Cast Iron Body Building Weights

Discussion in 'Metals' started by sssfox, Feb 24, 2016.

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  1. Feb 24, 2016 #1

    sssfox

    sssfox

    sssfox

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    I went to a used sporting equipment store tonight and saw a stack of cast iron weights for weight lifting. You know the kind I'm talking about. There is a steel bar with weights on each end, held on by a collar. A person can add as much weight as he wants, up to 750 pounds or so.

    I've been looking for some cast iron for a chuck back plate for my new lathe and some smaller chunks for flywheels. Some of the smaller ones seem to be just the right size, so I bought several. They are quite reasonable at around 70 cents a pound.

    They also have some dumbbells or whatever you call them, that have a cast iron lump on each end with a cast iron shaft in between, cast as one piece. These looked like a good source also, but I didn't have an immediate need.

    Has anyone ever used any of these as a source of cast iron?
     
  2. Feb 24, 2016 #2

    bazmak

    bazmak

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    Yes i had the same idea with mixed results.The 1st one turned up nice as
    a chuck backing plate. $3.50 cheap at the price. The second one was pot
    hard,and carbide tools wouldn't touch it.I haven't bothered since as I have found a supplier of cast iron.One tip,tap them with a metal object the more they Sing the harder they are. Very poor quality chinese cast iron but if you don't try it you wont know.I was 50% lucky
     
  3. Feb 24, 2016 #3

    sssfox

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    Thanks for the help.

    I know that at least some of them are machinable, the hole in the center is bored out. I can't say I checked them all. I did look through the stack and got the ones that appeared to be old. I figured they had a better chance of being cast in the U.S.

    I really could use a $3.50 backing plate.
     
  4. Feb 24, 2016 #4

    goldstar31

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    look out for an old marking out table that is no longer fit for original work. Mine cost £3. It was Meehanite and easily machinable.
    You might be lucky with weights but you might not. If you stand back and think , your cheap faceplate might warp.

    They do- believe me.

    Regards

    Norman
     
  5. Feb 24, 2016 #5

    cheepo45

    cheepo45

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  6. Feb 24, 2016 #6

    sssfox

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    Bazmak,

    I tried cutting a couple of the weights.
    The first appears to be cast iron, has a dull ring and cuts quite well with HSS and carbide.

    The second appears to be some type of steel. It has a bright ring to it, like a bell. I cut it with carbide and while it is tough, it has a fairly good finish. Not sure if I will be able to use it.

    The others are between these two extremes, as far as ring is concerned.

    cheepo45, at least I know it's possible. Glad yours turned out so well. I hope mine is at least as good.

    My new old lathe is in Gainesville, Fl awaiting the trip to my shop in North Carolina in a month or so. As far as metalworking projects go, I'm on hold until I get it set up.
     
  7. Feb 24, 2016 #7

    bazmak

    bazmak

    bazmak

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    Yes my first one turned up well.A 1.25kg about 6"dia.The only problem was the
    finished wall thickness was down to about 6mm,bit thin but did work.The 2nd one I could not touch so use it as a balance weight.Dont think I would buy anymore,might as well pay a bit extra for proper cast iron at $6 per kilo
     
  8. Feb 25, 2016 #8

    sssfox

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    Where do you get cast iron for $6/kilo?
     
  9. Feb 25, 2016 #9

    Kaleb

    Kaleb

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    I've machined a few of these weights (they're called barbell weights as far as I know) to make flywheels. Now some people would tell you not to touch the things with a ten foot pole, but I've generally found them to be okay to machine, though I have encountered two bad ones which were tough as nails and had some big holes hidden in them, but those were found by chance during a scrapyard visit.

    EDIT: I wonder if anyone has any idea what those foundries producing the really bad ones are likely to be doing wrong for the weights to come out so hard and full of holes, and why it would be cheaper for them to ignore such bad practise?
     
  10. Feb 25, 2016 #10

    Wizard69

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    Barbell weights have been made in China or elsewhere for decades now. It doesn't really matter though because no matter where they are made, they are made to be cheap not tightly controlled product. Because the analysis isn't known you may have success annealing a disk or maybe not. It is very much a random crap shoot. Since these can often be found at yard sales for pennies on the dollar sometimes it is worth taking a chance.

    The bigger problem is that the plates end up very thin after machining. Unless of course you can leave in the cast in name and other labels. If the material is thick enough and big enough in diameter it is certainly worth a try. You can actually buy a lot of cast iron this way compared to buying durabar at a metal retailer.
     
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  11. Feb 25, 2016 #11

    goldstar31

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    I agree with Wizard69 but would add that it is possible get all sorts of problems because the specification is that there are weights - end of story.

    What rubbish goes into the melt is of no matter- to them. However, what happens when that hard spot turns out to be a bit of carbide.
    Does this institute another bit of postbag which reads- My cheap jack lathe ( or not) has stripped a set of gears or a bull wheel or even a saddle with torn out tee slots' What do the experts say? Perhaps it would be cruel to say ' Penny wise, pound foolish'

    Think again, does anyone want in an expensive lathe to find that casting sand has got under the saddle and the beautiful handscraping now looks like a metal cattle grid which has been run over with a full size battle tank.

