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Fasttrack
04-07-2009, 08:58 PM
Well I've been looking for some material for this clapper box. I'm a student and 100 bucks is equall to more than 10 hours of work for me. ("Research Assistants" don't get paid too well these days but at least they don't require us to have hunchbacks :D).

Anyway, I'd like to do this as cheap as possible without sacrificing quality. For that reason, I've neglected the idea of piecing the box together. My thought was to look for a drop from an 8" diameter round that is about 3" thick, as opposed to buying a piece of rectangular stock that is 8" by 6" by 3". For some reason it seems cheaper that way.

Anyhow, I found some new gray CI 7" that would put me back about 60 bucks and some new 1018 HR 8" diameter that would cost about 65 bucks. (All minus shipping :() I might be able to make 7" work, I need to take a look.

But does anyone happen to know of or have suggestions for a place that would part with some drops for pretty cheap? I took a look on ebay and they had some 8" aluminum drops, but nothing like what I was looking for.

Thanks!

3t-
04-07-2009, 09:12 PM
Walk into a few small machine shops or metal sellers in your area. You will come out with something much cheaper. My local "pusher" sells any size cut or larger order no piece too small and he usually asks me "what will you give me for it" when I pick something up off of his cut off and ends rack.

A little leg work usually pays off. Last time I went into the local machine shop and "visited" a bit with the owner he ended up deciding the pieces he handed me were not worth writing up a ticket. I remember that and several times while at local supply houses I have overheard someone say where can I get this or that made or fixed...I always direct them to said machine shop.

Fasttrack
04-07-2009, 09:16 PM
Thanks 3t - I meant to do that tomorrow, only I'm not sure any shops around here would handle anything quite that big. I'm in a small town, but I'll definitely do some walking around!

tdkkart
04-07-2009, 09:25 PM
Yep, venture down to your local steel supply house and ask to look in their drop pile. Most times the drops are sold for a discount. If you find the head chief in charge and explain what you are doing you may even do better.
I get probably 75% of my steel for projects out of the drop pile right inside the back door of the steel shop. I went looking for some plain 1-1/4" hot rolled shaft once, came home with a 6' stick of ground 1-1/4" for the same price. WAY better deal.

A few years ago I had a need for about 4ft of 2" round aluminum. Never thinking of my normal place because they sell very little aluminum, I called several other places around town and found that they wanted obscene prices, plus had to buy a full 10-12' stick.
Stopped at my regular haunt and asked if they might have some by accident, the guy looks at me and says,
"you got a lathe and willing to do some work??"
"sure, if I have to"
"look out the back door, there's some pieces there that you can have if you can use them."

Went out back and found 4 or 5 2ft long pieces of 2-1/4" solid square bar.
Yep, a few minutes on the mill to knock the corners off, and a couple extra passes on the lathe gave me free 2" round bar. Good enough for me.......

38_Cal
04-07-2009, 09:46 PM
Gee, TDKKART, next time I go to see my son at college in Mt. Vernon I might have to get together with you and check out that metal supplier! <VBG>

David
Montezuma, IA

john hobdeclipe
04-07-2009, 09:57 PM
When you go looking around for scrap and drops, be sure to take along some pix of what you are working on, not just the clapper box but the whole shaper too. It helps if folks know you are serious and that you know what you are doing.

lazlo
04-07-2009, 11:20 PM
Versa-Bar will ship directly from the foundry. Sells for about $1.30/lb, last time I ordered (couple of months ago).

Dura-Bar (same high-tech continuously-cast grey and ductile cast iron) seems to have more local distributors (to avoid shipping).

Here's DuraBar's distributor locator:

http://www.dura-bar.com/distributors/index.cfm

bobw53
04-08-2009, 12:19 AM
Fasttrack, what you're looking for probably isn't going to be in the scrap/drop pile. However, to get it cheap, as has already been said, small shops where the owner will take a few days beer money in exchange if he has it laying around.

It took me 3 months to get somebody to come and take a few tons of steel scrap, along with a 55 gallon drum of random steel drops, had to throw in a few aluminum transaxles to get it out of here.



I always direct them to said machine shop.

3t, as a guy who owns a shop, I may get really aggravated at you for doing that. The last thing in the world I want is piles of people showing up looking to get something for nothing, or talking to me about what they want. I hate walkins, they are a giant PIA. I would make sure that this is what the shop wants before spreading their name all over the place, some shops want it, some don't.

dp
04-08-2009, 12:36 AM
Versa-Bar will ship directly from the foundry. Sells for about $1.30/lb, last time I ordered (couple of months ago).

