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torker
05-10-2008, 12:05 AM
Wow.. the prices of steel now! I used to be a scrounge.. big time!
Went into business and couldn't be bothered with scrap or otherwise.
Recently I've been digging into my scrap pile just to get jobs.
A little bit of scrap goes a long ways in cutting down a quote.
Bloody crazy.. 8" wide flange with 1/4 web... $40 a foot??? Holy crap!
How do they afford to build big buildings etc?
I wonder how much "worse" it'll get???
Russ

Bill Pace
05-10-2008, 12:49 AM
I had a shocker the other day after a visit to my local scrap yard to replenish a few pieces... Last visit was back in Feb (I think?) and general steel was $.15 lb--- was $.30 that day. The guy said it had taken a .10 jump the week before, along with all the metals going up except Aluminum which was (so far) holding at $1.50! --- gas not the only thing....

macona
05-10-2008, 02:08 AM
From what I have heard they are paying up to $500 a ton for scrap at the steel plants.

torker
05-10-2008, 02:17 AM
$500 a ton.. that is crazy! LOL! The scrap robbers here still pay $35 a ton. Only game in town. If my place was zoned for that type of operation I'd go for it. I have over 2 acres that could be piled high with iron.
Here...steel has been going up at least 10 cents a pound per day for a couple weeks.
It's killing a lot of jobs I could do. The price of material alone scares away a lot of customers.

BadDog
05-10-2008, 03:11 AM
I've been raiding scrap for my "stock" for some time. Lots of it in the form of fixtures being scrapped. I've even developed some "relationships" such that I can pick over scrap bins and pallets for the best bits (as long as I don't get greedy and start hauling by the ton). I've gotten nice bits of "tooling plate" that was in good shape with relatively large untouched sections (inside which I've found numerous parts). Likewise I get top quality "tool steel" this way. Machines beautifully, though it sometimes needs carbide. Sure, it's usually mystery metal, but when used where even "mild" steel (or even medium carbon) would be ok, who cares? And I've also stripped off boxes of lever/cam clamps, SHCS, "mity-bite" clamps, toe-clamps, and so on just as incidentals. A few weeks back, one of the fixtures had a nicely made (hardened and ground) 5C holder thingy. All this for between free and $0.10-0.20 a lb for steel, maybe $0.50 a lb for aluminum (including plates marked as 6061-T6 and other alloys 2" thick and over 1 foot across). I've got round stock from 4" up to 2 or 3 feet in various diameters from 1/2" up to 4"+ with alloy marked. I pick up whatever I can find, whenever I find it, and I'm getting quite a stock pile going on.

Getting it like that also makes it much easier (less painful) to "waste out" larger sections as chips. I made an adapter to mount a fiber optic light source a while back. I had this nice sized chunk of 6061-T6, about the right size, but with several holes in it that made it unlikely to find a "good" use for it that would not be compromised. But the holes didn't intersect where this piece was "inside" the block. I cut about 90% of that block (or more!) into chips by the time I was done. Looked GREAT! And didn't bother me a bit...

Other than structural steel, I rarely buy anything new any more...

Ken_Shea
05-10-2008, 03:12 AM
Here in my area, trash sheet metal is getting $150 a ton, you can get $500 for a junk old ford van. I have heard that is is going to double.

That is just great when scraping but it will bite us in the butt when we go to purchase.

Seems like everything we buy now is an investment.

NOT GOOD !

As high as things are now it will not be long until we view this as the good old days.

HTRN
05-10-2008, 03:40 AM
The largest autoyard here has less than a dozen cars in it. People aren't bothering taking cars to the junkyards, their going right over to Brooklyn where they're getting 500 bucks a ton at the port.

One of my friends recently told me that one of his competitors decided to clean out his yard - got 500 bucks a ton, and they come and remove it all. Estimate was over 5000 tons of steel.

With the kind of money that metal is at, I'm wondering how long before they look long and hard at opening some of the old mines that shut down because it wasn't worth it.


HTRN

Duffy
05-10-2008, 04:20 PM
Yesterday I visited my local scrap dealer and paid $.40/lb for cold rolled and $6.00/lb for copper. The nearest steel dealer would have charged me about $1.40/lb for the same four feet of CR and $15.00 to cut it. A dead barbeque sits at the curb for about an hour.

