Cast Iron Body Building Weights

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sssfox

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Thanks petertha, that thread was very informative.

I guess they make it harder to get stuff to Canada to keep out the riffraff.
I've been there several times and the VAT has kept me from spending much money.
Every place I've been there was beautiful, but the summers there are shorter than the winters in Florida.
 

kf2qd

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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?

The foundries are producing cheap barbell weights. Don't need to machinable, just need to be close to the weight. If it says 5 pounds and it weighs 5 pounds, then it is a good one. Were never intended for someone to use a cheap source of quality cast iron. Could be made of anything they can melt and pour, as that is the only real specification that matter, as far as their final performance is concerned.

Kind of like those little things called tolerances that many seem to have a problem with. You can machine everything to within tenths, but most of the time it is totally unnecesary. But when you are doing it at home for a one off, I guess it doesn't matter. But when you do it in production, that "perfect" part will perform no better than a part that is within tolerances, and will cost a tremendous amount more.
 

kf2qd

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The foundries are producing cheap barbell weights. Don't need to machinable, just need to be close to the weight. If it says 5 pounds and it weighs 5 pounds, then it is a good one. Were never intended for someone to use a cheap source of quality cast iron. Could be made of anything they can melt and pour, as that is the only real specification that matter, as far as their final performance is concerned.

Kind of like those little things called tolerances that many seem to have a problem with. You can machine everything to within tenths, but most of the time it is totally unnecesary. But when you are doing it at home for a one off, I guess it doesn't matter. But when you do it in production, that "perfect" part will perform no better than a part that is within tolerances, and will cost a tremendous amount
more.
That's why I can use that inexpensive dial caliper for much of my work and it come out just fine. And the one diameter that matters, I use my Starrtet mics and telecope guages.
 

mcostello

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I was not belittleing You hence the smiley, You missed the humor. Speedy Metals is the name of the Company, Google it and the link will be there.
 

sssfox

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You best sharpen up Your Google Foo, :) ... hardly a customer as I can usually do better than their price, just an example.
I don't think I missed anything.
If you are that good at Google, where can you get a better price, not just an example?

I do love the way people think they can say whatever they want and a smiley negates the negative connotation. When I was a kid, a guy hit me with a baseball bat and then said "it was a joke, can't you take a joke?". It's been more than 50 years and I still don't see the humor.

I'll take it at face value that you didn't mean it.

Oh yeah, :D
 

Cogsy

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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.
If I could find it for $6 a kilo, I wouldn't be looking at barbell weights.
Am I missing something?
Speedy metals LINK works out to less than $5.50 per kg. Not just an example but a real price (although it is a price for round bar, which is what you'd get from cast weights anyway).

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.
The link is above. I just Googled 'Speedy Metals' and went from there. Took mere seconds. Another LINK a product from Amazon at less than $5.00 a kilo.

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.
Then it appears you will need to pay a great deal extra for this, based on the price you quoted, but it's your decision.

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 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.
So you concede you can not visually identify the material specifics nor, by extension, it's machining properties, yet your argument against ordering online is that you can't inspect it before you buy it so you won't know what it is? Doesn't make sense.

I don't think I missed anything.
If you are that good at Google, where can you get a better price, not just an example?
A quick google search of "buy cast iron bar florida" turned up many companies in, and around, your state - and this is on Google Australia. It seems reasonable that you should be able to perform your own Google search and the advice given that you had selected a poor example was a good one.

For some unknown reason you appear to be being overly argumentative and critical of people who are freely trying to help you. I understand we all get a little niggly sometimes and post something in haste but repeatedly trying to belittle another member based upon a supposed slight that was clearly light-hearted is going too far in my opinion.
 
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petertha

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From what I can tell, Dura-bar is sold through their list of distributers.
http://www.dura-bar.com/distributors/
About 3 years ago I called the closest place to me which happened to be a Castle Metals wholesaler. As mentioned, I cant recall the price offhand but it didn't strike me as orders of magnitude out of line with comparable CI on $/foot basis. However, they did inflict either or minimum $ order amount or they required the full 10 foot? full stick be purchased (would not cut). So I passed. Ordering 1-footers in diameters I required from Speedy was a better option even with the UPS dinger fees. All I can say is Speedy Class 40 grey machined nice & other builders better than me have made their rings & liners from it. So I personally have no interest in pursuing Durabar. Curiously, I cannot find a Durabar price list on-line.

