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    Hill Country, TX
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    Sailing, kayaking, flying, hiking, woodworking

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  1. Those look pretty darned good. Do they flex much under clamping pressure? These might be a good way to go. I was thinking about aluminum, Mark. I was wondering if it would work. If I could get the right hardness, it would certainly drill easily enough, and probably would be stiff enough. I'm liking the brass idea, though.
  2. Thanks for that great advice, Bob. Mild steel it is.
  3. That's what I suspected. Thanks again.
  4. Thanks for the advice. I'd noticed "key stock" a couple of places, including Amazon. I wasn't sure whether that was annealed or hardened. If hardened, I wondered whether it would bend and drill easily enough.
  5. There is a city an hour or so away. They may have engineering firms. I'll see if I can find something like that.
  6. Hmmm...shipping from these places is brutal! Twice the cost of the steel in some cases. Question for for those who know more: is there any reason not to use the cheapest square steel for these clamps? Does it have to be low carbon tool steel? Would cold rolled 1018 or 304 stainless work just as well, meaning as easily bent and drilled and tapped? I can find these steels on eBay for reasonable prices. I found 1/4” cold rolled plain steel bar listed cheap at a big box store not too far from me. No idea what grade. I may just take a Sunday drive to get it and experiment.
  7. That looks like a very good source. Thanks. As I said, I’m fairly ignorant about metals. The reference I have (here on the forum) mentioned F1 steel. I’m not finding that. But if I’m understanding correctly, it’s a special type of low-alloy tool steel, so I’m thinking the more common A- and O- grade steels, like the readily available A1, should work just fine for making clamps. I know they can be drilled and tapped. I’m assuming that bending is the issue. I think I’ll buy a short bar and try.
  8. Both of those sources look good. Thanks!
  9. Yes, like I said in my post, Google is failing me. I searched, as you did, but I actually clicked on dozens of the results and none of those links actually offer small steel bar stock, particularly 4mm size bar, or in F1 form. Most of them are about round rod, as indicated in the link titles. I tried a Google search with "-round" and didn't find anything that way either. I live out in the sticks, some distance from the nearest city, which is why I was trying to find an online source.
  10. Recent posts showing clamps made with 4mm steel bar stock and regular screws have me itching to try to make some for myself. But Google is failing me. I'm having a hard time finding small size steel bar stock, particularly F1 steel. Anyone have a US source for such stuff? I probably have a tap and die for the size screw I'll be using, and plenty of grooved dowels.
  11. Not to derail the topic, but that’s a lovely ferry/barge you built.
  12. Griphos

    2mm block threading

    Just put a few drops of the CA into an old milk carton cap or similar small receptacle. Dip the thread in. Replenish as necessary.
  13. What do you use for the bars? I suppose aluminum bar stock would work for these? Might be easier to drill and tap. Is is there a particular size and type of steel flat bar you use for the c-clamps? I’m ignorant when it comes to metal. Those look pretty easy to make, though.
  14. I use a little Ibex violin-maker's plane for edge planing as you describe. By hand if the planks are larger, or clamped upside down in a vise if smaller. Works well.

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