Purchasing Steel in the USA

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by Michael W, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. Michael W
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Michael W Junior Member

    Hi. First of many posts hopefully. For those builders in the USA, I am wondering where you purchase and process your steel. I am looking for A-36 steel plate .25 inch and .18 inch. 6' x 25 ' maximum dimensions. I have e-mailed and called just about every steel provider I can find, but usually never get a response.


    I am an amateur who is going to build a 52' steel Trawler. I already purchased the plans and cutting files and so am doing some planning here.

    Thanks for your help.

    Michael
     
  2. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

  3. tazmann
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    tazmann Senior Member

    20' long should be easy, going longer you need to find a dealer that has it in coils. where about are you?
    Tom
     
  4. Michael W
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    Michael W Junior Member

    Hey. I will be building the boat in Seattle. As for Coils, I don't think I want anything that has been coiled. Maybe I'm wrong but doesn't that contain an undesirable memory. I'm pretty sure I have seen plates over 20' long before, just can't find any one that wants to sell them to me.
     
  5. tazmann
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    tazmann Senior Member

    I cant give you any names of places but the origami guys up in BC buy large plates and get them wheel abraded and primed.
    Tom
     
  6. Michael W
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    Michael W Junior Member

    Hey Tom:


    Being new to the forum, I really don't know who the origami guys are in BC. BC sounds like a good area to potentially buy being close to Seattle. How do you think I could get in touch with these guys? Thanks.

    Michael
     
  7. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

  8. tazmann
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    tazmann Senior Member

    Origamiboats on yahoo groups would be one place but you would have to join the group to ask. Brent Swain is on here quite a bit, maybe he could help you with some contacs in that area for steel. Give a call to the # Tad posted they might be able to help or at least point you in the right direction.
    Tom
     
  9. Michael W
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    Michael W Junior Member

    Thanks for the advice Tad and Tom.

    Michael
     
  10. Michael W
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    Michael W Junior Member

    Well. I joined the origami boats forum on yahoo groups. Almost immediately had what seemed to be an excellent lead. Much better than I could provide by myself by searching alone. The place I found was called A.J. Forsyth in British Columbia. They seemed to have everything I couple possibly need. They were friendly, answered my questions right away and I had a rough idea at costs from the first phone call. Problem is, since they are located in British Columbia and I will be buying materials with Dollars I have an exchange rate problem. Before this, I had not checked exchange rates for a long time. I remember being able to buy a Canadian Dollar for 80 cents or something like that way back when. But the dollar has taken a big hit and so now I obviously pay a lot more for a Canadian Dollar. I thought I had found what I was looking for until I did the exchange calculations. Darn, was so close to a good lead.

    I then called their division in the USA and was once again thrust into the poor customer service, lack of answers and people who seem like they just don't want to deal with the little guy. So frustrating. Anyway..the search continues. The USA is big so I'm sure I'll find what I'm looking for eventually. Maybe by the time I do purchase the exchange rates will get better.
     
  11. Michael W
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    Michael W Junior Member

    Good lead on Steel in Seattle

    Just got another lead from the Origami Boat Site of a company located in Seattle. Looked at the website and it looks very, very good for the products and services I want. I will call on Monday and update at that time. Company name is Seaport Steel at http://www.seaportsteel.com

    Here was a brief description of products available on website.

    ABS Plate Stocked
    120" wide ABS Plate ° Stocked
    120" wide prime coated ABS Plate ° Stocked
    ABS 3/16" - 1" x 120" x 480" ° Stocked ° Part Primed
    ABS 3/16" - 1" x 96" x 480" ° Stocked ° Part Primed

    Just hope the price is competetive, but we'll see.
     
  12. Gabba
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    Gabba New Member

    Don't be too concerned about memory in coiled steel, that sounds like something from Bruce Roberts. I am working on one at the moment. Most of my plates came from coil, the thickness is not that great to worry about. It was all that was available in the lengths that I required. Hardly notice the difference. Just be sure of the quality. By the time you've welded up any memory would be long gone.
     
  13. Michael W
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    Michael W Junior Member

    Actually I am building a Bruce Roberts designed trawler. I have researched plans for about a year now and came up with Bruce's design as my favorite. He seems to take a hit here from what I have read (mostly for the Sailboats), but for me the experience has been very positive so far in my communications with Bruce. I actually like his trawler designs quite a bit. My model is the TY 485. I also like the fact that a lot of real life examples are already built.

    As for the Coils issue, I probably did read that from his information, but since I have read so much over the past year, I can't say for sure. I do remember Bruce saying in one of his documents that if you do use coil, then just use the memory direction to your advantage.
     
  14. Michael W
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    Michael W Junior Member

    Update on progress looking for steel supplier.


    I called Seaport Steel today in Seattle. Very friendly staff with immediate information. My original intention was to use A-36 plate, but they deal with ABS plate, which I suppose is better. I'll have to check into that. They basically gave me a very rough quote of 65 cents a pound for the whole deal including plate and profile. This includes Wheelabrating and Primecoating before the plate is cut, then cut according to my files. My project is about 66,000 pounds and so the estimated final cost would be $42,000. I'm sure this will fluctuate a little, but for me that sounds like a reasonable figure. Also, I won't have to deal with delivery charges, so that helps a little also. So, hopefully I'll have some other quotes soon to compare.
     

  15. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    I've been using plate off a coil for origami boats for 29 years , no problems. Tried the uncoiled stuff and couldn't see any difference.
    Brent
     
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