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  • Ordering Stock

    I've mentioned Midwest more than a few times. If you can afford to wait, and are ordering more than one piece of stock the same size they are often the cheapest source for aluminum.

    They tell you up front that they take a couple days (specifically says 2-3) to process your order. Ok. You can plan for that. Unfortunately they also use Fed-Ex ground and from them to me seems to always be 6 working day ship time. That means 8 calendar days. Ok, I can still plan for that. If I order based on my needs two weeks from now I can get by. It still gives me a couple days to rough stock. My last few orders have been taking 7-9 days to ship. Each time it actually only shipped after I contacted them. I imagine if I hadn't asked when my order would actually ship it might have taken longer. I don't know, but at 8 days (in the middle) and 8 days for Fed-Ex that's sixteen days. In order to make it worth buying from them I have to buy order 3-4 weeks in advance, and buy multiples of every size piece. (Xometry is cheaper for 1 unit and more expensive for more than 1 unit usually.) Often I only need one of something so it costs a little more. I still mostly ordered from them just to buy from one company. I buy from a few hundred dollars to maybe grand and a half of aluminum every month. Lately I found myself buying single unit pieces from the local metal yards at much higher prices just so I would know I had it when I needed it. I hope they get their ship time issue figured out, but for now I am buying all my single units from Xometry. They ship the same day (if I order early in the day) and they are typically only 3-4 days ship time away. I'd switch completely over to Xometry, but I do often need multiples the same size. The price savings is huge once you start buying a half dozen or more units. Xometry also does not have the same selection of stock sizes as Midwest.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  • #2
    I would call Xometry and explain the deal to them. You are a regular customer who spends plenty of money. If one company can make you a better deal on more stock, then surely they can as well. Might have to put effort into finding someone competent and with the appropriate authority. Also wouldn't hurt to ask if there is anything they can do about about the stock selection situation.
    Location: North Central Texas

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    • #3
      I’ve had good luck with aluminum odd lots from Stoner Tools & Raw Materials. On eBay he’s “6061dude”.
      Illigitimi non Carborundum 😎
      9X49 Birmingham Mill, Reid Model 2C Grinder, 13x40 ENCO GH Lathe, 6X18 Craftsman lathe, Sherline CNC mill, Eastwood TIG200 AC/DC and lots of stuff from 30+ years in the trade and 15.5 in refinery unit operations. Now retired. El Paso, TX

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tim The Grim View Post
        I’ve had good luck with aluminum odd lots from Stoner Tools & Raw Materials. On eBay he’s “6061dude”.
        I used to buy from him a long time ago. His prices are ok if you contact him and then let him list a lot with what you need. Xometry and Midwest are both cheaper, and they don't send me 1/2x6 that is 150 thousandths out of flat across the stock.
        *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Joel View Post
          I would call Xometry and explain the deal to them. You are a regular customer who spends plenty of money. If one company can make you a better deal on more stock, then surely they can as well. Might have to put effort into finding someone competent and with the appropriate authority. Also wouldn't hurt to ask if there is anything they can do about about the stock selection situation.
          I dropped them an email and let them know what they would need to do to get all of my aluminum business. If it goes anywhere I'll be thrilled and if it doesn't... well it only cost me a few electrons. I know they have solicited me a few times to join their manufacturers network, but I'm about as busy as I want to be. I'm not going to hold that out as a negotiating point to get better pricing on multiple unit orders.
          *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tim The Grim View Post
            I’ve had good luck with aluminum odd lots from Stoner Tools & Raw Materials. On eBay he’s “6061dude”.
            + 1on that. I've bought from them often, and always cheaper than the usual retail metal suppliers.

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            • #7
              Today I went to a metal recycler twice! He has a scrap room with LOTS of Aluminum. Not the best prices but still much cheaper than doing a small order online and paying for shipping. So I am super happy. Out front for less money he has lots of new stock that you need to buy full lengths of. I am just happy that I have a place to go to where I can buy what I need. Picked up enough stock to put metal uprights on my 3018 router, a full steel backing plate, and enough to make the new motor mount for my CNC mill. Been using my metal cutting bandsaw a lot today!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tim The Grim View Post
                I’ve had good luck with aluminum odd lots from Stoner Tools & Raw Materials. On eBay he’s “6061dude”.
                Ditto, he's my "go-to" for brass - he's got some darn good deals!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post
                  I've mentioned Midwest more than a few times. If you can afford to wait, and are ordering more than one piece of stock the same size they are often the cheapest source for aluminum.