Dura-Bar (same high-tech continuously-cast grey and ductile cast iron) seems to have more local distributors (to avoid shipping).

Here's DuraBar's distributor locator:

http://www.dura-bar.com/distributors/index.cfm

Bumping the thread ot a bit - what do you think of that iron for a lath chuck backer plate? I've been ready to spring for a round so I can add a 5C collet chuck to my lathe.

tdkkart
04-08-2009, 01:44 AM
Gee, TDKKART, next time I go to see my son at college in Mt. Vernon I might have to get together with you and check out that metal supplier! <VBG>David Montezuma, IA


Marion Iron, on 7th Ave in Marion Ia.
I don't buy much there at all, but they always remember me. My daughter used to go there with me when she was 3 or 4 years old, the last time I was in there the boss asked me about her, she's 21 years old this month. He used to give her a sucker evertime we went in, she remembers it well.
When I do go in I don't jack around with them, I typically buy a couple hundred dollars worth of stock.
Funny thing is, they got some scary looking guys working there but they are always VERY helpful, you will not be inside the door for more than 10 secs before someone asks what you need. I walked in one day just before the boss was coming into the back room from the office, nobody else had even had the chance to see me yet. The closest guy got his butt jumped for not taking care of me immediately.

Storm Steel on the south side of Cedar Rapids, the old boy that runs the place is always interested in what you are building, and if you take pictures of your project in the price often goes down......

davidfe
04-08-2009, 09:53 AM
Well I've been looking for some material for this clapper box. I'm a student and 100 bucks is equall to more than 10 hours of work for me. ("Research Assistants" don't get paid too well these days but at least they don't require us to have hunchbacks :D).

Anyway, I'd like to do this as cheap as possible without sacrificing quality. For that reason, I've neglected the idea of piecing the box together. My thought was to look for a drop from an 8" diameter round that is about 3" thick, as opposed to buying a piece of rectangular stock that is 8" by 6" by 3". For some reason it seems cheaper that way.

Anyhow, I found some new gray CI 7" that would put me back about 60 bucks and some new 1018 HR 8" diameter that would cost about 65 bucks. (All minus shipping :() I might be able to make 7" work, I need to take a look.

But does anyone happen to know of or have suggestions for a place that would part with some drops for pretty cheap? I took a look on ebay and they had some 8" aluminum drops, but nothing like what I was looking for.

Thanks!

FT,

The USPS has a Flat Rate box or two for shipping what ever you can
put inside them. Cost for the box is FREE and shipping is about $ 10.00 to $ 12.00.

I had a box shipped from CA to STL area. Flat rate. Was so heavy, PO lady had it in a cart and then one of the guys in the back dock helped load it in my van. Must of weighed approx. 80 lbs.

Best deal going.

Check with the places listed and talk to them about Flat Rate Box shipping. Not too many know about it.

Also know of folks who get the boxes and turn them inside out to then ship by other means.

Good luck.

David

camdigger
04-08-2009, 12:14 PM
Are you absolutely possessed that the cast iron or steel has to be new?

There are several options for used/scrap pieces in farming/HD equipment country. There's TONS of cast and steel laying around in the bush in every agricultural or industrial community. Likely with a friendly bit of banter and some elbow grease, you could land an almost solid disc of cast iron 4 inches thick and 20+ " in diameter (Massey 95/97 wheel weight) or a high carbon steel crown gear missing a tooth out of a heavy truck, earth mover, or Ag tractor you could carve your clapper box out of.

Does your employer/school/institute of higher learning have an integral shop? Some of the most unusual and useful scrap/drop stuff I ran across was from completed research projects or demos at the university I went to. A few converstions with the shop machinist and head honchos yielded mucho advise, interesting conversation, and free machining on a Saturday morning.

As for the quality of material, new scrap drops are not typically scrupulously traceable to ISO 9001/9002 or aerospace specs either:rolleyes:

I have some, but you'd have to come remove them and cart them home. I'm too broke and occupied elsewhere to remove and ship:D

pcarpenter
04-08-2009, 12:25 PM
One issue is that scrap *cast* iron is likely pretty hard on the outside and it looks like he is looking for a bigger chunk than I would have expected--making it harder to cut out of a piece of scrapped equipment. Then there is the issue that simply burning out a piece to work from from junked equipment is harder with cast iron....it doesn't cut well with a torch. Continuous cast bar like Durabar or Versabar is nearly skinless, making it easy to work with (other than the machining mess due to its granular nature and the presence of graphite).

