Pat
Pat HalfDork
3/5/15 7:01 a.m.

The couple sources I had seem to have dried up and I'm getting closer to the point of doing the cage on my $2015 Challenge car. Anyone have anything out there and can point me to challenge friendly sources, preferably in the mid Atlantic area?

Pat

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
3/5/15 7:56 a.m.

You might try your local metal fab shop. I get some stuff from mine, their prices aren't too bad and they are willing to order anything they don't have as long as you want a full stick.

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
3/5/15 8:14 a.m.

Dillsburg Aeroplane Works will have any tubing you might desire.

Not sure of current pricing tho, probably not challenge friendly.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
3/5/15 8:20 a.m.

http://www.swracecars.com/

S&W Race Cars will make custome cages to order. They are doing a lot for oddball cars in various Crap Can series. You can down load a form from them, measure your car and they will bend up and cut bars to suit. I believe you have to notch them. But it's probably a good way to get a cheap cage kit as a basis.

unevolved
unevolved SuperDork
3/5/15 8:25 a.m.

Second the local fab shop recommendation. Most businesses that are set up to receive bulk metal would have no problem receiving a full stick or two of DOM. It'd be a small favor for them to order the material from their usual metal supplier, maybe even chop it into smaller lengths for you.

Pat
Pat HalfDork
3/5/15 8:26 a.m.

I don't think Dillsburg Aeroplane is around any more. I heard the older gentleman who was running it had passed.

I'm trying to find local shops, but the DC area doesn't seem to have too much. Still looking though.

hobiercr
hobiercr Dork
3/5/15 8:31 a.m.

There is a local (to me) group of circle track racers who buy their tube in bulk and then sell off excess on CL. Is there a local circle track scene you can tie into?

SkinnyG
SkinnyG Dork
3/5/15 9:29 a.m.

In my area of "locally", there is a "Specialty Alloy" shop that can get me whatever DOM I need. Other than that, the off road and 4wd shops often have some (lots of 1.75), and there are a couple drag racer shops (lots of 1.625).

motomoron
motomoron SuperDork
3/5/15 10:11 a.m.

I've got about 100' of 1-5/8 x .120 seamed. There's plenty of people who will tell you that building a cage out of it is a suicidal death sentence and you'll shoot your eye out. But I've designed a lot of steel weldments that had to be evaluated by a Professional Engineer and given a wet stamp before construction, and I race on welded steel parts I've designed and fabricated.

Provided it's a light-ish car and the cage is properly designed, it would meet the requirements of the various sanctioning bodies.

Would I build a cage for a big HP, big tires SCCA/NASA race car out of this stuff? No. A Le-Chump car? Sure.

I'm in MD between Silver Spring and Bethesda. Ping me if you're interested. I stll need to figure out a price, but it'll be cheaper than say, Standard Steel sells it for.

44Dwarf
44Dwarf UltraDork
3/5/15 10:12 a.m.

Might not be the cheapest, but they've always been for me when I've tried to find cheaper. https://www.marmonkeystone.com/ecomm/servlet/LocationServlet

unevolved
unevolved SuperDork
3/5/15 10:22 a.m.
motomoron wrote: I've got about 100' of 1-5/8 x .120 seamed. There's plenty of people who will tell you that building a cage out of it is a suicidal death sentence and you'll shoot your eye out. But I've designed a lot of steel weldments that had to be evaluated by a Professional Engineer and given a wet stamp before construction, and I race on welded steel parts I've designed and fabricated. Provided it's a light-ish car and the cage is properly designed, it would meet the requirements of the various sanctioning bodies. Would I build a cage for a big HP, big tires SCCA/NASA race car out of this stuff? No. A Le-Chump car? Sure. I'm in MD between Silver Spring and Bethesda. Ping me if you're interested. I stll need to figure out a price, but it'll be cheaper than say, Standard Steel sells it for.

From what I can find, SCCA and NASA do not allow cars with ERW cages to pass tech. It appears chumpcar and LeMons will let it slide, but that's something to consider. I know some DE events just borrow tech inspection rules from SCCA or NASA, so it may have implications even if you don't decide to race with an ERW cage. Just a heads up.

motomoron
motomoron SuperDork
3/5/15 11:16 a.m.
unevolved wrote:
motomoron wrote: I've got about 100' of 1-5/8 x .120 seamed. There's plenty of people who will tell you that building a cage out of it is a suicidal death sentence and you'll shoot your eye out. But I've designed a lot of steel weldments that had to be evaluated by a Professional Engineer and given a wet stamp before construction, and I race on welded steel parts I've designed and fabricated. Provided it's a light-ish car and the cage is properly designed, it would meet the requirements of the various sanctioning bodies. Would I build a cage for a big HP, big tires SCCA/NASA race car out of this stuff? No. A Le-Chump car? Sure. I'm in MD between Silver Spring and Bethesda. Ping me if you're interested. I stll need to figure out a price, but it'll be cheaper than say, Standard Steel sells it for.

