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  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by m_c View Post
    That's ok if you have the equipment to deal with full lengths
    Equipment = hacksaw (takes a while but it works), or get the supplier to cut it. The place I got mine from cut it without charging, and also gave me a load of free bits :). I worked it out so that each piece would fit in the car, then did the rest of the cutting myself to make sure it was accurate. If I recall correctly the 60x60x3 steel box section I got was 25 for 7.5m.

    Sell the spare on eBay, it goes for lots there!

    Quote Originally Posted by m_c View Post
    If you don't have a pillar drill, scribe, centre punch etc. then
    Then get one ... you're not going to get very far in life without a pillar drill. Well... I wouldn't! Surely you would need both for aluminium or steel.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    No I wouldn't 50x50x3 Ali is 35 plus vat + Del (Ali warehouse) for 5mtr and as of 2 weeks ago when I last bought some 50x50x3 steel box section was 21 for 7.5mtr. Inc Vat.! (Delivered thou it's only next village so don't count really. .Lol)
    Also to get the same strength in Ali you'd need more than 3mm thick...so comparing like with like would make the difference in price even greater. Also I think Tom was comparing aluminium profile to steel box, and profile is a lot more expensive than box (though also significantly stronger for the same outside dimensions).

    Two weeks ago... does this mean you've started the next machine?

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by m_c View Post
    That's ok if you have the equipment to deal with full lengths, and need the full length.
    But if you don't have the equipment, or don't need a multiple of 7.2m, then price difference can be totally different.
    It all depends on what equipment you have and what you need.

    I can work with either, but not everybody can.
    If you don't have a pillar drill, scribe, centre punch etc. then that's something else you need to factor into the cost, and look beyond the basic material costs.
    Well yes and no really.? Cut to length and small quantity's usually come at a premium and has you said the brackets etc required come out expensive.
    Most steels stockist's will cut to size for a few quid more.

    On a like for like basis then Steel box works out cheaper by about half and IMO again on like for like dimensions basis steel is far stronger.

    Yes pillow drills can be expensive but again they are not essential and jigs can be used to good affect.! . .Just takes longer and harder to achive accurecy as easily.
    A pillow drill so useful in every aspect of building a machine I would recommend it being one of the first tools bought for building one.
    Things like scribes,centre punch etc I consider minimum tools and to be honest anyone who try's to build a steel or Ali machine without them would shouldn't be trying because there not equiped enough.?
    Also with the money saved you could probably buy a cheap stick welder and learn a new skill along the way.! . .:dance:

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Yes pillow drills can be expensive
    Mine was about 50 from Tesco, probably 8 years ago now. It's not particularly fast if you want to start drilling big holes in steel/aluminium, but it does work and for <=6mm it's perfectly good. Now I use the milling machine for any 'significant' drilling.

    I'm amused by your spelling of pillar drill.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Also with the money saved you could probably buy a cheap stick welder and learn a new skill along the way.! . .:dance:
    Mine was just a cheapo 160A welder from Aldi. Think it was 35, might have been less.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    Two weeks ago... does this mean you've started the next machine?
    Nope that beast will be 100x100 filled with sand and built like a brick shit house.!! . . . Was for steel door at work to stop thiefing bastards.!!

    One other great tool and cheap thats quick for cutting steel is 1mm micro cutting disc's in angle grinder, go thru like hot knife in butter, they also easily go thru hardened rails and Pad locks.!

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post

    I'm amused by your spelling of pillar drill.
    Ye I'm ready for bed. . Lol . . . . also didn't goto school much.!! . . . Or should say didn't arrive at school much some how always got lost and ended up in my uncles workshop.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Was for steel door at work to stop thiefing bastards.!!
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    quick for cutting steel is 1mm micro cutting disc...easily go thru hardened rails and Pad locks.!
    Surely the logical conclusion from those two statements is that the thieves just need a 1mm cutting disk. :clap:

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    Surely the logical conclusion from those two statements is that the thieves just need a 1mm cutting disk. :clap:
    Yep but what more can you do.? . . . The Health n safety gestapo won't let me wire it to the mains like I want to. . . . . .They don't like shot gun wired to PIR either miserable bastards.

    Actually been told by a steel fab shop that if you put plywood behind the steel it dulls the thin blades and they have hard time cutting thru.? . . . Don't know but I've done it for sake of 20.!

  8. Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Also with the money saved you could probably buy a cheap stick welder and learn a new skill along the way.! . .:dance:
    Don't get me started on cheap arc welders. They're horrendous to use, and produce good quality welds. Far better to spend a bit extra for a MIG, and get something easier to use and more versatile.


    But getting back to the original posters question, yes it will be fine to upgrade/replace in stages.
    Might not be ideal, but there's not any set rules on how diy machines should be built (other than the laws of physics that is!)
    As for the types of profile, download whatever specification sheets you can find (I used the sheets from http://www.aluminium-profile.co.uk/), and compare the load capacities to find something suitable.

  9. Thanks for the replies chaps.

    I didn't realise that you could get a drill press so cheap - looked at some on Machine Mart earlier...there's a branch just down the road from where I work, so i'm tempted to go that route.
    I already have scribes/punches etc - thats not a problem.

    Regarding the brackets for creating the frame - can anyone point me in the direction of some suitable candidates?

    Going to look into the price of steel box in this area....i'm assuming that you're all referring to mild steel & not stainless?

  10. Quote Originally Posted by CraftyGeek View Post
    Regarding the brackets for creating the frame - can anyone point me in the direction of some suitable candidates?
    It all depends on what you're trying to join, but flat plates, or sections of angle will work depending on how/where you want to join sections.

    Going to look into the price of steel box in this area....i'm assuming that you're all referring to mild steel & not stainless?
    Yes, mild steel, unless you're suddenly got lots of money burning a hole in your pocket!

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