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Steel Prices...

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I'm going to be doing a little comparison shopping this week at local steel suppliers- And it occurred to me that I don't have ANY idea what a 'Good' price is for steel these days!

The previous shops I worked in were a dream- When I needed steel, I went to the back wall, grabbed what I wanted, and started working... If it ran out, I submitted an order for it, and it was there in a day or two. But, I never saw the prices, or dealt with the 'business' end of things.

I know this varies a bit regionally, but when you go to your local steel supplier, what are you paying? I would be buying 1/4", 3/8", and probably 1/2" square & probably round for the most part- What are you paying in your neck of the woods??

Also, Since I really wasn't involved in the ordering before, I just specified 'mild steel' and got what they sent. It all forged well- I have no complaints there- But is there a specific type that I should look for, or if I just tell them I want Mild steel should I be OK?


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I just purchased some this week from a large supplier.
1/2x3/16 60 feet $19.05
3/4x3/16 40 feet $19.05
1x3/16 20 feet $10.20
1 1/2x3/16 20 feet $15.30
All this is hot roll and was ordered with a large order from work wich helps with price. It cost me about a third of what it was in December.
Hope this helps
Keep in mind most places don't carry cold roll under 1/2 inch in square stock and the price is much higher

Edited by Covforge
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Many things affect steel prices like all other materials.

1. Supply and Demand. With the world economy the way it is, demand is down in most places. Prices have come down considerably in the last year or so. Still if you are bididng a project, current pricing is esential and placing a time limit on the bid price is crutial. Prices can change enough in a short period of time to make a project much less profitable.

2. Proximity to the source, transportation costs are a major factor in the price of anything these days.

3. Where it was produced. Several years ago I priced some steel for a project my daughter in Texas was considering. I called several suppliers and one told me that if I wanted to use steel from Pakistan it would be cheaper than stuff produced here.

4. Competition is also a factor, those who live in more populated areas with many sources of supply are more likely to get a break on prices than those who live in rural areas with only one or two sources.

You are wise to shop around. A couple phone calls can save you a lot of money.

Another thing to consider is if the steel is stored inside or out. I bought some channel that was stored outside from a different supplier than I normally use. This stuff was so rusty it took me several days to clean it up so that I could use it. My normal supplier was out of what I needed and couldn't get the material by the time I needed it. Time is money.

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I just bought some yesterday list as follows:
1/4" round 20' - $5.00
3/8" square 20' - $9.00
3/8" round 20' - free :D
1/4 x 1" flat 20' - $14.00
1/4" square (cold rolled) 12' - $4.00
1/2" round 20' - $12.00

These are in canadian $$. And the best prices I've found so far around here.
I got the 3/8 round for free because the shipper screwed up. I pick up my steel and have it cut in half. I ordered square and he cut round, and said he can't put it back on the rack, so free!!

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