well, the stainless steel will always be costly +

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Posted by mike on December 21, 2000 at 23:49:09:

In Reply to: Freedive posted by JRM on December 21, 2000 at 13:14:27:

because the stuff is tough to machine, and even the raw materials are costly. I was thinking about machining my own from say, 300 series sulfurized stainless (most corrosion resistant of all the steels, to the best of my limited, and increasingly dated knowledge) but i would need some serious endmills to make the slots, a ton of nasty, toxic cutting oil, a HUGE x-y table on which to clamp the thing and possibly, some Hydrogen gas to shield the steel while i MIG welded it. I ain't too fond of working with hydrogen as a shielding gas for welding (could be a mix of hydrogen and CO2- have to check the handbook)! Figure that even if i had all that stuff in my garage, ready to go, it would still take me a few hours to layout & tool up, and then several hours carefully drilling and milling the slots, and then a good bit of time welding the steel, which, given the fact that i have never welded stainless (except once, with self shielding wire and i don't wanna talk about it ;)
there might be a steep and expensive learning curve! That piece o' metal sitting in Jim Hoffman's shop is looking like a mighty nice deal about now.
oh well, nuff said, now i'm scaring myself with all this yapping about machining and welding : )

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