DR
05-10-2008, 05:30 PM
I just paid 80 cents a pound for 28 pounds of new angle iron. This is for a project of my own. It was cut to precision length for a buck a cut. I think last time I bought form these people it was 60 cents a pound. Not a deal killer in this case.

For customer work I don't really worry about the materials price. They understand prices are increasing. I get a quote form my metals dealer and then quote the customer with the understanding my price is only good as long as my supplier's quote.

It is nice to be able to grab a chunk of brass out of the scrap bin (purchased years ago) and use that for customer work. Of course, I charge them the current going rate for the material.

x39
05-10-2008, 05:48 PM
My son hauled a pick up truck load of scrap to the nearest srapper last week. He told me there was a line of trucks several hundred yards long up the road from the entrance to the yard. There won't be much left after this go 'round.

lane
05-10-2008, 06:58 PM
That is the same thing that happened before WW II shipped it all to Japan now we sending it to China. Wonder when they will attack.

brian Rupnow
05-10-2008, 09:06 PM
According to all the "Knobs" (economic Guru's) the high price for steel is being driven by the expanding industrial development in China. I'm not going to beat that horse---its been beaten to death already. However, an interesting side note.---In the area of Ontario, Canada where I grew up, there were a lot of semi developed and exploratory gold mines. No producing gold mines though, because the ore quality was such that it was not economically feasible to develop the mines. It cost more to extract the gold than the gold was worth. Now that gold has risen in value to $1000 an ounce, there is a lot of drilling and assaying going on again, and talk of actually developing these sites into producing mines. This is in the area north of Belleville, up around Eldorado and Deloro. Same for the uranium mines around Bancroft, that flourished between 1956 and 1962. I am not in favour of price increases on anything (think Scrooge), but it would be nice for some of these economically disadvantaged areas to see another round of mine building and the prosperity that comes with it!!!

67chevelle
05-10-2008, 09:39 PM
I bought a bundle ( 100 sticks ) of 1" square tubing .065 wall, 24' long, in mid December for $10.35 per sick. I was getting low in March, asked for a quote and was told the best they could do was $12.35 per stick.

Unfortunately I didn't buy.. Fast forward 2 1/2 months and I had to pay $ 15.97 per stick last week.



Almost 55% increase in 5 months ..

Mark

darryl
05-11-2008, 04:19 AM
The year is 2032. Daing Hoyan (used to be Dave Hogan) has just returned from a buying trip to Shaitahoill (used to be Seattle) and is reading his invoice again in disbelief. 6061 tooling plate, 60 kilos, 235,000,000 yen, plus storage, pacific tax, atlantic tax, oxygen depletion tax, green tax, power factor tax, protection and securities fee, helium release correction factor, goods services commodities and formation tax, and sales tax. Total price 745, 677, 110 yen. Even with the toll on the Shaitahoill seaway continental tube, it was still a steal. He's wishing he could have gotten more, but the transponders in his Naikeehais would have tattled on him for being overweight again. He's already used up his kilogram/kilometer limit for this month.

Evan
05-11-2008, 04:51 AM
Wonder when they will attack.

They already have. They are winning.

oldtiffie
05-11-2008, 08:50 AM
There is a lot of despondency, wailing and gnashing of teeth in any number of recent threads and posts recently.

It seems to be about or regarding the "awful state we are in", how "things are only/always getting worse" and "all the bad people - here and "out there"", the prices of gas, steel/metal, medical concerns, the state of the planet and what-ever else.

Things is bad.

What to do?

This perhaps?

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Self-storage1.jpg

QSIMDO
05-11-2008, 09:04 AM
I'm considering stripping the copper out of my own house and replacing with PEX tubing!

