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  1. #1
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Days Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    Hi all.

    I'm doing a bit of research into the cost and availability of the materials I want to construct my frame from. As this is going in my cellar (and welding is pretty much out of the question) I'm opting for a small squat floor-stander to maximise rigidity and compactness. It'll look something like this:



    (There will be 8 heavy duty, adjustable, rubberised feet separating the frame and the concrete floor).

    I'd like to use the following cold formed SHS and RHS section:

    2 off 80 x 160 x 1400mm
    4 off 60 x 60 x 220mm
    4 off 60 x 60 x 1000mm

    All wall thickness's = 6mm

    I'm based in the North West and it seems that the only place I can buy the steel from (for under £200) is down in London - they won't deliver as they reckon the cost of delivery will far out-weigh the cost of the metal, which is fair enough.

    I don't mind driving down to them, but before I do - am I missing out on a stockholder that would be able to supply these sizes up here in the North West?

    Thanks for your help!

    Wal.

  2. #2
    Try local fabrication companies, they'll often supply you with cut lengths at reasonable prices as they'll have offcuts from bigger jobs. Regarding the cellar workshop, is it a Victorian house with the chimney breasts in the cellar? What I've done in mine is cut a hole into the chimney breast and fitted a 9" extractor fan. When welding, the smoke goes straight up the chimney.

  3. #3
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Days Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    Hello mate,

    It's not so much the fumes I'm worried about (although, of course, I'd always guard against 'em) but getting the frame in and out once it's welded together in one piece. In it's current spec it'll weigh in the region of 110kg - not really a viable lift into and out of an awkward and steep cellar entrance..!

    I've been in touch with several local fab companies, getting a response from any of 'em seems to be an issue. So far I've been emailing, maybe a call's a better bet...

    Cheers.

    Wal.

  4. #4
    You're better off phoning them or going to see them. If you know anyone who works at a fabrication company, they might be able to get "mate's rates". Have you also tried online suppliers such as metals4u, Hub Le Bas or one of the many eBay sellers? Another option to consider is your local scrap metal merchants as they'll have "offcuts", sometimes up to 2M in length!

    Looks like you have plenty of steel stockists locally: http://www.yell.com/s/steel+stockholders-stockport.html. You should be able to get some prices within half a dozen phone calls.
    Last edited by birchy; 26-06-2013 at 10:00 PM.

  5. #5
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Days Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    >You're better off phoning them or going to see them.

    Yeah, I'll have to start doing that - trust me, I've emailed loads of 'em (just more convenient that way for me) and I'm not getting anything back...

    I think the sizes I'm after (particularly the 6mm wall thickness) aren't helping. Only found 2 companies on-line that list it in their catalogue.

    I'll stick at it.

    Thanks again.

    Wal.

  6. #6
    Ahhh, yes...you might struggle to get those sections in 6mm wall thickness. 4mm is probably more readily available. Dunno how critical your sizes are, but perhaps a 150 x 75 channel section (a common size) could be used instead of the 160 x 80 box?

  7. #7
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Days Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    >Dunno how critical your sizes are

    Well, I'm probably over-engineering it a bit, but it's 6mm for two reasons - a. weight (as it's a small squat design) and b. thread-engagement for the screws that are holding the bugger together. The chunkier the better, as far as I'm concerned!

    Cheers.

    Wal.

  8. #8
    How about using a thinner wall and reinforcing with either plates or tubes inside the box? The tubes go across the inside faces to prevent the walls collapsing when you tighten the bolts...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by birchy; 26-06-2013 at 11:29 PM.

  9. #9
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Days Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    Well, that's an option, I guess, but it'll probably be quicker and less hassle to bite the bullet and just drive down and collect the section I want - positioning a plate or a tube deep inside box section sounds like a bit of a ball-ache - especially as it'll have to be a tight fit for it's intended purpose (bracing the walls).

    Cheers.

    Wal.

  10. #10
    Normal practice with the tubes is to saw them to about 0.5mm undersize a tack weld them inside the box. Obviously you can't do that if your holes are not near the ends of the box.

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