Where Do You Guys Buy Expanded Metal?

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by rabbithutch, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    (If I've posted this in the wrong place, please move it where it should go and slap my hands.)

    I am not contemplating a build but I AM contemplating some mods and some patio cooking aids.  I was thinking that EM would be perfect for some of the things I want to do, but I know nothing about the material or where to source it.  Can anyone tell me about the properties of the different sizes and expansion dimensions?  What would be suitable for table wings etc.

  2. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    You can usually find it at Lowes or Home Depot.  The people that work there will usually tell you they don't have it, or show you metal lathe that you use with stucco or something.  So don't take their word for it that they don't have it.  Look next to where they keep sheet metal, flat iron, angle iron, etc...  It's usually right there.  They package it in cardboard to protect innocent passers by, so look for something that looks like a home air filter.

    But they're usually relatively small sheets, like 48" x 36" or so, I think.  I don't know if that would be big enough for your purposes.  If that doesn't work, you might have to order through a metal supply store.

    Also, if it's for a table, you might think about having some sort of rubberized coating, or spend a lot of time with a file to make it safe.  It's sharp and cutty basically everywhere.  The stuff I bought is anyway.  
  3. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    A sheet of 3/4 x 9 flat expanded metal is going for $46 a 4 x 8 sheet here locally in Beaumont, Texas.  Either frame it out with 1/2 x 1/2 or 3/4 x 3/4 angle or like ThsMormonSmokes said, you might try some of the spray rubber to coat it with.  Might work out well.  It is some sharp stuff.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  4. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, guys!

    I'll check at Lowe's next time I go.  I don't need large pieces and I was planning to use a frame around it made of angle iron.

    Great info.  Much obliged!

  5. You should be able to find a steel/metals dealer locally.
    Sometimes it's even possible to find it at a metal scrap yard, they'll often set aside good stuff that's brought in so they can resell it at a decent mark-up which is usually significantly less than new price.
    I sure would hate to have to pay the shipping on the stuff!

  6. I had the same issue when I went to Home Depot, the solution is searcg "expanded metal" on the HD site and write down the sku, for the 24x12" package its 45830. If you do this they can find where in the store it is and you can verify your store has in their computer. I went in told them this info and that they had 5 in stock, worked far better than asking and hoping you got the right guy. Good luck.
  7. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Even more good information!

    Thanks guys!  I've been needing to seek out our local scrap metal yard because I need some 3/16" flat steel bar, too.
  8. boyle

    boyle Newbie

  9. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the info and the product number.  That will save me a lot of time arguing with the help.

    I'm planning to use a little MAPP/O2 set up to tack the expanded metal to angle.  I don't have a welder nor access to one.  Any tips on using the MAPP?
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  11. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    Even with a frame you will want to do something to address safety issues.  Because of how they make the stuff, basically every surface has the potential to cut you.  You'll see what I mean when you handle it.  I handled a 12" x 10" piece of it without gloves on for about 30 seconds figuring I'd be OK.  A few minutes later I noticed that my hand felt sticky, looked down to see that it was covered in blood.  It was a small nick, and fortunately a razor sharp cut, but it bled like a S.O.B.  Lesson learned.  
  12. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Did you end up tack welding it?  I don't have a welder and want to come up w/ a different option holding the EM to the angle frame. 
  13. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If this is directed to me, the answer is, "No. I didn't tack weld it as I do not have the equipment or knowledge. I used wire where I needed to keep different pieces in close proximity.
  14. radioguy

    radioguy Smoking Fanatic


    I have no experience with MAPP/O2 setup, but if you can get it hot enough (dull cherry red) then you can braze it.  Brazing uses brass rods and flux, its more like soldering instead of welding.  NAPA has flux coated brass rods or you can find them at the local welding shop.  Its not good for high strength structural stuff but it'll word great for holding EM.  Temperature is key, you don't want the steel / iron too hot (molten), if you do then it'll pop and spit when the molten brass hits it.  It'll flow like butter when you have the temps right.  The brass will flow toward your heat (torch tip) when you get it at the right temperature. 
  15. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Yep, it's the 18 gauge stuff for about 10 bucks.
  16. unitedone

    unitedone Newbie

    Hi looking to buy expanded metal sheet 4X80 to cook a whole hog on a brick pit? Can anyone help me? I am in the Riverside Ca area!
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
  17. You can find expanded metal at a local welding shop or find it online but shipping is expensive.
    I have used hog fence for cooking whole hogs before. It tends to be cheaper than expanded metal. You can find at your local farm supply store but, I live in Nebraska and assume supply stores are more prevalent here. Good luck.
  18. Great info on this thread - as usual for the forum!

    Here's a pretty good Steel Gauge to Inches & Millimeters conversion chart I found useful, in case you see inches and not gauge listed in store specifications.

  19. downrange

    downrange Fire Starter

    Hello all, which specs should i be looking for, for expanded metal that is similar to the expanded metal used in Lang, Gotor, Jambo, Klose cooking racks? I want to make a 24" diameter expanded metal cooking rack for my XL Big Green Egg. I know were to buy locally but i want to go in there amd ask for the correct material.

    I dont want that super thin stuff from home depot either.

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