Help me find a short piece of metal for a document tray
October 8, 2013 5:44 AM   Subscribe

I bought some document trays like these, but they only come with 4 of the metal rods for a pack of two. I'd like to stack them higher, but I can't find the metal rods alone anywhere. Aside from stealing out of another package, what do I even begin looking for?

I don't know what keywords to search. I don't want to buy another package just to get the metal things and I don't want to steal out of another package. I'm in China, so a taobao link would be great, but I'll take whatever you can find.

This is one of those small annoyances, but it would be really great if someone could help me find something that I can buy to stack these properly!
posted by sarae to Shopping (10 answers total)
Response by poster: This is, I'm pretty certain, exactly what I purchased at the store. The metal pieces are circular rods.
posted by sarae at 5:56 AM on October 8, 2013

I'd measure their diameter, and search for aluminum rod of that diameter. The rod will come in long pieces which you'll have to hacksaw to size. The challenge will be getting the lengths to match so that the stack doesn't lean.
posted by jon1270 at 6:11 AM on October 8, 2013

You could always just use wood dowel and paint it whatever colour you want. It's cheap and easy to cut. You can find it at model or craft shops.
posted by srboisvert at 6:16 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

I can't help with sourcing in China, but I just checked McMaster-Carr and here in the USA a six-foot length of 6mm 6061 aluminum rod is only $2.79 plus shipping.
posted by jon1270 at 6:17 AM on October 8, 2013

If possible, call or email their customer service for the product. They will likely have parts on hand to cover manufacturer defects and missing rods from the packaging. Explain your situation and offer to pay for the items + shipping and handling.
posted by Debaser626 at 6:18 AM on October 8, 2013

I think I have seen metal like that in the hardware store - either with the wooden dowels, or look at the For Sale signs that they sell - you could use the metal legs of the sign and cut to fit.

Or a car antenna replacement part.
posted by CathyG at 7:44 AM on October 8, 2013

Measure the diameter of the rod and then go to your local hobby shop and buy a piece of K&S rod to match. K&S rods typically come in one foot lengths.
posted by Rob Rockets at 7:58 AM on October 8, 2013

You'll need spacers. You could use any similar metal or wood rods, and plastic tubes as spacers--straws would work. The ones you bought likely have tabs to stop the trays at intervals. You'll need to drill the top hole out of a top tray if you want to use it anywhere but on the top.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:26 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Are the four tray sets held up by a series of short rods, or just four continuous rods?
Are you saying that you have extra trays but not extra rods?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:32 AM on October 8, 2013

When you buy additional trays, they will come with additional rods.

How much do you make an hour? It would take you at least an hour to find or make separate posts. I'm pretty sure that an hour's work lost would cost more than just ordering another set of trays.
posted by KRS at 7:48 PM on October 8, 2013

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