The Price of Aluminum

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.
Reply to
W. eWatson
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You want news:rec.crafts.metalworking for these questions.
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
And keep in mind that whatever _you_ think of when you think of plain old aluminum in 1/8" or 1/4" thickness, there's a whole lot of different alloys and finishes and whatnot, all of which affects the price.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
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 , 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.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
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.
Reply to
W. eWatson
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
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
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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