I beam pricing

   #1  

newbury

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I'm interested in building a gantry crane on the cheap.
I've been seeing I beams pop up on CL for years.
For example today:
Steel "I" Beams. Several Sizes
10" tall X 6 " wide X 22 ft to 26 ft long
16 " X 8 " X 22
30 beams available
$250 each

Is there a good online site to use for comparing prices?
 
   #2  

fatboycowen

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You'd need to know the steel properties and better beam size properties. Steel is usually priced by the pound (roughly).

If these are modern beams (by the sizes mentioned, it looks like it), they are probably wide flange. The 10" one might be a W10x22, W10x26 or W10x30 for example. The 2nd number is the weight of the beam in pounds per foot. From that, you could get some prices.

Best bet is to call a steel fabricator that does steel buildings. They can give you a price quickly to compare to, but you'd need to know more info on the used stuff to get a real direct comparison.
 
  
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newbury

newbury

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You'd need to know the steel properties and better beam size properties. Steel is usually priced by the pound (roughly).

If these are modern beams (by the sizes mentioned, it looks like it), they are probably wide flange. The 10" one might be a W10x22, W10x26 or W10x30 for example. The 2nd number is the weight of the beam in pounds per foot. From that, you could get some prices.

Best bet is to call a steel fabricator that does steel buildings. They can give you a price quickly to compare to, but you'd need to know more info on the used stuff to get a real direct comparison.

Thanks, but I'm not looking to buy quantity and it's against my principles to "call" someone and use up their time when I know I'm NOT going to buy from them.
For example I found a website Metals Depot® Shopping Cart that gives online pricing and a W10x22 x 25' is $495.

But is that a good website?
 
   #4  

Mendonsy

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Metals Depot seems to be OK for general pricing on most things.
Don't forget that you could end up paying more for the shipping than the material if you purchased from an online supplier. It is almost always better to go to a local supplier.
 
   #5  

fatboycowen

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I've used Metals Depot for pricing on some personal project. Never real structural steel though, except for some channels for my trailer. In the case of the channels, Metals depot was much higher than i spent. I went through a friend that works for a sheet metal shop, who orders steel frequently. No shipping, and paying what the shop would pay. It was considerably less, not considering shipping. If i recall correctly, i paid about half what the shipped cost would be from metals depot.

If you are buying one beam, i don't think you are saving much to buy used. It might not be worth the hassle, depending on what the condition is. If you know what beam you want, where you want holes, etc. a small fab shop can do it, and would probably welcome the business. They'd cut to length, add holes, plates, etc. I bet they would even deliver it to you. It's what they do.

I totally get what you are saying about the phone call.
 
   #6  

LD1

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You really gotta get more info on the beams. You HAVE to know exactly what the beam is for both accurate pricing, AND load capabilities.

their are two main types of I-beams. S-type (structural) that have tapered flanges like c-channel, and W-type (wide flange) and some refer to as H-beams. The flanges will be the same thickness.

The 10" x 6" beam listed could be a 22, 26, or 30 pound per foot W-type. Would be wrote as W10x22, W10x26, or W10x30. Wont be an S-type as those are only 5" wide.

the 16" x 8" beam is not made. First, there is no 16" S-types. And in the W-types , they go from 7" wide to 10" wide. So I am guessing its a measurment error, or its a fabricated beam out of 3-plates welded together. Then all bets are off for structural use. If it is the 16" x 7", It could be either a 36,40,45,50,57 lb per foot beam.

That metals depot price is about double what I would pay from any of my local suppliers. (alro steel or benjamin steel). Where prices are ~50 cents per pound.

Those Clist ads , the 10" beam at 22', depending on what weight (22,26,30) would weigh 484,572, or 660 pounds. Would cost me $242, $286, or $330 new from a supplier. So at $250 not really a deal there.

The 16" beams could be anywhere from 36-57#, or 792-1254# for a 22' stick. Or ~$400-$625. Little better deal there if they are indeed 7" wide beams and not something that was fabricated (which I see is pretty common in columns in buildings, but not so much for horizontal spans).

In my searching, there is NOWHERE online that is accurate for comparing prices to local suppliers. Everywhere online is close to 2x's what you would pay picking it up locally.

