I need a source for metal rings
April 25, 2013 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Where can I buy metal rings with an inner diameter of 1" to 6" in 1" increments?

The thickness of the ring itself is less important. Somewhere around 1/8" - 1/4" would be fine. Material is likewise not too important, so long as it's metal. Steel, brass, and aluminum are all fine. These will not be used for lifting or subjected to significant stresses, but they should be able to withstand the kind of stress a person could easily exert with their bare hands. They do need to be either cast or smoothly welded; they should look like an unbroken circle (technically a torus) as much as possible. Think the kind of rings magicians use for the linking rings trick except actually solid and in multiple sizes.

To be clear on what I mean by the inner diameter: I need 1", 2", 3", 4", 5", and 6" rings. I do not need very many of each size, so a custom job with a large minimum order won't do.

Please do not suggest buying wire, bending it, and welding it myself. I'm also not interested in possible sources (e.g. "have you tried McMaster-Carr?"), only definite sources.
posted by jedicus to Grab Bag (11 answers total)
What about here?
posted by reptile at 8:52 AM on April 25, 2013

You can get them up to 3" here, here, and here. "Metal o-rings" seems to be a good keyword for smaller sizes.

Maybe more promising, in all sizes except 1", here. For larger sizes "metal hoops" seems a promising keyword. "Rings" gave so many jewelry results as to be totally unhelpful.
posted by gilrain at 8:58 AM on April 25, 2013

Just for the record, McMaster-Carr does have rings up to 5" diameter (Rings - For Lifting and Rings - Not for Lifting), but they don't appear to have 6" rings in those categories. But I only looked briefly.
posted by mosk at 8:58 AM on April 25, 2013

Response by poster: What about here?

Good sizes, but they're made of 11 gauge wire, less than 1/8". I doubt they are rigid enough to withstand even the modest forces these would be subject to.

You can get them up to 3" here, here, and here.

Yes, I found all of those. Lots of brass rings in small sizes for SCUBA use and the like, but nothing larger than 3".

Maybe more promising, in all sizes except 1", here.

It's hard to be sure, but those appear to have some kind of tie or clasp rather than being welded or cast into a rigid ring, and they're made of 9 gauge wire, which is still on the very thinnest end of what I think might work. Worth inquiring about, though.


I tried McMaster-Carr and found the same thing, which is why I used it as my example. I also called them to verify that that was as good as it got. The 5" diameter ones for lifting are crazy expensive (almost $100 each) and also far too thick (1 1/4"!). The ones not rated for lifting are much cheaper, but they only range from 1"-4" and are fairly far from ideal in terms of the weld. If decent 5" and 6" rings can be found, McMaster could fill in the rest as a last resort, but I would prefer a uniform source.
posted by jedicus at 9:15 AM on April 25, 2013

You should look into leather work/horse tack places. I don't have a link but that is where People in the SCA get their metal pieces for the leather armor and other period pieces for costumes and such. A closed (usually welded) ring of stainless steel and bronze from 4-8" in diameter is really common on belts, armor, pavilions (period tents) and horse barding. SCA merchants lists might help also (you will find links at SCA.org).
posted by bartonlong at 9:25 AM on April 25, 2013

If no one can point you to an an-line source, you could try phoning a few local small machining/repair shops. It might not cost as much as you think. Retired guys with their own shop equipment sometimes advertise on craigslist. You'd be supporting the local economy.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:31 AM on April 25, 2013

Onlinemetals.com has an o-ring assortment pack. I cannot tell from the description if it would fit your needs at all. They will also do small custom orders. It is why I know of them. They were the only place I could find small quantities of copper. Every place else wanted me to order like I was founding my own industrial company. So you might call or email them and see if they can hook you up.
posted by Michele in California at 9:51 AM on April 25, 2013

Try these guys, they seem to have a large variety of welded metal rings, up to 10" (and maybe larger):


Their prices are cheap, too!
posted by mosk at 10:32 AM on April 25, 2013

This is another source that was recommended on several welding forums:

posted by mosk at 10:39 AM on April 25, 2013

Do you care about cross-sectional shape? If not, slicing off ofa pipe might work?
posted by JMOZ at 12:53 PM on April 25, 2013

Response by poster: Do you care about cross-sectional shape? If not, slicing off ofa pipe might work?

It needs to be round and smooth, no sharp edges or burrs. I am not equipped to do any metalworking in any case. Definitely looking for a "buy exactly what I'm looking for and done with it" solution.
posted by jedicus at 1:23 PM on April 25, 2013

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