Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Buy Iron To Make Gates

Before a gate can be built, the materials have to be purchased.

Production managers, building materials coordinators, and those who want to build iron gates themselves all need to possess the art of being able to efficiently and cost effectively buy iron or steel from various sources. Purchasing materials for building iron gates is more than a simple phone call or a trip to the local metal distributor. It requires forethought, the ability to calculate, and often the talent of haggling to obtain the best prices available for the components needed for a completed iron gate. A person who is skilled in purchasing can save money and increase production profit. Does this Spark an idea?


1. The quality of iron pipe is determined by the strength or thickness of the pipe walls.

Determine the quality of the intended material for making the gate by choosing the type, size, quality and grade of the iron stock that will be used. All iron pipes are not created equally. Iron pipe gates are commonly made from 2 3/8-inch outside diameter (OD) strength-rated (STR) 40 pipe. The wall thickness can vary greatly, though, within just one grade according to the type of usage. For normal enclosures without animals, a thinner-walled iron pipe is less expensive than a thicker-walled pipe used in bull gates. The same is true with iron bar stock. A grade of steel bar stock is categorized according to its chemistry and mechanical property requirements.

2. Hand-forged ornamental gate components take a longer time to forge than fabricated components.

Determine the types of materials and components used in the design phase of the iron gate. The type and gauge of the metal used will be a factor in the purchasing of material. Construction of a hand-forged gate will be different than a fabricated pipe gate. Ornamental components will add to the material list for forged pieces and may subtract from fabricated gates. Pricing of solid bar stock versus metal tubing can be a factor in manufacturing a gate due to material cost. Fabrication time should also be accounted when determining what materials to purchase. It takes much more time to hand-forge ornamental pieces for a gate than it takes to weld fabricated ones into the design of a gate.

3. Calculate for the bend-allowance in an arched iron gate.

Calculate and measure the material needed for a completed gate. New iron is mainly sold in pieces that are 20 feet in length, also know as a "joint." Smaller gauges and types of iron may be sold in shorter lengths. All iron gates have a frame material that will be used to support and stabilize. This material is usually a larger size than the rest of the gate material and should be measured separately. If the frame of the gate is arched, measure the bends as they occur in the design. Bend-allowance charts or the following bend formula helps in correctly measuring stock material for purchasing: Bend allowance equals (0.01743 times R plus 0.0078 times T) times N; where: R equals the desired bend radius, T equals the thickness of the material, and N equals the number of degrees of the bend. This formula can be used in the absence of a bend-allowance chart.

4. Locate steel dealers for gate materials.

Determine the dealers and sources of the materials needed to make a gate. Gate builders can find dealers of new steel and fabricated pieces via the internet and local directories. Internet searches may include key words such as "steel dealers, (your town), (your state)" and "wrought iron components".

Sources for "almost" new iron for gates can be found at large recycling centers. Most of the recycling centers will sell stock materials by the pound and they may carry new metal as well. Welding and blacksmith shops are also sources for iron. If the budget is limited and used metal is okay, a possible source may very well be local farms and neighbors. Fabricators, machine shops and industrial construction businesses are excellent possibilities for sourcing iron in bulk quantities.

5. Purchase options can vary greatly depending on payment method.

Factor in purchasing options and do your math! How you pay for your materials determines the overall price you will spend on your gate. Paying with cash may save a lot of money when purchasing iron from other businesses. Interest on credit purchases will add to the cost of building a gate.

6. Offloading steel for building gates can be time consuming.

Calculate the delivery of material and shipping prices of the chosen supplier. Picking up material yourself is not free, so one should add the cost of one's time, fuel, and equipment. The various methods of truck freight can also vary according to where and how the material is to be unloaded. Determine if it would be cost effective to meet the delivery truck at a loading dock and transfer the material to a personal truck and trailer, instead of unloading at the point where one will manufacture the gate. Most freight companies allot a set amount of time for the truck to unload. Unloading large amounts of heavy iron by hand is time-consuming and back-breaking.

7. Questions about gate components can be answered by calling a distributor.

Order the iron for the designed gate. One can order material via the Internet, the phone, or in person.

The advantage of ordering material in person is usually being able to see exactly what you will be receiving.

Tags: iron gates, iron gate, being able, gate Calculate, gate components