problem sourcing steel in Seattle

I tried several places in Seattle in search of 4140 steel to make a carriage for my Hardinge DV-59 lathe. No luck.
The much touted Whiteside steel north of woodenville....sucks...they don't even
know what type of NEW steel they have. I have seen a better steel selection at Home Depot!
Alaskan Copper was pretty neat and I picked up a few aluminum rems, but all they have is stainless.
onlinemetals did not have anything thicker than 1"
specialty metals in Kent only had 4340 in 1.5" thick plate stock and they wanted $114 to cut me a 6" x 8" piece from the plate (that price includes a $20 cutting charge though). I am not sure I should use the 4340 alloy...hell, I am not sure I need to use the 4140, maybe cast iron would be better, or even plain 1018. I somewhat balk at paying $5 a pound for steel plus a cutting fee. I thought steel was *cheaper* than aluminum per pound? Seems funny that I can buy a milled and ground steel angle plate from enco for $1 to $2 a pound but raw hrs costs $5? And people wonder why stuff moves overseas...
I drove from alaskan copper to Seattle Iron in hopes that they had a rem section that is cheap, but they seem to close at 3:30....I want to work there...who closes at 3:30???
Will try Seattle Iron again tommorow (earlier) and then Boeing Surplus, which has dropped hours of operation to like from 1pm to 2pm on fridays during leap years only. And still have very little in the scrap yard.
sigh...
Rick
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Summerville Steel in Kent is where you should go. They specialize in tool steels and alloy steels. They are on West Valley Hwy, about 1/2 mile south of Home Depot. Basically 1 mile west and a little north of Specialty Metals.
You have to understand that NOBODY is maintaining a large inventory right now. Anybody caught holding a large inventory when the prices drop in the steel market is instantly bankrupt. Larger orders are being ordered directly from the mills.

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Thanks Ernie! Going to go there today!
By the way, I still plan on taking your welding course(s) one day. My friend took them and now welds everything in sight. :-)
Rick
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Hopefully that is a good thing.
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Woot! Today was soooo much better than yesterday. Got to Summerville steel this morning and they had quite a bit of 4140 and 4340 rems in various thicknesses up to 2" for $0.40 a pound. Everything is nicely color coded. The guys there were so incredibly nice. I got 105 lbs of 4140 and 4340 including two perfect pieces 1.5" x 6" x 8" and 2" x 6" x 9". While I was grabbing this, one of the guys said, "Hey, I will just give you some of these A2 and S7 tool steel rems for you to try out" and proceeded to load a large cardboard box with another 100lbs of various rectangles and rounds. I was a bit overwhelmed but said thanks quite a bit. Sometimes you just meet the nicest people.
Well, then I headed over to Boeing Surplus, smug in the knowledge that I didn't need to scrounge in their yard for the three or four oddball size pieces of unknown rusty steel they may or may not have. While passing by the tool area, I noticed a very long (11 feet) wooden box. I looked inside and what did I find but a brand spankin new 9 foot long 2" diameter ground ballscrew and ballnut. It had a crossed out price of $250 and a new price of $125. It will be perfect for the large gantry mill I have been gathering parts for over the last year.
Also, it is absolutely perfect weather in Seattle today.
Rick
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    Out of curiosity, what is the meaning and origin of "Woot"? Previously, I have only seen it in attempts to exploit a (non-existent) formmail.pf in my web site. Apparently, the spammers are still trying to use those. I just checked, and 77 attempts in the past 108 days.
    But those attempts spell it "w00t" (zeroes instead of the letter 'O').
    Thanks,         DoN.
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wrote:

In adventure/role playing games, people would type "wow loot!" when they came upon treasure or killed a monster. It got shortened to woot! and most people use it just to express joy or excitement.
I think it is also a hacker term for low level access to a computer.
Rick
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    [ ... ]

    [ ... ]

    O.K. That is a nice and appropriate derivation.