McMaster Carr is another CI supplier you lucky Americans can shop from.
http://www.mcmaster.com/#casters/=11atebx
They call theirs 'easy to machine' cast iron & I believe someone, somewhere has correlated the ingredients as being 'quite close' to Dura-bar or possibly was/re-labelled? as evidenced by enclosed spec sheet (not sure there). But as can be seen, the price/weight is in-line with Speedy & others but they offer lots of dimensions, rods, rectangular, even blanks like what could be used for faceplates & such. Good luck!
 

sssfox

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Speedy metals LINK works out to less than $5.50 per kg. Not just an example but a real price (although it is a price for round bar, which is what you'd get from cast weights anyway).



The link is above. I just Googled 'Speedy Metals' and went from there. Took mere seconds. Another LINK a product from Amazon at less than $5.00 a kilo.



Then it appears you will need to pay a great deal extra for this, based on the price you quoted, but it's your decision.



So you concede you can not visually identify the material specifics nor, by extension, it's machining properties, yet your argument against ordering online is that you can't inspect it before you buy it so you won't know what it is? Doesn't make sense.



A quick google search of "buy cast iron bar florida" turned up many companies in, and around, your state - and this is on Google Australia. It seems reasonable that you should be able to perform your own Google search and the advice given that you had selected a poor example was a good one.

For some unknown reason you appear to be being overly argumentative and critical of people who are freely trying to help you. I understand we all get a little niggly sometimes and post something in haste but repeatedly trying to belittle another member based upon a supposed slight that was clearly light-hearted is going too far in my opinion.
Cogsy,
I'm completely baffled by your reply.
I DO know how to search on Google.
What set me off was mcostello insulting me and then putting an emoji next to it like that makes it OK. I always appreciate help, but why do people feel the need to insult someone in the process? Maybe your definition of lighthearted and mine are different. Just for the record so there will be no misunderstanding, IN MY OPINION, an insult followed by an emoji is still an insult and there is no call for it. It is a form of bullying and adds nothing to the discussion.

mcostello then gave me a link followed by the statement that this is only an example, not where he would buy it. If he would buy it someplace else, why wouldn't he give me the link to it? If he would've stopped after the link, I would've not had an issue. I only asked him for it again because he didn't supply it after the first request.

I went back and reread my posts and didn't see anything that I would consider argumentative. I responded to his entry and he clearly misunderstood my response, so I clarified. If you or anyone else took that as argumentative, I apologize.

The link you supplied on Amazon may have a better price, but the shipping is more than the actual item. I know you are used to that in Australia, but I'm not used to it here in the US. I guess I'm spoiled.

I have spent MANY hours searching using terms similar to "cast iron bars", "cast iron rough stock", "Florida cast iron bars" and you are correct, there is no shortage of hits, however, few of them are worthwhile and none have what I'm looking for. I get several that end up at the same or a similar place, with the same prices I found earlier and the list rapidly goes to cast iron skillets. All I can figure is all of the cast iron comes from Dura-Bar and all of the companies sell it for the same price. If you can do a Google search and find a company in the Tampa Bay area or anywhere in Florida for that matter, that has cast iron bars around $6/kilogram, I will be eternally grateful AND I will admit that my Google searching is poor. I'll even buy you a beer the next time you are in town.

I prefer to buy local exactly because I don't know the properties of the materials I am buying. Have you never purchased anything online and when it arrived, it was completely different from the description? I don't mind taking a chance with inexpensive items, but I have to weigh the cost against the possibility that the item won't be usable for the intended purpose. The more expensive the item, the harder it is to justify.

In the past, when I have purchased stock locally, most times, I have found a knowledgeable sales person that knew what they were selling and could answer my questions. I don't mind paying for that, but I guess it is part of the past, now. I also like to support small, local business when I can.

I have purchased from Speedy Metals in the past, but never cast iron. With brass, bronze and aluminum, I have never had any problems, no matter where I bought it. If you go back and look at the original discussion in this thread, it is obvious that there is a problem determining the quality of cast iron. If you reread the entire thread, only one person, petertha, said where they bought cast iron and was happy with it. Based on that and my past experience, I placed an order with Speedy Metals. I had to text them to get it shipped in a flat rate box, but I was successful and it cut the shipping from $27 to $18.75. Any of you who order from them may want to try that. It isn't a choice on their website. The total was $122 and change and included most everything I need to build a two cylinder Corliss.

I really don't want to buy recast barbell weights. That is all I am trying to accomplish, the rest of this thread is just a distraction.

