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The Fence Post

Restraining Lava Loiterers

July 12, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

lava flow in barren rock

Protecting people from lava flows and from themselves.

There are some fencing products on their way to Hawaii. It seems some physical barriers are required to offset the lava-play aficionados and looky-loos that are putting themselves at peril. For us at home, observing the mesmerizing lava flows from your screen of choice is a popular pastime, quite understandably. However, far from these screens is the tough job of predicting the actions of people who are curious or foolhardy enough to want to get close to the volcanic activity. Louis Page has been called in to assist with the fence and mesh needed to curb these adventurous and possibly harebrained scofflaws. Remember that vinyl coated high tensile wire is the fence of choice for longevity and strength.  

Over-reacting? Nope. 

The dangers are numerous:

  • Those fascinating sea water explosions of boiling water and steam require onlookers to be at least a 1/4 of a mile away for safety. That steam is not just water vapor! 
  • Methane gas is created when vegetation is inundated without oxygen, exploding up to 100 yards ahead of the lava flow.
  • The flows emit fumes that contain glass particles, sulfuric acid, and hydrochloric acid--no walking or standing in these toxic clouds.
  • And some folks are enticed onto the new land created by the lava hitting the ocean--called benches--which are very unstable and prone to collapse.

Tourists and Hawaiian residents, observing bursts of gas and flame from the streams of lava, are being arrested for walking on hardened igneous rock and trespassing citations are handed out as people avoid barricades to take pictures, being caught going through areas with toxic gases.

The Phenomenon of Pele's Hair

And if the above list wasn't enough, there are the fine flaxen tresses of Pele. Named for the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, droplets of cooling lava are stretched up to six feet in the wind and should not be touched as it is actually volcanic fiberglass that can be very sharp and penetrate the skin. Here is a quick video to illustrate this phenomenon:


Entering certain zones bring a $5000 penalty and a year in jail. These reflect fines and punishments increased recently by the Department of Land and Natural Resources.  

Is there a type of fence that you need to manage or direct pedestrians? Louis Page can assist you in finding just the right fence for your site.

Safety Fence


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Topics: wire fence, high tensile wire, vinyl coated wire, vinyl coated, galv after

What Wire Gauges are Used in Welded & Woven Wire Mesh & Fence?

February 6, 2017 | by Debbie Page

Wire Gauge Basics

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. It 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.

In this article we will answer the following questions:

  • What is wire gauge?

  • What does it mean?

  • How is it used to describe wire?


Wire Gauges Past and Present

There have been several different gauge designations since the process outlined in the introduction was innovated.

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.

The amount of "draws" required in the process determines why thick wires have a lower gauge number compared to thin wires. 9 gauge wire is thicker than 14 gauge because it requires fewer "draws" than 14 gauge.

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.     


The 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.


We offer expert advice on fencing free of charge for all of your fencing projects. Please call us at 800-225-0508 or you can request a free quote by clicking the button. If you aren't ready to talk fencing quite yet, please download our free catalog.

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Topics: wire fence, welded wire fence, how to, wire gauges

How To Install A Wire Fence In Your Garden - Video

January 19, 2012 | by Duncan Page

 Protect Your Garden

This video shows you how to protect your garden by installing a wire fence. Follow the steps shown and you will have a garden fence that will keep your plants safe and secure for a long time.

Do you find this video helpful?

We have loads of other blog articles with great information for you to check out!

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Topics: wire fence, woven wire, garden fence, how to

What Kind of Wire Fence Will You Need this Year?

January 3, 2012 | by Duncan Page

galvanized high tensile deer fence

Your Fence--Looking Ahead

Are you thinking ahead and planning for the new year? Will you need to put up a fence? What kind of wire fence will you need to use? Will a welded wire fence work best for you? Or would a woven wire fence perform better in your situation?

What size mesh? Galvanized?

There are galvanized before weld (GBW) wire fencing materials that will keep your pets and children in the yard. For a longer lasting and more durable product, you can use either galvanized after weld (GAW) or stainless steel fence. Vinyl coated welded fences make an attractive and long-lasting garden fence. Choose from an extensive variety of wire gauges and mesh sizes. Smaller meshes are ideal for animal cages and wildlife exclusion barriers. Welded wire fences are both versatile and practical.

deer behind vinyl coated welded wire fence

Strength or Flexibility or both?

A fence made from woven wire can be strong and heavy enough to contain wildlife and livestock. There are different styles, heights and mesh opening sizes designed for specific types of animals - from tall deer and wildlife fences to short hog wire fences. Flexibility and strength are two important characteristics of woven wire fence. Chicken wire or hexagonal mesh is woven from lighter gauge wire. Black PVC coating ensures both durability and an attractive appearance, providing protection for your poultry and fowl as well as your garden.

sag harbor fence with 1x1 black wire

Don't settle for the poor selection on offer at the big box store.  

Which type of wire fence is best for you? Think about its intended use, its appearance and how long you want it to last before you make a decision. And remember there are many more possible choices than what's on display at your local big box store...most often their limited selection is just expedient and relying on the typical foreign suppliers.

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Topics: wire fence, woven wire, welded wire fence, vinyl coated, galv after

Wire Fence Roll Size--Pay Attention!

January 18, 2011 | by Duncan Page

 3 rolls of fence wire varying in size

Size is deceiving! 


Which roll of wire fence would you buy?  Do they have the same footage?

If they are the same, why do they look so different?

Not all rolls are created equal. The final diameter of a roll of welded or woven wire fence is determined by four things:

  • mesh opening size
  • the gauge of the wire used
  • the size of the spindle upon which it is wound
  • how tightly it is rolled at the end of the assembly line

In the example above, all three rolls of heavy woven wire fence are identical in mesh size, gauge, height, length, and weight. They even have the same core openings. And yet they appear to be completely different. The roll on the left is wound very tightly. It is almost half the diameter of the right-hand roll which is wound under less tension. If you were to buy one of these rolls, which would you choose? Would you prefer the smaller roll because it is more compact and easier to handle? Or would you choose the larger roll because it looks as if it has extra footage?

Different Tensions

Different wire mills may have different size spindles. And they may roll their product under different tensions. So if you see wire fence products in the store that are labeled with the same gauge, mesh size, width, and length, they may look very different. A quick way to tell is to check the weight of each roll.

Imported wire fence is usually very tightly wound. Rolls have a small diameter hollow core. This saves space, allowing more rolls to fit on a pallet. Higher density per cubic foot enables more pieces to be loaded in a container, cutting shipping cost per piece.

Have you ever encountered this when buying wire fence?  Which one did you buy and why?

galvanized welded wire in a roll on pavement

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Topics: wire fence, woven wire, wire gauges, Fencing Tips

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