Stainless Tube Supplier - Is there a Demand?

This is just a thought that has been rattling around in my head for a while now, that I would just like some opinions on. I have seen several instances where people are struggling to find local stainless tube suppliers and or find anything local or online at a reasonable price, then they have to cut it up and deal with it. I also know that consumers don’t generally like to or just can’t deal with the big metal suppliers. I deal with one directly on a regular basis and get pretty good prices.

Would there be any demand for custom cut and drilled “mpcnc stainless tubing kits” . These would probably range in the neighborhood of $100 for a 24”x24”x4” kit with all of the custom cutting, deburring, and drilling done. Prices would vary on size but not exponentially. Smaller wouldn’t be much cheaper because it’s still the same amount of cuts and drilling. Larger wouldn’t be a lot higher because it’s simply added material and still the same amount of cuts and drilling. Shipping would be additional. I am in the Midwest so shipping rates don’t get crazy to anywhere. They should be able to ship via FedEx for $25-$30 to the farthest locations from me (only within the states of course).

I realize this is still by no means cheap but “a kit” shipped to their door might interest people enough, I could make a few bucks at that price, and people would have more rigid builds with better accuracy and fewer problems.

First and foremost this would have to be ok with Ryan. I would not be looking to take anything away from him in any way shape or form.

Then again it may simply be a really stupid idea. Opinions??




I am super cool with this, I have asked two different supplier for this sort of service and got no reply. You might want to look into standard or max box sizes to see your available range.

Interested to see the responses to this. After cutting the Stainless a few times I can say I prefer not to do it again, it cost me a few blades to get it right.

A horizontal band saw would make quick work of it and be worth it at volume.

Yes I have a horizontal bandsaw and various other tools that could do the job. Carbide tipped blade on a big chop saw works well for mostly anything. Not sure what I would use for deburring if it was on a volume scale. There’s so many ways you could do it. Never used a large pipe deburring tool. You could do it by hand with a rotary burr, on the lathe (a few methods inside of this method), spindle sander, I am sure there are other ways. I have all of this stuff.

I’m not sure what method would be best to try it out through. Link through forum to web store, eBay, get the word out through the main site somehow? I’m sure a lot of beginners (like I was) don’t really go through the forums much before they purchase there machine, so not sure of the best way a person would make it known.

I recommend you to use this kind of saws, with this kind of blades:

[attachment file=47199]


I’ve cut my super hard chrome stainless tubes with this, it just cuts through like butter.

Plus it’s dead cheap


Don’t want to put you down, I might not be aware of it how hard (or not) it is in the US to get the correct size of conduit. However, not sure if it’s a good idea to sell tubes, if you don’t even know how to cut it.

My conduit (about 240"/6 meters of it) did cost about 30$, shipped. I also ordered it from another (EU-)country, and cutted it with a 5 bucks

If someone was offering that service in the UK for those kind of prices, you would have had a customer here.

I think it’s a great idea to ask for input here before going ahead, so no problem there. It really isn’t rocket science.

Drilling perfectly centrally on the tubes can be done with a little jig made from a short section of rod stock. This site promotes a little $20 tool for de-burring, and I agree with Dui on the cutting. I use a cheap angle grinder stand, and for my tubes set up a cutting station with a block and clamp for lengths. Very quick accurate perpendicular cuts, and blades cost nothing.

The whole job can be done in a few minutes once you’re set up. If the supplier is local, you can operate without stock and produce on demand. No brainer.

Hey thanks guys for the input…not sure if I somehow misspoke somewhere suggesting “I don’t know how to cut it” lol (maybe it was just a bit of language barrier and that’s OK!)…I was simply stating I have all the above on tools and can easily cut it, drill it, and de burr it whichever way works best for volume and minimizes time. I do all sorts manual machining and fabrication work so processing the tube is just everyday stuff…anyways it’s all good on that end of things.

To clear it up a bit and reiterate my original question. I’m ultimately wondering if A: there is a demand and B: Are the prices I suggested reasonable enough for people to buy it.


Thanks again,


If you want to get some more firm prices for the kit and shipping, (might want to check with UPS and USPS), and a few pictures of a cut set. I think we can get the word out a bit more. Usually it is best to get a sale or two from the forums to kinda work out the kinks (payment, shipping, tracking numbers) and I can make sure everything went well and then I can help spread the word.

