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Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Shim Steel for Windscreens on 01/15/2011 13:35:48 MST Print View

Has anyone ever tried shim steel for windscreens? I was looking for something other than titanium after my last windscreen made from Al. flashing melted, and I discovered shim steel for about $3 for a piece 6" x 18". I used the 0.002" thickness as a test and it came out OK:

1/2 oz. windscreen made from shim steel.

It's 18" long by 3" high, and weighs < 1/2 oz. It's almost too light! You can order it here.

Shim steel in this thickness can be cut easily with scissors and hole punched with a paper punch, but it handles heat very well, plus you get that nice iridescent patina from the heat. There's no coating so there's no burn-off period. It's slippery so it rolls up very easily, and even the cut edges aren't that sharp. And it cools off in an instant.

I also ordered the 0.005" thickness (Amazon has nothing in between), but this is as stiff as Al. flashing and might be more difficult to work with (and weighs more than twice as much). I would try 0.003" if I could find it, but I think the 0.002" is just fine.

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
Re: Shim Steel for Windscreens on 01/15/2011 14:05:19 MST Print View

it's Stainless Steel you'll be wanting. plain old steel itself subjected to heat will rust with a will so fast you can watch it.
mcmaster-carr has stainless as "shim stock" in spades. it looks like you may already have ss in your hand there..
use 480 pounds per cubic foot as a base point and calc your mass from there. you will be Very close.
.003" is good. .002" is kinda light. ya, it's a third lighter, but it's a third of not-very-much.
.. nice holes .... drilled ? punched ?
a mcmaster account is essential to civilized living.

cheers,
peter v.

Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Re: Re: Shim Steel for Windscreens on 01/15/2011 19:37:45 MST Print View

Ahh, McMaster! A coworker gets materials for his art work there (he's an engineer that likes to weld) and showed me around the website when I was looking for some copper sheeting (before I discovered shim steel).

Since Amazon also has stainless shim steel, I don't doubt the shim steel I bought is not. Oddly, US Steel describes carbon shim steel finish as "either a matte finish or a smooth ground finish," but I agree that the shim steel I have sure looks shiny like SS. I'll have to keep an eye on it for rust, but for a 1/2 oz. windscreen that won't melt, I don't care if it gets a little rusty.

The holes were punched with my favorite hole puncher: a super-cheap child's hole-puncher that was part of a set (stapler too) for 99 cents a CVS. It works better than my "heavy duty leather punch" and will even punch thru steel cans! The spacing is 1/2" o.c., and the offset is based on the max. depth of the hole puncher, about 1/2".

Edited by Einstein on 01/15/2011 19:47:35 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Shim Steel for Windscreens on 01/15/2011 19:47:01 MST Print View

Let me ask the obvious question. Why didn't you use titanium foil?

You don't have to worry about heat or rust.

--B.G.--

Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Re: Re: Re: Re: Shim Steel for Windscreens on 01/15/2011 20:03:06 MST Print View

I'm still experimenting. I have a frustum design that I want to do in titanium someday if it works (the last one in Al. melted).

If you consider cost and strength and availability, shim steel wins. Even stainless shim steel is half the cost of titanium foil (even less if you account for free shipping from Amazon). I can have three more pieces (enough to make six windscreens shown above) delivered in two days for ~$10. I don't think titanium foil at 0.002" would be as strong as steel (lighter, yes). Plus I can experiment freely with shim steel without worrying too much about messing up. And all my scrap is easily recycled.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Shim Steel for Windscreens on 01/15/2011 20:50:49 MST Print View

"I don't think titanium foil at 0.002" would be as strong as steel (lighter, yes)."

Try titanium foil at 0.003". Still lighter for its heat tolerance.

--B.G.--

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Shim Steel for Windscreens on 01/15/2011 22:05:45 MST Print View

Hi Bob

> Try titanium foil at 0.003". Still lighter for its heat tolerance.
Love to, but source?

Cheers

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Shim Steel for Windscreens on 01/15/2011 23:22:46 MST Print View

I had some 0.003" and some 0.010" several years ago (from a metal working shop). My only recent source of 0.005" is Titanium Goat. It is OK to work with ordinary scissors and punches, but the tools dull quickly. It's either that or else it's arthritis in my hands.

--B.G.--

Andy Anderson
(ianders) - F

Locale: Southeast
Fosters Can on 01/16/2011 07:31:14 MST Print View

I have made a few "Fosters Can" windscreens and have tried them out around the house. The seem to do ok. Just take the Fosters Can, cut off the top and bottom and use the curved outside part of the can. Cut a vertical opening and trim it down to whatever height you need.

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
3 thou Ti foil on 01/17/2011 12:26:47 MST Print View

> Love to, but source?

Steve Evans, aka suluk46, seems to have 3 thou Ti foil.