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The Fence Post

How Do You Make Art Out Of Chicken Wire?

October 1, 2012 | by Duncan Page

A Statue Made with Chicken Wire? Yes.

There are many different uses for chicken wire. It is much more versatile than you might expect.

A unique use is shaping the hexagonal netting into pieces of sculpture. Ivan Lovatt, a sculptor from Australia, has created an amazing collection of artwork. Using galvanized chicken wire he has made representations of both people and wildlife. A bust of John Lennon? Bring it on. The small light gauge mesh allows him to bend, fold, crease and cut the wire mesh into its final shape. The result is an amazingly life-like rendition. Take a look at this video and see what you think.

Abounding with Possible Applications

The most common specifications of chicken wire available are made using 20 gauge wire woven into 1" or 2" hexagonal mesh. Other types available are 1/2" x 22 gauge, 1" x 18 gauge and 1-1/2 x 17 gauge.

Finishes available are: galvanized before weave (GBW), galvanized after weave (GAW), PVC vinyl coated (VC) and stainless steel. Not all specifications are available in all finishes.

This fencing material is ideal for use around the home, farm, and in industrial applications - any place where a lighter weight mesh can be used. Conventional uses include:

  • deer fence
  • craft projects
  • stucco netting
  • window guards
  • game bird flight pens
  • garden perimeter fence
  • tree and shrub protection
  • holding insulation in place
  • exclusion barriers for birds
  • chicken runs and poultry houses
  • trellis for climbing plants & flowers
  • backing mesh for post and rail fence
  • framework for sculpture and float decorations

Not just for chickens anymore--

How many different ways can you think of to use chicken wire? Have you tried using it that way?


Duncan PageDuncan Page signature

 P.S. See the finished bust of John Lennon here.

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Topics: hex netting, galvanized, vinyl coated

Fences For Your Garden

February 16, 2011 | by Duncan Page

garden with surrounding fence

About your garden and what goes around it...

Will you build a new garden fence this year?

Do you wonder what kind of fences will work well in your garden?

There are several different types of fences available that are excellent for gardens.

Welded Wire Fences

--offer the most choices. Available in  a wide variety of:

  • gauges - 16, 14 and 12.5
  • mesh sizes - 1/2" x 1/2", 1/2" x 1", 1" x 1", 1" x 2", 2" x 2" and 2" x 4"
  • finishes - galvanized before weld (GBW), galvanized after weld (GAW) and vinyl coated (VC)

In addition to the standard specifications listed above, there are other styles of fences that are designed for use in and around the garden. Some of these have smaller mesh openings at the bottom of the fence to keep out small animals.

Hexagonal Netting Fences

Lighter in weight than welded wire products.

  • gauges - 20 and 18 gauges
  • mesh sizes - 1" and 2"
  • finishes - GBW, GAW, and VC
There are vinyl coated rolls available in extra tall heights of 84" and 90". The black vinyl coated fences are most effective. And the black wire blends with the background becoming virtually invisible. When used as deer fence the black color discourages deer from jumping.
deer in thicket
Deer Fences
Designed specifically to prevent deer from entering an area and eating trees, plants, and shrubs.
  • gauges - 14.5 and 12.5
  • mesh sizes - 1" x 6" through 7" x 12"
  • finishes - galvanized, zinc/aluminum and black-painted
These are the heavier gauge woven fences that feature graduated openings between horizontal wires. The openings at the bottom of the fence are smaller to prevent small animals from entering the garden. All styles are rust and corrosion resistant.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Apron Fences

--have a 12" apron at the bottom of the roll. Lay this on top of the ground to form a barrier. Animals cannot dig under the fence and enter your garden.

  • gauge - 17
  • mesh size - 1-1/2"
  • finishes - GBW and VC

These fences are labor savers. There is no need to dig a trench and bury the wire. Vegetation grows up through the apron, securely attaching it to the ground. The animals trying to dig into your garden will not realize that they must start their digging 12" away from the fence.

What kinds of fences have you used to protect your garden?

Are you considering all the different types of fences that are available before making your choice?

Do you prefer one type over another?

Duncan Page signatureDuncan Page picture
Lawn and Garden Fence
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Topics: fence, garden fence, hex netting, welded wire fence

Heavy Chicken Wire Fence

February 4, 2011 | by Duncan Page

heavy chicken wire fence

Very Strong Stuff

Have you ever needed a truly heavy gauge chicken wire?

Does the 20 gauge galvanized before weave (GBW) chicken wire fence you buy leave you wishing for something stronger?

Are you frustrated by how quickly GBW hex mesh rusts and needs to be replaced?

There's an alternative:

18 gauge, 1" hexagonal mesh, galv after weave chicken wire fence

Made by Keystone Steel and Wire in Peoria, Illinois, this "saltwater netting" is woven from heavy 18 gauge wire. 18 gauge wire is more than 30% heavier than the 20 gauge chicken wire available in your local retail store. After the wire is woven into a 1" hexagonal mesh, it is passed through a bath of molten zinc. It emerges with a thick, durable rust and corrosion resistant galvanized after weave (GAW) finish. The wires are thoroughly coated, including the twisted areas that tend to hold moisture.

Heavy chicken wire fence is available in 150' rolls. Widths are 36", 48" and 72". This mesh, designed for use in salt water, will last for many, many years.

Use this for:

  • poultry runs
  • garden fence
  • game bird pens
  • saltwater applications, such as crab pots

18 gauge heavy hex wire is a great option and if you want a chicken wire fence that will withstand the test of time, consider this product.

And the benefits:

  • Initial higher cost is offset by the longer lifetime of the wire.
  • Stronger, heavier wire will stand up longer to normal wear and tear.
  • Frequency of repair and replacement is reduced.
  • Heavy galvanization assures robust protection against rust and corrosion.

Have you ever had the opportunity to try GAW chicken wire fence?

Do you think it makes sense to pay more initially to avoid the cost and labor of repair and replacement?


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Topics: hex netting, galvanized after

Chicken Wire Fabrication - Video

January 26, 2011 | by Duncan Page

Chicken wire is actually a woven wire mesh (aka poultry netting or hexagonal netting.) 

The video below shows how chicken wire mesh is woven. You can see how the wires are twisted together to make the hexagonal opening.


A continuous weave makes a difference.

This particular machine is weaving mesh used in making Gabions. Although the mesh is larger (3") and the wires used are heavier (11 gauge and heavier) than the chicken wire you can buy at your local store, the manufacturing process is similar.

There is one difference. This machine is doing continuous weave -  the twisted wires run in the same direction the entire length of the twist. Chicken wire available in stores is made with a reverse twist - the twist switches direction (reverses itself) half way through the length of the twist. Continuous weave is inherently stronger than reverse twist. Good to know.

Is this the first time you have seen a loom weaving chicken wire?

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Topics: woven wire, hex netting

How To Build A Chicken Wire Pen - video

January 15, 2011 | by Duncan Page


A Brand New Chicken Run

This video shows you one way of building a chicken wire run.


Chicken wire: Handy tips  

Economical, Good-Looking, and Lasting

You can use black vinyl coated 1" hexagonal chicken wire for the added benefits of a longer lasting product--reducing the cost, frequency and hassle of replacement--plus a more attractive pen. The black coating of the wire makes the fence virtually invisible. You can see your birds through the fence more easily.

Do you have other ideas or suggestions about building a chicken run using chicken wire?

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Topics: hex netting, black vinyl coated, galv after

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