Chicken Wire Knitting Machine

Also it's got a good beat and is easy to dance to.

This particular machine is weaving mesh used in making Gabions. Although the mesh is larger (3") and the wires used are heavier (11 gauge and heavier) than the chicken wire you can buy at your local store, the manufacturing process is similar.

There is one difference. This machine is doing continuous weave - the twisted wires run in the same direction the entire length of the twist. Chicken wire available in stores is made with a reverse twist - the twist switches direction (reverses itself) half way through the length of the twist. Continuous weave is inherently stronger than reverse twist.

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10 Responses:

  1. Michael Dwyer says:

    Bonus: I now know that those boxes full of rocks that you always see soldiers hiding behind are called Gabions.

  2. Joe says:

    "the twist switches direction (reverses itself) half way through the length of the twist"

    Hopefully Lazyweb can help out on the why of that.

    • Art Delano says:

      It's a lot harder for the fence to twist around the axis of the wind that way, and makes it vertically rigid. If all the windings were in the same direction, you could fold the fence up, accordion style.

    • Ben Brockert says:

      Because the machine is simpler if each bobbin ends each twist in the same spot. That can be accomplished by twisting half the twist in one direction, then back the other way, with something to hold the half twist.

      The downside is that such a twist and back is unstable against large pulling forces. For a chicken fence it's fine, for mesh that's going to hold big rocks not so much. The mesh in the video has to have a wire completely break to open up a hole.

  3. DFB says:

    I refuse to believe from 0:24 to 0:30 is reality. Things do not simply do that.