Dragons_fire
05-11-2008, 09:58 AM
i went to a big place here in Calgary that i used to buy steel from, and there rack was gone. i asked the guy and he said they make more money in buying scrap than they do in selling small amounts of new bar to people.

i needed the metal for a project im wokring on today, so i didnt get a chance to shop around, i just went to the other dealer that i knew was open.

i paid $71 for a 4' X 2" X 3" rectangle box with 1/4" wall, and 2 pieces of 4' X 2" X 2" with a 1/8" wall.

if the first place was still dealing with new metal, i would have had 10' of each size, for a total of about $60

gregl
05-12-2008, 11:49 PM
This also means that a lot of collector stuff is going to get sold for scrap. People who don't know or don't care that something has a future value as an antique or collector item are going to haul it off for its scrap value. That old lathe, shaper, or planer from 1910 or 1920 that you might have had for a couple of hundred bucks is now going to get dumped. This is the same thing that happened to hundreds of classic automobiles during World War II.

snowman
05-13-2008, 06:50 AM
took a mini load yesterday, i had a bucket of scrap wire i was sick of moving around

on the way there, i passed a file cabinet, a microwave and a lamp in the garbage....picked it up and took it in.

shred steel was going for 240 bucks a ton, i got $12 for my troubles

x39
05-13-2008, 02:43 PM
This also means that a lot of collector stuff is going to get sold for scrap.
Very true. A guy a few miles up the road from me has a small scrap operation. Recently I was there and saw a whole pile of squashed 1950s Buicks with straight eight engines in them. They all came from behind a defunct Buick dealership and were rolling when he got them. An astute person could probably do alright offering scrap sellers a premium to let him high grade their stuff before they hit the scrap yard.

gregl
05-13-2008, 02:45 PM
took a mini load yesterday, i had a bucket of scrap wire i was sick of moving around

on the way there, i passed a file cabinet, a microwave and a lamp in the garbage....picked it up and took it in.

shred steel was going for 240 bucks a ton, i got $12 for my troubles


I live 20 miles from the scrap yard. Diesel fuel is now $4.70 a gallon, so it would cost me $12.50 just for the fuel to drive there. I used to enjoy driving down there to scrounge around in the scavengers zone at the front of the yard but now it's cheaper to buy new from a mail-order source and pay the UPS charges than it is to take a chance on a trip down there and not find what I need.

lazlo
05-13-2008, 04:56 PM
shred steel was going for 240 bucks a ton, i got $12 for my troubles

I just posted this over on PM:

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u15/rtgeorge_album/Steel.gif

oldtiffie
05-13-2008, 06:52 PM
Welcome to the world and reality.

This is the world of "commodities trading" and "spot prices".

Copper - and by extension its alloys - have been priced by the pound, either directly ($/pound) or its converted equivalent ($/foot or $/inch) for many years. Quotes were only good for 48 hours or a week - 35+ years ago. Timber (here) or "lumber" (US/Canada?) is priced at $/meter^3 and derived for most "sticks" as $/metre.

Aluminium is the same - as are many items/metals - and anything that can be regarded/traded as a commodity.

The days of "Machinists" acting as sculptors and "knocking off" the "bits and snots" to find the master-piece within and consigning the residue (waste) to "scrap" have been at an end in many cases and places for years.

"Material" is now moving further up the "labour:material" cost-ratio scale and in many cases is more critical as a cost or variable factor/item than the cost of labour.

Enter the world of the fabricator and Welder. These people use minimum material and use metal the a machinist might disregard and just cut/grind anything that will fit, tack-weld it, check it and then finish weld it. Costs of consumables, tools, accessories are much less generally than is the case for stuff in a machine shop. The efficiencies (cost, space etc.) for welding/fabricating machinery and floor-space as well as better mobility put a compelling case for welding/fabrication over machining.

The welder/fabricator and his shop have been the "poor relations" of the "mechanical" world for years.

In many ways and in many cases they are the most efficient users of material, consumables, space and time.

Perhaps now they are "having their day in the sun" - at last!!!

As are the oft-derided scrap-metal merchants!!

All the "woe is me" and "hand/wrist-wringing" and "gnashing of teeth" and looking back to the past will do no good at all. It only creates additional problems when more problems is the last thing that is needed.

Its just like gas or the stuff at the mall/super-market. Its all "going up" and your options are to buy it or go without.

