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Metric vs SAE Threaded rod and bar

Posted by AndyP 
Metric vs SAE Threaded rod and bar
May 03, 2011 09:03PM
This may interest others in the Boise area who want to buy their stuff local.

I'm trying to get my hardware from shops local to Boise within a reasonable price to save on shipping. The only place I found that carries in stock the metric M8 stainless steel threaded rod is Tacoma Screw Products off Cole Rd. The price is $6.47 for 1m bar. They do not carry the M8 smooth bar and their price on 5/16" stainless bar is expensive at $11/3ft. However, I found that Fastenal in Nampa or Boise sells 5/16" stainless bar of $4.19/3ft. They call it Drill Rod.

So, here is what I'm looking at:
-M8 threaded rod from Tacoma= $6.47 x 8 = $51.76
-5/16" bar from Fastenal= $4.19 x 6 = $25.14
-so it is 51.76+25.14= $76.90 for all my rods and bars.

Looking at comparing buying locally to ordering from www.ultimachine.com, I think I'm better off going with ultimachine.com: I get all metric plus the rods are cut to the correct length for only $70+$15 shipping from ultimachine.com. I've already bought all metric nuts/bolts from Industrial Hardware so I'd like to stay metric.

Has anybody been able to get their threaded rods and bars for less than ~$80?
Re: Metric vs SAE Threaded rod and bar
May 04, 2011 09:08AM

Tacoma pricing for M8 zinc plated 1m threaded rod is only $3.60, not the $6.47 I quoted earlier. So now I'm thinking I will buy my threaded M8 rods at Tacoma for 3.60 x 8 =$28.80 and my 5/16" round bars at Fastenal for $4.19x6=$25.14. Total hardware is now $53.94 for M8 threaded and 5/16" smooth rods if bought locally.

In hindsight I probably should not have bought 5/16" nuts and washers for the threaded rods. The cost of 5/16" zinc 3ft threaded rod at Tacomo is only $2.14 vs $3.60 for the M8.

Any thoughts?
Re: Metric vs SAE Threaded rod and bar
May 06, 2011 08:50AM
Industrial Hardware has it for $1.65 for 3" feet. They are as close to a one stop shop for me as anything with hardware. But they are only 10 blocks away from my house too. smiling smiley
Re: Metric vs SAE Threaded rod and bar
May 06, 2011 09:32AM
Alright, after much looking around and re-educating myself about the various types and hardness of steel, here is what I went with. All hardware bought locally from Tacoma Screw (Cole Road) and Fastenal (Orchard St.). As noted by FrankNeon, Industrial Hardware probably has everything if going strictly SAE, but it is out of my way and I wanted a metric stainless steel threaded rod for my z-axis travel.

-Zinc plated 5/16" threaded rod. Eight 3ft pieces. This is for the framing. If cutting your own and following the Mendel metric BOM be aware that 3ft is ~90mm shorter than a 1m rod and you will need to buy an 8, not 7, rods get your frame pieces. Bought at Tacoma Screw for $2.14x8=$17.12

-Stainless Steel M8 threaded rod. One 1m piece. I wanted to use stainless steel for my z-axis travel rod. I had heard that the zinc plated eventually binds as it wears down. Plus, stainless steel is stiffer. Tacoma Screw $6.48x1= $6.48.

-5/16" Oil Hardened Drill Rod to use where bearings will be traveling. Drill Rod has a tighter tolerence on the diameter and is meant for applications that will receive wear. Plus, depending on how it is hardened, it should provide greater stiffness than plain steel or zinc plated and is 2x cheaper than stainless steel. Not sure if it is really necessary, but I convinced myself I needed it so anything less would not have felt right to me. Bought from Fastenal for $5x3=$15

So the cost of all rods was $40. Much better than the $70 I was looking at online, plus I think I got better steel and I was able to make sure the rods were straight.

Fastenal will cut the rods for $1/cut. I borrowed a neighbors air-powered handheld grinder to cut them. We used a vise and nuts to protect the threads in the vise. I used nuts to protect the threads and the cutting surface. Worked out really well and beat a hacksaw, especially on the tough stainless stell.

Okay, probably more info than you need, but there it is if you need it.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/2011 07:01AM by AndyP.
Re: Metric vs SAE Threaded rod and bar
May 06, 2011 01:05PM

Plus, depending on how it is hardened, it should provide greater stiffness than plain steel or zinc plated

Like you, I used to think harder rods are stiffer, but it has been pointed out in these forums that is not the case. Hardness and stiffness are different things and people have said all steels are similar stiffness.

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