                  They tell you up front that they take a couple days (specifically says 2-3) to process your order. Ok. You can plan for that. Unfortunately they also use Fed-Ex ground and from them to me seems to always be 6 working day ship time. That means 8 calendar days. Ok, I can still plan for that. If I order based on my needs two weeks from now I can get by. It still gives me a couple days to rough stock. My last few orders have been taking 7-9 days to ship.
                  That's my only gripe with Midwest, they ship at a glacial pace. Longest so far was 32 days, they are the cheapest on a lot of things, but the savings don't mean so much if you can't get the product.
                  I just need one more tool,just one!

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                  • #10
                    I just did my first order of machined part from Xometry as they were way cheaper than a local shop. It was for aluminum parts in quantities of 4 to 32 pieces. I will report how well it works out when they arrive.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by garyhlucas View Post
                      I just did my first order of machined part from Xometry as they were way cheaper than a local shop. It was for aluminum parts in quantities of 4 to 32 pieces. I will report how well it works out when they arrive.
                      I thought your employer had a machine shop, which was why you work there?

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                      • #12
                        I just placed my second order from Xometry. I had no issue with this on my first order. They charged me sales tax on this second order. Its only a few dollars you might argue, BUT I DON'T OWE IT I argue back. I believe in paying every penny of taxes I owe and not paying a single penny I do not owe. As a manufacturer with all appropriate paperwork include state sales tax license I do not owe state sales tax on raw stock.

                        I contacted them yesterday without completing my order. After talking with several people with Xometry both by phone and by email I was assured the problem was fixed, they had somehow created two different accounts for me, but now both of them were now set up as tax exempt, and if for some reason I do get charged tax to contact them and they would refund the tax right away..

                        Well, I needed one piece of stock right away and they (in the past anyway) ship right away so I cancelled all the for stock items and just ordered that one piece of metal for which I was charged state sales tax. Yes, Xometry has my current tax form. I contacted the sales person, the tech support person, and the customer relations person (and a couple others that Xometry had CCed on the email train, and so far they have not fixed it.

                        Nobody is perfect is certainly a truism.
                        *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Looking at options i went back to ALRO for a look see again. Their 1-3 piece price on almost everything is outrageous. By outrageous I mean even local three barn metal vendors can compete with them (and beat them) on the things they stock. The thing is I have bought metal from them in the past. I bought a bunch of 4140QTTGP and 4140HT along with a few other things all on one order and they smoked any other source for about a ton of metal all at once. Once in a while on a specialty piece I have ordered from them because they have it and they ship consistently quick. Small pieces by US and larger orders by truck. They probably have the broadest selection and options for ordering and shopping on-line of any vendor. Both materials available, and size/shape/dimension. They are just stupid expensive for small orders.

                          On my one bigger order from ALRO I was told I should request a quote, and then make my purchase. Ok, I did that. Compared to the volume pricing online I saved about $30 on a $3200 order. That's not worth the extra time to put together a quote request, email it to a salesperson, and wait for them to get back to me. At a minimum it costs me an extra day just to get the order submitted, but it also costs me time in the shop. I like being able to go to a website, adjust the options, make sure everything is what I want, and press the submit button.

                          The one thing ALRO did with every order, even the one that came by truck, was process it and ship it very quickly once I submitted it.

                          I have to ask. Does anybody else buy from ALRO? Do you ONLY buy when you have a ton or more of material or they are the only source for the exact item you need? Do they charge everybody insane prices for orders of less than a couple hundred pounds?

                          I have a bunch of things I would like to buy from ALRO for various projects, but the only way I can get a decent price is if I buy it all at once. Realistically buying it all at once would break my cash flow, and I don't need it all at once. I can only build one thing at a time.
                          *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                          • #14
                            Dunno about ALRO, I've never dealt directly with them. Even though they are in the neighborhood. My old boss used Klein Steel

                            http://www.kleinsteel.com/

                            and I have to say they were pretty good. Our orders would run anywhere from a few hundred pounds up to 3 or 4 tons, once or twice a month. They never screwed up, everything was exactly as it should be and shipped within the week. They use covered semis where the cover rolls back so you can use the forklift.

                            We also have Ryerson locally

                            https://www.ryerson.com/

                            and they were tho place to go back in the day, I think the bigger players still use them.

                            For the home shop, I stick with eBay or Online Metals, I'm simply not big enough to interest the big guys. Even though I'm paying full retail for the home shop.

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                            • #15
                              Not related but...

                              When my father had his bridge business,
                              he got the best price on steel from Bayou Steel out of Lousiana.
                              It was priced by the mill-run, which I assume meant all the steel
                              that was in the crucible and put through the rolling mill.
                              We got a barge load floated up the Mississippi and warehoused
                              at Ryerson Steel in Buffalo, and used it as needed.
                              The better price made the shipping and warehousing worth it.

                              -Doozer
                              Last edited by Doozer; 09-24-2020, 09:19 AM.
                              DZER

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