While steel might be acceptable otherwise, now that you have settled on scraping in a gib and mating surface, stay away from it on those faces. Steel scraping is perfectly awful. Cast iron's grain structure lends it to being cut with a scraper while steel ...well...not so much.

Paul

Fasttrack
04-08-2009, 12:26 PM
Any chance your anywhere close to Rolla, MO - Camdigger? :D

I would prefer used material, actually. I just wanted to point out the price of "new" stuff and hope somone had suggestions where I could get something cheaper than those prices. I'm a big fan of scavenging.

I've talked to the folks here. Nothing quite that big, but I do get the free machining on Saturday mornings, or (more likely) free machining at ungodly hours of the night :D I always tell someone where I'm headed, just in case, though.

OH! Actually, I need to try the material sciences department, they might just have something that big.

edit: Thanks for the advice, Paul! Someday I'll try scraping steel, but for my first time it sounds like it ought to be something easier to deal with!

camdigger
04-08-2009, 01:10 PM
One issue is that scrap *cast* iron is likely pretty hard on the outside and it looks like he is looking for a bigger chunk than I would have expected--making it harder to cut out of a piece of scrapped equipment. Then there is the issue that simply burning out a piece to work from from junked equipment is harder with cast iron....it doesn't cut well with a torch. Continuous cast bar like Durabar or Versabar is nearly skinless, making it easy to work with (other than the machining mess due to its granular nature and the presence of graphite).

While steel might be acceptable otherwise, now that you have settled on scraping in a gib and mating surface, stay away from it on those faces. Steel scraping is perfectly awful. Cast iron's grain structure lends it to being cut with a scraper while steel ...well...not so much.

Paul
Paul
The chilled skin on cast iron is an issue regardless of new or used. Some has thicker skin than others.
Large hunks of cast are typically held on with iron or steel bolts:D Low cost, or free cast iron and low cost or zero out of pocket cost for labor means you could saw out a hunk of cast and machine all over to finished dimensions. Coupla porta band blades and a case of Evian water later would yeild something within 1/4" of finish dimension.. Or chain drill and hacksaw or.... FWIW, I'd never recommend flame cutting due to the wild property changes in the heat affected zone. Same for cast iron or steel for that matter. Long story involving lathe, carbide bits, flame cut shaft, heat treated wear surface....

It is unlikely that a part form a low cost source would be appropriate size. Resizing is part of the fun.....

pcarpenter
04-08-2009, 01:58 PM
Camdigger-- you should look into what is known as "continuous cast" bar from companies like Durabar and Versabar. I won't say there is no skinning, but its trivial. Its an extrusion casting process....totally different than typical poured iron where the hot iron is cooled and chilled by a mold.

I bought a hunk a few years ago and hit it with a file and its clear its not hard on the outside.

If I understood correctly, Tom was originally looking for was not so much "used" iron as it was a "drop" (short piece) from some place. This continuous cast stuff is not a bad way to go. He is also looking for 8x6x3 and my imagination is struggling to think of very much that would produce that for him from scrap.

I don't recall reading....did you contact Versabar directly. I think they are the one in Wisconsin. I ordered directly from them much cheaper than say buying a piece from McMaster-Carr. They cut to lenght and also catalog all the existing pieces they have. They had one close enough to what I was after that I came out money ahead just buying a bit more than I needed.

http://www.versa-bar.com/versabar.html

Paul

dan s
04-08-2009, 02:03 PM
Your getting $10 an hour :eek:, I was only getting $7.25 back in 03 when I graduated (damn university bureaucracy).


Well I've been looking for some material for this clapper box. I'm a student and 100 bucks is equall to more than 10 hours of work for me. ("Research Assistants" don't get paid too well these days but at least they don't require us to have hunchbacks :D).

Fasttrack
04-08-2009, 03:05 PM
Your getting $10 an hour :eek:, I was only getting $7.25 back in 03 when I graduated (damn university bureaucracy).