Maybe compare your prices to one of the online metal shops the guys have using to see if your price beats or comes close to it, they offer custom cutting but do not drill it. Online metals and speedy metal I believe. So if your prices were close even if they were a bit more you would be in good shape.

I am being told I need to offer a complete kit so this might work out depending on what your numbers are.

Ok great, that’s what I’ll do…I’ll get some pricing info and some kits together this weekend…what cutting area and height do you think would be popular? I’ll pre cut these first two kits to a set size. If this flys I’ll set it up as a base fee then find a way to reduce/raise the price according to size. I would cut strictly to screenshots of the calculator to start off, so it’s cut and dry, with less room for confusion and error. I prefer FedEx and have checked there rates and size limits, but I’ll check others too.

24”x24”x4” or a little less would be a great size and easy to use 20x20x3.5? See what cuts out to be an even number. I don’t sell the gt2 belt by the foot because I ended up with a really large amount of wasted belt, lost a bit of money for a while.

I wouldn’t mind a quote on just the stainless required for a standard lowrider. Or at least info on were in the us I should be looking for it.


So I have been looking into this a little further…the first thing to note is that I can only efficiently get .065 wall tube. Out of two different major suppliers they do not stock .049 wall. They have to special order it and there potential lead time is, well, awful. I have talked about the weight difference before on another post. If you do your research the weight difference between conduit, 1” O.D. .049” wall stainless, and 1” O.D. .065” wall stainless is almost negligible on a normal size machine. Mine has a cutting area of 24 x 27, and I notice absolutely nothing with acceleration issues. This could be viewed as a problem but to me it’s a significant improvement on stiffness and no issue with weight. The only thing then is the nut holders in the z tube need to be the correct radius for .065 wall. For this issue I would simply post the correct file on thingiverse for those who can print them themselves. I also think there is a parametric one already available. I would provide them as a option as a add on part with the kit for those who aren’t printing there parts. Seems simple enough.

So speedy metals seems to take the prize for the place to buy it online…20x20x4 would be the standard size. The reason being is that I would buy it in 20ft sticks. The 20x20x4 is the most efficient way to use up a 20ft stick and still have enough room for the kerf of the cuts. It also just so happens to be pretty much the size Ryan recommended.

For that same machine size Speedy metals will custom cut it and send it for $110.00 including shipping to my location in Missouri, it obviously would vary depending on your location…I can produce and sell this standard kit for $105.00 not including shipping. Shipping would be calculated and would probably range from $20-$35. I would do the same custom cutting as speedy plus drilling and deburring. I would be sent a copy of the tubing calculations. I would verify and send a checked off copy of these calculations with the kit. There would be the assurance of me knowing what your are building and I would know what you need without any explaining.

The difference in pricing for differnent sizes gets a little complicated so it would just be custom quotes on a as needed basis to begin with.

I wouldn’t be interested in doing a kit for the low rider because of its size. There would probably need to be a max size set for the MPCNC kits or i would get some crazy requests.

I haven’t fully decided to do this because i haven’t seen as much response here to make me feel like it’s not a waste of time. Although I will mostly likely do these first two kits as a beta run and see how it goes.




.065 is fine, like you said there is a parametric trap , and for 6’ of moving mass .049=3.07lbs and .065=4.01. 25% sounds like a lot but is fine and not noticeable when used at milling speeds, you will only notice a slight difference in the max speeds for prints before the shadows kick in.

As for the demand, it is hard to say. First, most people here are major diy’ers, way more kits are built than I have sold. So getting metal themselves is normal, as normal as importing electronics (crazy times we live in). Second, we are talking about it in a forums where most have already built one, so there will be a few looking to upgrade at some point. So if you get a couple kits out and some people vouch for you we can link you as a supplier and that might kick it up a notch. I would say 25-30% are not in the US though.

Ok thanks, I hear you…I’ll keep pondering on this in the next couple of days.




Doesn't the low rider require far less tube and cuts?


Is this the proper stuff for the low rider?




You know your right lol…I hadn’t looked at the low rider in a while so I had it in my head they were 8 foot rails on the y…duh…yes that’s the right stuff.

There are just 2 long tubes, but they are very long, like 60-70". The Z tubes are about a foot, and there are 4.

I buy hockey sticks online, and they ship in big stick-like boxes (72"x6"x3"). I wonder if there’s a special price for those.