I do have to ask, Cogsy, what were you trying to accomplish with your post?
 
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petertha

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All I can figure is all of the cast iron comes from Dura-Bar and all of the companies sell it for the same price.
I don't know for 100%, but I'm going to guess this assumption is not the case. I think what Speedy & others are selling is 'equivalent' or 'similar' to Durabar, but not necessarily from Durabar. And I only base this on what others have described on forums correlating some metallurgy specs. For all we know McMaster round CI rod may come from foundry X and flat bar from foundry Y, or Durabar. Most of the mini retailers are 'cut & reship' so they are constantly sourcing from wherever.

In both my recent Speedy & Onlinemetals.com orders, they also package the full spec sheet wad for every item purchased. So my 6061-T6 aluminum comes with an Alcoa sheet with full metallurgy & tempering specs. 1018 steel comes from... you get the idea. So I would think they could provide you this same information in advance with an inquiry. Or in any event you will know what you have when the stick arrives. I will have to look at my CI sheet to see what it says.
 

mcostello

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First off I did not mean to insult You, I am sorry that came out that way. The reason it was an example was that a local supplier I usually use can many times beat online prices by a good bit, that's why I don't usually use Speedy Metals or Online metals.
 

sssfox

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I know speedy Metals has information on their site that doesn't show up in their main menu, at least I can't find it. I was doing a search on machineability of A36 steel and a page from speedy Metals came up. When I tried to get there from their main page, I couldn't find a link.

Here is the main page:
http://www.speedymetals.com/default.aspx
Here is the material sheet:
http://www.speedymetals.com/information/Material29.html

I was looking for cast iron, but can't find it, that's why the search.
There must be other sheets, but I can't figure out how to find them.
Maybe they will send me the sheets, too.

There are links at the bottom of the materials page, but they take you to the material order page.

I spent more time on their site and each individual product page has a link to the material information sheet. I didn't see it because it doesn't look like a link. I should've seen it, though, because it says "click here".
 

sssfox

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First off I did not mean to insult You, I am sorry that came out that way. The reason it was an example was that a local supplier I usually use can many times beat online prices by a good bit, that's why I don't usually use Speedy Metals or Online metals.
I know.
You told me in post #24 and I said I believed that you didn't mean it in post #25. For me, it was over after #25. I'm not sure the last posts had anything to do with you, still not sure of the intention. All I want is a place where I can buy cast iron of known quality.

From what the other person said, you and I must be the only two people on earth that use local suppliers. I just can't find one here. Well, I can fine one, but the price is significantly higher.

I had no idea it was as hard to buy cast iron as it is.
 

petertha

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Here is the material sheet:
http://www.speedymetals.com/information/Material29.html

Maybe they will send me the sheets, too.
Those website links appear to be generic properties just to be helpful. What I'm talking about is the specs corresponding to the actual material you order. Now if they happen to reference a material meets SAE/AISA/ASTM ### and that alloy meets your requirements, then 99% of the issue is resolved. It doesn't really matter what mill they source from behind the scenes so long as it meets the reference number. That's why the 'standards' exist. Some may beg to differ & say there are still discernible differences between different suppliers of the same number, but splitting hairs now.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_steel_grades

I might be getting my Onlinemetals order mixed in with Speedy. Possibly they have a user check box option to include the spec sheets or not upon order (to save some paper if you don't care). In my last OLM order they include a wad regardless. This may or may not have to do with cross border shipping obligatory declaration which would not pertain to you.

All I'm trying to say is: they obviously have the detailed spec information because they package it with order. The trick is to get that in advance if you were so inclined or it was a decision maker. Perhaps an email or call to them would shed some light?
 

sssfox

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I didn't see the check mark for providing material sheets, but I didn't get past my shopping cart in the checkout process. Since I wanted to use USPS, I had to go through emails to get the deal worked out and then called them to charge it.

If I don't get the sheets, I'll call and see if they can email them to me.
I would like to find out where it came from and I would definitely like to know more about the composition of cast iron.

I haven't machined much cast iron, but I do like the results, even if it is so dirty to work with.

Thanks for the info,
Steve Fox
 

Cogsy

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I really don't want to argue the issue, but you asked the reason for my post so I will explain.

I was not belittleing You hence the smiley, You missed the humor.
Here is the explanation given for the supposed 'sleight'. Being that the price you had obtained was around 20 times higher than this member had quickly found online, he was simply saying have another look online. (In my opinion, nothing nefarious at all).

