I am finally going to get started in model engine building. I will need small quantities of several metals. I see in HSM ads for several that offer no minimums nor cutting charges. Any recommendations from the group?
"I will need small quantities of several metals. " I've delt with Metal By The Foot in KCMO for years. They have a web site and will ship Fed Ex. Also used Speedy Metal for tool steel a couple of times. You might try calling or visiting local machine shops also. Why not post what you need and maybe someone here can help. Ken
Online Metals. They have the best prices I've seen for small quantities in the Seattle area. And of course they ship the stuff. There used to be a place called Metal Shorts in Seattle. I hated going to them because they charged an arm and a leg and were snotty about it. They may still be in business but they sure will never get any of mine again. Or the business of several other shops I know. Online Metals also has the prices online so you can order at night over the web. Eric R Snow, E T Precision Machine
I used to use them, but I use a lot of 303 bar stock. I have since switched to
they have a better selection of 303 and 416. Had no REAL complaints with online metals, except that on two large sizes of 303 bar, they started sending this Chinese stuff (So marked) that was bulged pillow shaped, with a lot of stringers and bad pickle surface finish, to the extent that I was flycutting .020-.040 a side to clean it up and square enough to use. I do this for a business..I simply do not have enough room for a stock bandsaw so it does pay me to buy it pre-cut. Extra cleanup time is dollars lost. The material I am getting from metalexpress is square and flat and bright. It matters a LOT when the clock is running. If it's a hobby I suppose it does not. Prices are comparable between the two places, but with the product I make, materials costs are a lot less important than time. If you are buying brass or aluminum or CRS I suppose it does not matter.
Since you're in Mnpls, visit the various places on 2d Ave No near Broadway and browse their drop racks. If you do have to pay for cuts, that'll still cost less than paying shipping. Discount Steel will usually do one cut free per 20' length so you can haul it in a pickup.