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Mesh: What do the numbers mean, and what size to use for glazes ?

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I have some commercial glazes that have gotten lumpy in storage, and need to sieve them before using.  I'm thinking a standard kitchen 'strainer' is probably not fine enough, but rather than ordering a sieve on-line, and waiting a week or more, I'm hoping to make one from materials I have on-hand.

I have a piece of stainless steel screen, that's labeled "80 Mesh  .0055".   I see sieves advertised by various pottery suppliers, listed anywhere from 40 mesh to 150 mesh.

So I have two questions: 

1) What does the 80 mean when referring to an 80 mesh sieve ?   (I think I'm safe in assuming the '80' is not holes per square inch,  as that would make an opening of around 0.1 inches, depending on wire size) 

2) Would this screen that I have be suitable for sieving glazes - or is it too fine ?




Edited by Rockhopper
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Here’s how mesh size is measured:

Mesh (Mesh Count) — first, measure 1″ (from center to wire to center of wire), then count the number of openings in that 1″ span. This number is your mesh, or mesh count.

80 mesh is sufficient for most wet glaze sieving after mixing and prior to application. 

Hope this helps.



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Mesh size is the number of holes in a linear inch of mesh/screen, not the holes in a square inch. However you can't just divide 1 inch by 80 to get the size of the holes, because the wires themselves have a certain thickness that takes up space in there, too. Because the mesh can be made with different materials, mesh size is not a precise measurement of particle size. One 80 mesh screen may have different size holes than another 80 mesh screen. Microns are a precise measurement, as one micron is one-millionth of a meter. For what we do in ceramics, mesh sizes are precise enough.

80 mesh is perfect for sieving glazes.

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Hadn't seen that, good one Mr. S



Secure sit on top of a five gallon bucket - good so far; available in several meshes, less than $15(US) each, hamazon (image  below); I have a 70 an' 100

For small sieves (~4"), bought a roll of stainless screen and plumbing bits to make one for me, one for several others as well, and much screen left over for ...heh. Bought enough of the black pipe to make several sieves; it fits in the white piece, given a bit of sanding. There are tricks for making a square cut - try tape, then follow that tape line. The screen is supported on both sides, and secured with some 5 minute epoxy.




Edited by Hulk
small sieve image (got up from couch)
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20 hours ago, Min said:

80 mesh screen is my go to for all my glazes. There is a thread with a few homemade sieves linked below if you need some ideas on making one. 

80 mesh is 80 holes per inch of mesh screening.


Thanks Min.

Will keep your design in mind, next time I make an 'essential' trip to the hardware store...  but, in keeping with the 'use what I have on-hand' plan,  I used Callie's idea from the same thread, and made one from an empty glaze jar.  Wouldn't want to  do large amounts with it, but since I'm sieving less than a pint at a time, it does the job.  (It sits nicely on a pint canning jar.)



14 hours ago, oldlady said:

rockhopper, if you start with your kitchen strainer,  you can get the worst of the lumps out before tackling the small mesh sieve.  try using a hard ball or pestle shape to force the glaze through the strainer.

Fortunately nothing hard enough to require that much force... mostly just 'boogers', as my painter father-in-law called the lumps that sometimes show up on a paint roller.  Was able to work most of them through my 'jar-lid sieve' with just a stiff paintbrush.


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