I don't think I missed anything.
If you are that good at Google, where can you get a better price, not just an example?
Here you completely refute his good intent, basically calling him out and saying he purposely meant to insult you. To be honest myself, the supposed sleight seems incredibly minor (I've never encountered someone defensive of their Google skills before) and to carry it on to this level is what prompted my response. More from the same post :

I do love the way people think they can say whatever they want and a smiley negates the negative connotation. When I was a kid, a guy hit me with a baseball bat and then said "it was a joke, can't you take a joke?". It's been more than 50 years and I still don't see the humor.

I'll take it at face value that you didn't mean it.

Oh yeah, :D
Carrying it further and stating anyone can say anything followed by a smiley and loosely equating the incident with an assault in your past, you then go back on your earlier statement "I don't think I missed anything" with a seeming acceptance of the explanation, immediately followed by one of your hated smileys to show this is not the case.

What set me off was mcostello insulting me and then putting an emoji next to it like that makes it OK.
I went back and reread my posts and didn't see anything that I would consider argumentative. I responded to his entry and he clearly misunderstood my response, so I clarified. If you or anyone else took that as argumentative, I apologize.
As I said, I don't think such a minor perceived sleight could even be called an insult but obviously you did. However, virtually slapping the man's hand away when an apology was offered, accusing him of bullying you, etc., in my view, was overstepping the mark.


I do have to ask, Cogsy, what were you trying to accomplish with your post?
I believe I've answered this, but if not, to call you out for being rude where it was completely unwarranted. That's it.

You told me in post #24 and I said I believed that you didn't mean it in post #25. For me, it was over after #25. I'm not sure the last posts had anything to do with you, still not sure of the intention.
Here is the very crux of the matter, he offered you an apology (warranted or not), which you dismissed and derided, employing the very tactics against him that you thought he'd somehow used against you, yet you can't see that you were being argumentative or rude.

So that's my explanation. As I said, I don't want to argue, that's not what I come here for. I think I've clearly laid out my reasons and explained them clearly. I won't respond again, just to make sure we don't spiral into any sort of argument. I'll let you have the final word.

Finally, on the actual topic of the thread, I have a local supplier with a $50 minimum charge that I get cast iron bar for around $8 AUD/kg. Changed to USD that should be less than $6 I would think. Seems a comparable price level and would be what I'd be looking at getting it for, although for me the extra shipping cost (when it's reasonable) is something I can live with as almost everything I need to buy has to be shipped across the country or internationally.
 

sssfox

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I really don't want to argue the issue, but you asked the reason for my post so I will explain.
The thing he missed was letting me know where he could find a better price, which he remedied.

As I have said to mcostello TWICE, I don't believe he meant any harm. Why you can't see that or don't understand it, I don't know. His humor is acceptable, but mine isn't? I don't get that either. It must have something to do with the language differences between us. It makes no difference what I say, you're going to take it the wrong way.

I still don't understand why you are so upset.
For someone who doesn't want to argue, you spend a lot of time typing about something that doesn't even concern you. I don't understand your need to defend someone else and attack me over something that even you say is incredibly minor. What have I ever done to you? I don't know you and we live on opposite sides of the world. Maybe you should just chill a little bit.

You have accused me of being rude, argumentative, dismissive and deriding as well pretty much said I can't do a decent Google search. I haven't accused you of anything. What have I ever done to you? I don't know you and we live on opposite sides of the world. Maybe you should just chill a little bit. I'm just trying to find a place to buy cast iron at a reasonable price and I prefer a local supplier, apparently as do you and mcostello.

So, did you find any locations in Florida where I could find a decent price?
Maybe you need to increase your Google Foo:D.
 

Blogwitch

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With regards to getting cast iron for very cheap prices.
For more years than I care to remember I have been using scrap and donated mystery metal to make 99% of what I make. If I stand lumps of steel outside for about 6 months, what has not gone rusty, I class as stainless.
I would suggest you forget about barbell weights unless you are VERY lucky, they are made from left over dross at the end of day pours, so could contain almost anything ferrous. I have tried them, and failed miserably.
The same tends to go for US cast sash weights, again end of days pours and full of dross and hard bits, you will get through loads of tips trying to work this stuff, from what I can gather from people who have tried, success rate is about 1 in 10. The Victorian sash weights made in the UK (remember, well over 100 years old), for me is absolutely great, and have yet to fail to get large lengths of well seasoned cast iron out of them, but it does take technique.

