Duplicating flat steel parts on the cheap

This method gives good results with simple hand tools:

  1. The original part is affixed to a piece of blank stock of appropriate thickness. Double-sided “carpet tape” is very useful for this purpose. Excess tape can be trimmed away with a hobby knife.
  2. Any round holes in the original part are drilled through the blank with a hand drill, using the original as a guide/template.
  3. Close-fitting bolts are passed through these holes and fitted with nuts and or washers to clamp the original and the blank in close alignment.
  4. A hacksaw, a hand nibbler, and/or a file are used to trim the stock down to the original part profile on all sides. For hacksawing, it can be useful to secure the stacked blank and original part to a piece of scrap wood.

Shown here are two admittedly rather boring examples: A replacement hasp for my outside breaker box in stainless steel, and a duplicate strike-plate for a lockset on my rental property door. Both parts have performed flawlessly as replacements.