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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everybody,

I was wondering if anybody had good tips for obtaining angle. I need to build two battery boxes and some metal structure to keep those boxes in the right place.

I am hoping to buy 96" bars of 1.5" x 1/8" angled steel or aluminum. I was just going to head to the hardware store to see what's available, but it looks like aluminum would be about $40 per bar based on prices online.

I know I can probably find steel shops or something and pick through their odd sized scraps, but does anybody have an in-between solution? Online suppliers or chain stores with good prices?

Any feedback on the type of angle to use is welcome, of course.
 

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I find the best deals at Michelson Surplus & Salvage, a local metal yard. The worst deals are from hardware stores.

I have ordered from 2 different online metal stores, Online Metals and Speedy Metals. I have had good service from both and the prices are a lot better than the local hardware stores. I generally will only resort to the hardware store when I need something right now on a weekend or evening.
 

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I'd also recommend scrap metal merchants. They will sell steel at near scrap price not on the complexity of the production process. If you find a small, friendly place the mark up on scrap value isn't to bad.

It is great for those applications where dimension and steel type is less critical.
Almost all my steel comes from a scrap merchant situated on my way to work.
 

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Keep an eye out for curbside collections. Bed rails are perfect for lots of projects. Might get some cheap from Goodwill or other thrift stores.
 

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I have bought from speedymetals.com as well and had good service. However, there is a local steel supply house that hos different types of metal and they also have a "scrap bin" where you can buy odd sizes for scrap price - very cheap! So if you have a list of the pieces you'll need, that might be the way to go. Either way, look in the phone book for metal supply, they are usually much cheaper than hardware stores.
 

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Also if you need specific dimensions try ebay, some stock holders will sell off cuts at reasonable prices.
Delivery can be variable and costly so local pick up is best or ordering sufficient to full the minimum postal cost.
 

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Craigslist.org can also be a great place to get cheap if not free local material.
I would post what your looking for on there you'll be surprised what you find.

Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, thanks for all the help! I'll check the phonebook for a local place and then hit up some of the recommended merchants. In the meantime I'll set up a craigslist RSS search to watch for scrap posts. If I find some terms that work well I'll post a link to that search query here.

I had found onlinemetals.com through an ad at Make Magazine, so I'm glad to see some good experiences with them here.

I spent some time planning out how many pieces I'd need at various lengths, and it becomes very costly to go with anything other than 8'. But if I can buy at or near scrap price I'm willing to weld sections together. At the very least, I can use cheap stuff for all the little 14" and 10" lengths I'm going to need.
 

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You must have a metals recycling business in your neck of the woods. I've had a lot of success with these. Oftentimes they actually have new 20' lengths at near scrap prices. They're a good source for aluminum plate as well. Personally, I think aluminum angle is too expensive and needs to be thicker than iron angle. I also tried the thrift stores around here for older bed rails and found none(!?). The newer frames seem to use smaller iron.
 
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