    Unreal? Sadly, it is all too true in the cold world of reality.

    My thoughts but I've been there

    Norman
     
  12. Feb 25, 2016 #12

    RonGinger

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    In this hobby we usually spend a lot of time making parts. With all the setups and sometimes even making holding jigs, we can have many hours into one part. The cost of our material usually winds up as pennies per hour per part. Is it good to save a few pennies and maybe wind up with a junk part, or worse breaking a nice insert- that may cost $10?

    I have a pretty good stock room full of 'mystery metal' and it seems every time I try to use some of it I am not happy with the final surface finish.

    We spend a lot of money to buy tools and machines, so my view is to buy quality material, its the cheapest part of this hobby.
     
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  13. Feb 25, 2016 #13

    goldstar31

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    Off topic, perhaps but interesting !

    Have some nice stainless cutlery which goes into the dishwasher with tablets.

    Comes out with little red blotches where ordinary steel ( I guess) has reacted with the salt in the tablets-

    To use the words of the Prophet---RUST

    Cheers

    Norman
     
  14. Feb 25, 2016 #14

    sssfox

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    I just did a search and found a supplier in Tampa that carries Dura-Bar.
    A piece 1-1/2" x 2" x 12" lists for $435.82.
    This price is similar to others I have found in the past.
    Two pieces cost more than I paid for my 7x lathe.
    This puts it WAY out of my ballpark.

    If I could find it for $6 a kilo, I wouldn't be looking at barbell weights.
    Am I missing something?
     
  15. Feb 25, 2016 #15

    SmithDoor

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    I have use cast iron weights for chuck backs. The cost was good my son when move out left a set and I have put them to good use.
    Thm:th_wav
    Take less than an hour to thread and mount a chuck
    I have post to down load section how I made the backing plate
    I would post the like but the downloads are working for me today

    Dave
     
  16. Feb 25, 2016 #16

    mcostello

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    You best sharpen up Your Google Foo, :) Speedy Metals list that size as $23+ shipping and any other cost They can dream up. Not related or even hardly a customer as I can usually do better than their price, just an example.
     
  17. Feb 25, 2016 #17

    sssfox

    sssfox

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    Do you often feel the need to belittle people?
    If you are THAT good, why wouldn't you give me the link where you get a better price?:confused: There, the imoji helps.

    I prefer to buy metals locally when I can. Dura-Bar is a big company. I figured I should be able to pick it up instead of needing to get it shipped. That is the one name I hear most often when it comes to cast iron. I just don't understand why it costs so much. It has been my experience that when there is that much of a price difference, there's a reason.

    If I buy mail order without seeing what I buy, how do I know the composition is any better than the bar bell weights? I have purchased steel online and it isn't always what it is advertised to be. There was a good metal supply company in Tampa, but it closed 15 years ago. There was also a a surplus/recycling place, but the State built a new road and bought the property, so it closed, also. I haven't been able to find a new supply since.

    I did find what was supposed to be a great surplus place in Jacksonville. I took a trip up there to see what it was like. They had a lot of aluminum and small pieces of brass, but no cast iron. They had one shed with a lot of steel. I asked them what type some of it was and the guy said "you know, steel they build stuff with." It didn't give me a lot of confidence.

    I freely admit that I am not good telling which type of steel is which. I prefer buying it from a knowledgeable source and don't mind paying a little more for the knowledge. I know even less about cast iron.
     
  18. Feb 25, 2016 #18

    goldstar31

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    I've just returned from Aldi stores in Little England and next weeks offer is
    1 x 10Kg or
    2 x 5KG or
    4 x 2.5KG

    each set being £12.99

    But earlier I got a Meehanite marking out table( rusty and unsuitable for marking out) for 3 quid.

    I've just got a Myford ML10 plus a 3 jaw and it was index drilled, a 4 jaw, a faceplate, a catchplate, hard, soft, rotating and rotating centres , plus assorted drill chucks. I got a Potts drill unit( which few have heard of), a Cleeve swing tool, a QCTP etc ( Yuk) an normal one, a vertical slide and vice plus steadies and heaps of tools and jigs. Of course, there is whole Imperial set of cogs.

    Imaging the cleaning and possible damage from weights, I think a stifled yawn might be appropriate as it all cost a mere £500.

    Norman
     
  19. Feb 25, 2016 #19

    sssfox

    sssfox

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    I wish we were all so lucky.
     
  20. Feb 25, 2016 #20

    petertha

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    sssfox, some CI issues/names/suppliers were discussed in this thread FWIW
    http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/showthread.php?t=25282

    As I posted, my only experience was CI rod for a cylinder liner supplied by Speedy. It was nice stuff to turn on the lathe, but I don't have any other comparative reference to other CI. I'm envious of the options available within USA but between the shipping cost & vendors, it narrows the field pretty quick in my locale.

    I cant speak to your Durabar quote, but when I called a distributer (here in Canada) the $/ft didn't sound too excessive, but the min order was a show stopper. They seem to be industrial focused, at least here.
     

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