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karl

Looking for L.A. wholesaler to bend 4" steel returns

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Hi, I am looking for a Los Angeles Channel Letter wholesaler that can bend 4" 20ga steel returns (without flanging or notching, just bends) from either .DXF, .AI, or any other file format.

We are a home decor company the makes old vintage style marquee signs (you know, the old signs from the 20's and 30's with the globe lights bulbs) and we are currently bending returns by hand. We are already setup to cnc the backers and we have no need for faces or trim.

We will have a constant flow of orders that seems like would be a good deal for a vendor because there is litter effort required other than running the job through the bender and shipping it. Great for ROI on the bender purchase.

I have not had any luck finding anyone yet because it seems that people are not into doing steel. We would prefer 20ga steel but are open to as thin as 24ga and all the machines I've been able to find online say they can do 20ga steel no problem so I am not quite sure what the problem is.

Anyway, anyone out there who might know of someone or someone who has a cnc bender that is interested, raise your hand...

k.

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I wonder if the obstacle is buying coil stock in the right dimension and material. Out here sign supply houses only sell aluminum, and only in 5.3" and 3.5" wide coils.

For it to be worth feeding through a CNC bender, you need coil stock. Which means you might have to work with a steel yard to get the material you want slit down to size and recoiled at manageable weights, which might in turn require a surprisingly large minimum order.

20ga mild steel weighs about 3 times as much per square foot as .040 aluminum. 500' roll of 3.5" x 040 alum ~= 82lbs. To hit the same weight in 4" wide 20ga steel you're looking at 165' rolls.

Edited by gvidas

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That is a good point, gvidas. We currently work with 4" strips that we have our metal supplier shear down to size for us. My thinking was that we would just supply the vendor these strips (4" x 120") or they can supply them themselves with a markup. Most of the machines I've looked at did seem to be able to handle flat stock. Is this a bad assumption on my part?

k.

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We have an Accu Bend. The problem is, with 10ft strips is, you can't use all of it. You would only be able to bend about 6ft of it. It gets pushed thru from the rear and bent at the front. There is about 4 ft from the pusher to the bender.

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The Adams machine is the same as the Accubend, you only actually get about 6' of bendable material out of a 10' piece.

FWIW, you should be able to find someone to slit stainless coil down whatever size you need for around a 1200lb minimum order which may or may not be feasible for you. If you do decide to get coil make sure you get the maximum coil size from your bender that will work on their particular machine and also get a pvc coating on the outside of the coil.

Don't forget just because you can buy a 26" outside diameter coil and 12" inside diameter coil that it's necessarily a good idea. Coils that weigh too much make for unhappy shop guys. Don't ask how I know this...

Edited by tleaf28
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Yes, good advise all. Thanks guys. I will investigate the price of slitting steel in my area. I have to imagine there is a good price to be had in a large area like Los Angeles. How are these reels swapped out on the bending machines? Is there some kind of loading mechanism, do you use a fork lift or is it just brute force?

On a side note, I actual don't need stainless, I just need regular cold rolled steel. I actually need stainable steel because we quite often rust our pieces to make them look old and weathered.

Thanks again, I will update you all when I get pricing on the steel coil...

k.

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Coil is usually loaded by hand.

Standard coils are 5.3" x 270' and 3.5' x 270'. I don't know what I was looking at last night that made me think 500' coils are common.

270' x 5.3" x .040" alum ~= 60lbs each.

270' x 3.5" x .040" alum ~= 40lb

I'd shoot for 50lb/coil. Here's your weight per square foot chart: http://www.greenheck.com/library/articles/68

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Hello Karl, what quantities are you looking for and do you have some what of a budget for letters to even consider doing them here, would you weld them your self or are you looking for a complete product?

Henry Z

Superior Signs

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