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Cheap source of aluminum flat stock

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  • Cheap source of aluminum flat stock

    Over the Thanksgiving holiday I was cleaning up my shop area and noticed I was low on aluminum flat stock. I’m just a hobby machinist and like to keep a small assortment of sizes around and prefer the stronger alloys like 7075. I usually buy from Speedy Metals or OnlineMetals but the price of 7075 is getting more expensive every time I look.

    After a Google search I found a company that sells plate aluminum that will cut to size. After pricing a few pieces of 7075 using the on line tool and comparing prices I ordered up an assortment to give them a try.

    FedEx dropped off the package today (5 days coast to coast) and was pleased with what I received.

    All pieces were cut too slightly over size and the cuts are very straight and smooth for a saw cut. These will all true up easily with a little face milling.
    Best of all the price is very good, 25-50% cheaper than my usual sources for 7075.

    These are not as “clean” in dimension or finish as buying extruded flat stock but since I true up my stock on a mill before use this was a bargain.
    If you are looking for aluminum flat stock check them out, they sell in a huge range of sizes.

    Network Metals

  • #2
    Looks good to me. Others should be aware that 7075 is not the aluminum that your mother used to serve. It has quite different properties to 6061 for instance. It's 20% harder than mild steel and makes nasty little sliver swarf when it is milled. When drilling you dare not try to open a hole with a slightly larger bit because it will bind the bit in the hole so it cannot be removed. It requires cutting lube.

    It is very strong and machines to a beautiful finish as most hard materials do. It is also very prone to cracking in applications where it is repetitively highly stressed close to yield and will fail without warning by brittle fracture. It isn't weldable by normal methods.

    It has specific applications where it is the best material for the job but it isn't a general replacement for other grades.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


    • #3
      How is it typically priced, in comparison to 6061?
      Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


      • #4
        I just priced a couple pieces of 4-1/2"thick sizes we use at work.They have 7075 for less than I have been paying for 6061.Plus orders over $250 ship free,looks like I'll be buying from them.

        Thanks for the link!
        I just need one more tool,just one!


        • #5
          Edit double post
          I just need one more tool,just one!


          • #6
            Originally posted by lynnl
            How is it typically priced, in comparison to 6061?
            If you go to the site they have an on line tool that allows you to pick alloy, temper and size. It gives you the per piece price including cutting.
            The best price/value is for 7075.

            7075 cost only 50 cents/lb more than 6061


            • #7
              Oh,just noticed they offer Blanchard grinding too
              I just need one more tool,just one!