    Well ... since the superuser on unix systems has the username of "root" (though that can be changed fairly easily), so a computer which has been broken into and modification made to give the unauthorized user "root" privileges, it is said to be "rooted", and I can see how that could also be corrupted into woot (with the '0' for 'o' substitution a common part of the culture of those who like to style themselves "hackers" -- even though they are going against the *real* hacker ethic, which is a more constructive role than they are taking.
    That connection was what I was sort of expecting, not the first that you gave.
    Thanks,         DoN.
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DoN. Nichols wrote:

WOOT     Waste of Our Time      WOOT     We Owned the Other Team (gaming term; less common)      WOOT     Wonderful Loot (Everquest gaming slang; also seen as W00T) extracted from dictionary.com acronym pages
Martin
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    [ ... ]

    [ ... ]

    Thanks! One (the last) is at least related to the other response.
    Again, thanks,         DoN.
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steel
The
including
this,
tool
with
but
didn't
of
area, I

find
ballnut.
perfect
year.
Way cool, Rick! Some days just turn out great, don't they?
Harold
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Sigh..and I paid $5 (!!!!!!!!!!!!) for a 8" x 8" x 3/8 rem of CRS today in Pomona California. I needed it..but Ill not shop there again.....
Gunner
Confronting Liberals with the facts of reality is very much akin to clubbing baby seals. It gets boring after a while, but because Liberals are so stupid it is easy work." Steven M. Barry
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Just a light drizzle, eh?
Gary
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calmly ranted:

Isn't "Seattle" a Native American word meaning "40 and raining"?
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The older I get, the better I was.
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Yeah they are nice there. Last time I went there was for the school. They gave me about 200 lbs of tool steel rems for us to play with as a donation.

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Glad to hear that you found what you needed. I was going to suggest Metal Shorts and/or Pacific Industrial in Seattle, or Floyds in Fife, who have all served me well enough in the past, but it sounds like Summerville is a "higher" class of metal supplier. They, at least, know what they are selling you. Do they always have deals like this, and do you know what hours they are open?
Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:

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wrote:

Standard business hours. I think they mostly deal with larger fabricators, and are happy to get rid of rems to worthy parties. They certainly know more about tool steels than anybody else in Seattle.

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How big a chunk of steel do you need? I have some Stuff.
Gunner
"In my humble opinion, the petty carping levied against Bush by the Democrats proves again, it is better to have your eye plucked out by an eagle than to be nibbled to death by ducks." - Norman Liebmann
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Thanks for the offer! I am going to try Ernie's suggestion of Summerville Steel in Kent first and see what they have.
Now I am wondering if Stressproof 1144 might not be an ideal candidate for this piece if they have it in stock? I could get by without heat treating it then...
Oh, the size chunk...I was thinking about 1.5" thick by 6" by 7". I want to machine dovetail ways for the hardinge bed on the bottom, and dovetail ways on the top for the cross slide. I was thinking of making it a bit wider than the existing lock-down compound that is about 4" wide. The 7" length is so I can have overhang room to allow a ballscrew nut to be attached. My plan is to make little aluminum 1" wide dovetail clamps at each end of the bed to hold bearings for this ballscrew and to hold a dc servo motor. Of course this means it will be a pain if you need to remove the tailstock, but it will give me threading, longitudinal powerfeed, and the ability to turn down about a 12-13" part between centers. I think I can do everything without modifying the lathe bed or casting.
It won't be an omniturn, but hopefully it should be better than a harbor freight 7x10.
Rick
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I can probably get you some P20. However just about any steel will work for your application including (uhg!) CRC or HRS.
Are you doing this simply as an exercise, or because you are unable to find a proper cross slide? I may..may be able to help on the latter. Alsosomething to consider..rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, why not make a simple base plate and stick on the cross slide/compound from another lathe? Find a clapped out old Atlas or Southbend, remove the apron, and bolt to a base plate with the way dovetail cut into it. Ive seen many of them.
Unless you do a CNC conversion, you will never get a consistant thread out of your project. This is a DV-59, right?
Gunner
"In my humble opinion, the petty carping levied against Bush by the Democrats proves again, it is better to have your eye plucked out by an eagle than to be nibbled to death by ducks." - Norman Liebmann
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