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The Fence Post

Avoiding Knockoffs

March 26, 2021 | by Joe Morrell

broken-fence

All Gloss, No Glory

It's often electronics, sneakers, or designer gear, such as purses and clothing, when we hear about knockoffs or counterfeit goods. If there's a product, there's a knockoff. Seeking too-cheap-to-be-true goods have the pretense of high performance or exclusivity with an inexpensive price tag. Fence wire is not immune. However, with fence materials, toughness and longevity are foremost in our minds as consumers, compared to the passing fancies of designer goods. We expect a fence to stand up to various strains, and depending on the design, to last 25 to 50 years. Deficient materials and shabby construction will simply not stand up to:

  • Corrosion
  • The elements
  • Physical abrasion

Dubious Supply Chains

Internet shopping has accentuated this phenomenon, creating the possibility of a vast marketplace of readily available second-rate goods. Low-quality merchandise may look shiny out of the box or on the shelf at the store, but hides a negligent system of manufacture. At the outset, these goods appear solid, but their quality readily reveal inferior grades of steel, subpar zinc coatings, and poor quality PVC coatings. A history of weak labor laws, using exploited laborers, and the desperation for fast cash contribute to poorly-crafted goods; and regrettably, the backdrop of these companies may he hiding their participation in the use of child labor, human trafficking, organized crime, and even sponsors of terrorism. It requires a savvy consumer to discern value and avoid being suckered into such purchases. Even realistic product reviews may not be authentic and are not necessarily to be trusted. The purveyors of cheap imitations have also cunningly copied methods of advertising to distribute this shoddy and all-too-commonplace merchandise. 

online shopping  

Protect Yourself

Tried and true companies that have stood the test of time are always the safe bet. When a company stands behind their products, has a track record for integrity and high standards right up the supply chain, you are in safe hands. You want a provider of goods that you can trust, accurately boasting well-sourced products and a history of sound business practices. 

Founded in 1893, Louis Page Inc. has stood the test of time. It is a 100% woman-owned business and boasts a large and diverse customer base which includes all 50 states and several foreign countries. This customer base includes fence companies, contractors, government entities, construction companies, manufacturers, landscapers, nurseries, energy producers, architects, wildlife management companies, pest control companies, zoos, beagle trainers, duck farms, farms, ranches,  orchards, homeowners, and many more. The company distributes and sells the industry’s leading brands of wire and plastic fence, mesh and netting and other related products made in the US, Belgium, Italy, Canada, China, Mexico, and other countries.

Some Examples

Class 3 Galvanized Mesh--When it comes to coatings, you don't want to mess around with substandard issues. Class 1 wire coating uses 0.28 ounces of zinc per square foot, whereas Class 3 uses a thicker coating of 0.80 ounces per square foot. It costs slightly more than Class 1, but is much stronger and will last anywhere from 13 to 30 years before it rusts, making it well worth the investment.

galvanized_wire_roll-resized-600

Vinyl Coated - Also called PVC or UPVC coating, vinyl is the strongest wire coating of all when it comes to standing up against the elements. A thick, flexible PVC layer is added to the Class 3 galvanized wire. That way, not only is it rust resistant, it also stands up to extreme temperatures, as well as UV rays and even physical abrasions against the fence. Plus, its unique flexibility means it won’t crack when the wire is bent. The coating is so tightly bonded that it resists scraping. It cannot be easily scraped off with a fingernail and will not peel off easily. Generally available in either black or green, vinyl is the strongest, most durable, longest lasting wire coating you can buy.

Hardware Cloth - known also as industrial wire cloth. This can be difficult to find and purchase. The mesh sizes available range from 1 mesh (1") down to 100 mesh (100 openings per inch). Wire diameters used in these products range from .331 inch ( gauge) down to .003 inch ( gauge). Finer meshes from 120 down to 500 openings per inch are also available. The wire diameters used are .0037 ( gauge) to .001 ( gauge). These specifications are often called filter cloth or fine mesh wire cloth. In addition to regular steel, these specialized meshes can be made with any kind of metal that can be drawn into wire, including stainless steel, brass, bronze, aluminum, and copper. Louis Page can help you track down the real McCoy for your particular needs. 

