ways of Gingery metal lathe

According to p.25 of David Gingery's book, The Metal Lathe, the ways for his design have to be purchased from a steel supply house. How much does
it typically cost to have ONE torch cut 1/4" x 3" x 24" slab of cold rolled steel made and shipped to your apartment? I tried looking up "steel supply" and "steel supply house" and "cold rolled steel" on google to get some idea, but those don't seem to be the right things to search under.
I should emphasize that I'm not about to build the Gingery lathe. I'm just reading the book (along with Joe Martin's Tabletop Machining) and trying to visualize the details of Gingery's construction, for better or worse. I think I'm making a little progress: last time I read through the book, I didn't make it a point to visualize all details of the construction and instead just tried to get the general idea, thinking I could get specific later. As a result didn't realize until now that one had to buy the steel to make the ways. I have been under the impression until now that the Gingery lathe was made entirely out of scrap aluminum.
Ignorantly, Allan Adler snipped-for-privacy@zurich.ai.mit.edu
**************************************************************************** * * * Disclaimer: I am a guest and *not* a member of the MIT Artificial * * Intelligence Lab. My actions and comments do not reflect * * in any way on MIT. Moreover, I am nowhere near the Boston * * metropolitan area. * * * ****************************************************************************
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Allan Adler wrote:

The steel supply places I deal with and have dealt with in the past have used an abrasive cutoff saw to cut down the stuff I bought. They did not charge me anything except the cost of the metal. Buisnesses that quote stupid costs to cut a bit off, don't get my money. One of the local suppliers of small quantities charges $1.50 per cut for bandsawing the piece off (pretty reasonable) but I have been quoted $20-$40 per cut when I was looking to buy single sticks of 12L14 under an inch diameter.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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cold rolled steel made and shipped to your apartment? ?
Online metals has it for $4.95 + shipping.
http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?pidq69&step=4&showunits=inches Gary Brady Austin, TX
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That might be a standard size that is available in tool steel.
Bob Swinney

slab of

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As Gingery himself points out, if it is necessary to have the piece torch cut, then it is also necessary to purchase a longer piece, and, in this case, you would end up cutting the piece yourself also, both to create less imperfect edges, and to cut off the warp, probably at both ends. It would save you a lot of work to just have it cut with an abrasive wheel to begin with.
Michael
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Thanks to snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (MichaelMandavil) for pointing out that I had misread and misquoted what Gingery actually wrote.
I wrote:

Michael Mandavil replied:

David Gingery wrote: `If you must buy it from a steel supply house, have it saw cut instead of torch cut. If you can't avoid a torch cut, get it about 6" longer, and cut it on both ends with a hack saw.'
Ignorantly, Allan Adler snipped-for-privacy@zurich.ai.mit.edu
**************************************************************************** * * * Disclaimer: I am a guest and *not* a member of the MIT Artificial * * Intelligence Lab. My actions and comments do not reflect * * in any way on MIT. Moreover, I am nowhere near the Boston * * metropolitan area. * * * ****************************************************************************
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According to p.26 of the instructions for building the Gingery metal lathe, one has to step drill the hole centers on the steel ways to 5/16" and then tap them for 3/8"-16 threads. Some warning is given on p.13 that one will have to do this and some instructions are given. I think I understand the concept of step drilling. When on p.13 Gingery writes: "Without a drill press and a very accurate jig, it is very near impossilbe to drill mating members separately, and have the holes line up. The best way is [...]", am I correct in thinking I can ignore that for the purposes of the stuff on page 26? My reasoning is that the ways are being laid on the bed, which was cast with big holes in the top and the holes one is supposed to drill and tap in the ways are supposed to fit those holes. The bed holes are *supposed* to be 3/8" (and maybe they will turn out that way), so the bolt or stud ought to fit in them. So the only things that have to be tapped are the holes in the steel ways, and the problem described on page 13 about mating threads doesn't arise in this case. Is that correct or is there a little subtlety I haven't considered?
Also, Gingery says to use drills and taps of high speed steel. So he seems to be making some assumption about the drilling equipment one will be using. That may contradict the idea of building an entire metal working shop from scrap aluminum, but what exactly is one supposed to use to make these taps in the metal ways? (I guess one can't do it by hand...)
When, on p.13, Gingery writes: "When you join mating members with a row of screws, do one hole completely, and install the bolt before you do the rest of the holes, otherwise, the holes won't line up." If my earlier theory was correct, then maybe I should also ignore this for the operations on p.26. I don't know yet where else in the book one needs to do tapping. But maybe when he speaks of holes on p.13, he doesn't necessarily mean circular holes but includes any cavity which has to share a bolt with the tapped hole and which is narrow enough in at least one direction to just contain a bolt of the indicated width, and so the stuff on p.13 *is* meant to apply to the operations on p.26.
Ignorantly, Allan Adler snipped-for-privacy@zurich.ai.mit.edu
**************************************************************************** * * * Disclaimer: I am a guest and *not* a member of the MIT Artificial * * Intelligence Lab. My actions and comments do not reflect * * in any way on MIT. Moreover, I am nowhere near the Boston * * metropolitan area. * * * ****************************************************************************
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Allan Adler wrote:

