Where to buy raw materials

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Mr Ron
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Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Where to buy raw materials

Post by Mr Ron » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:48 pm

I live close to Biloxi, Ms and find it difficult to find raw materials (bar stock) in my area. If I buy materials from online metal suppliers, the shipping charges often cost me more than the materials themselves. Do you have any thoughts as to where I can pick up materials locally. I know I can place a large order which can justify the shipping charges, but I usually don't need large quantities. The same goes for items like drills, taps and industrial items that most amateur machinists don't have access to. These items, I have to order from online suppliers, like McMaster-Carr, MSC, WT tool, Enco, etc.I have Fastenal outlets close by, but not much otherwise. Even than, they don't always carry all the items I use. They have to special order for me and that costs me. When I lived in the San Francisco Bay area, I had easy access to just about anything I needed. There was a scrap metals dealer in my area where I could find materials for my needs, but they have folded. I work with aluminum mostly. Here is an example: 1" square aluminum bar, cost $12.22; shipping cost $20.76; total cost to me; $32.98. I can't find a local dealer.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

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reggie_obe
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Location: New Jersey

Re: Where to buy raw materials

Post by reggie_obe » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:36 pm

Enco sometimes ships for free (including metals) with a $25 or $49 order, watch for the codes. 29MARS, free shipping on $39 or more, valid until 4-6.

Mr Ron
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Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Re: Where to buy raw materials

Post by Mr Ron » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:25 pm

reggie_obe wrote:Enco sometimes ships for free (including metals) with a $25 or $49 order, watch for the codes. 29MARS, free shipping on $39 or more, valid until 4-6.
Thanks for the ENCO tip. I just ordered some materials from them. They have free shipping on orders over $29.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

Harold_V
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Re: Where to buy raw materials

Post by Harold_V » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:50 am

One thing you might wish to consider is establishing a relationship with one (or more) of the local metal recycling places (scrap yards, where aluminum cans and other metals are sold, to be recycled). You'd be surprised at the type of material that is turned in for scrap value. If such yards don't have issues in trying to fill contracts, they may be willing to sell for a very decent price, especially when compared to buying stock from most sources.

There is one negative to this proposition. You most likely won't be able to identify the particular alloy, but with just a little experience you can narrow down the possibilities, allowing you to make reasonable selections.

Aluminum, both bar and plate, should be marked with the alloy and heat treat/aging nomenclature. With that material you can remove all doubts, although you surely couldn't obtain certs if they were required. They typically are not unless you are involved with defense work.

Harold

edit:
You won't be able to rely on color coding you find on material unless you know the source. Unfortunately, such coding is not standardized.
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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tornitore45
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Re: Where to buy raw materials

Post by tornitore45 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:13 am

The problem with recyclers around here is that they all lawyered up and no longer allow people to root around.
For them a few bucks from a HSM is not worth the potential law suit in case some knucklehead rolls an engine block on itself or runs into a swinging crane load.
We live in litigious times.
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

WJH
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Re: Where to buy raw materials

Post by WJH » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:40 am

Make friends with local machine shops...
Also, I have an Amazon Prime account, free 2 day shipping, even deliveries on a Sunday!
With Amazon Prime, I ordered some 6061 t6 flat bar for 7$ with free shipping.. You may find what your looking for

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ronm
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Re: Where to buy raw materials

Post by ronm » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:11 am

The locally-owned scrap yard here was good people, they would let you poke around the yard, had bins w/brass, Al, etc., & would sell it by the pound...but they sold out to a big California co. a couple years ago, so that deal is no more...they won't let anybody out in the yard, & no more small lots by the pound... :cry: I have bought some stock on ebay, but the freight is sometimes a killer...
I've heard rumors that the son of the guy who owned the yard before was opening up a small yard of his own, but that's not confirmed...one can only hope.

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reggie_obe
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Re: Where to buy raw materials

Post by reggie_obe » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:50 pm

Maybe O.T.? Any truth that you can't buy lead from a metals recycler? It's classified as hazzardous material and can only be bought and not sold?

Mr Ron
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Re: Where to buy raw materials

Post by Mr Ron » Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:15 pm

Thanks all for the good tips. I'll go through my telephone directory and look for machine shops. BTW, I do woodworking and have raided scrap bins at a local cabinet maker (with permission of course). I have come up with lots of useable hardwoods.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

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steamin10
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Re: Where to buy raw materials

Post by steamin10 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:23 pm

While federal law holds that a dumpster is open season if not secured, local towns usually have variations of anti-dumpster ordinances. There fore permission of the owner who pays for the service needs to be contacted. A very local ruling. It is different if the dumper is in an alley, or on private ground also. My town is very anal about removing things from the trash on the street or otherwise.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
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PeteH
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Re: Where to buy raw materials

Post by PeteH » Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:39 pm

Used to be a scrap yard here in north-central NJ that let the general public in to root around, on Saturday mornings. I scored some nice stuff there, including an 18" x 18" cast iron lapping plate. Cost me about $8 as I recall. Not much use for lapping any more, but I used it as the base for something else.

Last I heard they didn't do that any more. I'll have to check the place out again, one day. I'll post the results.
Pete in NJ

Harold_V
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Re: Where to buy raw materials

Post by Harold_V » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:17 am

ronm wrote:The locally-owned scrap yard here was good people, they would let you poke around the yard, had bins w/brass, Al, etc., & would sell it by the pound...but they sold out to a big California co. a couple years ago, so that deal is no more...they won't let anybody out in the yard, & no more small lots by the pound... :cry:
One of the negative aspects of "progress".
When I was actively machining, I had an account with Affiliated Metals, in Salt Lake City. I had full run of the warehouse, so I could search for rems. I even weighed the material and wrote my own invoices. They extended to me their full trust, and I was careful to not ruin the trust they placed in me. This relationship lasted for years. Paying a visit was like "going home".

Some time after I closed the doors on my shop, they were purchased by another firm (Reliance). Needless to say, I was no longer welcome in their warehouse.

We've lost a lot as we've become more "civilized". :cry:

Harold

edit:

I should have made mention. This warehouse sold aluminum, copper alloys and stainless. They did not sell steel, nor do they today. Rems of aluminum and stainless went out the door for 75¢/pound.
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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