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Old 18-04-2016, 09:34   #1
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Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

Want to build a combination bimini/solar panel mount on my sailboat. Looking for a source of tubing that is less expensive than what I've found on the web. Any sources of recycled tubing you know of?
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Old 18-04-2016, 10:13   #2
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

I have quite a bit of SS tubing from a bimini top that is being replaced by a rigid bimini. But too long to ship. Where are you located?
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Old 18-04-2016, 10:28   #3
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

Ed, I live in Tennessee but my boat is kept at Charlotte Harbor, FL. What are the tubing specs?
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Old 18-04-2016, 10:29   #4
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

I use a local industrial supplier, Alaska Copper and Brass.
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Old 18-04-2016, 10:40   #5
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

Quote:
What are the tubing specs?
Is either 1" or maybe 1 1/8", u shaped (could be cut) about12 ft long PLUS 4 ft doglegs. I have 3 pcs like this plus the fittings for a 3 bow frame. But they are in eastern NC. I will check diam and wall thickness tonight if I remember.
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Old 18-04-2016, 10:43   #6
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

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Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
Is either 1" or maybe 1 1/8", u shaped (could be cut) about12 ft long PLUS 4 ft doglegs. I have 3 pcs like this plus the fittings for a 3 bow frame. But they are in eastern NC. I will check diam and wall thickness tonight if I remember.
Before you buy any tubing, be sure you can buy fittings to fit it. 1" is common, I don't kno3w about 1 1/8".
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Old 18-04-2016, 16:12   #7
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

Ed, thanks. I am looking at 7/8 or 1". I am not absolutely sure what wall thickness to use as I have never made a structure to support solar cells. I am planning on mounting 2-150 watt units on a square frame that will look somewhat like a bimini frame. Although the cells don't weigh much, I think wind load will be a big issue.

My design calls for 6 sticks - 6' long, 4 sticks - 4' long and 2 sticks - 3' long, so cutting the longer pieces for shipping wouldn't be a problem.

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Old 18-04-2016, 17:56   #8
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

Any reasonable sized seaside town will have a mill stock supplier of aluminium and stainless schedule tubing. It will be a fraction the cost of online metal supply places. Not to mention save you a fortune in shipping.
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Old 19-04-2016, 09:18   #9
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

I just bought some pieces online from McMaster-Carr. A little prices, but I needed small quantity and they arrived in 2 days.
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Old 19-04-2016, 09:47   #10
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

I've used onlinemetals.com for a number of projects.
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Old 19-04-2016, 10:02   #11
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

I have had good experience with OnLineMetals.com fast, good prices on small quantities. They are particularly good when the quantities are too small to interest a local shop.
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Old 19-04-2016, 10:27   #12
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

I have a home on Charlotte Harbor. I live in Sarasota and have an aluminum fabrication shop here. I am sure that I can get you aluminum pipe much cheaper than anything online. I get free deliver daily. A 20' piece of 3/4 pipe which has an O.D. of approximately 1" costs under $20.
I get down to our home in PC almost every weekend.
PM me if your interested.
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Old 19-04-2016, 10:55   #13
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

Metal from an industrial supplier is likely to be less than half the cost of a place like onlinemetals, and likely with a far better selection.

Just as an example I bought a piece of 1/2 inch sch 80 6064-t6 aluminium a week or so ago for $.75/ft. Onlinemetals doesn't stock it, but even their sch40 aluminium is $2/ft.
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Old 19-04-2016, 11:08   #14
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

Try your local scrap yard.Most will sell for a little over what they buy it for.Thats where i get all my stainless sheet and tubing and aluminum.
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Old 19-04-2016, 11:14   #15
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Re: Source of Stainless or AL Tubing

I buy ss and al from a savage/scrap yard in the SF area for$3/#. Very inexpensive and find the right alloys, 6061 T 6, 6063 T6, 304, 316.
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