Looking for angle iron source for shelving
May 11, 2007 8:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find angle iron uprights for industrial shelving. My small non-profit was given shelving (well, shelves) that we originally expected uprights to come with and they ended up without the uprights. I'm looking for angle iron around 8 ft(96inches) long, of reasonable strength, and with bolt holes running the length. Holes on the shelves are approximately 3/4" on center from the corner, but are oval. leads are appreciated as my google-fu has mostly failed me. thanks.
posted by bagelche to Shopping (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My first thought was a metal shop or small ironwork place. (We have a lot of these in NYC due to fire escapes.) I don't know where you are but I googled up this place: All Metals Incorporated.
posted by scratch at 8:21 AM on May 11, 2007

McMaster-Carr has perforated angle iron in a couple of sizes, although most of their stock is 6' length max (search for "angle")

If you want longer sections you'll need to find a specialty supplier, like the one linked above. Steel service centers will also have it, but they probably want much much larger order volumes than you need.
posted by aramaic at 8:32 AM on May 11, 2007

Look in your local yellowpages/business listings under Shelving (suppliers) or general industrial suppliers. Inch-angle with predrilled holes on inch centres is just about the most common shelving system you can find. The shelf holes are oval to allow for different tollerances on the angle iron.

Don't pay more than a few dollars per 8'.

You'll also want cross braces ('x') for every other shelf unit and you'll need bolts and nuts to put the shelves together. If this is going on carpet, you'll want some sort of protectors for the ends of the angle. It can be pretty sharp.

Oh and thanks for reminding me of that particularly crappy summer job. It's true, you always remember the first bounced paycheque....
posted by bonehead at 8:52 AM on May 11, 2007

Home Depot carries this with their bulk metal supplies, commonly found in the rope/gloves/tackle aisle.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:00 AM on May 11, 2007

Thanks for the responses so far. I have cross braces as well (plus a box of bolts and nuts). I check with my local hardware store and they only carried it in six foot lengths.

I figure it should be common, but I haven't had much luck. I looked at Home Depot's website (which I don't like), but I'll give their store a ring.

I called a few places online, but they didn't have what I wanted (i.e. only unperforated rolled iron) and didn't know where else I should look.

I called an office supply company and they have a system that appears close to what I want but runs around $90 for a set of 4 lengths and is a whole system with clips intended to be used on the middle shelves. It does look like I could just ignore the clips and bolt every shelf if I want. I'd rather not spend that much per unit, however.

And, as a bonus, I've got an intern to do the work with me once I get them in the building.

I'll follow up on what you've offered so far and see what I can do.

thank you.
posted by bagelche at 9:40 AM on May 11, 2007

Grainger Industrial carries slotted angle in 8 foot lengths. I got a bunch of it at a government surplus sale cheap. It makes excellent, strong shelving that require no cross bracing when assembled in 16 inch deep shelves. You can cut it to size with a hand hacksaw but a power saw will save you time and energy. I have three walls of a garage completely lined with shelf units that store back issue magazine inventory - probably 150-200lbs per three foot shelf section.
posted by X4ster at 10:22 AM on May 11, 2007

One last thought: check with scrap metal recyclers/office furniture surplus dealers. I've bought angle iron stock from them in the past. It may need a quick spray with rustoleum, but should work just fine.
posted by bonehead at 10:24 AM on May 11, 2007

Also; A cordless drill/driver with a socket wrench driver bit can be used to put the nuts and bolts together quickly.

Email if you would like to see pictures of my shelf units or want more info.
posted by X4ster at 10:27 AM on May 11, 2007

Any industrial shelving manufacturer will sell the vertical pieces separately from the shelves and braces, and for not a lot of money. I'd avoid the junk yards, where almost everything is heavily painted and/or rusted.

The bolts that hold the parts together usually have very wide slotted heads. You'll need a wide screwdriver to tighten them securely, and it's impossible find electric screwdriver bits that are wide enough. The solution is to go to Sears and get their largest manual screwdriver. (It's nearly two feet long.) Find someone with a diamond wheel to cut off the handle about 1/3 of the way down and grind the shaft down to fit the screwdriver's chuck.

Also, it's better to use a dedicated power screwdriver than an electric drill, since the screwdriver has a clutch that will keep you from stripping the threads or the screw head.
posted by KRS at 11:52 AM on May 11, 2007

Home Depot's website is a piece of crap, or at least it was last time I went there (not that long ago). I wouldn't trust it. And frankly, I wouldn't trust anything you get over the phone, because I've found most of the employees there pretty clueless. (Not univerally -- every once in a while I find some Rain Man-ish employee who seems to know where everything in the store is kept, but it's rare.) Unless it's a day trip to go there, it's probably worth just going in there and looking for yourself.

However, specialty metal dealers/suppliers could probably be safely called up on the phone, since they'll probably understand what you're talking about and hopefully have an idea of their own stock. I would hit up the Yellow Pages first, and describe it to them just like you described in your original question. With luck you might find some place significantly cheaper than HD.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:05 PM on May 11, 2007

Home Depot does sell zinc-plated "slotted angle." My local HD sells 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" 6 foot 16 Ga for $14.97 ea. Which is a lot. But ok if you only need a few.
posted by heydanno at 11:00 AM on July 16, 2007

« Older How long does it take an extended release pill to...   |   Options for staying connected to the Internet... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.