I said more than 10 hours :D I'm getting paid $7.50, but I can't complain. Its a great job.

camdigger
04-08-2009, 03:20 PM
Camdigger-- you should look into what is known as "continuous cast" bar from companies like Durabar and Versabar. I won't say there is no skinning, but its trivial. Its an extrusion casting process....totally different than typical poured iron where the hot iron is cooled and chilled by a mold.
http://www.versa-bar.com/versabar.html

Paul

Thanks for the info Paul, but no thanks.

1.) I have access to a scrap pile amounting to several tons including steel, cast iron, and aluminum free to me for the taking. Some is already removed, other stuff is still on the original piece of machinery. I have access to at least two more similar piles. I was invited to waltz through a friends stockpile complete with access to a machine to load and the loan of a torch before he had a scrap dealer come in and haul away 5 or 6 semi loads of mixed scrap.
2.) Aside from the cost to purchase continuously cast iron, trans border shipping makes logistics difficult and the costs prohibitive.
3.) Personnally, I do not have any need for cast iron at the moment. The projects I have planned are designed around steel sections and material on hand or free. The project inventory will take at least another year to work through. Miniature loader (20 hp), +/- 12 hp dozer, knock down gantry crane, Jib crane, 3 pt hitch backhoe rebuild, installation of converted lineshaft lathe to name but a few......

camdigger
04-08-2009, 03:27 PM
Fast track

If there`s any foundries close to you, sprues and risers don`t all make it to the remelt pile. The university shop used to get risers from steel castings from the local foundry for material. There was an annual field trip to their facility for a tour of the foundry for 4th year Mechanical Engineering students. A couple calls, a post tour visit, and a contribution to the coffee fund got me 200lb of casting sand and the engineering shop several 4 inch by 12 inch long chunks of cast steel from the sprue and risers.

Cam

For example, these guys are across town from my work http://www.foothillssteel.ca/ and these guys are a 2 hour drive south of cowtown http://www.lethbridgeironworks.com.htm

pcarpenter
04-08-2009, 04:00 PM
Thanks for the info Paul, but no thanks.

I wasn't suggesting you consider continuous cast iron for your own use, camdigger, but rather mentioned looking into its properties in response to your comment that all cast iron had a hard skin....probably true of scrap castings, but not true of the stuff I was recommending instead.

I was really recommending this to Tom, the original poster, who clearly must not have the sort of pile of scrap metal you do. He is also looking for a decent sized single piece (6x8x3), as mentioned, so even one of the sprues you mentioned would not get the job done, and neither would a fragement of say an old lathe bed in most cases. Plus, as you mention, poured iron will mean some loss in dimension getting the skin off.

Far be it from me to not recommend re-using scrap where it's applicable, but in this case, the piece would have to be pretty good size, with no voids inside and sans a bunch of purpose-drilled holes etc. It also would have to be oversize by enough for him to machine it to size. He would also have to have a way of roughing such a piece out of a potentially bigger piece which is more of a chore with cast iron.

Paul

Fasttrack
04-08-2009, 06:24 PM
:) Yes it is proving to be difficult to find. I drove around town today and visted several machine shops, metal suppliers and a scrap yard. No one had anything that size. They are all small shops and they tend to handle pretty small stuff. They were all very friendly, however.

I need to check a few other places, then I'll be looking at buying something from DuraBar or VersaBar or etc.

camdigger
04-08-2009, 06:57 PM
How connected are you to industry?

The drilling industry uses great hunks of steel in the BHAs which don't last forever. You're only a state or so away from some of the hottest areas for shale gas development in the Appalacian basin.
A shank off a 12 1/4" roller cone might be enough to yeild you a clapper box. Used bits are scrap if the bearings fail. Here's one brand http://www.smithbits.com/SmithTool.aspx

Other Bottom Hole Assembly components like bit subs, crossovers, and bell subs become too short to rethread if the threads are damaged or cracked. Think cored rod 9" OD with a 2 1/2 or 3" hole in the center...

wierdscience
04-08-2009, 07:25 PM
Fast,your inbox is full:)

Fasttrack
04-08-2009, 07:28 PM
Sorry! I got it cleaned out.

4GSR
04-08-2009, 10:17 PM
Bumping the thread ot a bit - what do you think of that iron for a lath chuck backer plate? I've been ready to spring for a round so I can add a 5C collet chuck to my lathe.

Dura-Bar or Versal Bar both make excellent chuck back plate adapters. You don't want to use steel, this will gaull up the threads on your spindle.

Ken

4GSR
04-08-2009, 10:25 PM
How connected are you to industry?