Hardware Cloth 2

Making the Grade

UL (Underwriters Laboratory) is a company that evaluates wire and cable products under more than 70 different product categories, using more than 30 Standards for Safety. Their Verification programs cover safety, performance, quality assurance, unannounced factory follow-up inspection and follow-up testing at UL. Their program helps consumers, distributors, and manufacturers identify wire and cabling products that meet nationally recognized safety requirements as well as industry specifications for performance and quality. Users rely on the safety of products that carry the UL Mark.

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panel

 

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Topics: hardware cloth, vinyl coated wire, galvanized after

Protection from Coyotes

January 11, 2021 | by Joe Morrell

Coyote Makes a Quick Exit 

 

As more undeveloped land is taken for housing lots and commercial areas, the natural habitat for wildlife gets increasingly restricted. Sightings of animals such as coyotes and deer are more frequent. Coyotes have adapted to the modern landscape in unique ways, especially now with their main predators such as wolves out of the way. Generally content to stay out of sight, a hungry coyote may make an appearance. They are resilient and their numbers are increasing in some areas despite efforts to control them. Closer at hand than one realizes, they create dens in forested areas, parks, and greenbelts; however, coyote attacks are actually rare and often linked to being fed by humans.

coyote head in profile with snow in background

Coyotes are powerful and stealthy, yet there are strategies for avoiding dangerous interactions with them. If the presence of coyotes is an issue in your area and cause for concern, one of the best ways to stay safe is to build a wire fence. To protect against coyotes, it is best to use a six to eight-foot height. You can either bury 12 inches in the ground or bend it so it lays on top of the ground to the outside of the enclosure as an apron. This will discourage digging.

There are many choices of welded wire fencing and woven wire fencing meshes available:

Welded wire fencing - Galvanized Before Weld (GBW), Galvanized After Weld (GAW) and Vinyl Coated (VC) 

  • 14 gauge, 1" x 2" and 2" x 4" mesh
  • 12.5 gauge, 2" x 4" mesh
Woven wire fencing 

Here is an in-depth report on the increase and behavior of coyotes in cities and suburbs:

Welded Wire Mesh

For more about fencing out coyotes and other potentially aggressive animals, check out this blog.

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Topics: welded wire mesh, galvanized after, galvanized before, deer and wildlife fence, vinyl coated mesh

Keeping Critters Out of Your Raised Beds

October 6, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

At Louis Page, we love tips that guard the time and effort we put into our gardens. 

 

And! If you've got some leftover mesh hanging around, don't toss it. Here's a blog with ideas on how to use it.

Hardware cloth is small welded wire mesh that can be used for a variety of projects at your place of business and at home. Find it in galvanized after weld or a very long-lasting vinyl-coated finish. Stainless steel hardware cloth is even tougher and also available.

Hardware Cloth

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Topics: welded wire mesh, vinyl coated wire, stainless steel, galvanized after

A Cage for Your Rabbit

March 27, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

Cage Ideas for a Healthy Bunny 3 bunnies in welded wire cage

Creating a Space Using Wire Mesh

Your bunny's health depends on sturdy galvanized wire mesh. The right gauge and openings are critical for airflow, hygiene, and the safety of bunny's paws and more. To begin, the cage should be at least 4 times the size of your bunny. Two feet by three feet for a bunny that weighs up to eight pounds; for larger bunnies, cages should be two and a half feet by three feet at least.  The height of the cage should be ample enough so that your pet can stand up on its hind legs and stretch out. 

Recommended for sides and top of cage: 14 gauge, 2" x 1" galvanized wire mesh

An Unsavory Truth

A big drawback for your pet's health is the flooring materials. Waste and urine contamination of flooring materials, particularly a pen using straw, is a poisonous combination for your bunny. Prolonged interaction with pellets and urine can bring difficulties such as parasites and the resulting ammonia and contact with puddling urine is toxic. 