Sadly, I cannot answer any of your questions. However, I see you are in New England. I'm up in NH and am just starting to build from the Gingery books. I'll be damned if I can find "fire clay" anywhere--what did you use and where did you get it?
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Fire clay should be available in ceramics (pottery) hobby places that would also sell green-ware, glazes, and kilns, especially the warehouse type places. I can't help you from the middle of the frozen Canadian prairies...
But if I see Allans question regarding the ways, perhaps I can answer that one having built a Gingery lathe some years back.
Dave
PS The best thing for building Gingery machines would be a friend with a milling machine. You can save perhaps 60% of the build time if you had access to a mill to clean-up / square-up the rough castings. I did mine with hand tools (OK, I broke out the dremel on occasion) and it takes a lot of work. Make your patterns as carefully and accurately as possible because removing 50 thou' of wood is one heck of a lot easier than filing the same amount of aluminum, trust me :)

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PhysicsGenius wrote:

Look in your phone book under "pottery supplies" and "ceramics supplies" and make a few calls.
Plainsman Pottery Supply is one outfit that has branches around north america, I think.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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Check out the link below to an improved lil bertha furnace. Fire Bricks, Furnace cement, (barbeque and fireplace stores) and perlite (home depot) are very good alternatives. Worked for me! Wali
http://www.dansworkshop.com/The%20New%20and%20Improved%20Lil '%20Bertha.shtml

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It looks like "perlite" still needs "high temperature mortar". I'd have to recheck, but I don't think my Home Depot had that either. Nor have I seen anything called "perlite" anywhere.
I've found "refractory cement" in a couple places but:
a) It's a moist clay, not a mixable powder b) You only get about a quart of it--not enough to line a whole bucket (?) c) It's about $12/qt
wialgmes wrote:

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Perlite is in the garden department and "high temperature mortar" is the "Furnace Cement". Sounds like what you found in the refractory cement. You mix it with the perlite to make the lid and bottom.The fire bricks line the bucket. HTH

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This does help, but it makes me a bit nervous to follow random instructions from the Internet. Of course, a book is no different, but at least I know people have followed the book and survived.
Where would one find fire bricks? Probably a "fireplace construction company"--which if I found one of, they'd have fire clay in the first place.
Wali wrote:

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Call ceramics supply shops, fireplace/bar-b-que stores and masonry suppliers and ask for firebrick. Note: after I tracked down firebricks from a masonry supplier on the other side of town, I went in to a pool/spa/grill/fireplace store around the corner from home and found bricks for 1/3 less! Oh well, live and learn. I built the brick electric furnace and it still works for me. I would however, be careful of your council and remember that advice from the electronic oracle (internet [and me for that matter]) is worth what you paid for it. ;)

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I was in Home Depot today looking at fire bricks (for a welding table). They had furnace cement too. The bricks weren't easy to find, I had to resort to asking for directions! They were with the fireplace accessories.
Rob
On Fri, 28 Nov 2003 17:47:23 GMT, PhysicsGenius

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