To make wire, manufacturers start with a rod of metal; for wire mesh fencing, steel rod is the most common choice. This rod of metal is pulled through a metal plate with a hole in it. This metal plate is called a die, and the process of pulling the metal through the die is known as drawing. This process is repeated again and again with progressively smaller dies until the desired wire size is reached. Originally, the gauge of the wire referred to the number of times that the drawing process was done. Wire manufacturers started with Gauge 3 metal rods, and repeated the drawing process as many times as necessary. In earlier times, the size of the dies and the Wires produced through them could vary significantly from one shop to another, because of low-tech machining processes. As machining and manufacturing became more precise, this variance began to become a problem. This eventually led to the standardization of wire gauge information; from that point on, each gauge measurement has corresponded to a particular size of wire.
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