Online Metals ProtoBox

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DJP

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I have a deal with the yard boss at a local scrap yard. As long as I wear construction boots and hard hat I can explore the bins of brass, aluminium, stainless and steel which I purchase by weight. It's amazing what you can find from manufacturers who recycle machine shop waste at the scrap yard.

A prototyping box and shipping costs do not appeal.
 

Wizard69

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I have a deal with the yard boss at a local scrap yard. As long as I wear construction boots and hard hat I can explore the bins of brass, aluminium, stainless and steel which I purchase by weight. It's amazing what you can find from manufacturers who recycle machine shop waste at the scrap yard.

A prototyping box and shipping costs do not appeal.
You are very lucky. Most of the scrap yards around here wouldn’t even let you in.
 

Wizard69

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It is not a good deal when half of what you get is unusable to you. In most cases it is probably better to just pay a higher price and get stuff that you can use.
This is true if you know what you want/need. If you are exploring an idea or trying to repair something having a random pile of stock doesn’t hurt. Usually though people build up that pile over time.

The other thing here is that buying stock in these short length is expensive in an of itself. The mark up for ”the service” is often high. Often it can make sense to buy a longer length bar large enough in diameter to cover a number of parts. We run into this with emergency repairs all the time at work because stocking a large collection of materials is frowned upon. This a preference for larger diameter stock.
 

ignator

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I picked up scrap metal in the past (0ver 35 years, still collecting) when getting my project material "pile" accumulated. I can think of at least 4 times in the last 25 years, where it became evident that the mystery steel was air hardening tool steel. One pass on the lathe just finished, or a drill press hole, and the next cut, the tooling is eaten.
Luckily, I have a heat treat furnace to re-anneal the part to salvage it. But it takes 24 hours of slow cooling.
 

ncoonen

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ProtoBrass.JPG
ProtoAL.JPG


I just received 20# protoboxes from OM in aluminum and brass. I put "Large pieces are fine." in the comments box and used the 20% off deal they had going. For brass in got two 11" long pieces, one 2.125"D and one 2.5"D. It was like winning the Lotto. (If you don't agree, price these pieces on their website.) The aluminum box had the assortment you see (one piece is hidden) including 6" of 5"D 6061. Both boxes were well over 20# and it's all stuff I can use. They made a believer out of me.
...ned.
 

olympic

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I, too, have an arrangement with the local scrap yard. An advantage of this is that, as well as finding neat scrap, I can also find useful steel things at very little per pound.

I found one of these expensive rotary gasket cutters last year:

41VCUu5qaFL._SX385_.jpg
 
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Wizard69

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This kinda makes me sick because I see what leaves my plant for the recycle yards. Unfortunately once it leaves the plant nobody can get access to it. I’ve seen things like table saws go out the door with the no you can’t have it reply. Something about liability.

Waste in modern corporate manufacturing is just unreal.

I, too, have an arrangement with the local scrap yard. An advantage of this is that, as well as finding neat scrap, I can also find useful steel things at very little per pound.

I found one of these expensive rotary gasket cutters last year:

View attachment 108732
 
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I have shopped Online Metals, in the past, and was unaware of the Proto Boxs'. I just ordered a brass 20# Proto Box and am waiting to see what they are sending. Kinda like Christmas. :)
 
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Christmas in April. Just got my 20lb brass protobox. I am amazed. Awesome selection and fast shipping. I'm going to save my pennies for more.
 

CFLBob

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Christmas in April. Just got my 20lb brass protobox. I am amazed. Awesome selection and fast shipping. I'm going to save my pennies for more.
You got it overnight? Fast shipping is an understatement - unless you live next door.

I haven't ordered one of these boxes, and while I know its a matter of luck what you get, it would be interesting to know what you got.

I haven't been to their site in a while and I see the thing I used to buy the most often isn't there anymore. Say I needed a couple of inches of some aluminum flat bar for a project. Instead of buying a foot, they always had cutoffs that were would be somewhere between 10 and 12" long, but not guaranteed to be anything. On the other hand, they were cheaper than a 10" piece. Those cutoffs have always worked for me.

Maybe they're really there but I can't find them anymore.
 

petertha

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Its still there, just kind of different than the old website which they just rolled out. Its the best of both worlds, when you want 12" you can order it. if you are ok with close to 12" (like 11" will do) they show that too. Not all materials lend itself to this so I'm not sure if its a live inventory thing or not.
 

Attachments

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Hello CFLBob. I ordered the Protobox April 14. It was $57 + $20 shipping. I had to inventory the contents and include a picture for you. Brass Plate: 1/2" x 4" x 113/4". Channel 3/4" x 2" x 12" (2).
Bar stock: 9/16" x 1 1/4" x 12", 1/8" x 1/2" x 12 1/2", 3/8" x 1" x 2 1/2". Round bar: 1 1/4" x 11 3/4", 1 1/8" x 11 3/4". Brass tube: 1 1/4" OD x 10", 1/2" OD x 12" (4), 2 3/4" OD x 1" (2). Brass Tee: 1" x 1" x 1/8" x 12" (5). Brass angle: 2" x 2" x 1/8" x 12".
I'm well pleased with the assortment and quantity.
Al
ProBox Online Metals 4-14-2019.jpg
 

CFLBob

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Hello CFLBob. I ordered the Protobox April 14. It was $57 + $20 shipping. I had to inventory the contents and include a picture for you. Brass Plate: 1/2" x 4" x 113/4". Channel 3/4" x 2" x 12" (2).
Bar stock: 9/16" x 1 1/4" x 12", 1/8" x 1/2" x 12 1/2", 3/8" x 1" x 2 1/2". Round bar: 1 1/4" x 11 3/4", 1 1/8" x 11 3/4". Brass tube: 1 1/4" OD x 10", 1/2" OD x 12" (4), 2 3/4" OD x 1" (2). Brass Tee: 1" x 1" x 1/8" x 12" (5). Brass angle: 2" x 2" x 1/8" x 12".
I'm well pleased with the assortment and quantity.
AlView attachment 108777
Thanks for going to the effort! It's an impressive bunch of stuff.
 

vederstein

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You folks keep buying these things, all that going to be left is garbage parts.... (just kidding).

...Ved.
 

trlvn

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I ordered some proto boxes in March:

Brass - 5 pounds USD $16
Aluminum - 10 pounds $21
Steel - 20 pounds $21
plus USD $30 for shipping (within the USA--I cross the border to pick up from Lewiston, NY).

This is what I got:

BrassMar2019.jpg


AluminumMar2019.jpg


SteelMar2019.jpg


I would have hoped for much more round stock for turning in the lathe. I see now that I could have added some comments in a box on the order and maybe gotten a better result.

Craig
 
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I have a deal with the yard boss at a local scrap yard. As long as I wear construction boots and hard hat I can explore the bins of brass, aluminium, stainless and steel which I purchase by weight. It's amazing what you can find from manufacturers who recycle machine shop waste at the scrap yard.

A prototyping box and shipping costs do not appeal.
It's amazing what you can pick up at the local scrap metal yard. I bought a Cincinnati dividing head for £10.00. Had a lot of backlash in the spindle but the scrap dealer didn't know that there is an adjustment screw inside the unit and it's working like new. Fitted a 3 jaw chuck and it's worth it's weight in gold.
 
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