Saturday, June 29, 2019

Source for 1/2" Wide .050" to .100" Inch Thick Steel?

I am trying to make the legs for the spider.  0.022" aluminum bends both in the mill vise and when the mill reaches the surface.  (I need to punch 1/4" diameter holes in one end of a 4" long piece.)  I can use steel instead--there is not much weight, and even .1" thick would not cause severe diffraction spikes.  The extra stiffness would help.  One proposal that I have seen is to use hacksaw blades, but they flex when I try to mill the round ends off, and they resist plunge milling very well.  So where might I find mild steel that is 1/2" wide and .1" thick.  Some utterly different use that I can use for this purpose.


  1. 12 gauge steel?

    Maybe steel banding? Or steel sheet, and cut the strips out?

  2. Home Depot and Lowes both carry mild steel sheets. Much larger pieces than you need, but still not terribly expensive.

  3. Sheets require cutting to a precision that my rough tools do not support, and milling rough cuts to size is harder than it should be. There is .5" flat bar available, and I suspect my local metal store will have it---tomorrow.

    Good suggestions, however.

  4. when do I hear of you buying a used drop hammer.

  5. Consider using a sheet metal nibbler to cut to size. They can make fairly clean cuts. Two versions, one air powered, typically used in autobody work, and the latest is powered by a drill motor.

    Just got one that I ordered from the web (china), after watching u-tube videos of it cutting various materials. Specs say it can cut 1.8mm steel, 1.2mm stainless, max throat is 2.0mm.
    Double-headed cutter, model# YT-160A

    Haven't tried it yet. Think it was about $30