Where to get 1/4" square mild steel?

Many people use 1/4" square rod for lots of projects like nails, S-hooks, kitchen tools, etc., etc.
Most would like to use hot rolled mild steel for this application, but
it is pretty hard to find in quantities less than a few thousand pounds.
So, many folks buy cold rolled 1018 instead, paying at least twice the price of its hot rolled cousin, because that's all the the yards have in stock in that small square size.
Where do YOU folks get your 1/4" square mild steel stock, preferably hot rolled?
Pete Stanaitis --------------------
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spaco wrote:

Hi Pete,
The local hardware store, but I live in Australia, so the availability of resources is very different.
We export a "lot" of nickel, but I find it difficult to by for inclusion into (faux) damascus.
Regards Charles
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wrote:

Hi Pete-
It's not something that I can do in huge quanities, simply because of the cost of running the laser, but if you need some 1/4" square stock, I can certainly get you some 1008 pickled and oiled.
I could make it truly square by matching the width to the actual thickness, or .250 wide by the nominal thickness (usually right around .230") We finally got new optics for the laser at work, and we normally run up to .250 sheet goods, so the cut is nice and smooth (unlike the yarn guides, which were a little thicker than the machine could reasonably handle when it wasn't in top form to begin with.)
Whenever we run 1/4" plate, there is a 3.625" wide margin on one side of the sheet, so if you're in need of some of this stock, I can make a point of (laser) shearing some pieces off the next time we run the material, or possibly sooner if there is some in the scrap rack. If you've got an idea of how much you might like, I think we could maybe arrange a trade for some of that lumber you've got- or I'll give you a price if you like (It'll be low.)
Because of the nature of the sheet goods, they'd either be 40" or 48" long. The only downside to this is that strips this narrow often curl a little bit due to the heat buildup- which is something that really shouldn't be a huge issue for blacksmithing stock, but I think is worth mentioning.
If you're looking more generally as a way to pass along the info to others, I've found that the least expensive and quickest way to get any material, especially mild steel, is to ask around at any fabrication or machine shop. All of them get regular shipments, and it's usually at bargin basement prices compared to what you'd pay if buying retail- and there is often a cutoff rack somewhere in any given shop that more than likely has way too much metal crammed into it. Asking nicely and (this is the important part) letting them know that you want it for a specific purpose will often get you some very cheap, or even free, steel.
When approaching a shop with buying or asking for scrap on your mind, letting them know what it's for is crucial- with the price of steel going up constantly, no one wants to give stuff away to a stranger who just wants to take it to the scrapyard to get some beer money!
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If I was interested in a bunch of rose petal blanks are you one I could get a price from I live in south central MN. Sounds like you must be near Pete in WI Roger Degner

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http://www.kingmetals.com/Default.aspx?Page=Home
on the left are rosettes.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
781 wrote:

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When Martin H. Eastburn put fingers to keys it was 1/20/08 10:27 PM...

http://www.kingmetals.com/default.aspx?page=item%20detail&itemcode -17-1
Now _that's_ some cheap labor. And cheap shipping.
--

Carl West
http://prospecthillforge.com : The Blacksmithing Classroom
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I think he wants to make something more like this http://johndilbeck.com/metalsmithing/steelrosespage.html I have a pattern to run on the plasma table but I'm not set up right now.
Andrew

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On Mon, 21 Jan 2008 11:47:30 -0500, "AndrewV"

Never ran a (cnc) plasma cutter, but the laser will knock these out like nothing.
These, I can do in 5052 or 6061 aluminum, 304 stainless, or 1008 cold rolled steel (or galvanized, but I doubt anyone in their right mind would want to forge that!) I can run them in high-speed shutterless mode if they're run from thin (less than .060", or 16 ga.) stock, and it shouldn't be much time or material cost. If more people than just the OP want them, and he's willing to share the design of the blanks, it'd reduce the cost for everyone, as I'd split up the programming time accordingly.
The other stuff can be done as well, provided that what is needed is just the flat cutout, with the veining and shaping omitted. I could do the shaping, but at that point, it'd be a lot cheaper to buy the mass produced ones. No real way to compete with the kind of tooling those guys have. Best way to get something like that done is to e-mail me a .dxf file, or a scan of a cleanly drafted drawing that is scaled properly to make sure it is done the way you want it.
And, if anyone else is interested in contacting me for laser work, I can do it, but I prefer to stick to material that is comfortably in the range of the machine- I can do thicker material occasionally, but the cut quality really suffers. The basic guidelines are the materials listed above, in the following maximum thicknesses. Aluminum- .100" thick, Stainless, .187" thick (though .135" or thinner is preferable) and CRS .187" thick- .250" plate is within range as well, but I can only buy it in 10' x 4' sheets, and it takes a little time to arrive. I can also cut HDPE, gylon, nylon, plexiglass, fiberglass board and other non-metallic items, but rather than trying to track the specific material needed down, I'd prefer that anything like that be supplied by the person who needs the part.
Lead time depends on quantity and material- my employer allows me to use the machine for personal projects on my off time as part of my negotiated benefits, but I usually limit runs to half-hour blocks of time during lunch or after hours so that I'm not sitting at work for 14 hours a day. Brake work and seamless welding is also availible, but only for small orders.
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I was thinking it was this:
http://www.kingmetals.com/Default.aspx?page tegory%20search%20results&CatList=0&Parent30&tree30*Rosettes*0@@
Pig of a hyperlink.
Martin Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
Martin H. Eastburn wrote:

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Yep- I'm in Bloomer, WI- not real close, but not too far either. Drop me an e-mail at prometheus <at> charter.net with some details of what you need, and I'll work up a price for you. Cash or trade works for me, depending on the job.
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Bloomer ? My high school German teacher, Leon Sclenck came from bloomer. Taught his last year while dying of cancer and none of us knew it. At years end he quietly packed up his things and went home to die. Almost forty years and I still think of his classes occasionally
Mike Graf
.Prometheus wrote:

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I didn't know him, but it sounds plausible. It's a little town that is about 60% German by ethnicity- and I guess if I had to pick a place to die in peace, this might be it. It's a pretty nice little place, isolated from everywhere and kind of like a time capsule of Norman Rockwell's idea of anywhere, USA. Keeping things like cancer to one's self is still more the rule than the exception around here, and everyone is very polite and helpful. I guess 40 years ago, many more places would have been like this, but here's it's probably very much the same as it was then.
I live here mainly because I'm a younger guy who wanted to own a house, and this was where I could afford to do that- but I've grown to really appreciate the place over the last five years. It's a whole different world than when I lived in Minneapolis, and very good for a guy who likes to build things and bang on hot iron- there's no neighborhood housing commission to tell me not to do it, and these old houses are very good at keeping out noise from the neighbors.
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Triple-S Steel in San Antonio and Houston has it. Don't know where their other outlets are.
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