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View Full Version : Cheapest suppliers of Alu?



Shinobiwan
24-12-2012, 03:56 AM
Hey guys.

Up to now I've been using Aluminium Supplier | Aluminium Stock | Aluminium Warehouse (http://www.aluminiumwarehouse.co.uk) for my alu needs but can't help wondering if there's cheaper alternatives out there. I'm midlands based and with the price of diesel these days ,not to mention my time, I wouldn't go out my way. So online works better for me.

Who do you use?

Jonathan
24-12-2012, 11:18 AM
Try Metal Stockists: ASC Metals Lincoln Ltd. - Metal stockholders for East Midlands/North of England (http://www.ascmetals.com)

They're cheaper than aluminium warehouse for plate, and some other things depending on how much you spend. I use them a lot.

martin54
24-12-2012, 11:29 AM
If you are looking purely for an online supplier then I haven't found anyone who is cheaper once you factor in delivery. Mind you I am not the worlds best with search engines lol. Delivery is the biggest problem mainly due to the length. If your not wanting to shop about locally then you have already restricted yourself, although having said that I don't have a local supplier for aluminium myself.
Other thing to consider is the amount you will be spending with the company, Jonathan probably gets a better discount than some because of the amount he spends with them, when buying as a business you will be able to build up a volume discount.

JAZZCNC
24-12-2012, 12:48 PM
Ant if this is for your bed then ASC will be cheaper and they will deliver to you.

To be honest Ant for your intended work which is mostly Wood/MDF and nested sheet work then I wouldn't go to the trouble or expense. The aluminium won't be any flatter or parallel thickness than the MDF unless you buy ground plate which at your size bed would cost more than your car and will still need surfacing if your after perfectly flat and parallel to bed. Then you'll still end up using MDF or ply spoil boards while cutting.
Really for 95% wood use Ali bed is no benefit and the few times you will cut Ali or require perfect flat and parallel surface then just surface the spoil board or an area of it.!
I'm mainly 95% cutting Ali and relatively small pieces so Ali bed is of great benefit to me has I'm constantly using coolant and the PLY or MDF wouldn't last long in these conditions but can tell you 100% that if It was mainly 95% wood then It wouldn't have Ali bed on it.!
I still use MDF for spoil boards when cutting multiple Ali parts out of one piece that doesn't require absolute flatness for the convenience of being able to screw each part down into it.

If was Me I'd just put in more profile supports and use good grade 25mm Plywood and seal for main Bed and sheet of 18mm or 25mm MDF for spoil board.
Most of what you'll do will need screwing down and a spoil board anyway and it's a lot easier. Just surface the spoil board when you need perfectly flat or when it becomes to chowed up.

If you do go with Ali Bed then Better get a box of WheatBix down your neck because you'll need Em.!

Lee Roberts
24-12-2012, 05:45 PM
Humm after reading Jazz's sound post, why not just have a smaller area/plate that you can take off and on, as and when your working in metals Ant.

Marine Ply would be my choice for the bed, with Sheathing Plywood for spoiling - sheathing is normally cheaper than plywood but stronger than sterling board, though MDF maybe a better choice.

.Me

martin54
24-12-2012, 06:01 PM
Humm after reading Jazz's sound post, why not just have a smaller area/plate that you can take off and on, as and when your working in metals Ant.

Marine Ply would be my choice for the bed, with Sheathing Plywood for spoiling - sheathing is normally cheaper than plywood but stronger than sterling board, though MDF maybe a better choice.



.Me


I wouldn't go to the expense of marine ply, far eastern is half the price & there is no advantage to using marine ply for this application. Far eastern ply is an exterior grade ply which will handle the cold & damp in a garage or shed without problems. Marine ply is better in the way it is sealed but that:s generally for prolonged exposure to sea water. I've never had a problem with far eastern ply & have put a fair bit of it up over the years.

JAZZCNC
24-12-2012, 06:30 PM
I wouldn't go to the expense of marine ply, far eastern is half the price & there is no advantage to using marine ply for this application. Far eastern ply is an exterior grade ply which will handle the cold & damp in a garage or shed without problems. Marine ply is better in the way it is sealed but that:s generally for prolonged exposure to sea water. I've never had a problem with far eastern ply & have put a fair bit of it up over the years.

Agree 100%.

Here's something handy to know.!! . . . . Friend called other day who I made a large sheet cutting router for and owns a timber yard. He supplies a local school/collage with Exterior ply for there laser cutters and mentioned that they had been having problems with it cutting thru.? Turned out it was glue was interfering with beam and reflecting it back or something crazy Changed to marine and went away.!! (Could have been tuther way round but get the gist.!!)

Shinobiwan
02-01-2013, 05:14 PM
Just a heads up.

ASC was a lot cheaper for plate. You basically get 25mm for the price of 20mm compared to Aluminium Warehouse. They're about the same price on 100x50x6 alu angle though. Very reasonable on delivery too at only a tenner and there's a fair amount of weight there but I think that's because they have their own delivery service and fit you in whenever they're in your area.

martin54
02-01-2013, 05:21 PM
Just a heads up.

ASC was a lot cheaper for plate. You basically get 25mm for the price of 20mm compared to Aluminium Warehouse. They're about the same price on 100x50x6 alu angle though. Very reasonable on delivery too at only a tenner and there's a fair amount of weight there but I think that's because they have their own delivery service and fit you in whenever they're in your area.

Sure that will be good news to quite a few board members Ant, had a quick look at their website when Jonathan first posted & although they do cover quite a wide area as far as delivery goes they stop well short of where I am lol.

JAZZCNC
02-01-2013, 06:07 PM
Just a heads up.

ASC was a lot cheaper for plate. You basically get 25mm for the price of 20mm compared to Aluminium Warehouse.

My experience with them shows that's only true if larger qty required like a Big sheet of plate. They have always been more expensive for small Qty say just enough for a Z axis or gantry sides etc.!! . . . . . Unless the recession is kicking in and they have changed there pricing.?

Shinobiwan
02-01-2013, 07:34 PM
Ah yep, should have given a bit more detail. Indeed I did order a couple of quite long lengths (1480mm) in the 25mm. Didn't check on small quantities so things could look very different. Also the grade was regular 6082T6 vs. 6061 from alu warehouse. Not exactly like for like either then but its great that there's two fairly decent suppliers of alu to pick and choose from.

Ps. Not going for a full alu bed but rather a hybrid alu/ply after the suggestions on here. The alu is primarily firm up the long unsupported extrusion with the X profile rails on.