No announcement yet.

Affordable aluminum source??

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Affordable aluminum source??

    Good morning all.

    For those who don’t run pro shops, but do work more involved than fixing mower decks and putting hooks on loader buckets :-), where do you source aluminum for your projects? The big box stores have limited options and outrageous prices. Online sources have great options and prices, but shipping is RIDICULOUS!! So, if you’re building aluminum projects, where do you get your metal from?


  • #2
    Check your local steelyards and also see if you have a Metal Supermarkets in your area. The Metal Supermarkets in my area has a drop and remnant section of steel and aluminum that they sell by the pound.


    • #3

      Unfortunately, the places that I have found to buy steel from don’t deal in aluminum at all. That’s what led me to the Internet. I was excited to find exactly what I was looking for… until shipping was calculated. The shipping was more than the product.


      • #4
        You're right about the shipping. I've found many a good deal on brass, aluminum, copper, etc. That is, until the shipping comes in. Sometimes it's more than the material you want to purchase. I live in Phoenix, so I have a number of places to choose from that have more variety than I will ever need. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.


        • #5
          We don't know your location so my guess is if you haven't found a local supply then you are stuck with online shopping. I live in an area that has a metal supplier (Alro) that also runs a drop shop second to none.

          You could try local fabrication shops and see if they could sell you what you're looking for, or even be willing to add your want list into their next order (long shot), the answer is always no unless you ask

          If you sign up for online metals email list you'll get a discount code every month, and if you spend, I believe, over $75 the discount for next month is greater
          West coast of Florida


          • #6

            Thanks for the tip! I think online metals is where I had an order queued up until I saw the shipping cost. I’ll definitely keep them in mind. I really wish my steel dealer handled aluminum as well. They are super-easy to work with, and their prices are always pretty reasonable.


            • #7
              eBay, just watch shipping
              Bob Wright


              • #8
                Scrap prices are way up and rems or shorts anymore are next to impossible to find and when you do they act as if there selling at Gold prices......Just have to be persistent while always looking , and then buy more than you need...I am still sitting on decades of metal that I bought when they were almost giving it away.....Steel, Brass, Copper , aluminum plate & shapes, Chromoly ........although no matter what ya have it always seems as if your looking for another size?......Flea markets , garage & estate sales are good places to find surplus. Click image for larger version

Name:	metal2.jpg
Views:	240
Size:	830.4 KB
ID:	619646 Click image for larger version

Name:	metal.jpg
Views:	224
Size:	903.1 KB
ID:	619647


                • #9
                  Find a fab shop that works in aluminum and buy it from them. Surely you have that nearby. If you have dump trucks, 18-wheelers or boats in your area, you’ll have a shop that deals in aluminum.


                  • #10
                    I agree with looking into fab shops, also look for local welders to ask as they need to get material somewhere. Look at scrap yards too but as noted all material is way up in price. As far as shipping you need to watch sizes to make them easily shippable via ups, etc. That might not be you issue but it could make a difference.
                    Trailblazer 250g
                    22a feeder
                    Lincoln ac/dc 225
                    Victor O/A
                    MM200 black face
                    Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
                    Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
                    Arco roto-phase model M
                    Vectrax 7x12 band saw
                    Miller spectrum 875
                    30a spoolgun w/wc-24
                    Syncrowave 250


                    • #11
                      You appear to be asking "how can I get metal for cheap"? The answer is you have to look for it, and when some appears, you have to be ready to go buy it. And inevitably, you will have to store it. If you need a particular piece of rectangular tube right away the only choice is to buy new. Surely there is a source for nonferrous metals in your location. (You don't post your location - why not?)

                      Are you involved with a local metalworking club? Have you taken lessons at a local technical college? These are really good ways to build your network. If you have a large network of guys who all stockpile metals you have a much better chance of getting a piece from one of them.

                      If you live in Seattle, you can drive to onlinemetals and pick up your order and save the shipping charges. They have a facility near the south end of the Ballard Bridge.

                      One final tip: Many years ago the Goodwill stores in my area sold all exercise machines for one flat price. IIRC it was $29. Irrelevant now, but still, the idea is that many exercise machines are made from quality aluminum extrusions and buying used exercise machines (or scrounging them for free) was the cheapest way around to get aluminum for projects. You have to be willing to make stuff from what you find rather than try to find the exact materials your design calls for. It's easy. Redesign. It's good for your brain anyway.