Metal Plate Sources?

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Metal Plate Sources?

Postby deanimator » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:19 pm

Given that optical breadboards are pretty steep in price, and not readily available in this area, I'm exploring the possibility of making my own macro mounting plate.

Does anyone know a reasonable source in NE Ohio for scrap aluminum or steel plates in the vicinity of 1' x 3' x 1/4-1/2"?

I'm going to have to drill and tap my own 1/4"-20 accessory mounting holes on somebody else's drillpress, but it's still cheaper than a legit breadboard. They run upwards of $300 on the low side.
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby gilly32 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:57 am

PM sent.
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby deanimator » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:54 pm

gilly32 wrote:PM sent.

Here's a drawing. In truth, I don't need that many drilled and tapped holes, probably just three lines of them along the long axis.

Image
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby M-Quigley » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:42 pm

I need to find a source of steel plating also. I'd like to make some reactive targets.
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby Bruenor » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:25 am

Out of curiosity I looked at several local metal distributors charging $60-$80 for a 0.25" x 12" x 24" aluminum plate.
You can get pretty much the same aluminum plate new on ebay for around $35.00 + s&h

I always wonder how some stuff on ebay is so comparatively inexpensive.
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby deanimator » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:03 am

Bruenor wrote:Out of curiosity I looked at several local metal distributors charging $60-$80 for a 0.25" x 12" x 24" aluminum plate.
You can get pretty much the same aluminum plate new on ebay for around $35.00 + s&h

I always wonder how some stuff on ebay is so comparatively inexpensive.

Volume. Of course you get killed on shipping.
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby scottb » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:27 pm

Check local metal fabrication/welding shops. They usually have bits and pieces of material laying around in case they find a need for it. You will likely get it at a very reasonable price.

Another option (for aluminum) is Thyssenkrupp Materials. I buy (for my work) from them on occasion. They are in the Cleveland area.
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby AlanM » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:39 am

Questions:
How accurately do the threaded holes be located?
Does the surface have to be perfectly flat?

If the answers are "not very" and "no" you might want to save yourself A LOT of time by NOT tapping the holes.

Surebonder 8510 6-32, 8-32, 10-24, 10-32, 1/4-20 Threaded Insert Tool

uxcell 100 Pcs Zinc Plated Carbon Steel Rivet Nut Flat Head Insert Nutsert 1/4-20UNC
Threaded holes: less than $9 per 100. (Why did I just flash back to the movie "ET" and the "portable hole" reference?

This gives you steel threads instead of aluminium threads which I consider an advantage.
Personally, I would try a backing block with a half inch hole in it and a large leather mallet before buying the insert tool.

Also if you need to mount something that has multiple mounting holes, using cone point set screws in the mounting holes would make marking the plate for drilling a breeze.

http://catalog.westernstateshardware.com/viewitems/et-screws-cone-point-socket-set-screws-black-oxide/ne-point-socket-set-screws-national-coarse-1-4--20
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby deanimator » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:45 am

AlanM wrote:Questions:
How accurately do the threaded holes be located?
Does the surface have to be perfectly flat?

If the answers are "not very" and "no" you might want to save yourself A LOT of time by NOT tapping the holes.

Surebonder 8510 6-32, 8-32, 10-24, 10-32, 1/4-20 Threaded Insert Tool

uxcell 100 Pcs Zinc Plated Carbon Steel Rivet Nut Flat Head Insert Nutsert 1/4-20UNC
Threaded holes: less than $9 per 100. (Why did I just flash back to the movie "ET" and the "portable hole" reference?

This gives you steel threads instead of aluminium threads which I consider an advantage.
Personally, I would try a backing block with a half inch hole in it and a large leather mallet before buying the insert tool.

Also if you need to mount something that has multiple mounting holes, using cone point set screws in the mounting holes would make marking the plate for drilling a breeze.

http://catalog.westernstateshardware.com/viewitems/et-screws-cone-point-socket-set-screws-black-oxide/ne-point-socket-set-screws-national-coarse-1-4--20

The purpose of the plate is to mount:
  1. a ballhead onto which an automated macro focusing rail and camera will be mounted
  2. two or more magic arms onto which lights will be mounted
  3. an adjustable subject stage

It probably doesn't require optical breadboard levels of precision.
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby steves 50de » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:05 pm

deanimator wrote:
gilly32 wrote:PM sent.

Here's a drawing. In truth, I don't need that many drilled and tapped holes, probably just three lines of them along the long axis.

Image

Would 16 gauge be suitable, I can get you that no problem. :?:
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby AlanM » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:13 am

Ummm, other than using the threaded rivnuts I suggested, how would you put 1/4-20 threads in 16 gauge sheet metal?
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby deanimator » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:34 pm

steves 50de wrote:Would 16 gauge be suitable, I can get you that no problem. :?:

As pointed out by somebody else, that wouldn't work, for a variety of reasons. This is to mount a camera, automated focus rail, lights and subject stage. Sheet metal would be neither thick enough to allow 1/4"-20 threads to engage, nor be heavy enough to be stable without flexing and vibration.

It really does need to be plate, either aluminum or steel, and a minimum of 1/4" thick.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby rimfireOH » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:01 am

deanimator wrote:It really does need to be plate, either aluminum or steel, and a minimum of 1/4" thick.


McMaster Carr wants $73 for a 3' x 1' x 1/4" plate.
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby pirateguy191 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:34 am

Check with Marsam Metalfab in Twinsburg. Contact Jim Bayus, tell him Jeff Asbury sent you.
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Re: Metal Plate Sources?

Postby deanimator » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:28 pm

pirateguy191 wrote:Check with Marsam Metalfab in Twinsburg. Contact Jim Bayus, tell him Jeff Asbury sent you.

Thanks.
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