What people haven't mentioned yet, and I wish I could get hold of another couple of slabs, are the old weights hung on the front of tractors to balance them out. I managed to get hold of one many years ago, about 24" x 12" x 3" thick. Absolutely wonderful stuff once you got rid of the outer skin. I would have thought there would have been thousands of these knocking about on the US prairies.

What you should be looking for is something of uniform thickness all over, otherwise where it is thin, it will be chilled and rock hard.
This even happens to machine tools.
When I faced off my faceplate before starting a new job (you do face it off before use don't you?), when it was finished being faced, you could see the different chrystaline structure in the metal where it was made with thicker rims and webs.
The thicker parts had a much finer structure than the thinner parts, which had cooled off quicker.
You can see the difference in chrystaline structure quite easily.




John
 

jayville

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John...you are a wealth of information ...thank you.....clem
 

Wizard69

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With regards to getting cast iron for very cheap prices.
For more years than I care to remember I have been using scrap and donated mystery metal to make 99% of what I make. If I stand lumps of steel outside for about 6 months, what has not gone rusty, I class as stainless.
I would suggest you forget about barbell weights unless you are VERY lucky, they are made from left over dross at the end of day pours, so could contain almost anything ferrous. I have tried them, and failed miserably.
The same tends to go for US cast sash weights, again end of days pours and full of dross and hard bits, you will get through loads of tips trying to work this stuff, from what I can gather from people who have tried, success rate is about 1 in 10. The Victorian sash weights made in the UK (remember, well over 100 years old), for me is absolutely great, and have yet to fail to get large lengths of well seasoned cast iron out of them, but it does take technique.

What people haven't mentioned yet, and I wish I could get hold of another couple of slabs, are the old weights hung on the front of tractors to balance them out. I managed to get hold of one many years ago, about 24" x 12" x 3" thick. Absolutely wonderful stuff once you got rid of the outer skin. I would have thought there would have been thousands of these knocking about on the US prairies.
Having grown up in farm country there are a couple of explanation to the missing tractor weight problem.

First WW2 gave huge incentive for farmers to scrap anything metal laying around the farm without an immediate use. So this was one huge purging of the landscape of anything iron or steel.

Second after the war years you basically end up with two types of farmers. One see clutter as an abomination and another that sees clutter as something they will potentially need in the future. The guy that sees clutter also sees dollars and thus recycles everything.

Third even if the tractor the weight goes on is gone there are still lots of uses on a farm for dead weights.

Fourth, old tractors seldom die, you would be surprised by the number of really old but operational tractors that exist in the USA at the moment. Some are considered collectors items. Some still do the work they where designed for and some are simply there for the memories.
What you should be looking for is something of uniform thickness all over, otherwise where it is thin, it will be chilled and rock hard.
This even happens to machine tools.
When I faced off my faceplate before starting a new job (you do face it off before use don't you?), when it was finished being faced, you could see the different chrystaline structure in the metal where it was made with thicker rims and webs.
The thicker parts had a much finer structure than the thinner parts, which had cooled off quicker.
You can see the difference in chrystaline structure quite easily.




John

The other thing with Tractor weights is that these are in fact a lot of mass as such you need a good amount of iron to pour just to make a few. These are seldom made a few at a time, so you need a large amount of iron to successfully pour the weights. Lastly these weights take a whole hell of a lot of abuse. As such I have to believe hat they do spend effort on controlling what type of cast iron is actually being poured. Weights that fall off a tractor are no good but it also makes the tractor builder look like a fool. So you take all these factors together and you will see that there is incentive to do a better job casting this iron.

There is one problem with these weights though, they are extremely heavy and thus hard to handle.
 

Mark Rand

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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

Norman
Last week end I did the shopping at our local Aldi and came back with a 10kg weight. I spent most of today removing the parts that didn't look like a Hardinge faceplate.

This particular weight had a few (3) small surface inclusions, but no more than many castings. From the finished surface, the chips and the tendency to work harden on light cuts, I'd say it isn't a true grey iron but is a 'semi-steel'. This is reasonable if it's made from a mixture of iron and steel scrap, It's messy like grey iron, but the chips are larger than one would normally expect. It was also very abrasive. I only realised after 6 hours that it turned better with a positive rake steel insert rather than a zero rake cast iron insert.

Original dimensions approx 10" diameter. Hub and rim 1.5" thick. Central web about 0.7" thick. That's enough to avoid chills in a normal sand mould.

Regards
Mark
 
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