Even though the plan isn't to begin working on the RepRap Mendel until February 2010 I have of course been collecting all the necessary materials and since last Wednesday (January, 6th, 2010) was a holiday for portions of Germany a colleague from work (Thomas Mahr) came over with his flex cutter and electric grinding stone and helped me cut my steel bar and studded bar to the appropriate lengths. He also brought some spare 6 mm thick wood and a jig saw so we cut out the frog piece for the Mendel. Yesterday I filed it down to final shape and drilled the holes according to the template. This turned out pretty well and since this is the most difficult thick part to make I will probably do all the other pieces the same way.
This is because laser cut services in U.S.A. or New Zealand are very reasonably priced but the shipping & handling is prohibitive. Supposedly Ponoko.com is about to resolve this problem by opening a European service center. Since I will probably have to go the repstrap route I may still make use of their services. Otherwise I have been searching for companies that offer lasercut services in Germany. I have found two such companies and have sent them emails asking for pricing information.