Finding 2×2 14 Gauge Welded Wire Mesh – StrawBale.com

Written by Andrew Morrison

2x2 14 Gauge Welded Wire MeshSeveral people have written to me asking how to find the 2×2 14 gauge welded wire mesh I use on my bale homes. It is hard to find, no doubt, but it can be found, I promise. Unfortunately, I don’t have a long list of suppliers. All I have is my West coast supplier. If you have successfully found the material in your part of the world, please let us know where and save the rest of the SB folks out there some time and sweat!

Here’s the name of the company who supplies my mesh. They will drop ship directly to your location which helps in the shipping costs; however, get all that you need at once because the shipping is not cheap and one big delivery will cost you less than two smaller ones.
.
Flynn & Enslow Inc
www.flynnenslow.com

1530 17th St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 863-5340

18 Responses

  1. I just bought a book on using straw bales with timber frame homes. In the book they do not use any wire mesh to hold the clay plaster. They applied it directly to the straw bales. I have also been in contact with a timber frame company in colorado that use strawbales and they don’t use any wire mesh either. When using the bales as infill for your walls do you really need the wire mesh?? What do you suggest?? PS I just watched all three of your dvds and they answered a lot of other questions. Thanks HJM in salem, oregon

  2. Hi Heidi. The thing with not using mesh is that you need mesh around the windows and doors to shape, and it adds strength to the plaster. It is not required, but in my experience it is easier to use it and more productive to get a quality finish. Also, you can use the mesh as part of the shear engineering which is cool. That said, if you are hiring someone to build for you, the labor cost to use the mesh as a shear system is too high in my opinion and I prefer to use HardyFrames instead.

  3. An interesting and thorough study done by the Canadian Mortgage and housing Corporation (CMHC) came to the following conclusion on the use of mesh on SB walls:

    “Tenax mesh does not improve the compressive strength of straw bale walls with cement-lime plaster, and in fact may decrease the strength by affecting the plaster-straw bond and leading to premature local buckling of the plaster. The
    mesh does, however, improve the ductility of the wall to lateral deflections after compressive failure has occurred.”

    This extract is taken from a list of nine conclusions but is the only one that refers to the effect of mesh. In Canada tenax plastic mesh is used in preference to welded mesh.

    A copy of the full report can probably be found somewhere on the CMHC website at: http://www.cmhc.ca. Or you can email me at: naturalbuilding@shaw.ca and I will send you the .pdf.

    Regards, Steve

  4. Thanks Charles!

    and Thanks Steve. I have used Tenax before and it is great to work with: easy to cut and handle, no super sharp edges, etc.. It works well for shaping, although not as well as metal mesh. It is true that it does not improve compressive strength as it is mesh and plastic at that; however, the entire purpose of mesh in any application as a strengthening material is in tensile strength. This is true for mesh in plaster and rebar in concrete. Those materials are there to strengthen ONLY the tensile strength as the rigid material (plaster or concrete) effectively handles the compressive direction. Thus the improved value of the shear strength. The plastic picks up the tensile strain and holds against the shear forces. This is improved further if you use a WELDED wire mesh because it actually provides strength in both compressive and tensile directions due to the rigid welds. You can see the study that uses the welded wire mesh as the shear system at http://www.ecobuildnetwork.org under the straw bale testing page. It is called “In Plane Cyclic Tests of Plastered Straw Bale Wall Assemblies.”

  5. Hi Strawbalers out there,
    We are building a post and beam strawbale in southern Washington about 90 minutes East of Portland. We have found a supplier of 2×2 welded wire mesh in Portland that will drop ship to us. Their price is very good also.
    Contact info:

    Pam Deswert
    Oregon Wire Products
    800-458-8344
    503-255-5728 fax
    If any one reading this would like to check out our project or lend a hand, feel free to contact us at:
    gsobonya@sbcglobal.net

  6. Hi Andrew,have you ever considerated to import welded wire mesh fron China? Anping,China is the home town of wire and wire mesh,the good quality and competetive price will never disappoint you.
    Contact info:

    Ivy Lee
    HEBEI DONGFANG HARDWARE AND WIRE MESH PRODUCTS CO.,LTD
    Phone:86-010-64822786
    Fax:86-010-64822937
    E-mail:licc_ivy@yahoo.cn

  7. Hi, Andraw,
    I am also a manufaturer in Anping China, and I agree with with Ivy above. There are hundreds of factories in Anping county that manufacturer various of wire mesh. Some of them have do this for more than 20 years and they have export experience(including our company). You can draw on their high quality products and good service.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Best regards,
    Shirley
    Hebei Zhongsheng Metal Netting Co., Ltd
    tel:86-311-85907276
    fax:86-311-85907206
    e-mail:sale1.wiremesh@yahoo.com

  8. I think the 2×2 is better all around because it holds its shape better; however in a round structure, the 2×4 would be acceptable since the shear is not an issue.

  9. Hi Candy. That’s a longer answer than I can give in a short blog response. I suggest you read through the blog as I have lots of information there. If that doesn’t do it for you, check out my baling DVD as the entire process is covered there. There’s always a hands on workshop too. That’s probably the best way to learn, in my opinion. The short answer is: by means of staples (large ones from an air powered staple gun) to the wood and then sewn from one side of the bales to the other with baling twine. That’s obviously the short answer… 🙂

  10. Hey Andrew and everyone else!

    I just found 2″x2″ 14-gauge welded wire mesh on the east coast from a company called Pennsylvania Wire Works (darbywiremesh.com). Rolls (4’x100′) are $105 each, with $190 shipping to southern Vermont.

    Hope that helps!

  11. That grid pattern is too tight and actually adds too much metal to the wall. It isn’t needed at that grid size. Also, if the gauge of the wire is large enough to add strength to the wall, then the mesh becomes too rigid to easily work with. If it is soft enough to work with, it doesn’t provide enough strength to the wall. I would stick with the 2″x2″ 16g or 14g.

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