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Storing metal?

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  • Storing metal?

    Curious how some of you with limited space, store your raw metal. I come across "deals" from time to time and am always looking for better ways to store it, without looking like Sanford and Son.

    Most of the stuff is anywhere from 10-20 foot lengths of flat, round stock, round and sqare tubing, etc.

    And various pieces of sheet metal. which I already have an idea for.......sorta.

    Watcha got?????

  • #2
    There were some nice pictures of some on this site in the past. The problem is, I don't think a search will find them as they were for general topics. If you send me a pm with your email I'll send you some of what I've saved off from various post.
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    Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

    It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


    • #3
      I have 10.5 foot headroom so I store 10 ft pieces vertically.

      Semi-shorts go on a rack.

      Shorts go under the welding table and I have stacks of good scrap outside. Steel doesn't rust much here, it's too dry. I have bare steel frames used to ship snowmobiles that have been sitting out since last year and they still aren't rusty.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


      • #4
        I built a cubbyhole system with hooks for long stock on the back.

        There is a picture in this thread:

        An old weightlifting "power rack" is back in the shed.
        Last edited by moldmonkey; 06-23-2008, 01:46 PM.
        Jon Bohlander
        My PM Blog


        • #5
          Floor space in my shop is always most sacred and never wasted on storing materials. I have 12' ceilings and hang my 24' material up there.

          Last edited by rmack898; 06-23-2008, 02:45 PM.


          • #6
            Originally posted by rmack898
            Floor space in my shop is always most sacred and never wasted on storing materials. I have 12' ceilings and hang my 24' material up there.
            I have something similar to that now with my tubing. Over the garage door I have the 20' chunks of tubing and such. Not very convenient for lookin it over when brain storming a project. With my memory not being what it used to be (I think ) I often forget what I actually have.

            It does work for some of the tubing and small dia. round stock.

            I recently acquired a bunch of 3"X1/4 flat stock. $100 for all the metal, a plasma cutting table, and a 16' x 4' table with 1 inch plywood shelves.

            Currently I have it stored under one of my big metal tables, but it could definitely live somewhere else. All ideas are welcomed.

            Thanx for the responses.



            • #7
              If I put steel outside the shop, it will rust.
              So I put some steel in the shop in 5 gal buckets.
              Some other steel is in cardboard and wooden boxes outside in a covered area.
              To reduce the rust on stored steel and cast iron tools left outside but over concrete and out of the rain I put an old sheet over them. The sheet cannot compensate for a dirt floor.

              If I spray the steel with oil, the vapor pressure of oil is too high, and the protectant is gone in a year. The sheet works better. The sheet keeps warm moist air from circulating around cold steel, and so prevents condensation on those days of rising temperature and 100% humidity.
              There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. -Ernest Hemingway
              The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.-- Edward John Phelps


              • #8
                but it could definitely live somewhere else.
                Seattle isn't that far from here. You are invited for a BBQ. Bring your own metal. I'll store it for you.
                Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Evan
                  Seattle isn't that far from here. You are invited for a BBQ. Bring your own metal. I'll store it for you.
                  WOW!! Really!! Ok, but only if ya store all my welders, lathe, mill, and cash too.

                  Just kidding.

                  I actually am building a metal rack inside of a 10x20 canopy.

                  I don't have an updated pic yet. (At work now)


                  • #10
                    Storing metal looks even better, store as much as you can.
                    I've just heard that Rio Tinto have raised WA iron ore prices 85%, BHP Billiton likely to follow suit.
                    And that's just ore prices to China.
                    Just got my head together
                    now my body's falling apart


                    • #11
                      Just little bits

                      I really don't use much in the way of material at all over a year. Storage in the shop is a PITA although I keep a small amount of "shorts" there. When it gets in the way, or I trip over it, or it is to small to justify keeping, I "toss" it.

                      From a convenience and economics point of view, I find it easier to just go and buy what I want from my supplier/s as I need it. I pass him at least three times a week and it is only 5Km (3 miles) from here. He has a very comprehensive range - he is the main supplier here. I prefer to use his storage. I get what I want cut as I want it - usually on a "while yoiu wait" or "call back on your way home" basis at no extra cost and and at "Trade" ("mates") rates. If he hasn't got what I want, I order it and he gets it in and I pay the same rate as he does (plus a small "cover charge") when it comes in on a load for him - much cheaper.

                      I am not a fan of "mystery metal" at all as I've been "caught" just once or twice too often. Same applies to anyone who brings their own metal on the rare occasions that I do a job for anyone else. I either supply it if I've got it and he replaces it from my supplier of else he gets it from my supplier and brings it with him - and takes all the scrap if he "wants/needs" it.

                      Cleaning and treating rusty/corroded metal is not one of my favoured tasks and I can well do without it.

                      I made the mistake once of storing large heavy steel plate and bars, flats etc. It all went (too) rusty so out it went.

                      Having too much for too long "just in case" may not be good economics. Spending half the time cleaning up or modifying or shaping "stuff" is a PITA too compared to just getting just enough of the right stuff in really good (new) condition as and where you want it.

                      Its just as S&S (Lin) says regarding the prices China has agreed to pay for iron ore. Same applied to their costs for steaming and coking coal as well as copper, zinc, nickel etc.

                      China has its own problems with the rising costs of oil as well as internal inflation, wages and per-capita income and aspirations of its people. They, like many others with large $US holdings/credits are having problems with the falling US$ too. Perhaps they may build more mills and plants in the US.

                      But back to "storing metal" - if it becomes too attractive it may be stolen - just as copper often is. There will always be a "(Black??) market" if it is attractive enough. I sure would not want to be caught with "stolen goods".


                      • #12
                        I like to keep my stock organized! Just kidding, not my place, wish it was though


                        • #13
                          That is obnoxiously sickening!!!! I love it.

                          Though I'm not a big fan of keeping a ton of "junk" around, I also hate wasting money. Most of the time, I find myself needing "something", but don't even know what it is til I see it. Fabricating is not an exact science when doing one off type stuff, and with me, sometimes it takes seeing a piece of metal to be able to drive on with whatever it is I'm doing. Plus, working the odd hours I do, the steel yard doesn't do me much good.

                          I'll shoot more pics of what I come up with. Though that last pic did give me some ideas.

                          Thanx to all, Chainz


                          • #14
                            i have a corner

                            and an outside

                            the outside looks more "coferish"...ahh hell, the whole shop looks like Cofer moved to Michigan.

                            Just give up and come to the dark side, it only lowers your neighbors property value a little, and when you get ready to move, you can always clean it up and make your property value rebound.


                            • #15
                              I'm actually cool with lowering the property values a bit. Our damn'd property taxes are WAAAAAY too freakin high anyway.

                              Its keeping the steel from rusting. If I store it inside, it's fine, but our lovely Seattle weather doesn't entail a whole lotta dry. Even when it's dry, its not really dry. Not complaining, mind you. The summers MORE than make up for it. Though I usually have to work that weekend. (Sorry, bad inside "Seattle" joke)

                              Mostly I was just curious if it was an isolated problem that I just had to figure out how to deal with, or if others were in the same boat. I know most people who choose this as a hobby, job, past time, etc., usually have the space to "properly" store their "crap". But I figured for the ones that didn't, a little brain-storming/sharing might be useful.

                              Ciao, Chainz