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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Pooh_Bear's Avatar
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    Dunlap TN 25 miles north of Chattanooga
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    Early 1949 Ford 8N

    Default Steel prices

    I am needing some steel for a project I am working on.
    I keep meaning to call a local place about prices but keep forgetting.
    I have been looking at prices online at Online Metals and McMaster-Carr and Metal Express.
    I sincerely hope that I can get metal cheaper locally.
    I'm in the Chattanooga area if anyone is familiar with steel prices in this area.

    So what can I expect to pay for steel.
    I need some flat stock. 3/8 x 3 in varying lengths.
    Mite could go with 1/4 x 3 inch stock. Mite also could use 2 inch wide stock.
    Also need some angle iron, 3x3x 1/4 inch angle.
    Also need some 4 inch square tube, mite could use 3 inch.
    And I need a piece of 3/8 sheet 21x21 inches.
    I need to cut a 20 inch circle out of it.

    So what can I expect to pay for steel.
    It's been a long time since I bought any steel.
    But its got to be cheaper than those online places.

    Maybe I can call in the morning or remember it on monday.
    Till then does anyone here have any idea?

    Thanks.

    Pooh Bear


  2. #2
    Platinum Member bobodu's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    Whitley County,In.EIEIO
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    Farmnought.Gravely Model L,Gravely Model LI,1941 Clinton two wheeler

    Default Re: Steel prices

    Take a look around for surplus steel places.I get about anything I need locally for 30 cents a pound.I about filled my drawers when I saw that Online Metals wanted $12 a foot for some round stock and bought the whole length at the surplus place for $5!!!

    Might try calling these folks.
    Siskin Steel
    Ask them if they might have drops.Some customer may need say 17' and the drops from a 21' piece can be had cheap.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia

    Default Re: Steel prices

    Some general points. Call the service centers near you; many times they have a minimum...even so, you will probably get a better deal.

    For general fabrication, don't pay a premium for grades you don't need. Your flat bar, angle and plate should be HOT ROLL, GRADE A36. The tube should be STRUCTURAL GRADE A500. Other grades will work; however, the ones I list are among the most common.

    The flat bar, angle and tube come in stock lengths. Shortest is 20'.

    Tube: you have to specify the wall thickness.

    Refer to your "sheet" as PLATE. Sheet availabilty generally stops at 7 gauge. Thickness above this (starting with 3/16") is called plate.

    A service center will probably give you a quote per pound on the flat bar and angle. Tube will be per foot. Plate will be probably be a unit price because of the small piece they will have to shear (some places can even burn the circle for you).

    FB 1/4 x 3: 2.55 lb/ft
    FB 3/8 x 2: 2.55 lb/ft
    FB 3/8 x 3: 3.83 lb/ft
    L3x3x1/4: 4.9 lb/ft
    3/8" PL: 15.32 lb/sq ft
    3" sq x 1/4" tube: 8.81 lb/ft
    4" sq x 1/4" tube: 12.21 lb/ft

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Steel prices

    Drive over to the local steel supplier. Most of them have an area where they store drops and cutoffs. These are smaller sections of steel that were left over when a larger customer wanted something custom cut. You will find that most steel salespersons will be very helpful when it comes to choosing the right type of product.

    I usually buy in standard 20 ft or 24 ft lengths and since the first cut is free, I get the supplier to cut the length in half. The more you buy the cheaper it will be. Some suppliers charge by the pound while others charge by the piece, since some types are more expensive than others due to a lot of factors (ie. transportation, etc.).

    My usual order is 1000 lbs at a time and I get discounts based on total weight. Using the $$$/lb method the cost is usually between 40 and 60 cents per lb depending on current rates. Drops and cutoffs should be around 50 to 75 cents per lb.

    If you want to know what a certain type of steel weighs per foot then go to www.sss-steel.com and download their charts that give weights.

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Northeast, Ohio
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    TC-40D SS New Holland

    Default Re: Steel prices

    The biggest problem with buying steel on-line is the freight charge to get the product to you $$$$.

    We do the steel recycler thing ourself whenever we need steel.

    You do have to watch prices however. I was looking at a 10 inch 3 jaw chuck that our recycler got with a load of steel. The chuck was frozen (rusted) but figured that I could handle that little problem. When I asked the price on the used chuck I was quoted $250.00 [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] Jeez man I can get a brand new 10 inch chuck from Enco for half that much. Sometimes they will hammer you if they think they can get away with it........

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2003
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    Location
    Kansas
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    2003 BX2200

    Default Re: Steel prices

    I use a local surplus store--they even sell a lot of new steal and it is much cheaper than ordering/freighting it online.

    The times I do use the online place is when I need a specific tubing size, usually small, with a specified wall thickness. You can spend days walking around scrap yards not finding specific sizes.

    ron

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Pooh_Bear's Avatar
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    Dunlap TN 25 miles north of Chattanooga
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    Early 1949 Ford 8N

    Default Re: Steel prices

    I have no plans on buying online. Not at those prices.

    Thanks for the tips on steel quality and thickness.
    I know very little about different grades.
    to me it is all just steel in various shapes and sizes.

    It's been at least 10 years since I bought any steel.
    Last time I bought any steel I got 8 pieces of 4inch x 8 inch x 3/16 plates.
    Think I paid almost $20 for the bunch and thought that was high then.
    Checked on a 4x8 sheet of 1/8 stuff a few months back and was quoted $100.
    Last time I bought steel it was $40/sheet.

    I may just have to keep scrounging to get enough for my project.

    Thanks.

    Pooh Bear

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
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    Western Ohio
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    2001 Kubota B2910

    Default Re: Steel prices

    Something to keep in mind, AK Steel in Middletown Ohio just went on strike the other day. Also US Steel is reported to be interested in buying AK. How that will affect steel prices is anybodies guess, but I doubt if it will make the price go down.

  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    Location
    commonwealth of pennsylvania

    Default Re: Steel prices

    your local steel supplier would be your best bet.. look in the yellow pages. i have had them cut many circles in 1" plate, and it's well worth the small xtra charge. last week i picked up a couple hundred pounds of "drops" at .30 per/lb.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member KYErik's Avatar
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    Kentucky
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    1963 Ford 4000, 1943 Case SC, Case 530CK backhoe

    Default Re: Steel prices

    In our county, we have a recycling center that buys scrap iron and metal (junked cars, water heaters, engine blocks you name it). They put all the nice weldable steel pieces in defferent pile- its just 20 cents a pound. Much of this steel isn't even rusty so it must be waste from a local industry.

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