Milled from solid aluminum billet...

I see some manufacturers make their chassi from solid chunks of aluminum (the Ayre MX-R comes to mind). Where'd would I go about sourcing a chassis size chunk of aluminum? The best I've been able to find is 6" square in arbitrary lengths, which is too small. (I'm thinking more like 12" square or 12" x 18")

Thanks,

Shayne
 
okapi said:



have you documented this procedure somewhere? if not, would you mind telling us a little more about it?

thanks


I have no gallery at this point.

It's really fairly simple. Get a load of alloy car rims, remove the steel bits, make a mold, either of sand or sheet metal, heat the whole shebang to like 720C, add like 5% Al99.5, heat the whole thing to 720C again.

Pour the metal in the mold, leave the project for a few hours to cool down gently. Heat the cast to like 520C for about an hour, and drop it into a big bucket of water to shock cool it. Now leave it at room temperature for at least a week......

Now all that's left is the machining to final dimensions :D


Magura :)
 
Personally, I find McMaster-Carr usually has the better prices on metal (as well as alot more materials choices.... choose from a good fifty aluminum alloys, etc...). I've been buying from them for a good 15 years at this point. The aluminum I'm milling my chasses out of right now came from McMaster in fact.

That and their website rocks. Better than a paper catalog. Just type 'aluminum' into the little search box in the upper left and you'll have what you need in no time.

www.mcmaster.com
 
okapi said:
i also use mcmaster because of their high quality, great website and fast shipping BUT their cost can be more than twice as high as industrialmetalsales.


Probably depends on when and what metal... Every time I go to buy stuff, I look at IMS too, they're usually very close. I can easily believe one or the other wins big at times.

(BTW, got any examples? Not being argumentative, I really want to know. Sale shopping :)
 
http://www.industrialmetalsales.com/1310.html $159.24

mcmaster item no. 8975K289 $296.82


sorry, didn't know how to link directly to the mcmaster item.

i only mention this item because i used it in a project.

they are both 6061. if there are other differences that i am unaware of and i am comparing apples to oranges i apologize.

i have noticed that the surfaces of aluminum from industrialmetalsales need more material removed to get a smooth finish but this has never been a issue for me.
 
Every major city has a choice of supply houses. Even my small town has a pretty decent steel supply center (a misnomer because they also sell non-ferrous). That being said, most will sell you whatever you can afford. The material you are looking for will be cut from plate.

Right off the top of my head, I would guess that you are looking at ~$4-5/lb. Drop in a roughing endmill and that billet is transformed into chips selling for 25 cents per pound. In any case, you will experience a nice heavy case and a real light wallet.

For budget purposes, reckon on $5 a pound. Aluminum weighs 0.1 lb./in^3. Every cubic inch costs half a buck... before the tool hits the material.

Seems to me that sort of cost even makes Elliot Spitzer's hobby seem cheap! Your mileage may differ.
 
okapi said:
http://www.industrialmetalsales.com/1310.html $159.24

mcmaster item no. 8975K289 $296.82


sorry, didn't know how to link directly to the mcmaster item.

i only mention this item because i used it in a project.

they are both 6061. if there are other differences that i am unaware of and i am comparing apples to oranges i apologize.

Ah, everything that thick from McMaster is coming with an ASTM, ASME or MIL rating, so you have no choice but to pay for the extra rating there yeah. Point taken.

The stuff I'm machining is being built out of plate and rod. Much more economical :)

I will keep IMS in mind for the thick stuff. I need to replace the mounting billet on my rotary table soon... I should see what the difference in copper prices is again too.
 
chipco3434 said:

Right off the top of my head, I would guess that you are looking at ~$4-5/lb. Drop in a roughing endmill and that billet is transformed into chips selling for 25 cents per pound. In any case, you will experience a nice heavy case and a real light wallet.

For budget purposes, reckon on $5 a pound. Aluminum weighs 0.1 lb./in^3. Every cubic inch costs half a buck... before the tool hits the material.

Seems to me that sort of cost even makes Elliot Spitzer's hobby seem cheap! Your mileage may differ.

...comes out to about $200 of metal. Assuming no mistakes :) Comparable to the amount of time he'll put in, most likely...

Some people pay money to play golf, buy video games, buy big TV, go see the Red Sox at Fenway... Personally I drop my spare money into raw materials. As hobbies go, you could do alot worse (eg, weekend in Vegas, Harley instead of a Yammie, etc ;).
 
chipco3434 said:

For budget purposes, reckon on $5 a pound. Aluminum weighs 0.1 lb./in^3. Every cubic inch costs half a buck... before the tool hits the material.

So, like, modular construction seems much more cool now. Although, the MX-R is

Dimensions
11" W x 18.75" D x 3.75" H
(28cm x 48cm x 9.5cm)

Do you think they're paying around $420/ea (per side) just for the raw material, or does this stuff drop dramatically in bulk?

As for the forge-your-own, what is the rough material composition of the final product?

Thanks,

Shayne