Here are our favourite ideas for creative uses of wire mesh and perforated metal.

Ingenious ways to recycle leftover steel panels and mesh

When you're obtaining materials for a project, it's often better to be safe than sorry. This might mean ordering a little more to make sure you're covered should the project change slightly, or if you accidentally damage one of the sheets. But what happens if you end up with leftover wire mesh or perforated metal? There are actually a multitude of ingenious uses for leftover metal products from Meshstore – whether your unused sheets will serve a specific purpose or wind up being more of a creative exercise, here are some great ideas for excess metal.

Wire mesh

Woven wire mesh is useful for a whole lot of applications besides the ones we usually talk about, such as industrial flooring and fencing. Here are just a couple of easy ones to start with.

Wire mesh can replace trellis in your garden as material to support the growth of vines and other climbing plants. Since our wire mesh is fairly thick and sturdy, they'll be strong enough to support grapes, cucumbers, and other heavier plant types.

Another interesting use we've seen is people using expanded wire mesh as "bulletin board" type wall hangings. The profile of the mesh can be useful for hanging keys, jewellery or even small hand tools. Creating a place to hang knick-knacks is a pretty great way to get your money's worth out of a small or oddly shaped pieces of extra metal.

Those with artistic leanings could find interesting ways to incorporate wire mesh into their creative processes. The image above is a small sheet of mesh carefully manipulated by artist Elaine Weiner-Reed to be used as support for a plaster sculpture.

Perforated metal

Though our perforated metal sheets are ideally used as flooring, screening, balustrades and beyond, here are a few cool uses from outside the box.

If you have any old shelving in need of a spruce up, those additional sheets could put to good use as cabinet doors or sliding screens on a large shelf similarly to what is pictured above. It provides great functionality and looks amazing.

Perforated Table with A frame legs.

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Why not reinvigorate some of your old outdoor furniture but adding a new table top? While the table and chair above are clearly specially designed, the idea would be easy enough to replicate at a more DIY level.

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Meshstore definitely doesn't recommend taking your watch apart, but this time-piece from Swatch is incredibly cool, and a great example of creative use of perforated metal. Think how simply you could overhaul a wall clock to similar similar effect.

These are just a few ideas of how you can reuse extra metal product, but the true applications are limited only by your imagination. While Meshstore is more than happy to provide single sheets for creative projects, we would also understand if you find yourself adding a few extra sheets to your order to get creative this summer. For all your wire mesh and perforated metal needs, Meshstore has you covered.

Perforated metal is a versatile material, but how is it made?

How is perforated metal made?

Perforated metal has been used for the last 150 odd years for a number of purposes. First developed as a filtering system for coal miners, the original perforation process was lengthy and exhaustive. In the old days, labourers would manually punch individual holes into a metal sheet, but thankfully, more efficient manufacturing processes have been developed since then.

Our manufacturing process

We start with a coil of sheet metal in the desired gauge of the product we're making. There are a few different methodologies for different products, however for standard products the coil is fed into one of the machines. The machine's rollers pull the metal through, and the holes are punched by needles mounted on a rotating cylinder as the sheet metal moves through the machine.

For more specialised products such as Pic Perf, the whole sheet would be loaded into a turret punch, where the pattern is programmed in. This way the machines can punch the right configuration of different sized holes to present the larger image. The turret punch allows multiple needle profiles and sizes to be swapped into the punching position, so it's perfect for jobs that require unconventional patterns or greater detail.

Perforated metal manufacturingOur factory is set up in such a way that we can produce perforated metal in a huge range of profiles.

Our flexibility with customisation

One of the things we pride ourselves on is our ability to provide unique tailored perforated metal solutions to our customers. We've set up operations in such a way that we can be flexible in terms of delivering specific or one off products. In many cases we've had to create new tooling to complete custom jobs. We are not put off by this, and we are certainly not the type of company to say "we can't do it." If it can be made, we can find a way to make it.

Our team are always looking for ways to improve the range.

Our engineering team are always looking for ways to improve the range, and this involves some experimentation. Trying out new methods, experimenting with tensile strengths and folding/trimming techniques to the get the best possible product out of the design and manufacturing teams. It's this dedication to flexible solutions and experimentation with materials and processes that helps us stay ahead of the market.

Perforated metals have a huge range of applications. From facades, screens and balustrades to filters, grilles and ventilation. Meshstore is your one stop shop for pre-made perforated and expanded metals, woven and welded wires, and metal planking and railing products. Backed by the industry leading Locker Group, you can shop online right now, check out one of our branches, or contact us for more information.