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Author Topic: I Need Aluminum Bars  (Read 1154 times)
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Do you guys know where I can find some 1/2" X 1-1/2" aluminum bars? I need them either online, or in / near Gilbert, AZ (I really hope Cr0sh sees this, because I would just about guarantee he knows a local place).
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Sorry, I was out all day - I just now saw this...

The best place to go for this is called Davis Salvage:

http://www.davissalvageaz.com/

They're located off of Washington...

The next best place (but they're "new" metal, so prices are higher) would be "Hot Metals" - IIRC, they are located off of Deer Valley Road, about 1-2 miles west of Cave Creek Road.

Unfortunately, both places aren't open on Sunday - but they are the rest of the week, I am pretty sure. Hope this helps...

 smiley
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Must looking your nearby store cause the shipping cost will be costly.
Search at  meubel store(huse store).

Jeckson

I'm offferig barter or trade

http://www.avrfreaks.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=100189
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Home Depot or Lowe's *might* - I've bought lengths of the stuff to make brackets and stuff.. not sure on the 1/2" thickness availability, but the width is reasonable.  You may want to look over by door hardware also, you might be able to find a replacement aluminum door threshold that would be roughly those dimensions...

But the first place to check is raw stock/angle iron racks.

Another good choice might be calling a local auto mechanic, and asking them where they get metal stock.  Maybe even a good auto parts store could come up with something.  A good garage might even have something usable they'd sell you directly for a sixpack of beer..
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 12:56:24 pm by focalist » Logged

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If you're looking for specific grades you ought to try places like Aircraft Spruce, OnlineMetals, or my personal fav OnlineMetalsStore
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Well, I need electrical grade aluminum... I am making aluminum bus bars for car audio.
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Well, I need electrical grade aluminum... I am making aluminum bus bars for car audio.

You might also go to Lowes/Home Depot and look in their electrical box section (where they keep breaker boxes) and see if they sell pre-drilled/tapped ground/neutral bus bars for breaker boxes. That might be the easiest and cheapest option.

If you go the route of buying bar stock to make your own bus bars, you might as well go with copper. The places I mentioned, plus most online metals distributors will have copper bar stock. It isn't as cheap as aluminum, but its a great conductor, or so I've heard. smiley-wink

Just make sure its in an enclosure or something to protect it from moisture and the environment, as it will corrode, of course.

 smiley
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Well, in car audio, we commonly run 1/2" thick by like 1-1/2" wide by 2-3 foot long bars... Times that by 2, and that's alot of copper. When I go to the scrap shop, we'll see about the prices... If it's reasonable for the advantage of having copper over aluminum, I'll try to talk daddy into getting it.

Aluminum is common in this type of thing though; some of the biggest names in it use aluminum... I also know some people that run copper, and they love it. We'll see...    
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     I work for a machine shop in Tucson. Could get you some, but would be about a 2 hr drive. I don't have a trip to Phoenix planned soon. Would definitely trade if you don't need much.

    We have had some people call us and ask if we had different sizes we could sell them. All shops have scraps laying around not being used. Call a local machine shop and see if they have any scraps. Our source for aluminum is Bralco. They are based out of Phoenix. Not sure if they sell to the public tho.
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Try Grainger.com or mscdirect.com. Should be one near u.
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Aluminum is common in this type of thing though; some of the biggest names in it use aluminum...

Aluminum is probably common because it is cheaper than copper, thus the markup turns a greater profit.  smiley-wink

There is one advantage over aluminum that copper has (though you would want to use copper lugs on the copper wires as well to realize it, or not use lugs at all): less resistance.

When you have a junction between aluminum and copper, the resistance is higher (especially if there is corrosion). If you have enough current running through these junctions, they can overheat, and cause a fire.

This probably isn't a big concern in car audio, except in extreme installs of high-power amps and such (and at that point, copper is cheap, I suppose), but in a house it is a big concern. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, houses were constructed which used aluminum wiring, because it was cheaper than copper. However, a lot of appliances (lighting fixtures and such) used copper wires. Twisting these wires together and attaching a wiring nut is the common method of connecting the wires mechanically. Similarly, these wires were also connected to the brass connections on the sides of wall outlets. These mechanical joints had a much higher resistance than if copper wiring was used. In normal usage, this wasn't an issue, but as the current needs went up, these joints could become very hot - hot enough to start a fire.

I live in such a neighborhood (on the west side of Phoenix); my own house, long before I bought it, actually caught fire in such a manner (and was rebuilt, with the wiring replaced with copper). These houses are all 30-40 years old now; generally, if you hear or see a fire in a house on the west side of Phoenix, generally it is likely to be due to this kind of electrical work. I can't really lay the blame solely on the builders; more often than not, there is also an element of the homeowner running at or beyond the capabilities of the circuit, and not understanding that in relationship to this kind of wiring; but using aluminum wiring doesn't help.

I also tend to wonder if we won't see something similar in the future, simply because copper has gotten very expensive compared to aluminum - I'm sure there are new homes and other buildings wired with aluminum, and people are likely no more informed than they were previously about the issue...
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http://www.mcmaster.com/#aluminum/=a4wwpv
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In making aluminum-to-aluminum or aluminum-to-copper electrical connections the use of an antioxidant compound ( such as Ideal Noalox tm ) is crucial to success and long-term reliability.
Should be available at any good electrical parts supplier.
A really tight connection ( gas tight ) is the other important factor.
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