Its not a new phenomenon - just ask "Grand-dad" or "Grand-ma" what it was really like in the so-called "good old days" that many here reminisce about but never experienced but who for some strange reason still lament about.

torker
05-13-2008, 08:05 PM
Enter the world of the fabricator and Welder. These people use minimum material and use metal the a machinist might disregard and just cut/grind anything that will fit, tack-weld it, check it and then finish weld it. Costs of consumables, tools, accessories are much less generally than is the case for stuff in a machine shop. The efficiencies (cost, space etc.) for welding/fabricating machinery and floor-space as well as better mobility put a compelling case for welding/fabrication over machining.


This is very true! My business venture isn't all that old and I'm finding a number of things have made me deviate from my original plan.
I wanted into the machining end of it in a big way.
I know the fabrication end fairly well but as I get to know the machining better I'm having second thoughts about spending XXX million dollars on machining equipment and tooling.
I make far better money with the fabshop... and with a lot less invested..so far.
What's buggin me right now.. I'm almost embarrassed to tell "walk in" customers the price of the steel for a job... let alone the hourly rate that goes on top of that.
A lot of people are putting things on hold with the sticker shock of steel lately.
So while they get used to the idea... small shops and the local steel supplier eat the bullet until they make up their mind.
Russ

wierdscience
05-13-2008, 08:11 PM
We started buying in steel from Mexico,getting bundles of the most common sizes we use.Much cheaper than the local suppliers so far.Odd thing is some of the sq tube is marked Canada.Either the Mexicans are knocking off Canadian tube,or NAFTA has struck again and Canadian tube is heading to Mexico and than back north:D

On the otherhand I sold some prepared scrap Monday and landed .11/lb at the local dealer,not as good as the dealer 60 miles from here at .18/lb,but not as much gas involved in getting it there either.

Old rusted up 16" shaper I had brought $312.I still have 60,000lbs plus of scrap,gonna wait a few days and see where the price goes before I sell.

torker
05-13-2008, 08:16 PM
Darin.. That reminds me.. years ago, we could go down across the line to Idaho and buy 3/4" #1 grade fir plywood for about $10 a sheet less than at home.
Nice part... the stuff was made at our local plywood plant .. the company name was stamped all over it:(

lazlo
05-13-2008, 08:23 PM
By the way guys, I was reading through the USGS (the Geological Services) steel export reports, and was surprised that in 2007 the number 1 importer of US scrap steel was Turkey (37%). China was number 2 in scrap steel imports.

wierdscience
05-13-2008, 08:31 PM
The scary part for us right now is the price of pipe.Both our suppliers can only garranty a quote for two hours:eek: We used to pay $68 for 21' of sch 40 6" black pipe,now it's over $190 and climbing.

Bought one foot of A-2 toolsteel 4-1/2" round,$245.00 I am saving every sliver.

wierdscience
05-13-2008, 08:39 PM
By the way guys, I was reading through the USGS (the Geological Services) steel export reports, and was surprised that in 2007 the number 1 importer of US scrap steel was Turkey (37%). China was number 2 in scrap steel imports.

I had read that China was investing heavily in Turkey and had several large joint ventures going inside Turkey.CREC is just one company looking to make a mark in Turkey.

http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=77127

oldtiffie
05-13-2008, 08:43 PM
..................
...............
What's buggin me right now.. I'm almost embarrassed to tell "walk in" customers the price of the steel for a job... let alone the hourly rate that goes on top of that.
A lot of people are putting things on hold with the sticker shock of steel lately.
So while they get used to the idea... small shops and the local steel supplier eat the bullet until they make up their mind.
Russ

Thanks Russ.

It ain't gonna get any better any time soon either.

People should be used to it with gas and the Super-market.

Why not just put a copy of your latest "Notification of Price Increase" from your supplier/s up on a Notice-board in the "Customer Area" of your shop?

Put your various "Hourly Rates" ($/hr) for labour and various machining and processes up there as well.

People I know get "pissed-off" with the cost and time involved in detailed quotes. They give "rule of thumb", "gut feeling", "ball-park" ("shot in the dark") "indicative costs" to begin with.

For "bottom feeders" the process can vary between "no way Jose'", to "Bugger off" or "try some where/one else".

Discussing how to do a job can fall into the same category.

Do customers ever source (and bring in?) their own material?.

It was surprising how well I went when I refused to do a "Cheapie" or a "Freebie" or just walked away from or refused to quote or do a job.

