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Re: [TowerTalk] RE; Finding AL Tubing and other Metals

To: "Tower and HF antenna construction topics." <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] RE; Finding AL Tubing and other Metals
From: jimlux <>
Reply-to: "Tower and HF antenna construction topics." <>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 21:46:39 -0700
List-post: <">>
Roger (K8RI) wrote:
> wrote:
>> Its a bit pricey but try to locate a METAL SUPERMARKET near you.  I use one 
>> in ABQ, NM, when I need small qty.  They carry, or can order almost anything 
>> hams would use. 
> I'd look for a local Aluminum supplier. There's a large one about 20 
> miles from me. I found them by asking metal fabricating shops where I 
> could find some sheet and tube stock. Aluminum sheet and tube are pricey 
> even at discount, but many of the suppliers will even cut the sheets to 
> shape. I don't know about bending. Small metal brakes (say to make the 
> tube sub chassis in an Alpha 76) are relatively simple to make from rod 
> and steel angle.  You do need a welder and access to a mill or a friend 
> who is a machinist.  Normally the socket cut outs are punched, but a 
> small hobbiest mill, or one of those small lathe and mill combinations 
> can do cutouts that look professional.

They have a simple drafting package you download which has stock 
cutouts, tapped holes, as well as any sort of shape you can draw.  It 
quotes it online, you send in the order with your credit card, and a 
week later, the beautifully machined panel arrives at your door.  Lots 
of different thicknesses and finishes, as well as filled engraved 
lettering, etc.

Angle stock, premachined panels, and you get a pretty nice end product 
(especially if you need things like D-sub cutouts.. or even nicer 
"double D" punches for BNC connectors)

  Standard Aluminum chassis are a
> tad on the flimsy side. If you don't want to bend up a sub chassis, just 
> get some angle and make one like an erector set. Use either screws or 
> pop rivets for fasteners. I haven't found any of the press in captive 
> nuts yet.

PEM fasteners

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