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3 Phase Lightbulb
03-23-2005, 04:40 PM
Hello, welcome to the year 2005... Well, not really... I'm starting to feel like it's still 1975...

I'm trying to do something very simple here, but I'm finding it to be very difficult...

I would like to buy some steel from a steel supplier that is local to me... I don't want to pick up the Yellow pages because I have a computer right in front of me...

Why is it, after searching for over two hours, I can't even find a simple list of local steel suppliers? The ones I do find, don't have a website, or if they do have a website, it's not helpful in providing me any information about what steels they offer...

Do steel suppliers avoid using computers on purpose? Or is this a case of "Digital Divide" and they are just learning what computers are?

I want to buy a 1/4" Sheet 48x96" of Mild steel for the top to my welding table top but it's already cost me two hours and I haven't even started yet.

-3Ph

BillH
03-23-2005, 04:44 PM
Maybe theres a metal supermarket in your area, they have a webpage with a list of stores.
Other thing I would do is go to www.yellowpages.com (http://www.yellowpages.com) and use that instead of the book.
Call up local machine shops, ask them where they buy their steel from. ASk them if they have any scrap they could give to a hobbyist.

Ries
03-23-2005, 04:48 PM
I have run into this problem a lot myself. For all the vaunted "billions of listings" on the internet, there is a whole lot of stuff that is just not out there online, or if it is, can only be found if you already know the exact name and address of what you are looking for.
Yellow pages cost a lot of money to lay out, print, bind, and deliver, so phone companies are trying to phase them out.
But Yellow Pages, just like real paper card catalogs, allow a type of non-linear search that the human brain thrives on. I often look at the yellow pages when I visit a town, and I get a good idea of what is going on there, and what the interesting areas of town are. You cant do that online anywhere near as easily, because you cant browse random categories- you have to specifically search for something.
Many old fashioned wholesalers dont have websites yet- and steelyards would be a good example. My local steelyard sells to all the machine shops, welders and local fabricators- not to the average web surfer. It would be a waste of their time and money to have a fancy website. The people who need their stuff find them thru word of mouth, the yellow pages, or referrals. They serve a limited geographical area, and just dont have a need for a worldwide web presence.

spkrman15
03-23-2005, 05:17 PM
I know what you mean. I have spent 2 days at work looking up information for a pump company. I have their phone #, their address, etc. Think i can find their web page? Very frustrating!!!

Rob http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Joel
03-23-2005, 05:19 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ries:
It would be a waste of their time and money to have a fancy website. The people who need their stuff find them thru word of mouth, the yellow pages, or referrals. They serve a limited geographical area, and just dont have a need for a worldwide web presence. </font>

That about sums it up.



<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb:
I don't want to pick up the Yellow pages because I have a computer right in front of me...

Why is it, after searching for over two hours, I can't even find a simple list of local steel suppliers?

I want to buy a 1/4" Sheet 48x96" of Mild steel for the top to my welding table top but it's already cost me two hours and I haven't even started yet. </font>

Welcome to 2005 indeed!
Sounds like picking up the yellow pages would have saved you about an hour and 55 minutes. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif


[This message has been edited by Joel (edited 03-23-2005).]

precisionworks
03-23-2005, 06:40 PM
3PH,

Try this link. I use it all the time. It has saved me $$$ in directory assistance charges & it works nationwide: http://www.superpages.com/

------------------
Barry Milton

Smtty58
03-23-2005, 07:01 PM
After hours of searching...


http://www.1112.net/lastpage.html

DR
03-23-2005, 10:01 PM
3Ph,

You want the website to find availability or price, or maybe both?

That's fairly healthy piece of steel you're looking for. Probably only the big guys will carry it.

Even if you could find a website the big guys never list prices.

Metal sales people have wide latitude in deciding how much to charge you. You get the best prices if they believe you'll become an ongoing business customer. If they spot you as a one time buyer they'll ream you though.

Once you find a source for the piece approach them as a professional for best price. Don't make the mistake of asking "how much" as the first question out of your mouth. They'll spot you as a one time buyer immediately when cost is your major concern. Remember you're a pro and cost is less of an issue than availability.

Of course, in the real world cost is an issue for most of us. Whether the price is $200 or $800 will make a difference to most buyers. The best way I've come up with to find cost is to mention you'll be sending someone down to pick it up and how much should the check be made out for? This gives you an out if you get sticker shock.

Incidently, from Online metals this piece would be $650+.

Do you have many shop auctions in your area? I see steel welding tables of this size range going for almost nothing.

andy_b
03-23-2005, 10:09 PM
i have to agree that a local steel supplier really has no reason to have a web site. they aren't going to ship a 20' long 300# piece of steel, and they aren't going to update a web site daily with price quotes. a friend of mine has a sawmill and he said the worst thing he ever did was put up a web site. now he gets phone calls all day from window shoppers asking silly questions about wood and guys wanting to buy several small pieces and have it shipped to who-knows-where. and as for email, he never even reads it. he probably has 5000 emails in his inbox waiting for download. just because the internet is available doesn't mean it's always a good idea to use it.

andy b.