But we used to get all the work we needed from those who were aware of the "whole picture".

Its surprising how many "local good causes" not only "try it on" for a "freebie", but if they get one "on the quiet" or "at the right price" how they brag about it and how they not only "saw you off" but claimed to have got it for less than they paid. If you do a job for one you soon have the others want "in" on the "me too" list!!

All too often "friends" and "family" are no better and all too often are the worst offenders as they "expect it".

Its too easy to get on the "slippery slide" in the "race to the bottom".

I was lucky as we did very well in our field of endeavour.

It got to the stage where the costs and risks were too high with too many chasing too little work with margins too thin (or non-existent), and things did not look too good for a while so I retired.

torker
05-13-2008, 09:13 PM
tiffie.. That's why I mentioned "walk ins". I rely on about 75% industrial customers. I prefer them of course.
Meaningless quotes? Endless quotes... gawd they get worse all the time. People are shopping harder and harder for a deal.
Ya.. I do the "gut feel" on most quotes but lately it's easy to be out a couple hundred bucks on a quote if your not careful. HSS tubing and heavy plate are rising at an ugly rate here. Should be steel by the pound but it's not.
The last two weeks it's been a 10 cents a day(pound) rise in price.. at least.
Quotes on steel are good for a day.
Quote on a job with 1000 pounds of steel and don't call in for a price... not smart business. Yer going to be eatin crackers for awhile if you use the price from last week.
Russ

lazlo
05-13-2008, 09:21 PM
I had read that China was investing heavily in Turkey and had several large joint ventures going inside Turkey.

Ah, that would explain it! So China is outsourcing too! :)

Too_Many_Tools
05-13-2008, 09:45 PM
Has anyone realized that higher prices for fuel, metal and other items does have a good side?

It makes one use the fuel or metal or whatever more efficiently.

We have had it good for decades...cheap fuel, metal, whatever.

Time to pay the piper as the rest of the world raises their lifestyles to ours....and we lower ours to theirs.

Are you ready for $10 gas?

It's coming....

TMT

oldtiffie
05-13-2008, 09:49 PM
Lazlo.

I think you might find that China and other holders of "Sovereign Funds" have already bought or are in the process of "buying into" the USA at "distressed/fire" sale prices.

Much of this "buying" is not only good sense financially/economically but politically as well. It is all very "strategic". Not a great deal (?) "different" to "Western/First-world" "tied" "aid" to "developing" countries really.

Asia buys for the longer term and not just for the next Analysts or Quarterly Report with an eye to "Management's" share options quote on the Stock Exchange.

We are in a global economy in a global market - like it or not - and there is no "going back".

Our most VERY!!! profitable non-Banking company is a very large player in the steel and metals sphere.

Our steel prices are rising just as they are in the US and the rest of the world.

India and China are setting the "pace" and prices.

If you will excuse the very bad but deliberate "pun" - it is all very ironic.

snowman
05-13-2008, 09:55 PM
I decided to cruise around the local garbage piles while people were putting stuff out today. Stopped at one pile on the curb and picked up three trays out of the tops of toolboxes. One was full of misc fixtures, brass, boring bars, hss...the other two were full of plumbing fittings.

That one stop filled my tank of gas. The aluminum intake manifolds I found later will pay for my dinner for the next week.

lazlo
05-13-2008, 09:55 PM
Time to pay the piper as the rest of the world raises their lifestyles to ours....and we lower ours to theirs.

Are you ready for $10 gas?

Yep, agree with all of the above. The world-wide oil supply peaked at 85 million barrel/day in 2005, and the US is consuming 1/4 of that. Now the rest of the world wants their fair-share. If it means that we stop buying giant SUV's, and learn to conserve oil, then that's great.

But the spiraling oil prices are causing spiraling food prices (up 35% last year alone), which is a recipe for a world-war...

Doesn't the Old Testament say something about a world-war starting in the Middle East? :rolleyes:

lazlo
05-13-2008, 10:01 PM
I think you might find that China and other holders of "Sovereign Funds" have already bought or are in the process of "buying into" the USA at "distressed/fire" sale prices.

