aluminum vs steel scrap for project
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    aluminum vs steel scrap for project

    I want to build a rolling stand for my dust collector, 2'x3' by 48"-54" tall. Trying to make some floor space. I might put some shelves in to hold chop saws and grinders, etc.

    Also need some shelves to set on my tig runner 2'x2'x2' AL would look cool, but I'm just cheep.

    Scrap steel is 40 cents per pound and AL is $2.10

    I know they have a bunch of 2"x3"x 50" 12ga tube in steel, saw it the other day.

    I'm not sure what they have in AL, that steel gets heavy. Strength should not be an issue racking at the joint on top might be.

    I know I'll have to see what they have, but sure hate to make a couple of trips back and forth to the scales.

    would rather spend $50-60 than $100+

    Thanks for your thoughts

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tustin, CA

    Re: aluminum vs steel scrap for project

    IMO, anything I'm putting a decent amount of weight on, I would use steel. With thinner wall stuff and it only being ~$0.40/lb, it's usually the way to go for random projects. Half the times I go to the metal supply, I just buy random drops that look like they could be useful at some point.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Western Washington

    Re: aluminum vs steel scrap for project

    so what are you asking? which to buy? which would be stronger? which would be easier to use?

    as far as cost you're looking at 5-1 five lbs or steel to 1 lb of ali

    weight wise, .125 steel is 5 lbs, .1285 ali is 1.813 lbs

    The steel will be easier to work with, where as the aliminum is lighter, and more corrosion resistant. Ali also requires special tools and consumables when compaired to steel. So it will really be highly dependent on what equipment you have already. (I'm not saying don't start a project that requires tools you don't have, as I'm always a proponent of getting new tools)

    pound for pound some Aluminium alloys are stronger than some steel Alloys. but volume wise, a pound of steel is much smaller than a pound of Aluminium.
    Last edited by ThorsHammer; 12-09-2011 at 05:40 PM.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Re: aluminum vs steel scrap for project

    Just what I needed,

    So, if I'm looking at a 2"x3" in the same wall thickness Al will be lighter but will cost slightly more,

    If I have to buy a larger size- or heavier gage steel (than I really need), and the right size AL is there go with the AL. But don't up size the AL if the right size steel is there.

    The stand will hold a dust collector, 3 hp motor and a large bag. 50-75 lbs maybe. runs smooth, not much vibration (till I put it 4 feet in the air on wheels).

    The tool-consumable holder on the welder won't have much weight on it.

    carbide tooth chop saw, plasma next door, syncrowave and MM vintage in my garage. AL filler rod, steel filler rod straight argon and 75/25 for the wire feed

    I'm all set
    Thanks Andy

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