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Repairing 1/8" Steel Mesh

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  • Repairing 1/8" Steel Mesh

    I'm trying to figure out the best way to repair several pieces of steel mesh. I bought it at an auction and would like to use it to cover some windows at my lake cabin for security during the winter. It looks like some kind of industrial safety guard about 1/8 thick with 1" squares with rounded corners punched out leaving the cross-pieces about an 1/8 as well. Somebody cut several small sections out with a plasma cutter to get access to something without removing the guards. The cut-out pieces were then cable-tied back in place. Probably a non-OSHA operation.

    I'd like to weld the pieces back in place with reasonable integrity and appearance. I'm pretty good with a stick welder, but I believe this is too small for that. I have a HH187, and I do fairly well with it. I usually practice everything new with it to figure out the best technique but I'm not sure of technique or even if the MIG is the right tool. There's about 1/16 to fill between the ends of the bars. I'd like to have something in mind before I start practicing on what little scrap I'm going to have. I talked to a pro, and he said his time would kill me as far as price, but he advised that I'd need something on the bottom as a backer to hold the metal while it cooled. I assume he was talking about a copper or aluminum backer. I even wondered about milling a slot in a piece of backer metal and clamping it to the work to "mold" the weld as I do it.

    I know in an industrial application I'd just buy new, but my wife thinks we spend too much on the cabin already. Thanks in advance for any ideas.

  • #2
    I would use your mig. 1/16" isn't too big of a gap to fill esp if you have a copper strip under it. You can smash down some copper pipe for a suitable copper strip if you can't find anything else...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab
    Salem, Ohio
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill


    • #3
      Welcome to the forum John , there's lots of good information here, and we have some fun, too. So join in with your questions, and share your experience. There is no such thing as a dumb or stupid question...we have all had them at one time or another....glad to have you aboard!

      Copper or aluminum plate for a heat sink would be good to have...prolly go with .024" wire, and it should be do-able.


      • #4
        Thanks for the advice and welcome. I'll post an intro in the appropriate forum when I have a chance.

        Sometimes it's good to know that what you are trying to do isn't too stupid before you get started. We learn from our mistakes, but learning from other peoples' experience is cheaper and doesn't hurt as much.


        • #5
          I welded machine guards for a former employer.As stated by the other guys,use a copper backer low heat and trigger the spots.Watch how hot the weld is so you stop before it falls through.


          • #6
            It sounds as though you are just going to weld back into place the original piece of metal that was cut out. IF that's the case keep in mind that you are not building a bank vault. Those "guards/burglar bars" are to keep moderately honest people from getting into you cabin when you are not there. A real burglar will get in if you put 1/2" plate over your windows, somehow. I'm sure you can weld these pieces back in with enough structural integrity for your use. Some grinding, smoothing, and paint and they will probably be attractive to the wife also. Points made, wife happy, happy. Good Luck, David