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Making Steel Fittings. Question.

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Richard. W.03/04/2020 15:03:01
71 forum posts

If this post is in the wrong section, could a mod or admin please move it.

Hi, all.

When building from a published plan or your own plans and there's a need to fabricate a bracket or similar part from steel, where do you guys buy the material from?

I have the facility to bend it, drill it and grind it but cutting is a problem as I only have a hand held hacksaw, so cutting strips from a sheet is out......Small cuts, such as cutting lengths from a strip is ok but not cutting the strip itself.

In the past I've used bits of that steel banding that's sometimes put around packing crates, etc but I can't seem to get hold of any now.

Doc Marten03/04/2020 15:12:27
542 forum posts
7 photos

A jewelers saw and metal blade cost about a tenner Richard, make up a small cutting support and you're away.

Peter Miller03/04/2020 15:42:45
10960 forum posts
1272 photos
10 articles

I would suggest finding a small factory with a maintenance department and see if you can scrounge some scrap bits.

School technology departements often have lots of scrap if you have kids going there, also technology departments are glad to be offered materials of various sorts and a bit of bartering can be done.

Wandering round small industrial estates will often reveal small companies that can be helpful.

Many years ago I scrounged a large amount of copper clad fiberglass pieces in just that way

Bob Cotsford03/04/2020 16:31:08
8390 forum posts
463 photos

Buy a decent set of tinsnips. Material can be scavenged from old electrical equipment. Old stereos, radios, computers and disc drives, washing machines and the like can provide a lifetime stock of sheet steel, ready made brackets, gears, pulleys, small screws, nuts and bolts. If it's going for recycling who cares if you've cut a strip out of the back?

Remember the old vinyl covered steel office furniture?  In the '80s my RCM&E transmitter case was made from the grey vinyl crinkle finish side off a desk unit.

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 03/04/2020 16:34:17

Mark Elen03/04/2020 16:35:30
513 forum posts
1013 photos

Hi Richard,

Lots of metal suppliers on Ebay, or try here: **LINK** or here: **LINK**



Andy4803/04/2020 18:06:33
1496 forum posts
8 photos

You can buy thin sheet aluminium and steel from the likes of B&Q and Wickes.    .....  When they eventually open again. frown


Edited By Andy48 on 03/04/2020 18:07:14

Glyn4403/04/2020 18:39:52
733 forum posts
93 photos

Both open here!

john stones 103/04/2020 18:55:42
11453 forum posts
1516 photos

Wickes have a pretty good selection of stuff, flat bar, tube,angle, box section, brass/steel/ali.

John Wagg03/04/2020 20:14:52
65 forum posts
10 photos

Tin cans and aluminium drinks containers are a source that I have used in the past.

I have had screws & rod etc from hardware shops including Wilkinsons.

Engine Doctor03/04/2020 20:48:11
2469 forum posts
39 photos

Look out for a pair of Bilbo cutters. Like tin snips but more substantial . They will cut car body gauge and thicker with ease. For cutting tricky bits I clamp one of the grips in a vice and put a piece of tubing over the other . They are not cheap but are often seen at boot fairs etc.

Martin Harris03/04/2020 21:28:35
9263 forum posts
245 photos


john stones 103/04/2020 21:32:46
11453 forum posts
1516 photos

I have a few pairs of Gilbow cutters, good tool, like the sound of Bilbo ones better though, be good for the hobbitists among us. smiley

Richard. W.04/04/2020 22:40:27
71 forum posts

Guys. Many thanks for all the advice. thumbs up smiley

I shall invest in some good cutters (Maybe even find some "Bilbo" ones) wink 2 ........and an angle grinder. Scavenging thin sheet steel seems to be the way to go although I'll see if I can buy some strip to tide me over the current project. Once I get set up in my permanent workroom, I want to vastly improve on my metal working tools and skills. I can at least solder, silver solder and braze (although I can't weld) but at some point I want to invest in a small lathe to turn my own fittings, etc...

Thanks again and Stay Safe. smiley

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