Diamond Mesh Fencing
Diamond mesh fencing is the older version of the weldmesh. It is more appropriately called woven mesh fencing due to the method of fabrication. Whereas weldmesh is manufactured by a welding machine the diamond mesh is manufactured on a machine that is more of a sowing machine. There is no welding in this process but the wires are woven together at intervals according to the customer specification.
The diamond mesh fence has a similar lifespan as the weldmesh but the added advantage of plastic coating the wire increases its lifespan to about 12-15 years. The diamond mesh is used in areas where there is sporting activity as it is able to take impact much better due to it’s expanding nature on impact. Where the weldmesh would break at the welds the diamond mesh expands and goes back to its normal shape after impact. This makes it ideal for places where much impact is expected like indoor soccer arenas, tennis courts, cricket nets etc.
The other reason why the diamond mesh is very popular for action sports is that it can be manufactured up until a height of 3,6m whereas the weldmesh can only do 2,4m. Size matters and so in the case of diamond mesh it has survived until now because of its flexibility in manufacturing. The one serious flaw in the diamond mesh which caused a huge dip in demand is that you do not need any wire cutter to open the mesh! You can literally take it apart with your hands and since it expands naughty dogs easily break it apart.
Why Use Diamond mesh Fencing?
-12-15-year lifespan if wire is plastic coated
-Works with a variety of poles and goes to a height of 3,6m
-Safe for pets
-Is more durable than weldmesh due to its expanding nature
Disadvantages Of Diamond mesh Fencing
-Extremely easy to break into
-The fence apertures can be easily stretched with your bare hands
Tools required when installing diamond mesh:
· Protective clothing
· Iron rods
· Builders line
· Wire cutters
· Saw (if installing on wooden posts)
· Bush cutter
· Power drill (If installing on steel posts)
· Jack hammer (if installing on thick concrete)
· Generator (if no power is available)
· Extension cord
· Small plaster trowel for epoxy if installing concrete poles
· Knowledge and skill
· Sand and stone for concrete
· Corner posts (wood, steel or concrete)- These are generally thicker poles so 75-100mm thick posts can be used
· Intermediate posts
· Stay or bracing posts
· Epoxy (in the case of concrete posts)
· Bolts (in the case of steel posts)
· Nails (in the case of wooden posts)
· Binding wire
· Straining wire
· U-nails (in the case of wooden poles)
Step 1: Excavation and clearing
· Set out the fence line by marking out the corner posts
· Clear the area where the fence is to run to a width of 500mm
· Measure the distance between the corner posts and mark out the holes for the intermediate posts (either 4m or 3m spacing between posts)
· Insert the iron rods or reinforcing rods at the corner posts in order to mark out a straight line by binding the builder’s line on the corner posts in order to get a straight line for post excavation.
· Excavate the posts after you have marked out the holes on the straight line.
Step 2: Concreting of posts
· Pour the sand and stone onto the mixing board and mix it with the cement according to the required ratios.
· Guideline for concrete:
· 15Mpa= 4 bags (40kg) sand 4 bags (40kg) stone and one bag of cement (50kg)
· 20Mpa 2 bags (40kg) sand and 2 bags (40kg) stone and one bag cement (50kg)
· Plant the corner posts first so as to save time as it will allow you to pull the straining wire the next day.
· Ensure that you use the level and the builder’s line to make sure that the post is plumb (straight) and is in-line with the fence line.
· When installing treated posts (wooden) use a saw to cut the stays so that they fit neatly onto the major posts and ensure that the nails don’t go through the other side of the post.
Guidelines for wooden posts:
· 4- inch nails for 75/100mm major posts
· 5-inch nails for 100/125mm major posts
Guidelines for steel posts:
· 150mm bolts for 100mm major posts
· 120mm bolts for 76mm major posts
Guidelines for concrete poles:
Step 3: Straining of wire
· Wire is to be wrapped around one corner post and pulled and wrapped around the other corner post leaving an extra 300mm for tensioning.
· The wire cutter can be inserted in between the two wires with the handle inserted between the two wires
· Gradually turn the pliers in such a way that it causes the wire to pull towards the pliers and therefore tension the wire. This method is called the Spanish hitch and a diagram is available from the author.
· The process is to be repeated on the other end with the wires pulled tightly so that the wires do not slacken while the wires are being strained.
· This straining process is repeated for each wire.
· Once all wires are strained they are to be tied to the intermediate posts.
Step 4: Tying of the diamond mesh
· The diamond mesh is to be rolled out in full in front of the posts (on the outside of the fence)
· The diamond mesh is to be lifted up and tied to the first corner post.
· If no wire strainer is available the diamond mesh is to be secured to an iron rod and pulled tightly (manual wire strainer) to the next intermediate post and then tied on to the post with binding wire.
· The process is to be repeated for every post until you reach the last corner post.
· Once the diamond mesh has been secured onto the posts use the binding wire to secure the mesh tightly onto the straining wires.
Step 5: Maintain the area around the fence
· Ensure that grass and vines do not grow uncontrollably on the fence as it will cause the fence to rust quicker and fall over due to the weight of the grass and vines.
· Ensure that there are no fires close to the fence as this will compromise the integrity of the galvanizing.