Stanko
03-23-2005, 11:17 PM
Computer people have trouble understanding why we dont embrace their wonderfull technology.

In my business the 80/20 rule applies 80 % of the business comes from 20% of the customers , you dont need a website to talk to them. Mostly repeat orders.

We do have a website, Im supposed to be in charge of it , so it never gets updated. We get the odd enquiry off it , we would be broke if we relied on it. The most use it is to us is we can get quailfied prospects to look at stuff without having to send brochures etc.

Half the worlds population havnt even used a phone. Half of my friends dont have internet, one or two are just coming round to it, but wouldnt use it in priority to the phone.

Here are a few of the tech must haves I hate

Text messaging
PS2
MP3 things
pxt
palm things

I like simple things Big TV, Tractor, machine tools, 2 stroke bikes.

The internet is still young, give it another 5 years

madman
03-24-2005, 01:41 AM
Phone a fabricating welding shop and bring them a coffee and but it from them. They will even bend up the back for a no roll backsplash. Reasonable priceing. Pay them cash money thats even better.

wierdscience
03-24-2005, 08:00 AM
Most folks here just hop in the truck and go get a piece of whatever they need.However we do have a steel supplier every three miles it seems http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif

Looking for a particular company is hit and miss on the web.I make sure I hit the library for the annual book sale just to get last years copy of the Thomas register.

Okay,ya,some of you are saying"but don't they have a website?" well yes they do,but if the company your looking for has changed names or ownership you won't find them.I have leaved through sections and found the new company because the machine I was looking for was pictured in the register.

I have had good luck just typing in,say FORKLIFT SUPPLIERS,MS,39466 on a Google search.

precisionworks
03-24-2005, 09:40 AM
My metal supplier just quoted $237.76 for the full sheet. Have you tried:

Central Steel Supply Co.
99 Foley, Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 625-3232
(614) 666-3027 (fax)
(800) 345-3232 (toll-free)

AFT Services
9 Milbury Rd., Oxford, MA 01540
508) 987-7371

Bradford Steel CO Inc
46 Braley Road, Assonet, MA 02702
508) 763-5921

One of these places should either be able to help you or tell you where to look.



------------------
Barry Milton

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-24-2005, 11:29 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by precisionworks:
My metal supplier just quoted $237.76 for the full sheet. Have you tried:

Central Steel Supply Co.
99 Foley, Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 625-3232
(614) 666-3027 (fax)
(800) 345-3232 (toll-free)

AFT Services
9 Milbury Rd., Oxford, MA 01540
508) 987-7371

Bradford Steel CO Inc
46 Braley Road, Assonet, MA 02702
508) 763-5921

One of these places should either be able to help you or tell you where to look.

</font>

Thanks for the contacts!

Last night I took a look around our welding shop (I'm taking a TIG night class) and they had the 1/4" x 48" x 96" sheets (mild steel) I want... The welding school said they paid around $70 for a 1/4" x 48" x 96" sheet.. Someone else stepped in and said, that sounds low.. Steel prices have gone up... Maybe around $120 now... I did get the contact information for several of the shop's suppliers so I'll give them a call once I find where I put that damn paper I wrote them down on last night http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

-3Ph

andypullen
03-24-2005, 12:04 PM
I will have to agree, sometimes the internet can really suck if you want something really specific. And sometimes the search engines work great...

I was given a work order and a sample of a part a couple of months ago. Took me a week to find the part. And it wasn't a perfect match. I still had to cut 2 hose barbs on each piece.

The other thing I needed, I found this morning. I'm running a job for a scientist here at Fort Detrick and need to make a collapsible handle for some "dippers" to take soil and ice samples with. I'm using stainless mechanical tubing with double lead threads cut on each end for quick assembly and disassembly. I needed 3/4" od with 5/32" wall. The Jorgensen catalog had it listed, but that item was special order. I eventually found it using the Thomas Register online in Illinois. $20 a foot. Took an hour to find it....

Andy Pullen

chipeater
03-25-2005, 12:46 PM
3-Phase,

Peterson Steel in Worcester
(just off I-190)

(508)853-3630
Ask for Ray Marrier

www.petersonsteel.com (http://www.petersonsteel.com)

Disclaimer: No connection other than an occasional metal purchase.


Steve

Upon further inspection, I notice that their catalog (see page 3 under their 'Library') doesn't list sheet. You could call and ask.

[This message has been edited by chipeater (edited 03-25-2005).]

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-25-2005, 12:58 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by chipeater:
3-Phase,

Peterson Steel in Worcester
(just off I-190)

(508)853-3630
Ask for Ray Marrier

www.petersonsteel.com (http://www.petersonsteel.com)

Disclaimer: No connection other than an occasional metal purchase.


Steve</font>


Thanks Steve! That looks like a great place.. I appreciate the link!!

-3Ph