The materials you use for a metalwork project can have a huge impact on the quality of the finished product. Because of this, it’s helpful to start with the best raw materials you can afford. However, locating high-quality materials on a budget isn’t always easy. Follow our guide to finding the best materials for your metalworking projects.
Industrial Metal Suppliers
The easiest way to obtain the materials you need is by shopping at an industrial metal supplier. These stores carry hundreds of different metalworking supplies, including raw metal. However, if you don’t live near one of these stores, it can be expensive to pay for shipping since metal is quite heavy.
Sometimes you need to get creative to find the best materials for your metalworking projects. If you can’t shop with a local metal supplier, your next best bet is to look around at other stores in town. For example, antique stores may have old tools and furniture with metal parts that you can recycle for a project. Thrift stores and scrapyards are additional places to look if you need metal materials on a budget.
How To Judge Quality
When you buy metal from an industrial supplier, you know exactly what kind of metal you’re buying. However, when shopping at an antique store or other secondhand retailer, you will have to judge the quality of the material yourself. The most accurate way to determine the type of metal you have is a chemical test, but these can be expensive to pay for.
Performing a Spark Test
While it’s not as accurate, a more accessible way of determining metal type and quality is a spark test. All you need is the metal in question and a grinder. When you hold the metal against the grinder, you want to watch for the spark pattern that emits from the metal. A noticeable spark stream means you’re dealing with a ferrous metal like iron or steel. Then, you can further analyze the sparks to tell things like the carbon content.
Finding High-Quality Metalworking Tools
Using professional tools is just as important as having quality raw materials. You can find professional metalworking machinery at Kaka Industrial. We carry a huge selection of tools for sawing, bending, shaping, rolling, and grinding metal. Just reach out and let us know what you’re looking for.