The typical Angle – The “L” Steel conversation
“I need a piece of steel.”
“What are you looking for exactly?”
“I’m not sure, but it is in the shape of an “L”, and my father-in-law uses it as a wheel chuck for his truck.”
“Ma’am, I do believe you are looking for a piece of Angle steel.”
“Oh, that makes sense, since it is in a 90 degree angle.”
“Yep. Now here comes the fun part. What leg length do you need it, and what thickness?”
“Uh, well, I’m not sure.”
“Not a problem. Let’s step out here to my showroom, we’ll take a look at some common sizes, and I’m sure we can find the piece you are looking for.”
“Great. Thank you.”
Every day, from every industry and person under the sun, this conversation plays out in front of your local hardware store or steel service center. Based on the latter conversation, angle could be deemed the least appreciated shape of steel made. However, it has so many uses. A piece of angle steel, given a closer look, could be that wheel chuck in the garage, the supports on a vehicle trailer, or the item holding up your garage door opener and tracks. Having the two sides produces a great deal more rigidity than a piece of flat steel, and is inexpensive I comparison to what the “L” shape has to offer.
In the trades, using angle steel has a great deal of hidden uses. For example, in masonry used as a window lintel or ledge construction. In general building construction as a support for outdoor concrete and steel stairs. And in trail and road work, is the skeleton which makes up the framing for bridges. Based on the fabricator’s skill the angle can be welded seamlessly into another piece, to produce a nice finished edge on any product.
Angle steel comes in all sizes with both equal and unequal leg, with random thicknesses (from 1/8” to 1/2”) to meet the strength necessary to carry a load. An example of an unequal leg could be the 4 inch by 3 inch piece of angle on a custom bar-b-q smoker. Believe it or not, a common size for unequal legs is the 5″ x 3-1/2″. An equal leg is just the opposite. Each side of the piece of angle are the same length, and, when produced at the mill, will be truly an exact match. Say you want 2 inch by 2 inch by 1/8 inch piece for the underside of a trailer, not a problem.
The sizes listed here may not do exactly, in the context I described, but there is certainly a size of angle steel which will be structurally perfect on your next build. That happy little “L” shaped of steel is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the available shapes and sizes available. With the addition of various steel manipulating machines available, the next shape you need for that backyard project may be much closer than you think.
Brought to you by Royal Metal Industries, “Home of the Royal Treatment.”
1000 W Ironwood St
Olathe, KS 66061
For questions, please call Tim at 913-829-3000, ext. 116