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Acquiring cast iron

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  • Acquiring cast iron

    Other than trying to cast it myself, what is the best way of getting cheap pieces of cast iron. I'd like to find a short piece of shaft, about 6" in diameter, and some long pieces of bar.

    JC

  • #2
    Cast iron is not terribly expensive. Try contacting a metal supplier and get some pricing. You may be pleasently surprised.----Brian
    Brian Rupnow
    Design engineer
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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    • #3
      What you're looking for is often sold under the name Dura-Bar. http://www.dura-bar.com/

      Your local steel supply house should have it. If you want to deal with online retailers I would check the usual places. Below is list of just a few places.

      http://www.mcmaster.com
      http://www.speedymetals.com
      http://www.metalsdepot.com
      http://www.onlinemetals.com
      http://www.onlinemetalsupply.com
      http://www.metalsupermarkets.com
      https://www.midweststeelsupply.com
      http://www.cut2sizemetals.com/
      Mike
      Central Ohio, USA

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      • #4
        Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
        Cast iron is not terribly expensive. Try contacting a metal supplier and get some pricing. You may be pleasently surprised.----Brian
        A friend phoned today with another absurd example of CI prices at metal supermarkets.....sent him to Terra Nova but they're not cheap and not really set up for retail

        where do you go? I'd love to get some alternative suppliers
        in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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        • #5
          Gulf Coast Metals in Houston has been recommended here before. I have not tried them yet. I appreciate the other links.
          Byron Boucher
          Burnet, TX

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          • #6
            McMaster Carr has some.

            Dave

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            • #7
              I just bought 2 pucks of 5"x 1.25" Durabar cast iron for 23 bucks each at http://www.goldentrianglesteel.com/ in Cambridge Ontario.
              It was my first purchase of any cast iron though and I didn't shop around since these guys are close by.... so... is that expensive?
              Cheers,
              Jon

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jcaldwell View Post
                I'd like to find a short piece of shaft, about 6" in diameter, and some long pieces of bar.
                Telling us how short and how long might help with getting suggestions.

                For non-critical applications, old barbell weights and window weights are a cheap source of CI, but you need to be careful of inclusions when machining them. If you have a tractor and farm implement graveyard nearby, that would be a good place to look, too. It's amazing what you can find in a place like this one in Pavo, GA.

                Last edited by winchman; 01-08-2013, 03:08 AM.
                Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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                • #9
                  I had a friend who rang the timber yard to order 4"x2". They asked 'how long'
                  "A fair while. I'm Building a milking shed here."

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                  • #10
                    Thats strange, I just come upon 100# unopened round dumbell s or whatever
                    they call it many sizes 3" to 15" I already see pulleys and gears. Nice castings.

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                    • #11
                      The problem with McMaster Carr is that (due to the paperwork involved) they no longer ship to Canada, unless you are one of the big, oldtime companies that they have a history with.

                      Found this out when making parts for full-size steam locomotives; one day parts just stopped showing up, and followed up by phoning them.

                      Can't say I blame them; they give away 10% of their potential customer base, and probably 90% of the paperwork headaches!

                      I'm actually looking at a project requiring 4-1/2" dia cast iron pucks; it might just be cheaper to order the actual sand castings from England, rather than getting the cast iron here and machining it on a CNC mill.

                      Another JohnS.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JohnAlex141r View Post
                        Can't say I blame them; they give away 10% of their potential customer base, and probably 90% of the paperwork headaches!
                        .
                        thats an excuse without merit imo, a fat dumb and stupid cop out on their part. Look at the job digikey does; the little paper work involved is an insignificant bit of business processing if they set their minds to it.
                        in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                        • #13
                          Personally, I haven't had much luck with old sash weights. They say to take that first cut to get deep enough to get under the 'skin' of old iron, but sash weights have cooties that will really eat your tooling. Freshly cast stuff is a treat to machine. Well, it's still messy but predictable. With old iron of unknown parentage, don't expect every part you chuck up to turn out.
                          I'm here hoping to advancify my smartitude.

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                          • #14
                            On the subject of Dumbells, I tried to machine one just the other day.

                            I managed to bore the middle of it out on the mill quite easily with a carbide tipped boring bar on a boring head, but it blunted three bars before I got through it. They were cheap bars though.

                            Once that was done I popped it on the lathe and used an indexable carbide tool w/ Sandvik inserts to turn the face and edge true, it took 3 inserts to achieve this (using two sides on each).

                            All in all it was a bit of a nightmare and I wish I hadn't bothered.

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                            • #15
                              Where are you? Makes a big difference if it doesn't have to be shipped.

                              I have Speedy Metals local and recently paid $22 for an 18" piece of 1 1/2" square Class 40 grey cast iron. They price by the inch and will ship anywhere in the US.
                              http://www.speedymetals.com/default.aspx

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