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The Fence Post

Avoiding Knockoffs

March 26, 2021 | by Joe Morrell

broken fence

A Fence that Lasts

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 Sourcing

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 reveals 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 be 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  

Reliability

Tried and true companies that have stood the test of time are always the safe bet. When a company stands behind its 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 that 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. Louis Page distributes and sells the industry’s leading brands of wire and plastic fences, mesh and netting, and other related products made in the US, Belgium, Italy, Canada, China, Mexico, and other countries.

A Few 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

Testing

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. Customers 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

Making Oyster Cages

January 29, 2021 | by Joe Morrell

Build it Yourself!

With a bit of mesh and access to a waterway, you're on your way to your own personal oyster farm. Building a cage for raising oysters is uncomplicated, as shown in this helpful video and you can rely on Louis Page for the mesh you need.

 

This galvanized vinyl-coated mesh is tough stuff and stands up to marine environments. Louis Page sources the best mesh out there--it's stable over a wide temperature range, maintaining its qualities in extremes of both hot and cold temperatures. UV inhibitors are in the vinyl to impede degradation from sunlight. The coating is also very resistant to scraping and abrasion.2018blackvinylcoated-424981-edited

 Vinyl coated welded wire mesh

  • Unbeatable durability
  • Highly rust resistant
  • Features double protection
    • Vinyl coating seals the wire from water and other corrosive elements
    • Underlying wire mesh is protected by a zinc coating

Vinyl Coated (VC) welded wire fencing and meshes are both long-lasting, attractive, and work in a variety of situations. The galvanized mesh is coated with a thick layer of PVC which is tightly bonded to the wire by a heat process. The coating is flexible and will not crack when the wire is bent.

For more on oysters, take a look at this blog detailing their great assortment of benefits. Interested in building other kinds of surrounds and cages?  Louis Page will help with that, too. As always, just call us for specific advice (866) 328-5018 and check out this helpful article to get you started.

underwateroyster

Oyster Wire

 

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Topics: welded wire mesh, vinyl coated wire, black vinyl coated, vinyl coated mesh

Protecting Trees from Rutting Bucks

November 4, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

deervelvet

Bucks Using Trees

During the rut, between late September through November, a buck is after a doe. He advertises his desire by rubbing the summer-grown velvet off his antlers, thereby leaving his scent and establishing his territory, communicating his dominance over rivals with the hope that a doe will take notice. A buck will also rub the glands of his face and underside onto trees and branches. Not only do the bucks rub the trees, but they hit the trees noisily to announce their presence. Trees take another hit as rubbing occurs in late winter as the bucks seek to shed their antlers. Little do they know that you cared about that tree.

rut tree

Damage Done

The ravages to a tree from a rutting buck will start at about a foot off the ground up to 5 feet generally and a considerable amount of destruction can happen within the first 24 hours of this assault. Girdling, rubbing the bark layer off around the circumference of the tree will ultimately kill the tree, whereas patches of rubbed-off bark will stress the tree. The tree will then set out to heal itself and will be weakened or possibly die on the side or sides of the tree that have been roughed up. Externally the tree will show a scar. Another type of damage occurs in winter when deer can be literally starving and will eat the lower parts of a tree, including its bark. This damage can vary from year to year depending on the length and severity of the winter. For a buck, nutrition is key to the growth of antlers, a sign to females of his strength and suitability for breeding. Once deer become established in an area, they'll return and it can be very difficult to rid them from your land.

Tree bark scarred by rutting bucks

Which trees are targeted?

Regrettably, a buck is just as likely to damage a young, vulnerable tree as he is a mature tree and its branches. A young tree is particularly threatened if the sapwood is exposed over the winter. As far as varieties go, there does seem to be a preference for fragrant species such as pine, elm, spruce, sassafras, and cedar. Other common saplings to protect (up to 5 inches in diameter) are birches, maples, lindens, and magnolias. Upon realization that your trees and plants have become a victim of deer damage, immediate action is required. 

Countering the Attack 

An excellent method of protection is to create cages for trees, particularly young trees.  Use 4 T posts and 5-foot tall heavy fencing to surround a tree (at least 5 feet in diameter), secured with Zip-ties. Galvanized or Vinyl coated wire fencing is tough and long-lasting: our 14 gauge mesh with 2" x 2" openings, and particularly our mesh with 2" x 4" openings would be excellent choices (and this size mesh would keep beavers out as well.) Remember that black vinyl-coated wire blends better into the environment than green. Sturdy fence wire is important--lightweight chicken wire could collapse onto the tree and damage the bark. Wrapping a tree with burlap or specially made papers for trees do not provide enough protection from a rutting buck. Deer repellents just don't do the job that good fence wire will do in protecting a growing tree.

Here's a quick overview of the concept:

 

These cages are to guard a small number of trees. To protect an orchard or a large number of trees, you are in need of a deer and wildlife fence. Fencing out rabbits and various rodents, who eat the bark off the base of your tree can be controlled by a mesh with smaller openings. Louis Page has all kinds of blogs about fencing out deer. Just do a search on our main page for a wide variety of possibilities and the aspects you are interested in or are struggling with.  

How does the tree actually suffer?

The bark on the outside of a tree can be thought of as the first line of its defense. Here is the tree's outer edge of protection from whatever elements are affecting it. Keeping moisture out, bark guards the tree against inundation but it also helps to retain moisture in periods of low precipitation or drought. Just inside this outer bark is the inner bark, a layer that manages infestations, diseases, burrowing insects, and guards the tree against cold weather as well. Just underneath this is a very crucial thin layer in which nutrients are passed through the tree. The inner cambium layer (xylem) passes nutrients and water up from the roots; the outer cambium layer (phloem) brings food through photosynthesis from the leaves down the tree, distributing sugars that aid growth and the creation of bark. Excess phloem makes the bark; the old xylem tissue makes the wood of the tree.

Here are some more videos with varying approaches to creating these cages:

 

 

Galvanized After Welded Wire Mesh\

 

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Topics: vinyl coated wire, 12.5 gauge, steel fence posts, deer and wildlife fence

Keeping Critters Out of Your Raised Beds

October 6, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

Deterring Unwanted Garden Visitors

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: 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

Gabions...More Design Ideas

August 20, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

Ready to change the landscape? 

 

Custom and Standard Orders

Welded from heavy 11 gauge wire, typical gabion mesh has 3" x 3" openings, with Galvanized After Weld mesh as the standard--protecting against rust while offering long life. In coastal or saline environments, a tough coating of PVC is recommended to offset corrosion and this, together with the galvanization, offers double protection. Also available: panels for assembling gabion baskets, with a standard set of dimensions being 3' x 3' x 6' or a larger set can be ordered in lengths of 9' and 12'.

It's very possible that your project may require a different set of specifications--gabion mesh can be customized and special ordered.

Design Possibilities

At Louis Page, we love the ingenuity applied to the design of gabions and the endless variety of uses for them, whether it's for walls, casual seating, embankments, or planters, the list goes on. The sturdiness and style make these small or great feats of engineering an enhancement to whatever surroundings they inhabit. 

Look at this planter one of our clients created:

gabion planter

Gabions are also useful for:

  • erosion control
  • bank stabilization
  • channel linings
  • weirs 

Shop Gabions

gabion drawing filled with rocks

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Topics: vinyl coated wire, gabion, galvanized after, GAW, wire gauges

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