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The Fence Post

Everything You Need to Know About Wire Gauges Used In Welded & Woven Wire Mesh & Fence

July 14, 2017 | by Debbie Page

 Wire Gauges, Numbers, and Numbers into Inches
 
Here is everything you need to know about the wire gauges used in welded and woven wire mesh fences. We cover what a wire gauge is, what do the different numbers mean and even provide a handy chart converting gauge numbers into inches.
 
Micrometer for meauring wire for welded wire fencing (Source: Britannica)

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.

The Rolling Mill

The process 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. Here is a photo from a Riverdale Mill, one of the mills in the United States that supplies welded wire for us.

Welded WIre Fence Producer for Louis Page

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.

Birmingham Wire Gauge

Stubs Wire Gauge for welded wire fencing source wikipedia

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.

Most 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: welded wire mesh, welded wire, welded wire fence, wire gauges

What Fence Wire Gauge is Right for Me?

June 9, 2017 | by Debbie Page

Fence Wire Gauges: the Basics

The most important thing you need to know about welded wire fence wire gauge is:

  • a lower gauge number equals a thicker wire
lower gauge # = thicker wire

 

When considering a new fence--determine how the fence is going to be used over time. Some important fence project questions to consider include:

  • Are large animals going to be running up against the fence?
  • What is the location of the fence?
  • How high does the fence need to be?
  • How far apart will the fence posts be located?
  • How long do I want the fence to last?

This is a short list of questions to consider when planning a fence project. Choosing the right wire gauge will give you the strength and durability you want. In addition to wire gauge, we recommend considering:

   1. Wire type

   2. Mesh opening

   3. Fence height

If you want a stronger and more durable welded wire fence then you need to choose 11 over 27. Louis Page sells fencing in 11 - 27 wire gauges. Keep in mind, choosing the right wire gauge really depends on your project-- stronger isn't always better. Welded wire fences serve a variety of needs on farms, construction sites and at homes across the nation. Louis Page can counsel you as to what's appropriate and what's overkill. It's best to plan your project and then shop.

Very Common Wire Gauges

Sometimes it's helpful to think about gauge thickness in inches. 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 sizes manufactured. You can select the right product for the requirements of your project by browsing our catalog.  If you are unsure of what wire gauge is right for your fence project, then give us a call (866) 328-5018 and we will be happy to help you select the right products for your project and we can offer a free quote.

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A bird on a woven wire fence 

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Topics: welded wire fence, wire gauges

Spring Garden Preparation Advice

March 6, 2017 | by Debbie Page


garden fence with flowers

The Promise of Spring

Are you in the process of creating a garden? Do you already have a garden that you are getting ready for the upcoming season? Do you need to protect your plants from being consumed by visiting animals? Build a fence with welded or woven wire mesh - either galvanized or vinyl coated!

For Optimal Protection: Use Woven Wire Mesh Underground & Welded Wire Fencing Above Ground

At Louis Page we're partial to woven wire and welded wire fences because they're sturdy and long-lasting. Here is our top advice for keeping your plants safe from animals that think you planted tasty items just for them and also ways to keep your plants healthy, so they can grow big and strong. These are our most popular bullet points for this season and the next:

  • Use a smaller mesh, especially at the bottom of the fence, to keep smaller animals from getting into your garden
  • Bury 12" or more of the fence underground to discourage burrowing
  • Bend 12" or more of the fence to the outside of your garden laying it on top of the ground for an effective protecting apron

1" Hexagonal Chicken Wire Netting--Barrier Fencing that Excels

  • Black vinyl coated 1" hex is ideal - black blends with the background making the fence virtually invisible
  • PVC coating adds years of life to the fence
  • The wire is easy to work with
  • Rolls are available in different widths to suit your needs - from 12" through 90"

This is what black vinyl coated hexagonal wire looks like:

galv after hex netting

Do You Need Smaller Openings?  1/2" Hardware Cloth is Available  

  • Vinyl coated 19 gauge wire welded into ½" x ½" mesh will discourage the smallest animals
  • Vinyl coated extends the lifetime of the fence
  • Rolls are 100' in length
  • Three heights are available: 24", 36" and 48"

This is what hardware cloth looks like:

hardware cloth

Use larger mesh fences - 2" x 2", 2" x 3" and 2" x 4" - in combination with smaller mesh "ground wire".

  • The smaller mesh gives protection where it's really needed
  • You have greater strength in the higher sections

This is what a mesh fence with larger spaced openings looks like in a garden:

welded wire garden fence

Planning ahead and being prepared is challenging! There are many possibilities that allow you to be creative in your solutions. Feel free to call us - (866) 328-5018 - for additional advice, we love hearing your ideas and recommending the right solution for you! We will even provide a free quote so you can determine if your fence fits your budget.

Hardware Cloth

 

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Topics: hardware cloth, welded wire mesh, welded wire fence

What's the Difference Between Welded Wire Fencing and Woven Wire Fencing?

