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Where can I purchase metal rods?

Where can I purchase metal rods?

Where can I purchase metal rods?


I am 100% new to the welding / brazing process.  I will be builing an exhibit for a science museum and need to construct metal ramps for marbles to roll down.  These ramps would be similar to the ones in pinball machines.  I am looking for the materials so I can practice welding or brazing the rods together into ramps.  The rods would need to be something that I can paint or that will not rust if left unpainted.  I need to be able to bend them somehow, but they need to maintain their shape once bent.  I was going to take four rods and some metal rings to create each ramp. Two rods for the bottom, and two for the sides.  The metal rings or half rings would be welded into place.  I also need metal rings or a way to bend and make them myself.

I found a 3/16" plat stl round rod at HomeDepo.  Somthing like this might work.  I would like something a little smaller than 3/16" if I can find it.  It also is only 3' long and I would like to get 6' and 8' lengths.

Need Help finding:

Metal Rods 6' 8' lengths that can be brazed
Metal Rings or half rings to hold rods.
Brazing tools / supplies
Some tool or technique to bend rods

Steve Griswold

RE: Where can I purchase metal rods?

Try a steel supply house.  You can buy a lot of steel at a supply house for what a rod costs at Home Depot.   

Small diameter, mild steel should be bendable.  (Coat hangers are small diameter, mild steel.  I would think you would want thicker material but it would still be bendable.)   Think Get creative and use various round things for mandrels.   We get postcards occasionally from someone who makes a hand operated wire-bending machine so they are out there.  

Get a hacksaw and cut small pieces of the rod for rings.  Maybe bend it first.  Like making chain mail armor. (Find a medieval web site)

We can sell you the wire braze alloy and the flux you need.  It will be very easy to use with an oxy-acetylene torch.  It has a very pretty gold color, which looks good against the steel.  It will also work on stainless tell very well.

We have a lot of information on our web site at www.carbideprocessors.com

You can call me at 800 346-8274 if you like.

Tom Walz

RE: Where can I purchase metal rods?

Steve, be very careful welding or brazing plated metals. many times they are Cadmium or Zinc plated, and you can get extremely sick from inhaling the fumes. If you must use plated metals, use a respirator and I always like to drink a couple of glasses of milk. That is an old wives tale, but I guess since I havent gotten sick yet, I cling to the hope it is true.
A good source of metals for projects like yours is Mc Master-Carr. They always stock a supply that boggles the mind, and they take credit cards and ship the same day.....
Look here for all your needs!
Good luck!

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