Where to get some small concentric tubular shafts

I need to get some smallish metal tubes that can fit inside one another. The biggest one should have an outside diameter of 1/4 inch (or thereabouts) and the middle one should be able to fit inside of that, and finally I need an even smaller shaft to fit inside the middle one. The smallest one can be solid.

I’ve been poking around the catalogs at McMaster.com and smallparts.com, but can’t really find what I need. McMaster has a whole section of tubular shafts but they’re all too big (and their smaller ones are all solid.)

Anybody have any pointers?

Most hardware stores have a display of brass and aluminum tubes that might do what you want. Also, try a local hobby shop.

As a matter of fact hobby stores were my very next place to look. I did find this place selling some 1/4-inch brass tubes, but they don’t list the inside diameters, so I don’t know how small my middle tube needs to be. Grrrr.

Most decent hardware stores and hobby shops I’ve been to have a K & S Metal Center. The K & S site doesn’t explicitly list the stock therein, but I’m reasonably certain it includes 1/4", 3/16", and 1/8" tubing of various sorts, which sounds like what you need.

Wahoo! They do indeed have a nifty size chart (PDF) listing outside and inside diameters. This looks like exactly what I need. Thanks for the suggestion.

Yes, many if not all, of their brass tubing will nest inside the next larger size. Your problem is solved.

How about a car antenna?

Small Parts, Inc. sells nesting round and square tubing in aluminum and brass.