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Rich Feldman's store. Today's feature: beryllium sheet

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:30 pm
by Rich Feldman
Looks like old thread was deleted, after going too long without an update.

There's lots of thick rubber vacuum hose and spiral-reinforced clear vinyl hose, about 1/2" or 3/4" ID, for cost of shipping.

Machinable graphite in 1/4 inch thick sheets and 3/4 inch diameter rods.

Somewhat uncommon metals from old ring-making campaign:
Engineering alloys of zirconium, titanium, and niobium.
Solid pieces of tantalum, molybdenum, and tungsten.

Lots more mercury metal than I need.

And the 191-gram beryllium sheet, whose parting out was originally promised a few years ago.
Would 1/2-inch squares be a handy size? How 'bout 1-inch or 2.5-cm squares, perhaps for use as windows?
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My first smart phone has been in service for barely a week. Now is not the time to fiddle with Samsung, Android, Windows, and readers' browser's ideas about orientation of jpg files. Clicking on thumbnail may bring the picture up upright.

I'd welcome hints about ways to cut the metal. Am conscious that Be dust is toxic, though not as bad as BeO dust.
When searching for beryllium speeds and feeds, most links are about beryllium copper alloy. Here's one exception:
https://www.americanmachinist.com/machi ... -beryllium

Re: Rich Feldman's store. Today's feature: beryllium sheet

Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:47 am
by Richard Hull
Thickness of the Be? 2X2-inch sqare?

Richard Hull

Re: Rich Feldman's store. Today's feature: beryllium sheet

Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:00 am
by Rich Feldman
Be sheet thickness near corners a, b, c, d:
0.0650, 0.0660, 0.0665, 0.0660 inches.
1.65, 1.67, 1.71, 1.68 with digital caliper set to millimeters.

This is the real stuff, which came to me via ebay near end of 2012, with an original Brush Wellman paper label that is around somewhere.

2 x 2 inches I can do.
Just need to decide whether first cut should be the long way. That would allow 13 inch long pieces in the future, but no squares bigger than 5 inches.
If cut the short way, future pieces will be limited to 11 inches long but could be 7 inches square. Any words of advice about compulsive little details like that?
[edit] If cutting is by saw, instead of grooving and breaking, then I can work from one corner and retain the 13" long and 7" square options.

We can look at today's ebay (and amazon? alibaba?) offers to get an an idea about fair pricing. Would $10 per square inch feel like I was gouging? It's too soon to say how much trouble it will be to cut safely, without chipped or mangled edges.
Note: Alibaba is a good way to price commodities in rail-car-size quantities. For example: pure sodium metal can be had for $3.50 per kg, which is bigger than a cubic decimeter, if you order many tons of it.

Re: Rich Feldman's store. Today's feature: beryllium sheet

Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:17 am
by Richard Hull
Let me know when you can supply the 2X2 piece $40.00 is a fair price.
No rush. let me know by e-mail (address is in my store.) Some minor chipping is to be expected when messing with cutting Be.

Richard Hull

Re: Rich Feldman's store. Today's feature: beryllium sheet

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:27 am
by Alan Sailer
I'm up for a piece that size also. Good luck with the cutting.

Cheers.

Re: Rich Feldman's store. Today's feature: beryllium sheet

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:13 am
by Rich Feldman
Drew a line and took a few strokes with an X-acto saw, then with a regular hacksaw. The indentation is visible, but very small.

Plan B is to borrow a wet tile-cutting saw from my brother, next time we meet. Any recommendations about diamond-embedded round blades, 4 to 5 inch size, that cut kerfs narrower than 1/16 inch or 1.6 mm?

Didn't try Dremel cutoff wheel, being scared off by occupational limit values in a MSDS for beryllium metal. If it came to that, working outdoors with a fan, and upwind, is probably better than indoors with vacuum to collect the dust. Might also draw analogy with x-ray exposure as a patient vs every day for clinical staff.
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Could also try a low-speed bandsaw at work & bring my own blade.

Re: Rich Feldman's store. Today's feature: beryllium sheet

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:27 am
by Liam David
I'd be interested in a 1x2 piece, and perhaps a graphite rod.
Thanks!

Re: Rich Feldman's store. Today's feature: beryllium sheet

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:37 pm
by Alan Sailer
I'd really go for something that wets the dust in a liquid like your tile saw. I will ask the machinists at work about their ideas.

There are saw blades with tungsten carbide grit that are more aggressive than steel. I was using one yesterday to cut a tungsten rod.
The "dust' is much larger than what you would get with a cut-off wheel. And larger is better with beryllium waste.

Cheers.

Re: Rich Feldman's store. Today's feature: beryllium sheet

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:44 pm
by Alan Sailer
The machinists at work though the tile saw was an workable idea. They liked that the water would help contain the dust.

They also thought it would be a good idea to capture as much of the water/dust (including a good wash of the saw after) and
dry it out and dispose of the dust in a proper manner.

Cheers.

Re: Rich Feldman's store. Today's feature: beryllium sheet

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:49 pm
by Rich Feldman
Battery-powered bandsaw did the job for first square, earmarked for Richard. A little WD-40 on the top surface kept some of the sawdust under control. Clean up with brush and dustpan, before a vacuum cleaner with very fine filter. Will wear a dust mask next time.
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.
Can't do an adjacent 2-inch square with the same tool.
Cut depth is limited to 2.5 inches except for narrow strips parallel to left edge of workpiece.
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