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The Price of Aluminum

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by W. eWatson, Dec 1, 2012.

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  1. W. eWatson

    W. eWatson Guest

    I'm in California. Not that it may matter. Does anyone know the price
    of Al per square foot for 1/4" or 1/8" thickness.
     
  2. DoN. Nichols

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    And the first question is: what kind of machine tools do you
    have to modify it. At 1/4" thick, I don't think that chassis punches
    would work, so you should have a drill press and a milling machine to
    start with.

    Another question is -- what size plates?

    From MSC <http://www.mscdirect.com>, 1/4" 6061 alloy (fairly
    nice machining) aluminum in 2'x2' dimensions goes for $183.48 ($44.96
    per square foot) while a 12"x12" plate is $47.91 ea (a bit more per
    square foot).

    While 1/8" (0.125" thickness) is $97.03 per sheet at 24" x 24",
    while 12" x 12" is $58.50. (the step from 1/8" to 1/4" moves from
    "sheet" to "plate" in terminology. And certainly for cutting the 1/4"
    you will need a bandsaw, while 1/8" thick might be possible with a foot
    shear. (Yes, there are shears which will handle 1/4" thick and thicker,
    but they are *big*, expensive, and very noisy -- driven by a flywheel
    spun by an electric motor.)

    So -- do you have the tools to work with this. The larger the
    sheet you purchase (up to 4' x 8') the less per square foot, but the
    more tooling you need to work with it.

    There are online metals stores which will supply the metal for
    perhaps less money. MSC is convienent because they ship quickly. (I
    typically get things within 24 hours or less, and they have a lot of
    things which I like to get and use. But for metals in small quantities,
    either go to the online metals places, or find an industrial vendor.
    (I'm on the East Coast, so where I get things would not work for you.

    Yet thinner metal you could use a hand shear and a finger brake
    for bending up boxes and such. And for bending, you need to select the
    right alloy -- 6061 is nice to machine, but tends to crack when you bend
    it.

    Good Luck,
    DoN.
     
  3. W. eWatson

    W. eWatson Guest

    Thanks. I think I was too fast on the trigger. This concerns an astro
    dome, and I do use some aluminum inside for shelves. However, my latest
    thrust is to replace a lower shutter, which is about 3x3'. The dome and
    two shutters are made from galvanized steel, so price wise and otherwise
    probably better off using it. I'll check on this Monday with some
    distributors in the area.
     
  4. Jim Wilkins

    Jim Wilkins Guest

    You might do better on one cut sheet by checking with sheet metal and
    HVAC shops. Can you tolerate scratches? Don't forget that you have to
    transport it.
    jsw
     
  5. Guest

    Were in California? In Sacramento we have a place called Blue Collor that sells all types of metals for a resonable prices. Also check all of your local recylers. Some will allow customers to go buy from them.
    Wiley
     
  6. Guest

    Bends just fine at T0 - Not so well at T6.. Machines well at T6, not
    so well at T0 (dead soft)
     
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