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Bending Stock


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I found some great info in the FAQs for bending stock, but after looking at the stuff in stores, I'm confused.

I went to Home Depot and they had never heard of cold-rolled steel. They had bars that they were sure were steel, labeled "Round Rod." There was also zinc-plated "Round Rod." Both seemed incredibly flimsy. I don't know what I expected. Maybe it was the flexing over a 36" length that was deceiving.

Then, I checked out McMaster. I clicked on Cold-Rolled Steel and it takes me to a page where I can select a diameter and length. Except now the heading says "zinc-galvanized, low-carbon multi-purpose steel." That leads me to believe I could have bought the zinc-plated stuff at Home Depot..?

Also, just for kicks, I looked at the bulk boxes of timber ties. All they had were 6" Hot-Dipped Galvanized 60d Timber Ties. Is that the usual timber tie?

Any help is appreciated. On a limited budget, it would be a huge bummer to buy the wrong stuff.

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The round rod stock at home depot is good. Try be fooled by the flimsyness of the 3 foot rod lol - Im not sure about the zinc plated stuff though, i have purchased 1/4" round rod HRS from home depot and its a bit easier then a yellow and blue nail when cut accordingly, very good stuff to work up to bend the IM nails.

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Many workers at Home Depot/Lowe's don't know very much about their own departments--some barely know where to locate items. I know, I worked at a Lowe's until about 3 months ago. I knew more than most of the other people in neighboring departments (I worked in Paint). Every once in a while, in addition to brushing up on my knowledge in paint, I would go over to the hardware dept. and help people with fasteners and steel.....

Oh, and Lowe's usually has both HRS and CRS (and possibly zinc plated steel). The steel at Home depot is usually HRS (according to most people)


Edited by Justin Reagan
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Thanks everyone for your help!

I have given up on Home Depot. My local Menards seems to have better stuff. They have 4' bars instead of 3' and they have two choices that they wisely label CRS and HRS. They also have straight, 60d timber ties. Home Depot only had the spiral shank, hot-dipped, galvanized, freakin nasty nails.

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I've noticed one thing about the steel at these places, especially that from steelworks brand. In the 1/2 inch and smaller, there's not much difference in the cold-rolled and hot-rolled. If you go to an actual steel supplier, the HR definately appears as such and has the scale that comes off when you bend it (like black pepper) and the cold-rolled is definately bright and shiney and a real bear to bend. The zinc plated stuff almost seems like a halfway between HR and CR.

A steel supplier is the way to go... much, much cheaper and better steel.


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