attaching thin stainless mesh to stainless rod
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  1. #1
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    Default attaching thin stainless mesh to stainless rod

    Trying to attach a stainless square mesh (.063 wire x 1" square pattern) to a 3/8" stainless rod.

    Basically building an oval frame out of 3/8" rod and wish to attach the sheets of mesh to it. This will be a top for a series of lanterns I am making to serve as a debris guard for leaves, etc... Each frame will be roughly 4'x 6' (kind of egg shaped)

    Currently making the frames, but looking for an attachment method that will not just destroy the .063 wire mesh yet still give good attachment to the 3/8 rod. I use MIG in the shop mainly, but have access to some other tools. Was considering tacking on with a TIG using gun only. I have stainless wire for the MIG is various sizes.

    Perhaps silver soldering? I've never used the method but feel I could pick it up well enough for this. Only uses I've seen for this were using a much higher density mesh weave. A type/size solder recommendation would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

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    as I stated in the op, I’ve seen the methods for fine mesh. Again, I’m using .063 wire with a 1” sq opening.

    thanks though



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    Small stainless washer over wire, tap side with hammer for second weld...

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    thanks! gonna give that a whirl as a test today. my only concern may be the aesthetics of that method as it is a public art piece, so i have to keep it as neat as i can.

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    really bad design. I have done a few projects like this, ranging from public art to ornamental gates to fireplace screens.

    first choice is usually to sandwich the edge of the mesh between two pieces of flat bar, which are then either riveted or welded.

    second choice, that I used to do on some production furniture, is roll the wire mesh around the round bar. I do this on the brake, clamping the round bar in the brake on top of the mesh, then bending it up around to just past 90, then tap it the rest of the way around using a small hammer.

    another trick I used to use on perforated and wire mesh lampshades is to buy a rubber edging that is a round profile with a slit in it, and extend the mesh past the round bar, fasten to the round bar with either tig brazing using silicon bronze filler, or, in some cases, tapped holes and small screws with washers.

    also, sometimes we will fold the edge of the wire mesh with the brake, doubling it up on all four sides, giving us more stiffness at the edges to mechanically fasten.

    Best idea is redesign using a perforated sheet, which can be gotten with large open area in either round holes or square holes- this can then give you a lot more meat to weld, braze, or fasten with wire or screws or rivets. McNichols has a wide variety of stuff that could work. Increase thickness of material and wire size, what you add in weight and cost is more than made up for in terms of strength, longevity, and ease of fabrication.

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    the mesh I’m using was purchased from McNichols. I would have gone with something like what you are talking about, but transparency is an issue.

    Nothing wrong with the design, we just have to make compromises and use what will make the most of visual appeal. If I could’ve taken an easy route and just used expanded steel, I certainly would have.

    Just looking for someone with some insight on using one of the methods I mentioned in OP.

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    silver solder would be the think I would try first

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    These gates were very similar- frame is stainless square tubing, wire mesh is also from mcnichols, slightly different but not much. We tig welded every single wire to the tubing. Nice sharp tungsten, relatively low amperage, and skilled weldors- three of us worked 2 years on this project, we were all pretty good tig weldors. We had 3 mig machines in the shop, but would not have considered them for this project. It was, needless to say, pretty laborious to weld every wire- I think its 1 1/2" grid. But its still looking good, in a high traffic public space, over 15 years later. First photo also has a 3" mesh made from 3/8" round that we fabricated, but the right hand mesh is the one that is similar to your mesh.
    Its not complicated, it just takes time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails westside.jpg   eastside.jpg  

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    Silver solder would work but would require a bit of cleanup afterward. I might try TIG braze for speed and minimal cleanup.

    T

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    silver soldering is slow and pretty messy- it requires flux, and that requires cleanup.
    plus, its not cheap.

    tig brazing is great as long as color match is not an issue. Its easier not to melt the individual wires of the wire mesh, but, again, requires a skilled tig weldor to get those .063 wires brazed and looking pretty.
    All of the exterior stainless work like this that I do gets electropolished after fabrication, and that leaves the silicon bronze brazing filler a matte yellow color, which quickly oxidizes to brown. If brown spots at every wire are acceptable, then tig brazing is a viable option.
    However, a decent tig weldor can do it with 308 filler rod in about the same time, and then you have no color match problems, With the same material, a quick wire brushing would make it look good.
    Depends on your budget, your expectations, and your quality of appearance standards.

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    thanks a lot for the replies and pictures for example. i think im going to go the TIG route as I have a heavy back stock of 308 filler rods.

    not too concerned with the appearance of these welds as they’ll be on top and the shortest piece tops at 20’, but we’ll do the best we can.

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    Tig's probably fine but spot welding stainless rod to rod works really well if you get the settings right. And it's fast. You could leave a little extra wire sticking out and hammer it around the 3/8" for a better finish. That would work with Tig too of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcoope View Post
    Tig's probably fine but spot welding stainless rod to rod works really well if you get the settings right. And it's fast. You could leave a little extra wire sticking out and hammer it around the 3/8" for a better finish. That would work with Tig too of course.
    Spot welder would be my first choice too. I have done some pretty funky things with mesh and wire with mine. A basic Miller 220 volt welder with the timer attachment. For small stuff like this the timer makes it real easy. Not so hard to put a tiny alignment groove in one of the tips either.

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    SS can be tricky. 16ga wire to a rod is doable . I am attaching a video of the technique . Get on it and get off it! This guy is a great teacher. Can't find the video for ss but this one is using mild.

    Sheet Metal Fabrication - Here's a Good Tip for Tack Welding - YouTubeSheet Metal Fabrication - Here's a Good Tip for Tack Welding - YouTube

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    Wrapping the mesh wire around the 3/8" frame a couple of times then silver soldering will require some clean-up, but will also leave a nice fillet all around, effectively sealing the joint. Granted it's stainless, but I've seen corrosion on some lower grades. So the cleanup is of flux, not weld, and it'll be smooth if your end-of-wire-mesh is filed and/or tapped down, and covered with solder flow. You can make that wire end show up on the non-public-facing side, too, if that exists.

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    Heat will warp your 3/8 stainless rod like crazy
    I would look for a mecanical way Perhaps like this Clamp it in a U shaped folded sheetmetal
    Keep one wire lenghtwise inside the u-shape Close the U-shape and then tap the sheetmetal over the cross wires at several places
    You should end up with a teardrop shaped profile

    Peter

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    Here in south Jersey, we have a company called compass wire and all they do is this kind of work for Sweco seives of all sizes. See if you have a company like that in your area.

    Sent from my 2PS64 using Tapatalk


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