How far you looking to span? and how much capacity?

About the phonecall, dont rule out not ordering from them. Fact is, you have no idea what their prices are, and until you call, the BEST you can do is make an uninformed decision, which doesnt do you or a supplier any favors.
 
   #7  

Mysfyt

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You really gotta get more info on the beams. You HAVE to know exactly what the beam is for both accurate pricing, AND load capabilities.

their are two main types of I-beams. S-type (structural) that have tapered flanges like c-channel, and W-type (wide flange) and some refer to as H-beams. The flanges will be the same thickness.

The 10" x 6" beam listed could be a 22, 26, or 30 pound per foot W-type. Would be wrote as W10x22, W10x26, or W10x30. Wont be an S-type as those are only 5" wide.

the 16" x 8" beam is not made. First, there is no 16" S-types. And in the W-types , they go from 7" wide to 10" wide. So I am guessing its a measurment error, or its a fabricated beam out of 3-plates welded together. Then all bets are off for structural use. If it is the 16" x 7", It could be either a 36,40,45,50,57 lb per foot beam.

That metals depot price is about double what I would pay from any of my local suppliers. (alro steel or benjamin steel). Where prices are ~50 cents per pound.

Those Clist ads , the 10" beam at 22', depending on what weight (22,26,30) would weigh 484,572, or 660 pounds. Would cost me $242, $286, or $330 new from a supplier. So at $250 not really a deal there.

The 16" beams could be anywhere from 36-57#, or 792-1254# for a 22' stick. Or ~$400-$625. Little better deal there if they are indeed 7" wide beams and not something that was fabricated (which I see is pretty common in columns in buildings, but not so much for horizontal spans).

In my searching, there is NOWHERE online that is accurate for comparing prices to local suppliers. Everywhere online is close to 2x's what you would pay picking it up locally.

How far you looking to span? and how much capacity?

About the phonecall, dont rule out not ordering from them. Fact is, you have no idea what their prices are, and until you call, the BEST you can do is make an uninformed decision, which doesnt do you or a supplier any favors.

+1 on this. Local is going to be your best bet. Good luck!
 
   #8  

Travelover

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My local metal recycler resells at a markup, but steel is selling for pennies a pound right now. What is available varies constantly, but I've seen some sweet I beams there from time to time. Worth a look if you are patient.
 
  
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newbury

newbury

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You really gotta get more info on the beams. <snip, doesn't need repeating>
How far you looking to span? and how much capacity?<snip>
LD1 - I have followed the thread you have on your gantry crane. Very informative. I'm looking to span about 15 feet for the first project.

But I've plenty of places I could use a 25' I beam for a bridge or other structure.

Frequently on Craigs List I find bargains.

Seven sections of Pallet racking for $70, two shown here:
attachment.php


A 120CC 088 Stihl, w. bar, chain, and an Alaskan Mark III Chainsaw mill WITH cases for $450.
attachment.php
.

An almost new 5' KK tiller for $800.

And usually it's call someone up, say I'll buy it and drive over. Not a lot of time to do research on the web.

Recently I've seen more "I beams" coming up on CL, I suspect because scrap metal prices are dropping.

So I was just looking for some good reference web sites to check prices on.
 

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   #10  

rswyan

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Like LD1 said, don't discount your local steel supplier ... also don't discount local fabrication shops ... particularly now that scrap is paying so little.

Story with my supplier is that I get decent pricing if I buy full-length sticks - which are around 20' to 24', depending on the type (angle, pipe, etc.) ... but if it's less than full-length, I expect to pay through the nose. They will toss 1 cut per full-length piece in for free, to facilitate me hauling it in my van. Pricing is also better if I order more rather than less.

Example:

I needed a short section (7') of W8 (x 6 1/2") I-Beam for my splitter build, so I had my steel supplier price a 7' piece of W8 x 6 1/2 x 24#, along with an order I was submitting.

They came back with a price of $220 IIRC. Ain't no way.

Went over to a structural steel fab shop where a friend used to work and told them what I needed, said go take a look out back in the drop pile and see if there's anything that will work.

Found a piece of W8 x 28 just a little under 8' long.

Around $50 IIRC ...

And there were plenty of pieces much longer than that ... ;)
 
 
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