want to buy 1/2" hardware cloth 16 gauge for a sieve

Portage, MI(Zone 5b)

We run our finished compost through a homemade sieve that sits on top of our wheelbarrow. We generally leave the sieve outdoors, the wood eventually rots, and we build a new one. But this time around I CANNOT find 1/2" hardware cloth in 16 gauge strength. The fencing company that we bought from in the past has gone out of business. All that I can find is 19 gauge, which seems way way too flimsy. I have tried Menard, Lowe's, Home Depot, the local farm&garden store, Tractor Supply, the locally owned hardware stores, and nobody has the 1/2" square grid in anything better than 19 gauge. [Also I am amazed how many people do not know what hardware cloth is.] Online I can find it sold in 100-foot rolls for $200 or more, not including shipping, which is beyond what I can pay.

At this point I'm trying to think creatively: Who would use it? What kind of business might buy it and be willing to cut me off a 5-foot piece. . . .

The closest I can come is 1/2" x 1" grid in 16-gauge on Amazon, which I guess would be okay for screening my compost.

Any ideas would be very appreciated!!!!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Try MSC Direct. They have a million kinds of 12"x12" hardware cloth and other wire screening. They also have larger widths, and some rolls.

Search for "wire cloth".
Maybe "welded fabric wire cloth"
Then I tried "16 AWG" and "1/2" x 1/2""

36" wide, cut to the foot, $11+ / foot

48" wide, cut to the foot, $15/foot

Or get to page 1740, then page forward and back.


I see some 14 AWG welded wire cloth, but only for 1" x 1" mesh.

I set hardware cloth or chicken wire or whatever on top of some steel wire shelving I brought home from the recycle bin at work. The shelving has around 1" spacing and it is very strong. Like you, I set this on top of my wheelbarrow.

The shelving supports the wire sieve, so the sieve material doesn't need to be very strong. I COULD sieve with window screening (24 mesh or so) if I wanted to de-dust something.

Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA
Portage, MI(Zone 5b)

Rick, thank you so much for the information!!! I loved your photos; they really tickled my fancy. It is fun to see what other people do about the nitty-gritty part of gardening. Your wire shelf in the recycle bin was a lucky find. We have a lot of that kind of shelving, but only in 18" widths from racks and carts bought at Sam's Club.

Our "make-do" sieve right now is a bread tray lined with poultry fencing, by the way. Good enuf for just a few wheelbarrows of finished compost. But my husband is not keen on screening all 7 compost piles using the bread tray.

MSC says the 1/2" mesh in 16 gauge is in stock, but then when I put a few feet of it into the shopping cart and proceeded, it said it was backordered.

We may simply buy the 1/2" x 1" roll from Amazon and use that. Alternatively I can buy 16-gauge in 2"x3"x36" at big box store, cut it down to the 24" width, and use it to finish the sieve; then I would drop in a rectangle flimsier material cut to fit as a removable liner.

Again, thank you for your reply. You made my day!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Hey, great! I'm glad someone else may benefit from my hardware cloth fetish.

You see, I read a blog by Katlian here in DG about using hardware cloth plus PVC fittings to sieve seeds.

She used 4 inch "PVC DWV Sewer & Drain Adapters" from Home Depot. The key word there is "DWV" if you ask a clerk, or maybe "DWV Hub X Hub"

4"x4" $5.50 each

3" x 3" $2.75 each

So I bought a variety of wire cloths, in 12"x12" size. 6 mesh, 10 mesh, 16, 20, 30 and 60 mesh. I've used most of those up or given them away to other seed savers.

Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.