I have built two largish boats a 42 foot trawler
and a 65 foot gaff rigged cutter
. I'm currently upgrading my 35 foot Pearson
. So I have had many things to fabricate out of stainless steel
or galvanized steel
Here's the trick. Every town of almost any size in the United States has a metal recycling outfit, what we used to call a junkyard.
The main thing that they do is buy crushed cans, old batteries, copper wire etc, etc.
What you might not be aware of is that they sell things as well.
For example I just bought 4 feet of 1 inch by 4 inch aluminum
channel bar ($5) to use in the complicated triple roller system on my bow.
I can almost guarantee that you could pick through their stock and find something close, prefabricated, to what you're looking for. Or you could find something that modified on a drill press would work. Or you could find something that you could take to a welder.
On my gaff rigged cutter
I found a 2 inch diameter 316 solid stainless steel shaft which I dragged to a machine shop and had a taper and the appropriate thread machined.
I would say in general that your cost using this method as against West Marine
is a dime on the dollar.
In building 2 big boats I have saved tens of thousands of dollars.
Oh yeah, I found pieces of copper wire 2, 4, 6 guage.
The limit really is your imagination.