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I'm need a 5" x 5" x 1" block of aluminium. Is this something I can buy online and are there different types of aluminum to consider? Will I have to buy a bigger piece and cut the aluminum down to my specific size?

I need a solid base that I can tap with hole to mount into a DIY slider dolly.

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I'd go scrounge around a junkyard if you have one near where you live. That's where I got all of my scrap metal for college design projects. If you get a big enough hunk of aluminum, it will often have the exact type stamped on it. Of course, you'll need access to metal cutting tools like a band saw or mill as well. –  Doresoom Jan 27 '12 at 16:19

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There are several online metal suppliers that will also make custom cuts. Online Metals is one that I have used. There is a minimum length that you must order (usually 1 ft) and a charge per cut. Depending on where you live you might also find a local metal supplier that can do the same for you.

Wherever you order, I'd suggest you get two 5" pieces cut from 1ft of 1" x 5" bar and then you'd have a spare. I would definitely try to have someone else do the cutting for a piece that size. Rectangular tubing might also be something to consider.

Here is a reference on the same supplier for the aluminum alloys they stock. Be sure to check the prices as they'll vary, but I believe 6061 is one of the more widely used alloys.

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