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  • Ordering metal

    My project is a special size trailer. dual 3500# axles but the bed is only 9' long with no floor.
    The metal I will be needing (rounded up to the next foot):
    3x2x0.120 tubing (tongue) 2 each @ 8'
    2.5x1.5x0.120 tubing (side rails) 2 each @ 9'
    2.5x1.5x0.120 tubing (cross rails) 2 each @ 7'
    3x3x3/16 angle iron (adjustable spring mounts) 2 each @ 6'

    (FYI, I can cut the metal to the correct length and I expect some waste. I know I can't order odd lengths.)

    Now the questions about ordering the metal.
    a) what are 'standard lengths'?
    b) do smaller lengths have a larger per foot cost?
    c) do the steel shops 'mind' small orders like this?
    d) do most supplies have normal delivery routes and you just wait for the right day?
    e) are delivery charges normally based on weight, number of items, or something else.
    f) do I just call them up and say 'I need some metal to make a trailer' or do I need to know more about steel types and such?
    g) are they used to newbies ordering stuff and so can guide one though the order process?

    thanks,
    tony

  • #2
    Originally posted by thito01 View Post
    My project is a special size trailer. dual 3500# axles but the bed is only 9' long with no floor.
    The metal I will be needing (rounded up to the next foot):
    3x2x0.120 tubing (tongue) 2 each @ 8'
    2.5x1.5x0.120 tubing (side rails) 2 each @ 9'
    2.5x1.5x0.120 tubing (cross rails) 2 each @ 7'
    3x3x3/16 angle iron (adjustable spring mounts) 2 each @ 6'

    (FYI, I can cut the metal to the correct length and I expect some waste. I know I can't order odd lengths.)

    Now the questions about ordering the metal.
    a) what are 'standard lengths'?
    b) do smaller lengths have a larger per foot cost?
    c) do the steel shops 'mind' small orders like this?
    d) do most supplies have normal delivery routes and you just wait for the right day?
    e) are delivery charges normally based on weight, number of items, or something else.
    f) do I just call them up and say 'I need some metal to make a trailer' or do I need to know more about steel types and such?
    g) are they used to newbies ordering stuff and so can guide one though the order process?

    thanks,
    tony
    OMG!!! First of all, you don't list your location so I don't know how you would expect anyone to know what goes on in your neck of the woods. Second, one quick phone call to your local steelyard would answer all these questions without making it look like you are a rookie trying to build a specialty trailer.
    Dynasty 350DX
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    • #3
      I've answered some of your questions in your other posts, so please answer a few of my questions so we can better help you..

      What is your experience level in the welding and fabrication field?

      What kind of welding equipment do you have available to you?

      What will this trailer be used for?

      What will be the weight of the loaded trailer be?

      Is this your first project?
      If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

      sigpicJohn Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
      Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dabar39 View Post

        Is this your first project?
        Seems like it is.

        I could give that list to my supplier and have it delivered in exactly the lengths I request- odd & even
        Ed Conley
        http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
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        • #5
          Cutting to length will depend on the local yard you use.

          Standard lengths include 20', 22', and 24' (depending on material).

          I think you need to really take a serious look at the questions Dave asked regarding your background.

          I'm not the trailer expert Dave (Dabar39) is, but it would seem to me that the material you spec'd out is mighty light for a trailer needing tandem 3500# axles. That material seems more suited to a 1500-2000# single axle trailer.
          Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
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          More grinders than hands

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          • #6
            SundownIII, I'm not so worried about the materials selection as i am about his experience level.
            If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

            sigpicJohn Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
            Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

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            • #7
              Most tubing lengths common in the Chicago area are 20 and 24 ft lengths...2x3 in this area is going around $5 per foot for 120 wall.........figure the smaller stuff at less expensive...Thats just in this area for small quantities....and they will cut to length and sell partial lengths to order. Jim
              Welding in Crete
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              • #8
                Location: Halfway between Orlando and Daytona Beach.

                Experience level:
                Did a LOT of welding on street-rods, autos and and stuff in a previous life, about 30 years ago. All the steel was provided by my employer so I never got into that area and even if I did, that was 3 states away and 30 year old knowledge. This will be my first project in 30 years, so I plan on buying some extra material and jigging up some practice welds that I can then cut with a band saw to check the weld depth and such.

                I will be using an Idealarc 250 AC/DC welder. I normally use 7018 rods.

