a Professional

As may already be apparent from this post, I have an intense fear of being sprayed by a skunk. Generally, I like do-it-yourself projects, but I think for the removal phase of this project I will have to turn to a professional. I spoke to a Louis Page customer, Erik from Needham/Woburn Pest Control, about how to keep the critters out from under the shed once they are extracted. He recommended the following labor intense, but straightforward solution.         

  1. Dig a trench around the shed 12” deep and 12”-18” wide extending away from the base of the shed.
  2. Using ½" x ½" welded wire mesh, 36” wide, staple the top edge to the base of the shed with galvanized staples.
  3. Lay the remaining 30 or so inches into the trench to cover 12” inches down and 18” out.
  4. Backfill the trench and voilà! Skunk proof!

Since the mesh will be underground, I’ll need to be sure that it is resistant to rust and corrosion. Galvanized after weld offers good protection, but something black vinyl coated would be even better and the small amount of exposed wire mesh around the base of the shed will look much better over time if it does not rust. Also, the black color will be virtually invisible. This is really not something I want to do twice.

That’s the plan I think. Onward and upward. And certainly, your ideas are always appreciated!

Josh Lane signature    Josh Lane

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Topics: welded wire mesh, vinyl coated wire, galvanized after, 1/2x1/2

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