February 20, 2017 | by Debbie Page

Welded or Woven Wire? Each Brings its Own Merits

When it comes to the subject of “welded versus woven wire” fences, it may be more helpful to consider it more of a comparison, as both certainly have various merits in their favor. The intersections of these wires are spot-welded to create a sheet. However, woven fences are created through a process that is quite different and much more complicated. Using machinery, wire is loosely twisted into a gentle spiral, with each overlapping at the ends. With a quick twist, the link is made permanent and the distinctive zigzag diamond shape is formed.

Starting with Welded Wire Fences:

Example #1  Welded Wire Fence (Attached to Wooden Fence) - Straight lines are strong and sturdy

Louis Page Welded Wire Fence Materials

Example #2  Welded Wire Fence (Attached to Wooden Posts) - Straight lines are strong and sturdy

Louis Page Welded Wire Fence Materials

Welded wire fencing, which has a structure that is solid and inflexible, is ideal for a firm and definite barrier. When cut, the wires will not begin to unravel from one another.  The disadvantages of this fencing type can be seen in situations when pressure is introduced, such as livestock in need of a leaning post or any sort of vehicular crash. If weight is applied, it’s difficult for a welded wire fence to spring back to shape. It will likely deform permanently and need replacing.

Now onto Woven Wire

Example #3  Vinyl Coated Woven Wire Fence  - Distinctive zigzag diamond shape

http://www.louispage.com/welded-wire-mesh/vinyl-coated-vc

See how example #3 is woven? The fence "lines" are straight in examples #1 and #2 and there is a little zigzag in example #3.

Structure and Functional Merits - Woven wire has some give

By understanding their basic structures, it is easy to see their functional merits. A woven wire fence's linked yet loose structure allows for a large amount of bend, twist and pull without breaking -- a perfect design if you have grazing livestock to contain. In some styles of woven agricultural fence, the vertical wires are one continuous strand. This makes a very strong and secure mesh that will hold together well when under pressure. 

dog behind woven wire fence

  • Woven wire products used as fences can vary between 9 gauge and 23 gauge                                               
  • Mesh sizes can run from ½" to 8"                                                                                                                       
  • Wire finishes of woven meshes are similar to those that are welded: galvanized before weld (GBW), galvanized after weld (GAW), or vinyl coated (VC)                                                                                           
  • Fences that are woven are more flexible than welded products                                                                         
  • Mesh openings are generally uniform and consistent in shape and size throughout the roll                              
  • Woven meshes are easier to install over uneven ground and can be "racked" to conform to the ups and downs
  • Many of the fences used to enclose or exclude livestock are woven construction: deer, horses, poultry, and game birds
Note: There is an unfortunate disadvantage to “chain-link” fence, another type of woven mesh. This fencing is only fully effective so long as every link remains strong. Once cut, it’s only a matter of time before this form of fence will become untangled and inefficient.                                                                                                                                  

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Topics: woven wire, welded wire fence, GAW

A Reference for Calculating the Materials Needed for a Welded Wire Fence Project

February 13, 2017 | by Debbie Page

Planning, Calculation, Installation

Let's begin with a drawing as an introduction to calculating the needed materials for a fence project:

acreage guide

Guidelines to help you install your wire fence

If you find yourself asking how many feet of welded wire or mesh do I need, this article can help you. Don't forget about figuring out how many posts you need in advance - a fence without posts isn't a fence!

The Plan

1. Determine the kind of fence you will need, based on the requirements of the application - the purposes and needs of your particular situation. 

  • Type: You can choose from a wide variety of fences and meshes. 

  • Size: Different heights, size, and spacing of mesh openings, finishes, and gauges of wire fence are available to fit every use.

2. Create a plan for the fence project design. Establish where the corners and ends of the fence are to be located.

3. Calculate the amount of fence and posts (end, corner and line posts) needed for the job. Don't forget to add any gates that are required to complete the project. 

  • Spacing: Figure line post spacing at 8 to 10 feet apart.

And Installation

1. Fence posts

  • Make sure end, corner and gate posts are placed deeper in the ground than line posts for more holding power. Corners and ends may need bracing, depending on the type of fence used.

  • Be sure to tamp and level wood posts before moving on to the next step.

  • T posts can be driven into the ground using a manual post driver with handles. The driver eliminates the potentially dangerous use of an unwieldy sledgehammer.

2. Attaching fence posts

  • Wood posts - galvanized slice-cut staples can be used. These are available in ¾", 1", 1¼", 1½", 1¾" and 2" sizes.

  • Studded T posts - metal clips are provided with each post to securely hold the fence.

3. Stretching the fence

  • The appropriate amount of tension depends on which mesh is used. Woven wire fencing, especially high-tension field and deer fences, requires a lot more tension than welded wire fences.

Please! Print this handy Louis E. Page Fence Calculation Reference Page to help you with your measurements.

acreage chart

 

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Topics: welded wire mesh, welded wire fence, Calculating Fence Materials

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