crazy steel prices - should I import from China?

Smokeydog

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Counterfeit and sub quality parts is a big problem with fabricators and manufacturers using globally source materials and parts. $Billions of losses annually. Sadly that goes for consumer goods too.

It’s just not the higher prices now, but finding materials. 1.5” x0.250”wall square tubing is not available and no eta from a major supplier.
 

Sberry

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Farm Journal had an article about counterfiet bolts I think. It really didnt say much, didnt incluse anything but a couple opinions it was a problem, didnt say who was selling them, nothing really. No stats, no pics of failed stuff. Just a picture of some bolt heads.
 

Sberry

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The quality of the average tool has gone beyond the ability of the average to use it. In fact generic is above a lot of the old standards, ansi stuff etc. Stuff that used to be junk isnt really even there anymore or is obvious.
 

Williy

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I don't remember the name of the hardware store where I purchased the crappy chinese bolts, They were suppose to be #8 but were just like an aluminum bolt and you know what happens when you try to tighten one. I only purchase
nuts and bolts etc made in the U.S.A and have never had any problems. You can say all you want about chinese products but I for one will not support the CCP! Now any
one who likes the chinese products buy the stuff! I don't!

willy
 

crazyal

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Around here you would have to go to a place like fastenall to get any brand other than National Hardware. I don't know who makes the bolt Tractor Supply sells but they can be had as well. Otherwise you are going to a hardware store and buying what they have or ordering on-line. Even ordering on-line is hit or miss. I've bought plenty of stuff and it's almost always packaged in a plastic bag with no way of knowing who made it. I suspect that they buy in large bulk quantities and just weigh out the number you need.

I see the Chinese like the Ferengi on Star Trek. They are all about making money. If you want something good from them they will provide it as long as they can make a buck. But, at the same time, you have to watch over them like a hawk. If they can make 2 bucks by selling you something less than you want they will. It's why so many companies have set up operations in China now. It's much easier to stay in control when you are right there or if you can make it in your own plant. For those of us who are not going to buy in mass it's all but impossible to stay on top of what they are sending to us. If they see the buyer as an occasional buyer or worse, a one time buyer forget it.
 

Sberry

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At some level with some of the products it would cost too much to make it cheaper. The semi raw materials are such a small part of the cost that it might not be worth it. Changing lines, stock takes time and money. You can sell a wrench in a white box to a flea mkt vendor for 5 gonnja sell it for 12 and you can put it in a different box and sell it Napa or ATD for 16 or the guy can put it in a different wrapper with a brand and sell it in a welding store for near 30. The old 5-8 $ India wrench is gone and I got a 4 pc set for 16 on sale. Those old 40 pc socket sets in a tin tray are pretty much gone now too.
 

Sberry

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I can count on one hand the China wrenches we busted, they got it by hammering or repeated impacting, broke half a dozen impact sockets but a bunch of 80's Cman chrome ones. Broke out a deep early HF set I heard they will replace, it kept me off them a while.
I bought a few things when I was a kid buf dad was not a tool guy and when I hit 18 needed the stuff. I crunch the math and decided I could live with Cman and wasnt gonna chase a truck around with 100's taped to my forehead. I figured I could be a collector later and I bought the 3500$ big set, had 3/4 big, had larger taps and dies and the world was gonna go metric. I collected double that much used or dupes, couple different times simply bought sets when we found ourselves looking for stuff.
Some I should have bought more sooner. But I have to say that the common combination wrench and particularly the import as we bought some and some USA from the grab bin at 1$ which at the time was a bit more than today have returned their cost by multiples repeatedly and survives hundreds and even thousands of cycles and still in service.
If you asked me that when I bought them,,, I bought as a daily stop gap for a chore or 2 and they working 25 years later, they also come down in cost since in some respect or dont cost any more and on top of it all I like some better for some things. The cost has been the bonus as well as the incentive, the risk was so small and the reward so hi that its easy.
 

Sberry

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I walked right by a HF portoband the other day and I should buy one. I have 2 recips on my battery system and a grinder and get by but if I had much of a job wouldnt take to much whacking off to pay for one.
 

Sberry

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I am absolutely impressed with the 50$ Porter drill works, 2 batteries and only thing it isnt got is the charge level. There is some ultra heavy work it wont do but up to 3/8 in steel it works. Drives 3 inch deck screws and self drillers to 12's well and step bits ok to 7/8 if a guy has to. A premium battery for my good ones is 150$ and the cheap one will do 85%-90% of the drill work and 99% of the screws.
 

Sberry

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Fabrication was so hard when I was a kid. The stuff it takes has become so much cheaper and easier. My bud felt like a super hero when he got a small 2 stroke recip to use in the junk yard, now all that is battery with super blades and screws used to be slotted wood things driven by hand and ill fitting crude bits etc.
Tools cost a lot when I was a kid. Sears was cheaper but I paid way less for the last ones than I did the first.
At retail it looks like there is some balance , maybe get a quality trade level tool for about 12$, this would be number 9 plier, 12 inch adjustable plier 12 inch adj wrench etc. Probably vends for a couple less in other countries.
 
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