Looking for threaded 1/2" steel balls
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  1. #1
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    Default Looking for threaded 1/2" steel balls

    Hi,

    Can anyone point me to a source for small (1/2" diameter, or 10-12mm at a pinch) threaded steel balls? McMaster doesn't go smaller than 3/4". I found a couple of places online, but they're asking $35-40 per 1/2" ball which is too expensive for the intended application. Seems like they should be out there, I'm hoping I'm just missing them.

    Thanks,

    Lee

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    Not enough information. Female thread or a stud? What material, “steel” covers a lot of ground. Chrome bearing steel, polished to 2 micron sphereicallity, or hot forged, with mill scale? If it doesn’t matter, search lamp and lighting fixture parts, maybe nickel plated brass.

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    Fair enough, sorry

    This is for a design prototype/proof of concept, so the grade of steel isn't too important. Stainless, chrome steel, mild steel, anything is fine. The surface finish should be polished but again, almost anything would work. I'd like to thread a stud into the female threaded hole.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeko View Post
    Hi,

    Can anyone point me to a source for small (1/2" diameter, or 10-12mm at a pinch) threaded steel balls? McMaster doesn't go smaller than 3/4". I found a couple of places online, but they're asking $35-40 per 1/2" ball which is too expensive for the intended application. Seems like they should be out there, I'm hoping I'm just missing them.

    Thanks,

    Lee
    Bal-tec

    Stainless Steel 1/2". Less than $19.51 for 4 or more.

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    Thanks for the link. That was one of the sites I looked at, but the price I see is $26.80 for 4 or more. Just seems expensive for what it is.

    Lee

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    If you don't need super-low axial runout, straightforward to simply drill and tap a 1/2" stainless ball. I did a few 100 of these some years ago. Definitely not rocket science and not $20 .

    Regards.

    Mike

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    Fair enough
    I was thinking the stainless steel balls were also fairly high RC hardness. Is that not the case? I'd rather not have to go through annealing them first

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    304 and 316 1/2" are easy enough to find. $1 for 304 or $2 for 316, from McMaster-Carr.

    Regards.

    Mike

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    Ah, great thanks
    For some reason all I was seeing are 400 series which I assumed were harder

    Thanks

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    Thanks, but I'd prefer steel

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    Search for corona balls. They are used on high voltage electrical connections to cover any sharp points that may ionize the surrounding air.

    They may only be available in aluminum though, and they are not made to tight tolerances.

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    you need to find an industry that uses them- you cant assume something exists just because you want it to.
    I cant think of a single mass produced consumer item that uses tapped 1/2" balls- but if there is one, that would tell you where to start looking.
    As mentioned, lighting manufacturers use mostly brass .
    The Piercing industry might be a source. Balls for Body Jewelry | Abbott Ball Company
    Also, if you dont find what you want on a website- it doesnt mean it doesnt exist- it just means the market is small enough, or specialized enough, that its not worth paying to put it on internet shopping sites.
    You should call up some of the big ball bearing guys, and ask, on the phone- they probably know who sells em, or might run em as specials.

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    How about these? Blind Threaded 302 Stainless Steel Balls - .500 Ball Diameter $8/pc

    Threaded 302 Stainless Steel Balls

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    Perfect, thanks!

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    You can heat bearing balls to red heat and cool slowly. Bury in coals of wood fire and come back the next day when cool. Easy to drill and tap when softened. Scrap bearing almost free except for your time.


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