China has attempted several government-sponsored buy-outs. They were successful with the Lenovo buy-out of the IBM Thinkpad line, but then the communist government tried to buy Maytag and Unocal (American Oil Company) almost simultaneously, and Congress stepped in and stopped both.

I haven't heard of any buy-outs since then.

wierdscience
05-13-2008, 10:40 PM
It was't too long ago that Japan was buying everything American under the sun too.Then the tide went out and they sold off everything they bought and then some at the same fire sale prices they bought in for.

The Chinese are in a very similar situtation the Japanese were in.On the one had they have lots of cash,on the otherhand they are also borrowing a lot of money so they can hang on to the cash a shift in the markets and they can be in trouble and they know it.

Since the market is larger and more complex it will take longer for the effect to cycle through.It is already starting,US currency is falling and Chinese workers are demanding higher wages this means Chinese product is becoming more expensive which is good in the long run.

oldtiffie
05-13-2008, 10:49 PM
Time to pay the piper as the rest of the world raises their lifestyles to ours....and we lower ours to theirs.

Are you ready for $10 gas?


Yep, agree with all of the above. The world-wide oil supply peaked at 85 million barrel/day in 2005, and the US is consuming 1/4 of that. Now the rest of the world wants their fair-share. If it means that we stop buying giant SUV's, and learn to conserve oil, then that's great.

But the spiraling oil prices are causing spiraling food prices (up 35% last year alone), which is a recipe for a world-war...

Doesn't the Old Testament say something about a world-war starting in the Middle East? :rolleyes:

I agree with both quotes.

Being a bit more cost-conscious and less prolifigate are good ways to go. At least they are more concerned with looking more "forward" than "back"(ward).

Without being intentionally too cynical or disrespectful, I'd suggest that the "Koran" might be as much if not more relevant. Perhaps too, the "Little Red Book" (current edition or successor) and their equivalents elsewhere might be "consulted" or used as "justification" as well.

But I suspect that national and self-interest will be the main reasons "for" or "against" - as has more often than not been the case over time.

If my history is correct WW1 was started in Europe as was WW2.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WW1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WW2

The reference may have referred to the Levant and the "Near East".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levant
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_East

The costs of food and oil and their availability are not unrelated.

Same applies to steel and other metals an commodities.

Food, money and oil etc. are tools of Diplomacy as well as "tactical" and "strategic" weapons and I suspect that it is in the best interests of all "players" that a global conflict be avoided. These may well take the place of or be the "weapons" of a "new" war (assuming it hasn't started and been under-way for some time!!). All of the current conflicts are just localized "brush-fires" that various "guardian angels??" are "looking after".

The ebbs and flows of items in the previous paragraphs already influence the availability of consumables - such as steel and oil - have already been amply demonstrated lately.

So, buy what you need when you can afford it (ie steel) - just as you do a the gas station and the super-market.

lazlo
05-13-2008, 11:02 PM
Without being intentionally too cynical or disrespectful, I'd suggest that the "Koran" might be as much if not more relevant. Perhaps too, the "Little Red Book" (current edition or successor) and their equivalents elsewhere might be "consulted" or used as "justification" as well.

The End of Days reference was a joke Tiffie, but I hope you're right about the rest: when you have two SuperPowers, one has the world's largest army, and the other has the most advanced weapons on earth, and they're both competing for the same oil, which drives up the price of oil and food for the rest of the world...

oldtiffie
05-14-2008, 12:59 AM
The End of Days reference was a joke Tiffie, but I hope you're right about the rest: when you have two SuperPowers, one has the world's largest army, and the other has the most advanced weapons on earth, and they're both competing for the same oil, which drives up the price of oil and food for the rest of the world...

I think its all OK lazlo.

My guess is that their "contingency planning" has already led to a series of "accommodations" and "understandings" as regards each other and their relationships to each other as well as defining "spheres of interest/influence" and "control" of "client states".

I expect that all was done "in camera" (secrecy) which is probably quite different to the "huffing and puffing" and sheer propaganda and mis-information doled out by both to their respective "Joe Public".

Perhaps its the ultimate cartel that we just had to have!!

Not much different to Corporations - "nation-states" which are corporations!!!

So I guess that all that steel/metal we "need" won't be requisitioned/needed for "Military purposes" yet a while.