Flooring: Good Options

It seems that a mix of flooring is the best option, though studies show that bunnies seem to prefer clean and dry wire, spending most of their time on the wire mesh part of the cage. Therefore, a section of the cage's floor should be plexiglas (or another surface that can't be chewed) and the other half wire mesh so waste pellets can drop through. Do not be misled to think that these docile creatures are easy to keep and can simply stay in their cages. Your rabbit needs out-of-cage time or its muscles will atrophy. The best times to target outside or house play is when bunny is most naturally active--in the early morning and at dusk.  

Bunnies that stay in their cages too long suffer from:
  • their feet becoming inflamed
  • thinning of bones which means they are broken more easily
  • a weakened heart, and as a result, poor muscle tone
  • difficulties with urination and difficulty defecating
  • troubling behaviors--chewing the cage, lethargy, chewing its own fur, becoming aggressive

Recommended for flooring: 14 gauge (or 16 gauge for smaller breeds), 1/2" x 1" galvanized wire mesh

Practical Concerns

It is very important to consider the wider needs of your pet rabbit. In a natural habitat, much of a bunny's day is spent in retreat in a burrow underground. Hence, for a domesticated rabbit, security is a priority and quite rightly, this is something that is up to you to provide consistently. During out-of-cage time, if you let your bunny roam in an enclosed space outside, make sure that there is protection from predators as just the approach of a strange animal can overwhelm a bunny that has no means of escape, with the ensuing panic possibly causing a heart attack. 

Rabbits on grass with wire cage surround 

Galv After Welded Wire Mesh

 

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Topics: welded wire mesh, galvanized after, rabbit wire

Denmark is Building a Fence

February 28, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

Free-Range Invader: African Swine Fever

Pig snout through fence boards

Denmark has recently completed a 43 mile-long fence in hopes to block the spread of African Swine Fever by wild boar traveling from Germany into Denmark. Though not reportedly in Germany, the disease (commonly known as ASF) is present in neighboring Poland and that is reason enough to for Denmark to protect its lucrative pork exports by building a five foot high fence to keep feral pigs at bay. 

For Swine Only

ASF is a contagious and deadly virus affecting domestic & feral pigs. This is primarily for farmers to worry about, not the general human population. This is a virus that is a threat to pigs only, and comes with wide-ranging concerns, however:

  • It is not considered a public health threat.
  • It is not able to be passed from a pig or from pork products to a human--only hog to hog.
  • It is not a food safety concern.
  • It is not a concern to livestock or other non-swine pets. 

International Attention

America and Canada can breathe a sigh for now. It is not found in these two countries--yet. Countries where it is found: Sub-Saharan Africa, China, Mongolia, Vietnam and some countries in Europe including Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belgium, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. Czech Republic is free of the virus; however, it is found in nearby Slovakia. Other countries, such as Spain and France have had it in the past but have currently eradicated it.

black wild boar on grass field  

And how much of a threat?

Among pigs, deadly. In virulent strains, pigs may get a high fever, then suffer appetite loss and appear lethargic. They may huddle together, shiver, cough, breathing abnormally. They can appear unsteady on their legs and after a few days fall into a coma and die. Scientists have predicted that it may affect a quarter of the world's population of pigs.   

The prognosis for a cure... 

Presently, there is no vaccine available to combat the virus. There has been a concerted effort to fight the spread in a multi-tiered effort among veterinarians, researchers, university agricultural programs as well as from very motivated pork producers. 

Containment and Critics

In the U.S., the pork industry provides over 500,000 jobs and represents a 20 billion dollar-a-year industry. For Canada, the pork industry sustains 100,000 jobs and a 4 billion dollar industry. There are are stringent agreements with the U.S. and Canada to relay information, to zone and contain an outbreak should it occur. Restraining this virus is a priority; presently, feral hogs number 6.5 million across the U.S. and are also found in four Canadian provinces.  

Denmark's fence has come under criticism by some skeptical of its effectiveness and some are worried about blocking migratory routes of animals and birds, such as golden jackals, cranes, deer, foxes, otters, and wolves. Roads and railroad crossings have been left open offering a means by which the boars can pass.  

Black Pig at Fence

 

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Topics: wire mesh, galvanized after

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