flotation mesh

Dear Jacqui,

I admit that I purchase my wire and plastic mesh in the US, but the company I deal with, listed below, has all grades, thicknesses, aperatures and also plastic versions.  These types of companies are called wire cloth companies.  Perhaps you can search for this in the UK or EU.

it is worth a try to get the opening you require for floting, that is after all the most important part of a flotation machine.



Howard Wire Cloth Co.
28976 Hopkins St., Suite A
Hayward, CA 94545
Phone: 510-887-8787, 800-969-3559 (toll free)
Fax: 510-786-4167 

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Dear Jacqui & co.,

Locker supply wire mesh, though I haven't tried ordering the fine meshes
myself and don't have details of e.g. minimal quantities they are
prepared to supply.

They may be worth a try when next the need arises.

Best wishes,

Anthony J. Gouldwell  B.Sc.
School of Archaeology and Ancient History,
University of Leicester,
University Road,
Leicester LE1 7RH.

Tel.  (office)      +44(0)116-252 5093
      (secretary)   +44(0)116-252 2611
Fax                 +44(0)116-252 5005
e-mail   [log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: The archaeobotany mailing list
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jacqui Huntley
Sent: 26 January 2006 14:49
To: [log in to unmask]

Dear Stephanie,

We've tried various methods over the years although only with plastic
mesh as I don't know of a British source of wire mesh. We use plastic
washing up bowls as these often have a convenient ridge around the base
that is easy to cut against when removing the base.

We've found the most reliable to be a double set of stitching, each with
saddle stitch, using either nylon fishing line or a heavy linen thread.
For the non- sewers, saddle stitch uses two needles and threads; pass
one up through a hole and the other down through the same hole, pull
tight and move onto next hole.
We use a fine mounted needle heated in a Bunsen to  make the holes but
you have to be careful not to make them too large. Alternatively use
robust leather needles and a pair of pliers. 

As long as the mesh is cut quite closely to the outer line of stitching
the sieve is easy to clean of the little material that gets caught under
the mesh.
We have tried all sorts of materials to seal this edge but they are
either rigid and quickly break/flake or are flexible and get soft and
sticky when we put the bowls in the ovens to dry the flots. A thin layer
of ordinary gloss paint works quite well for the finer mesh sizes and I
have a 300 micron sieve made more than 10 years ago still in good
working order - it has only had 'one careful owner' though and not a lot
of work recently! The mesh is white and by using pale coloured bowls
(luckily 'fashioinable' today!) it is easy to check for possible

Look forward to seeing what other methods have been used....

Happy sewing,

Jacqui Huntley,
English Heritage
North East Regional Science Advisor,
Bessie Surtees House,
41-44 Sandhill,
Newcastle upon Tyne
Durham University: +44 (0)191 334 1137 (also fax/answer machine)
Regional Office: +44 (0)191 269 1200 (Mondays: ... 1222) Mobile
(preferred contact): +44 (0)771 3400387


Department of Anthropology
University of California-Berkeley
Berkeley, CA. 94720-3710