From what I can find, SCCA and NASA do not allow cars with ERW cages to pass tech. It appears chumpcar and LeMons will let it slide, but that's something to consider. I know some DE events just borrow tech inspection rules from SCCA or NASA, so it may have implications even if you don't decide to race with an ERW cage. Just a heads up.

Agreed. My race car roll structure integrated w/ a tube chassis) is all seamless, and any cages/chassis/control arms/critical-stressed parts I design and fabricate will be DOM or CrMo.

I would personally be comfortable racing a Le Chump car w/ a well designed and made cage fabricated from ERW tube provided it was well above the minimum diameter and wall requirements. Bear in mind the "seam" in ERW tube is a fusion weld that's very close to the yield strength of the rest of the tube. So I'd align it favorably.

I've evaluated failed weldments in the course of my work and haven't seen tube or pipe fail at it's seam. I have seen many failures directly adjacent where structural members have been joined by welds. This is why a good cage design will load welded joints in compression in an impact/rollover situation.

Also - the original poster stated they were looking for tube for a 2015 challenge car in the mid-atlantic/DC area. Not an SCCA/NASA or track day car.

Pat
Pat HalfDork
3/5/15 11:46 a.m.

Yes, this is for a challenge car, not an track day car. My primary objective is that it be NHRA legal, which .120 wall would likely be an issue for. The NHRA spec is .118 for mild steel (DOM or ERW), but between inconsistencies in the tube and bending, I'm a bit concerned on actual wall thickness at bends.

That being said, I'm going to shoot you a PM motomoron. You're practically in my neighborhood. I live in Rockville and work in Bethesda.

unevolved
unevolved SuperDork
3/5/15 12:53 p.m.

From an engineering perspective, I agree with motomoron. A properly designed and welded ERW cage can be much safer than a E36 M3ty DOM cage. Materials do not determine the final product. Forgot to include that in my previous comment.

Jamey_from_Legal
Jamey_from_Legal New Reader
3/5/15 1:16 p.m.

So you're in Rockville, right? It ain't exactly close to you, but Potomac Steel in Springfield is usually willing to sell to small-order customers.

As for pricing, you would just have to call them and ask.

I also like Stock Car Steel (online) and On Line Metals, with the former being cheaper. Problem is, UPS won't ship anything longer than 8 feet, so you can't get full sticks to make the hoops.

Speaking of tubing, these guys have a bender that looks pretty cool: Rogue Benders

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
3/5/15 1:24 p.m.
Pat wrote: I don't think Dillsburg Aeroplane is around any more. I heard the older gentleman who was running it had passed. I'm trying to find local shops, but the DC area doesn't seem to have too much. Still looking though.

Appears to be, sorry to hear that. Sounds like family was liquidating stock and calling it quits. RIP Charlie Vogelsong.

jimbbski
jimbbski Dork
3/5/15 1:37 p.m.

http://metalsupermarkets.com/store-finder/

Again not the cheapest place but they have outlets all over and they sell any quantity you need.

44Dwarf
44Dwarf UltraDork
3/6/15 4:21 p.m.

The last time I talked with Carol Smith his last and only comment of ERW was "I wish I had never printed that article. Todays ERW is very nice and fine for cages. The crap that split was cheaply made English tubing" This was about two month before he passed away. I was so surprised his number was listed in the phone book on-line, and he picked up and we talked for a couple of hours a few times. Wish I had gotten to meet him in person.

stan_d
stan_d Dork
3/6/15 5:59 p.m.

I was driving up I95 ans saw Potomac Steel 571-386-4268, today. just a bit south of 495.

Rob_Mopar
Rob_Mopar UltraDork
3/6/15 6:03 p.m.

Pat, if you don't find anything closer to home drop me a line. I'll make some calls around here. I have a couple sources I can hit up.

UZ2tKbNaa8A0ik4jwaC2apwxq4Id2gF9