To those interested parties;
I have had a series of blades made up to 16" coating width. They were either milled or cut by water jet. The cutting method makes little difference in price or quality except: 1. Water jet cuts off center from end to end slightly due to the need to cut while holding one end and this needs some extra milling. 2: Water jet leaves an unmilled rough surface that requires further polishing.
Those are inconsequential. The final problem is this. No matter how the 1" square bars are cut, they bend after cutting due to the stresses placed on them during forging. This bend can be corrected, but leads to a lot of rejects and thus the price. This is a result of using high quality stainless steel to prevent interaction with the emulsions and chemicals. Aluminum would be much easier to work with but would ruin most photographic chemicals, even those of most alternative processes.
The bottom line is this. The largest blade I can currently have made is about 11" coating width. Larger than that, and the defects are just beyond being correctable. I have one 16 x 20 blade that is just marginally acceptable.
So, with the help of a friend, I am looking for other places and methods to have them made. In the mean-time, the prices will have to stay pretty much where they are to cover my expenses.