How to Cut Steel Mesh

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How to Cut Steel Mesh

The construction of steel mesh, also called bird screen, makes cutting the material a difficult task. Steel mesh is made of woven steel rods that are interlocked and not mechanically fastened. Therefore, when you cut the steel mesh, the interlocked steel wire will have a tendency to come apart. To avoid ruining the steel mesh during the cutting process, you need to use a cutting method that does not apply force to the sides of the mesh wire. This eliminates manual wire cutters and bladed power saws.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel mesh
  • Work table
  • 36-inch steel rule
  • Permanent marker
  • Safety glasses
  • Face shield
  • Leather gloves
  • Air tool oil
  • Pneumatic angle grinder
  • 4-inch .032 abrasive cutting wheels
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    • 1

      Place the steel mesh flat on the work table.

    • 2

      Lay the steel rule on the steel mesh, aligning the end of the steel rule with one edge of the steel mesh.

    • 3

      Make a mark on the steel mesh with the permanent marker at the length that you need to cut the steel mesh.

    • 4

      Slide the steel rule down the steel mesh and place a second mark on the surface of the steel mesh.

    • 5

      Turn the steel rule and align one edge of the rule with the two marks you made on the steel mesh.

    • 6

      Mark each steel wire that intersects the steel rule to create a cut line.

    • 7

      Put on your safety glasses, face shield and leather gloves.

    • 8

      Add three drops of tool oil into the air connection of the pneumatic angle grinder, attach a .032 abrasive cutting wheel to the grinder and connect the angle grinder to the air line.

    • 9

      Lower your face shield and place use one hand to apply pressure to the steel mesh.

    • 10

      Start the angle grinder with your other hand and align the spinning cutting wheel with the steel mesh cut line.

    • 11

      Lower the grinder to the steel mesh and with minimal downward pressure begin cutting the steel mesh. The abrasive cutting wheel will quickly cut through the wire and you need to resist the urge to push the grinder quickly across the surface of the steel mesh.

    • 12

      Continue cutting one steel wire at a time until you have cut the steel mesh.

    • 13

      Set the angle grinder aside, raise your face shield and allow the cut to cool before handling the steel mesh.

Tips & Warnings

  • Although tricky, you can tack weld the wires of the steel mesh to keep the steel mesh from pulling apart.

  • Always use a face shield when using an abrasive cutting wheel, as the wheels can shatter.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images

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