Where to get custom made metal parts?

Anyone have custom metal parts fabricated? I only need a few pieces made. Hard aluminum is fine, one threaded hole, one mounting bracket with another hole running through it - roughly 2 cubic inches of metal. Not tremendously tight tolerances.

Anyone have a place that can make a pair of pieces like this that they could recommend?

Have you called a local machine shop?

In Chicago? Probably a couple of dozen. Look up “Metal Fabrication” in the phone book. It’s not going to be cheap, but there are any number of places that could whomp something up pretty quickly. Try Archer Engineering - 3154 Archer Ave. 773-247-3501

I know I should buy local, but if it’s the difference between $200 for a custom part made in a Chicago machine shop and $20 buying on-line, I’m going to have to go with the latter.

Depending upon your budget, there are a number of small job shop machine shops in the Chicagoland area which can accommodate you. How fast you’d need might be an issue as most of them are pretty backed up.

A thought: You might consider placing an ad on the most popular online free classified site (I won’t mention its name because they aren’t paying me) and seeing if you can find a hobbyist who could whip them out for you. I did this for some antique brass parts and a guy did them for me in a few days for a reasonable amount.

Do you have an engineering drawing of the part? If so, you can certainly send it around to various machine shops to request quotes. But your OP made it sound that it’s something that you can only vaguely describe. In that case, you’re better off working with a local company in person.

Sometimes, if you call around, you can get a great deal on small jobs from major shops. Or at least, that happened to me once, when I ordered a few dozen specialty ground beveled mirrors a few inches across some years ago. The price was, to me, astonishingly low; I later realized that it was because I had contracted with a huge manufacturer. I assume they charged a low price because they thought the things were samples for a big run; simply put, hobbiests didn’t order from them, so they had no experience with tiny orders.

Driving to pick the things up was a surreal experience - the place was enormous, a gigantic factory for grinding glass. The guy who gave me the order clearly saw the humour in the situation - he drove up in a massive forklift, with my order balanced carefully on one of the tines (you could easily pick it up with one hand) and, with great ceremony, carefully placed it in the back of my car!

eMachineShop has a service where you can download their CAD software, design your part, and then have it quoted and ordered completely online. Probably not going to be cheap however.

I had a part made as a repair on the clutch pedal of my chevy pickup many years ago. If it isn’t too complicated and the tolerances aren’t that critical, it sounds like a good project for a kid in a school shop class.

I had it done in a couple of days and it was essentially free, though its a good idea to slip someone a couple of bucks for their trouble and cost of materials.

There are lots of machinists who sideline with their own small basement shop, or who retire and open their own tiny business / big hobby. If you work in an organization that has machinists or knows of them, you can put a question out there on the word of mouth network and find somebody.

I can easily make an engineering drawing.

It’s a piece of metal to adapt the threads of a microphone stand to a GoPro. Bottom half with a threaded hole ⅝″ 27 threads per inch (tpi), top half with three blades with a hole running through it. As far all my searching has produced, nobody actually makes one.

I would check out the Practical Machinist forum. I don’t go there much, only because I know I can’t afford to get into metal work and I don’t want to be consumed with desire for Southbend tools :), but I assume there will be people there with answers.

Try your local community college. The professors are often looking for just such a project as yours for one of their students. Bring beer money, and both parts that you want it to attach to.

I couldn’t visualize the blades you were describing but looking at Gopro mounts, I see what you mean.
I’m thinking something like this only the blocky part is not hollowed but drilled and threaded for the stand threads.

When it is all said and done, you may be just as well off mounting to the side of the stand rather than the top. Pole mount kits seem to be widely available.

Hmm if it doesn’t need to be very secure (microphone stands aren’t as rigid as tripods, right?), you could probably make it out of Instamorph.

I’ve been looking all over for a cheaper version of https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mikebond/ti2-sentinel-titanium-cache , an aluminium tube with threaded caps on both ends. I wonder how much it would cost to machine…

The Grab Bag of Mounts includes the right angle adapter you might want to go with the pole mount.

All of the official GoPro parts are cheap, plastic crap and I’ll never buy another piece of it.

So far, I’ve tried 4 different variations of things to clamp onto poles, and not one of them can survive the destructive environment of being within two feet of a drummer. But microphone stands do. I’ve been clamping onto microphone stands, using photography clamps, bicycle clamps, lighting clamps…none of them worked.

No, I’m going to thread a piece of metal onto a rock-solid microphone stand, then clamp the GoPro crap to that.

I think you underestimate microphone stands. I’ve been dealing with them for 40 years, and the average microphone stand is very solid. The design is very nearly perfect, every manufacturer duplicating the original Beyer microphone stand design that existed when I started doing sound when I was 13 (I’m 53 now). Also, I’m supporting something that weighs a quarter of a pound, with the GoPro.

I don’t need perfect rigidity, I need to get the camera in close enough to get the shot, but have enough adjustability to keep it out of danger. The lens on the GoPro is 160 degrees

I’m sure you know more than me, I’ve only seen mic stands that look like http://brightonelectric.co.uk/product-item/large-mic-stand/

But with Instamorph you can secure the camera all around instead of just at the tripod mount, like http://www.instamorph.com/ideas/gopro-camera-cage you can even surround it in 2 cm of plastic for protection.

For a one-off, if you can find the GoPro mount in metal, you can probably cannibalize an old mic mount and have the two pieces brazed together.

Otherwise, cutting that 5/8" x 27tpi thread may be a challenge to anyone who doesn’t make mic stands.