welded wire mesh project

I have a customer that wants me to make an open box from 1/2" mild steel
wire mesh. They want the openings to be 3", and we'll need to bend the wires
for the bottom of the box. I can have about any size radii that I would
like. The tops of the "wires" will be welded to angle iron to hold them in
place. After I get the box made, we'll send it out to be hot dip galvanizes.
I've got CNC equipment, but I don't know anything about bending, or what I
call fabrication work. I'm expected to make one prototype box, with the hope
that it will turn into an order for a couple of hundred of them.
My question is, what sort of bending equipment should I be looking at in
order to bend the rod in 2 places to accurately create the "U" shapes that
I'll need. I would like the upfront cost to be inexpensive enough that
they'll want to build the prototype, but effective enough that I could do
the total order with it.
Any ideas?
Reply to
Dave Lyon
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OK, so you want to bend the rods one by one. Right? For a one off, I would make a simple jig out of some flat and some round to bend the rod around. For hundreds, I would ask a company that does make rebars (?) for concrete-reinforcement. They should have the CNC-machines to do that effectively.
Nick
Reply to
Nick Mueller
You're a little short of detail but.....there are wire basket people who do these kinds of things by the gazillion. For your "one off", I'd just jig and bend..even heat bend if you need. From there, I'd find someone with a CNC wire bender to whip out the bent rods to be assembled later by you. They can likely spit out formed bars at less than you can buy material.
1/2" for stuff like this comes off a coil, runs through a straightener, gets formed and is auto-cut. No waste of time or material.
As I said, there are a few details that may make things different....the mesh welding required, whether the bars need to partially intesect (like pressed together so you don't have 1" thick spots where the wires overlap) and whether the mesh is "woven" vs simple laps.
Some pics of CNC wire benders here--->
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They have a beautiful used 7 axis bender that I am drooling over..only $ 365,000 :) Search around and you might get some terms for other related searches. One of the used or new wire former dealers may be able to steer you to a job shop who can give you good pricing and save you the hassle of doing it all yourself.
Koz
Reply to
Koz
Find a "wire forming" firm to do the production run.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Yea, that's what I was thinking.
Good guess, but no. I'm sorry I can't give more info, but the customer is applying for a patent. We're going to use HRS.
Reply to
Dave Lyon
I like this idea. Does anybody have a source they like to use near Kansas City?
Reply to
Dave Lyon
I meant just for bending the "U"s. Or got to some other CNC-bender, as others suggested.
Nick
Reply to
Nick Mueller
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Don't know if that link will work when pasted...have used "western wire products" on the west coast..don't know if they're the same company in MO or just the same name in another state. Says they can run to 9/16" dia.
At least it may be a start.
Oh yea...don't let ANYONE know ANYTHING more than you have to....you're sticking your fingers in a cutthroat business where anyone will try and go around you in an eyeblink...and there are many who sub to China (without telling the customer) so they can undercut you at the same time they're stealing your customer. Think about some change in the design (frame?) that makes it harder to just steal it out from under you.
Koz
Reply to
Koz
While everyone is suggesting outsourcing to mega-buck CNC benders, it seems to me you could fabricate a simple bender based on a couple of hydraulic cylinders, valves and a power pack.
I'm not clear on whether you are referring to mesh made of 1/2" dia mild steel rods, or a mesh with 1/2" openings between much smaller dia rods like perhaps 1/8". If the later you could probably make the thing pneumatic.
You should be able to cut the stock in bundles with a band saw.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
LOL,
I recommended to my customer that they go to somebody that specializes in that kind of work. They weren't interested. :)
Thanks for the link, I'm checking it out.
Reply to
Dave Lyon
It's 1/2" rod with 3" spaces between them.
I've got a metal pro iron worker, maybe I can make a jig for it.......
Reply to
Dave Lyon
That sounds like a good start, or even just add some hydraulic quick connects to it to allow you to use it as your power pack and save some $. CNC benders are awesome for complex bends and quickly changing jobs, but for simple consistent "U" bends I think they are overkill.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
I just did a project like this last year- with 3/8" round 304 stainless. Mine had to meet the 4" sphere rule for railings, so I made the spacing about 3" openings. I built a die for my hydraulic press. I did mine hot, as I wanted a very tight looking weave. So I would lay out the spacing on the round bar, and mark the increments with a sharpie. Then I heated each intersection up with a gas torch, and slapped it in the press, and ran the ram down. The die I built automatically spaced the bends all the same distance apart. All I did was flip it 180 each time.
As tricky as making the wires was assembling the grid- you start at one end, with all the verticals and one horizontal, then tap each succeeding horizontal in with a soft blow hammer. Its not a real quick job.
For 1/2" hot rolled, you might be able to do it cold. I would imagine at a minimum 50 ton press though- I was running 30 tons to do the 3/8" and it pretty much took it all. That kinda rules out the little metal pro- those things are called "40 ton" but thats being mighty generous.
There is commercially available 1/2" round bar wire mesh- but it is pretty much all custom made, and pricey to boot. Long lead times. They probably use 75 year old mechanical presses to bend the wire.
Is there a reason why it MUST be made from a woven round bar mesh? Seems like much quicker and easier to cut the grid from 1/2" plate, using plasma or waterjet.
I made my big wire mesh solely for aesthetic reasons, so I was willing to take the time to do it right- but it is not an easy process. The big boys who weave this stuff have huge old machines to do it, that are long paid for, and they still charge an arm and a leg for it.
McNichols
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would be a good place to start asking, if you decide to try to buy premade mesh.
Reply to
Ries
I may be wrong, but I believe I've seen panels similar to this sold for confining livestock. How big do you need your panels to be?
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
On a similar related topic what do you all think is the bargain basment price Walmart pays for new shopping carts? Local store scrapped all the plastic ones and got a schmitload of powdercaoted wire jobbys. I hate that store but my cat loves their store brand chow.
Reply to
daniel peterman
Dunno, but CBC / Discovery's How it's Made program had a segment on a company that makes them. Last I looked their site had some online vids and a listing of all the companies they shot the segments at.
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
I wanted to make it from expanded metal, but that's not what the customer wanted. :(
I've got them to give me some leeway though. I don't have to weave the bars now. I can just weld the intersections. That will help a bunch!
Reply to
Dave Lyon
Are you talking about hog panels? The wire on those is pretty small.
Reply to
Dave Lyon
It really doesn't matter. Those idiots that bring the carts back will stack up 30 of them, and scoot them around corners so that all the wheels have those annoying flat spots on the first day!
Reply to
Dave Lyon
1/2 inch bar !! No sweat. You can easily bend 1/2 inch bar with a piece of 3/4 inch pipe about 4 feet long. Depending on how large the box is going to be, I would mount a couple of vises the right distance apart. Clamp the bar in the vise, slip the pipe over the free end of the bar and bend it. Maybe rig some stops so the bar is centered and so the bends are uniform.
For welding I would make a projection welder. Pretty much like a spot welder on steroids. A long time ago I made one using some 1 kw variac cores. Low voltage. Just one loop of wire going thru all the cores. I think I used about 5 of them. I did not try welding 1/2 bar, but did weld some 3/8 bar. Just make contact on each side of where the bars cross. Apply pressure and turn on the current. It took about half a minute to push one bar so it was almost in the same plane as the other bar.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster

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