Where to buy aluminum flat bar and square tube and anodize them locally?

Discussion in 'DIY' started by tonggao, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. tonggao

    tonggao Guest

    I am trying to make a aluminum frame for a DIY LED ligth, and want to buy some 3" square tubes and 1" thick 2" width flat bars. Does anyone know where I can buy it locally? Also, to make it look nice, I like to anodize them black if it is not too expensive, does anyone know a local shop that can do this? Thanks.
  2. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Anodizing a large size like that shouldn't be all that cheap since it will need to be in a bath large enough to hold all the metal at once. The Bay area is filled with metal supply stores, just open the phone book. I just usually order it from McMaster Carr though as their prices are inline with the rest and I get it the next day with out fighting traffic.
  3. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    powder coating would be cheaper and any place that can do a motorcycle can do it. When you as for a quote, tell them it's the size of a motorcycle frame so they can better judge it. It should be a bit cheaper then a frame to do as it's far less complex (less to spray).
  4. tonggao

    tonggao Guest

    Thanks Gresham for the info! The lighting fixture is for a 12G nano tank, and it is only about 12" long. Will this be large for anodizing? The lighting fixture is basically a large heat sink for the LED, and I am hoping that I do not need to put a fan on top of it for better look. I know anodizing actually help heat dissipation, will powder coating hurt heat dissipation?
  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I'm curious why do you want such huge sized aluminum for something so small? FWIW, I used 3/4" square tubing (I believe) for my tank.
  6. tonggao

    tonggao Guest

    I am constantly changing my plan, but believe I finalized it now. I am going to use four pieces of solid aluminum bar screwed onto a 12"x7.29" aluminum heatsink as the complete light fixture. Since everything is exposed and nothing will be hidden in lighting box, it has to look nice and solid, therefore the anodizing. The nano tank is 14" wide, so I will use two 1" thick 3" tall 8.29" long bars on the two sides to sit on the tank, one 1/2" thick 2" tall and 12" long bars in the front, and one 1/2" thick 1.5" tall and 12" long bar in the back. To save some cost anodizing, I might just do it on the 4 bars, the screws, and the resting feet (not anodizing the heatsink). Two tone fixture should still look clean and decent. I choose aluminum bar to give it a squarish metal look and help more on heat dissipation, since I do not want to stick on a fan which is going to be an eye sore.

    Could someone tell tell where to have the smaller pieces anodized for a reasonable price?
  7. Elite

    Elite Guest

    don't know the answer to your question but take a lot of pics when you putting it together. Love to learn a thing or two from this :)..
  8. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Anodizing that shouldn't be bad then :) I'll check with some metal friends and see where you could have it done. Where are you located so I can get it as close as possible?
  9. tonggao

    tonggao Guest

    Thanks a lot Gresham, I am in Cupertino.
  10. Any movement on this project?

    I know some annodizers, if needed
    powdercoaters too, and ceramic coaters to boot!
  11. tonggao

    tonggao Guest

    Wil, check out here: http://www.bareefers.org/home/node/8351

    I just took the fixture to the first anodizer I found on the web, Applied Anodizing. They charged me $75 for hard anodizing (Level III), and I like the look after anodizing.

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