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Alternate source for steel?

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  • Alternate source for steel?

    I need 4 pieces of metal each having dimension of 9" diameter and 1/2" thick. Initially I though of using aluminum, but my local supplier quoted me $100 ($60US) so I opted for the steel. Hot roll was still $40 ($24US), then I remember that my local gym supplier sells barbell weights which are 9" diamter and about 3/4" thick and they are only $5 ($3US). I think they are cast iron, which is even better. My questions is, are the material used for barbell weights suitable for machining? Are they cast iron?


  • #2
    They probably are cast iron...and they may or may not be anything you can machine. You'll just have to try it.

    A few years ago I had the bright idea that old window sashweights would be a dandy source of cast iron. Well, my sashweights turned out to be totally unmachinable. I mentioned this to an old, experienced machinist. He explained that in the days of sashweights, iron foundries kept a line of sashweight molds handy on the foundry floor. When they were pouring cast iron, the final crud out of the crucible -- all the dross, slag, and garbage -- went into the sashweight molds. Conceivably, you might get a sashweight that was pretty good quality iron, but the odds were against it.

    These days, barbell weights might conceivably serve the same purpose, I don't know. I suspect not, at least not to the same degree of garbage-ness. You'll just have to try one and see. More of a problem may be hardness -- if the cast iron cooled rapidly, it may be pretty hard.
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    • #3
      That's rape!

      I buy all of my aluminum from a recycle shop that charges $1.00 per pound. It's like going to a candy store - yum!

      Try a metal salvage yard.


      • #4
        Check out Wolf Metals at Eastern Ave./Cherry, the yard at Front/ Bathurst next to the yellow surplus joint, Jane/ Dundas yard, and Active Surplus on Queen W. just E. of Spadina. Active had some 5" X 7" X 1/2" plates (removed from some magnets) for $2 ea. They also sell misc. aluminum bar and various plastics by the pound.


        • #5

          Thanks for the tip. I call few scrap metal places in GTA and all of them said that they only buy metal and not sell them or at least not in small quantity. I'll try the places that you mentioned.



          • #6

            That's Wolfe Iron & Metal--401 Front E.

            This yard and the one at Front/ Bath will let you roam the yard after your face becomes familiar. Easy to talk to and quite helpful in knowing what might be machinable.



            • #7

              I presume you asked for 9" diameter and not 1/2"x9"x9" ? The round stuff is super expensive - buy the flatstock and shape it the way you need it. You could probably find the flatstock in a scrap yard for about half wholesale of new stuff.

              The barbell weights are sometimes steel, sometimes cast. The good steel weights cost more because of the work that goes into them (olympic grade weights). You may find the cheap stuff unusable because of voids (they use autobody filler to make them look good).