In search of Steel supplies

Where is the best place to get surplus or inexpensive steel? Currently looking for 2” square or round tubing.

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LL, in the metal shop portion of the DMS Wiki is a listing of metal suppliers:
Category:Metal Shop - Dallas Makerspace .

The costs of all metals have gone through the roof especially for new materials. If you can work with drops or scrap yard material you should be able to shave some costs. The locations are in the wiki. Click on Metal_Shop.


Also there is a suppliers category, containing a metal suppliers page.


It would be cool if there was a member marketplace where members with leftover but very usable material like unused lengths of square steel tubing could sell at better-than-scrapyard prices while members needing steel could buy at a lower-than-market rate—all without leaving DMS, and potentially late at night, on weekends, etc. when metal suppliers are closed, and you just need that one extra thing to finish your project. DMS could collect, say, a 20% seller’s fee. Maybe there could be a small warehouse fee or limitations on what’s allowed to discourage depositing of material that is unlikely to sell fairly quickly / actually benefit other members.

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A lot of items are posted for sale by members and seems to work fairly well. The storage space, someone there to sell it, administration of tracking, getting rid of things that don’t sell, collecting payment, making payment back to the member, bookkeeping, sales tax, income tax, etc. makes it fairly complicated for DMS.

Tracking storage is a hassle, this would be an order of magnitude of that. It’s a great idea but not practical. It’s done on a few consumables, but that’s it.

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I’d say it would be easier to just use the makertrade category here and post “looking for XYZ” and then the DMS doesn’t have to use volunteer time to try and track all that stuff and take fees


The prices for metal has gotten so high I am delaying many of my planned projects until it comes back down to a more reasonable price. It jumped about 3x the price over the last two years.

There is a good list of suppliers on the metal shop wiki.

I personally generally see if I can find the metal I need in the “drop” section at Metals Supermarket in Lewisville where I usually get my metal. This saves me a fair bit.

Sometimes you can find some good stuff at some of the scrap yards that allow some sales but even they are asking a high prices for scrap materials.

I stock up on random scrap tube, angle and square stock every chance I get. Probably have around 1000 pounds of random bits in my workshop at this point. As I start doing projects the size of the pile will shrink as I start building stuff.

I have started making friends with several people who have access to cheap scrap materials as well. Been buying assorted blocks of aluminum and steel for my mill and round stock for my metal lathe from those connections.

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Usually is really proficient at getting good buys from the scrap yards.

Better than most of us. @rlisbona is pretty good too.

Does it need to be 2"? I might have some extra pieces of 1/8" wall 1.5" square steel tubing lying around somewhere.

1.5 might work. My original intent was for building a small lean-to on the side of my shed, but I may go with wood at the end of the day. I would need two 9’, two 6’, and one 12’ piece, but I’m looking at making some gates/fences too. What quantity do you have?

Unfortunately I don’t have enough for all that (would need to check exact lengths / quantity, but I know I don’t have any 9’ or 12’ lengths).