The drilling industry uses great hunks of steel in the BHAs which don't last forever. You're only a state or so away from some of the hottest areas for shale gas development in the Appalacian basin.
A shank off a 12 1/4" roller cone might be enough to yeild you a clapper box. Used bits are scrap if the bearings fail. Here's one brand http://www.smithbits.com/SmithTool.aspx

Other Bottom Hole Assembly components like bit subs, crossovers, and bell subs become too short to rethread if the threads are damaged or cracked. Think cored rod 9" OD with a 2 1/2 or 3" hole in the center...

camdigger,
Most of us HSM don't have machines heavy enough to knaw off cuts of steel off of them BHA's (AISI 4145H 36HRC) like the big guys can. You can definitly can make machine replacement parts from it that will never wear out, done it several times in my past.

Ken

Fasttrack
04-08-2009, 10:53 PM
Hmmm ... sounds like it could be fun. If my shaper were working, I'd try it out on some of this stuff, or if I could accomplish everything in one of my Pacemakers but I am relegated to the lowly turret head mill for this box. I'd like it to be as soft as possible and still realistically strong :)

Tinkerer
04-09-2009, 12:36 AM
Well Fast I look at all the bigger chunks I have and each is a tad short of what you needed. I do have a hunk of round that it could come out of but that's for some bending dies for a project. I'm gonna stop by my bud's shop and I'll check the cut off rack and see if I can find something that'll work for you. Yeah those flat rate boxes at USPS rock... sent a mag chuck that was 70 lb out west for under 12 bucks... ups wanted more then three times that.

Fasttrack
04-09-2009, 12:41 AM
Thanks Tinkerer. That's awfully nice of you to go through all that trouble. You've been a big help already in getting a handle on this shaper buisness. I knew virtually nothing about shapers, but decided I needed this one despite my relative ignorance. Sort of jumped off in the deep end! I don't regret it though. :)

Tinkerer
04-09-2009, 12:46 AM
Fast... How big/thick are the webs/walls of the box?

camdigger
04-09-2009, 09:51 AM
camdigger,
Most of us HSM don't have machines heavy enough to knaw off cuts of steel off of them BHA's (AISI 4145H 36HRC) like the big guys can. You can definitly can make machine replacement parts from it that will never wear out, done it several times in my past.

Ken

Downhole drilling tools have to be made hard and tough. 50,000 # axial compression loads are considered light in a 9" BHA. Add that to the whirl effects from spinning it at up to 200 rpm and add vibration in....

At a bulk size of 8"x6"x3" in a solid section, Fasttrack is on the fuzzy edge of HSM work to begin with. Carving a nominal 3" or 4" channel lengthwise 1"+ deep through the 8" legnth is a lot of chips and some serious metal movin'. The 20"+ shapers are hardly garage or bench top machines.

Ever built anything out of a recycled wellhead flange? A 5000 psi or higher flange should almost be in this thickness range and they're made of 4140 steel.

Fasttrack
04-09-2009, 11:51 AM
Tinkerer, the box had 1" thick walls that were 3" high (measured from the outside, 2" measured on the inside).

4GSR
04-09-2009, 07:05 PM
Ever built anything out of a recycled wellhead flange? A 5000 psi or higher flange should almost be in this thickness range and they're made of 4140 steel.[/QUOTE]

camdigger,

I have a yard full, at least that's what my wife saids, of old drill collar iron, drops, core stock from trepanning, etc., been collectiong for over thirty years. Built a lot of stuff with it when I had the heavier machines to cut that stuff! Now, I knaw at it with my 13" lathe and index mill.:p
enjoy the words back and forth!;)

camdigger
04-13-2009, 03:33 PM
camdigger,

I have a yard full, at least that's what my wife saids, of old drill collar iron, drops, core stock from trepanning, etc., been collecting for over thirty years. Built a lot of stuff with it when I had the heavier machines to cut that stuff! Now, I knaw at it with my 13" lathe and index mill.:p
enjoy the words back and forth!;)[/QUOTE]

Makes my pallet of 2` valves, 25 sucker rods, 60 jts 60 mm tbg, and 4 casing cutoffs look pretty meagre:D Any Idea what a 1.25 26 ft steel polish rod might be good for... I`m thinking axle material...

lane
04-13-2009, 08:45 PM
Exactly how big are the pieces you need Finish size square Length width and thickness. I will look around for some material.