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Author Topic: Question: how to shape wire mesh  (Read 3970 times)
hardlec
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« on: May 01, 2013, 09:38:59 pm »

I want to make a set of goggles.  I must wear my glasses, which means my design options are limited.  I don't want plastic sides.
I have seen two pairs of "beekeepers" glasses. They use fine wire mesh on the sides. 
I have never tried to shape wire mesh, and I have not found any online resources on this topic.
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2013, 09:53:19 pm »

I think that you should be able to produce cylindrical shapes fairly easily, but convex or saddle shapes (compound curves) might be tricky. On a commercial scale, those kind of shapes might be die-stamped.

You can buy nice looking brass or copper mesh at better-stocked hardware stores. It is thin, and very flexible, and easily dented, but you can back it with regular screen wire for support, and it will still look pretty good.
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Maets
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 11:15:46 pm »

Copper and brass meshes are sold in art/craft stores because it is easy to shape and can be used as the basis (armature) of a sculpture. 
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Dr cornelius quack
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 11:54:24 pm »

Find a nice solid something (drainpipe, doorknob, wooden dowel etc.) that gets close to the shape you are after and form the mesh around that.

Light blows with a rubber mallet will help to form the mesh closely to the pattern.

For more detailed shapes, Squeeze the mesh down to undersize and then press it back out again using wooden pegs with the required profile carved on the end.

Woven meshes are less easy to shape than the expanded metal type.

Post piccies.
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 11:59:38 pm »

Oh, yes. Small cable ties are very useful for joining the edges of mesh to give a closed shape.
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hardlec
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2013, 01:15:49 pm »

I will need to find a mandrel, and my mallet.
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Narsil
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 03:15:56 pm »

The properties of mesh depend to a great extent on its gauge and construction. Heavier gauge welded mesh can be formed to shape pretty much like any other ductile sheet material. Finer mesh (of the type used in filters etc)  is more likely to be woven and although, flexible is less able to be permanently formed and so needs some sort of rigid support structure to maintain its shape.

The mesh used in face shields tends to be somewhere in the middle, it will take a curve but need some support structure to maintain any rigidity.
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Dr cornelius quack
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 11:46:40 pm »

Practice using chicken wire as a cheap material to get the hang of how meshes behave when you start bashing them about.
Find a local Am-Dram group that needs some props building and volunteer for the job on the understanding that they pay for materials.
Darned good practice, that.

Also, remember that stiff wire such as coat hangers can be formed to make a framework for the mesh to clad onto and give strength to the finished item.

And, if you are coating the mesh in some sort of covering like cloth or papier mache then add a layer on the inside to bind the structure together.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 11:52:51 pm by Dr cornelius quack » Logged
hardlec
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2013, 04:06:41 pm »

Embarrassingly enough, my local ACE no longer carries the brass filter-mesh I was going to use.

I picked up some aluminium window screen and I am going to play with some options on putting it over a wire frame.
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jacktown
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2014, 04:27:52 pm »

Brass filter mesh can be found in several different places - but the 2 that I use most often due to pricing, shipping, and availability are:

www.mcmaster.com

www.bwire.com

As far as shaping the wire mesh - cutting with aviation snips to the shape as needed is the easiest way to go.  The yellow handled snips from WISS are the best snips I can find - picked them up at Home Depot.
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