                As to the material size:
                I have went back and forth on the sizes. I could still bump each section up a size. The trailer load is a railroad maintenance item pic on metal wheels that form a 69x57" rectangle. I estimate (on the very high side) 1500# on each front point and 1000# on each back point. Front to back, they will be within 3" of the outer spring hangers using 26" springs. Sideways, they will be about 10" narrower that the spring hangers. The springs will actually be mounted on the 3" angle-iron. The trailer frame will then sit inside the 3" angle. This will allow me to fine-tune the axle location to get the right tongue weight once I have the unit on the trailer. It will also provide some more strength. The actual unit will sit on 1.5x1.5 square tubing that will run front to back acting as a 'rail-head', but there will be a frame crossbeam right under each wheel to support the load going down the road. The frame extension to the rear is just to get the bumper out from under the unit. The frame extension to the front is just to add some more stability to the 'V' tongue. The load will be rolled on, but stands will be used under the rear bumper during loading and unloading. All in all, cantilever weight is not a real big concern so that is why I dropped the frame from 3x2down to 2.5x1.5. Actually, two 3500# axles (with brakes on both) may be an overkill, but if at some point I leave the hobby, I could just remove them and use then on a standard utility trailer.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by thito01 View Post
                  Now the questions about ordering the metal.
                  a) what are 'standard lengths'?
                  b) do smaller lengths have a larger per foot cost?
                  c) do the steel shops 'mind' small orders like this?
                  d) do most supplies have normal delivery routes and you just wait for the right day?
                  e) are delivery charges normally based on weight, number of items, or something else.
                  f) do I just call them up and say 'I need some metal to make a trailer' or do I need to know more about steel types and such?
                  g) are they used to newbies ordering stuff and so can guide one though the order process?
                  for the most part, it depends on the supplier
                  call them and ask. i'm a (more or less) newbie at all this
                  and have found most of them to be helpful. the ones that
                  aren't get crossed off my list.

                  of course, "an educated consumer is our best customer"

                  'standard lengths' generally are the lengths that come from
                  the "wholesaler" or mill and are kept in stock at the supplier,
                  and are in the 20'/22'/24' area or the like.

                  most will cut for you. some charge per cut. some do not.
                  many will cut pretty accurately (1/8" or better), a few
                  are +/- an inch. (for what it's worth, the place i usually
                  go to will cut for free, but the cuts are with an o/a torch
                  and are "accurate" to about an inch... or so... maybe...

                  costs are usually based on the weight of material - 1' costs
                  1/10th as much as 10'. i've not been surcharged, as it were,
                  for something less than the 24' -- but i'm also not doing
                  precision work and am willing to take 'remnants', or if
                  i want 8' and they have a 9' section, i'll take the whole thing.

                  you should know the types of material you need for your projects.
                  i do garden art, and doo-dads for stuff around the house. nothing
                  is 'critical'. so i can ask for "mild steel" or the like -- since i don't
                  care which exact grade it is. i don't know if trailers should use
                  specific grades of steel, but if they do, you should know what grade
                  you need and ask specifically for it (and if you do not know the answer
                  here, you might want to take to heart dave's comments :-).

                  frank

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                  • #10
                    thito01,

                    Not saying you're not capable of building said trailer. You seem to have a good idea about what must be done to insure safety.

                    Think you'll find that by the time you buy all your materials at retail (steel, axles, wheels, brakes, hitch connector, lights, etc) you'd be ahead of the game by having somebody like Dabar39 (Commercial trailer builder) build it for you to your specs.

                    If you haven't bought any steel in a while, be prepared for a "shock". Here in Virginia, steel has gone up nearly 30% in the last 6 mos. It's supposed to be headed down, but I haven't seen it yet.

                    Just a thought.
                    Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
                    Dynasty 200 DX
                    Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
                    Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
                    Hobart HH187
                    Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                    Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
                    Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
                    PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
                    Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
                    Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
                    More grinders than hands

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Can't help much with your specific questions, but I"ll at least make sure you know about www.championtrailers.com. I've been very pleased with their prices and delivery for trailer parts. Much cheaper than I can buy stuff at trailer supply shops in town, and it's good stuff.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SundownIII View Post
                        thito01,

                        Not saying you're not capable of building said trailer. You seem to have a good idea about what must be done to insure safety.

                        Think you'll find that by the time you buy all your materials at retail (steel, axles, wheels, brakes, hitch connector, lights, etc) you'd be ahead of the game by having somebody like Dabar39 (Commercial trailer builder) build it for you to your specs.

                        If you haven't bought any steel in a while, be prepared for a "shock". Here in Virginia, steel has gone up nearly 30% in the last 6 mos. It's supposed to be headed down, but I haven't seen it yet.Just a thought.

                        Hey Sundown III,
                        Cost is not the only consideration. Many lessons are learned by fabricating your own trailer including a great deal of practicing why we are all on this board...welding. I enjoyed building my trailer very much, and learned a great deal.
                        Nick

                        http://millerwelds.com/resources/com...4&d=1217900913

                        http://millerwelds.com/resources/com...3&d=1217900895

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                        • #13
                          Learning to weld by building something to be towed on the highway makes as much sense as running for President when you've never done anything more than community organizing. Oh, wait; nevermind...

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                          • #14
                            I priced out mat. for a 5x12 tandem and was at 400.00 and no tires or wheels. Threw away mat. list and bought a 5x12 for 850.00
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kiwi View Post
                              Hey Sundown III,
                              Cost is not the only consideration. Many lessons are learned by fabricating your own trailer including a great deal of practicing why we are all on this board...welding. I enjoyed building my trailer very much, and learned a great deal.
                              Nick

                              http://millerwelds.com/resources/com...4&d=1217900913

                              http://millerwelds.com/resources/com...3&d=1217900895
                              Nick,

                              You see thito01's "Project" that will ride in the trailer? Looks like he'll have plenty of Practice material


                              thito01,

                              Is this for riding on tracks that are no loner used by the RR?
                              Ed Conley
                              http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
                              MM252
                              MM211
                              Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
                              TA185
                              Miller 125c Plasma 120v
                              O/A set
                              SO 2020 Bender
                              You can call me Bacchus

                              Comment

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