TMT Blog    [ Back to Blog Posts ] Basket Design Video
Sunday, June 19, 2016


In my other video posts, I’ve tried to show how clever and innovative we have been with some very complicated and intricate wire projects.  But quite often a design that’s simple and elegant is the best and most innovative. I’d like to use one of our most basic baskets to demonstrate how I believe simple is the best, and compare our design to similar basket made by a competitor.   
This is one of our standard dipping baskets.  People might use it for all kinds of stuff like dipping, cleaning or drying parts, storing parts in stacks or on shelves, sifting parts out of powder or liquid, or screening gunk out.  We make this style baskets in a huge range of sizes, in a variety of materials, meshes and handle styles to suit this wide range of applications.      
This basket is a 15” x 10” x 8” rectangular basket lined with 4 mesh, stacking dual grip handles, in 304 stainless steel.  To make this, we first build a rod frame, in this case 1/4” rod, with all of the joints TIG welded for strength. Next we line the body frame and bottom frame with mesh, resistance welding every mesh wire securely to the frame rod.  After trimming and blending the edges, we check again for any loose mesh wires.  Every mesh wire should securely welded to the frame and smooth to the touch.  We TIG weld the mesh lined body, bottom panel and the handles together to make a finished basket. 
What we’ve learned of the years is that the weakest part of a mesh lined basket is the joint between the mesh wires and the frame rod.  We are very good at precisely welding this joint to maximize its strength, but the small mesh wire can’t be as strong as the frame rod, and the small part of the mesh wire that’s been heated and welded will never be as strong as the rest of the mesh away from the weld.  With this in mind, our design minimizes the forces on the mesh-to-rod welds in two ways: We don’t have the sidewall mesh carry any vertical loads (like when something gets dumped into the basket, or when a loaded basket is lifted); and the frame rods are positioned to support the mesh from behind.  
To help you visualize this, I have a dipping basket made by a competitor that I bought through an online industrial supply catalog.  As you can see, there are large spans of mesh that are unsupported by the frame.  Any forces pushing outward are pulling on the mesh-to-rod weld up at the top of the basket.  They seem to have recognized that problem, so they added these extra pieces of sheet metal.  I’m not sure if that really increases the strength match, but the sheet metal definitely creates an extra lip to be a catch point when dumping out parts. And it looks awkward. 
I see some other design features on this basket that seem needlessly complicated without any obvious functional benefits.  This basket is made from two mesh panels, one bent into an “L”, one bent into a “C”, fit together and welded.  I’m not sure it really matters, but this means the basket is not symmetrical.  What I do see is that there is an awkward gap in the bottom corner that needed to be filled with weld and ground smooth, and a gap along the corner.  There is a similar odd joint here at the top corner.
Our dipping baskets are available through a variety industrial supply catalogs, or you can visit our website where you can select the exact sizes and features you need in a dipping basket, get a price, and place an order.     
These two design approaches both arrived at a functional dipping basket.   I will admit that most dipping basket users may never notice the added strength, durability and ease of use in our basket design.  But the attention to detail that we show on our conventional dipping basket carries through our entire line of projects.