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Buying steel for workbench?

Old 12-12-2007, 11:43 PM
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Crash90
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Default Buying steel for workbench?

I want to start using magnets for building. I am not sure where to buy steel or what kind I need. Any advise?
Old 12-12-2007, 11:53 PM
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Teachu2
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Default RE: Buying steel for workbench?

See http://www.airfieldmodels.com/inform...oard/index.htm for all the specs, then look in the yellow pages or google Steel suppliers in your area.
Old 12-12-2007, 11:55 PM
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Default RE: Buying steel for workbench?

BTW - the steel is thin, so you need a good FLAT table to lay it on.
Old 12-13-2007, 12:44 AM
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FOD MAN
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Default RE: Buying steel for workbench?

I got a piece at lowes ( like the red one ) but i have a hard time building anything straight on it. i am going back to my old cork topped solid door.[8D]
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:34 AM
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Default RE: Buying steel for workbench?

Do a search of the phone book or online directory and try and find a metal supplier. If you can't find one, look for a metal fabricator and ask them for a source (they may even be able to supply you. What you are looking for is cold rolled steel. You do not want stainless and you do not want steel with a rust coat. The metal supplier near my house sold the steel by the sheet. One 4' x 10' sheet of 16 Gage cold rolled steel with one cut (I had them cut a 4' x 8' piece and a 2' x 4' piece) for about $100.

Teachu2 is correct about the support. I built a table which uses some steel shelving units for the base and a top make kind of like a hollow core door. It is sheeted on both sides with 3/4" MDF and has an internal frame made of 2" x 2" in a 2' grid. This is all banded with 1' X 6" pine that is set 1/16" higher than the top sheet of MDF. This way, the steel sits flush with the sides.

Cold rolled steel will rust, so you will need to protect and maintain it. What I do is wax the steel. I prefer this to paint because it won't scratch like paint will, and if any CA or epoxy gets on it, it can be simply scraped off. If rust spots develop, which they will, I use fine 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper and re-wax. After a build, I'll do a good cleaning with solvents, sand out any rust, and re-wax, then it's good to go.

I took the time to scribe a 1" grid on mine. Sometimes it's nice, but it was a lot of tedious work.


Scott
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:45 PM
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Nathan_L
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Default RE: Buying steel for workbench?

Find a steel fabricator and get a piece of "drop". If you "walk in" to a steel supplier you'll get raped - and by raped I mean paying between 50x and 100x the normal prices per pound of steel.

You should be able to find a small fab shop who will have some pieces they can cut for next to nothing (or nothing if your nice). Even if you want a 4'x8' piece ask them to order it and double the price for you and you still come out light years ahead.

I work in the steel industry and all our suppliers price over the counter steel to discourage walk ins. Same thing for Lowes and Home Depot on their small selection of steel. They price it at $5.00 per pound a few years ago when steel was still going for 0.30 per pound...gone up since then tho.

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