We needed some plate steel, cut into long strips, for edging along a garden path and to build a retaining wall on the side of our front yard (so that the soil would not continue to erode down the steep bank). Our good friend and next door neighbor – a 30+ year, certified Union welder (now retired) recommended that we check out Arizona Steel & Ornamental Supply (started in 1997). In his golden years our neighbor continues his craft by creating welded masterpieces, usually animal sculptures. He’s shopped at virtually all the steel/metal suppliers in Tucson and this company is one of his favorites. That said, I had to check it out …
I went to their main location on 1501 E. 21st Street (they also have another location, see below). I called ahead to confirm that they had 4′ x 8′ sheets of “cold rolled” steel. We wanted cold rolled as it weathers beautifully into a rusty patina that fits into our southwest color scheme.
When I arrived, I was greeted by an exceeding helpful woman behind the sales counter who gave me a hand figuring out what gauge (thickness) material we needed. When I described what we were up to, she said that they also offered 4′ x 10′ sheets – if it would make it any easier by having an extra two feet on each strip. Even though we didn’t need the ten foot length, it was nice to know that they had it – and someone had our best interest at heart. I really appreciated this proactive approach.
Sitting on the counter was a large metal ring with samples of all the steel plate that they stocked. Flipping through the samples I picked out one that I thought would do the trick. She wrote me up, processed my credit card and asked if she could keep my sketch with the dimensions to attach to the work order (we had to cut (4) 18″ x 4′ and (2) 12″ x 4′ pieces out of two 4′ x 8′ sheets of 16 gauge cold rolled steel plate). She wanted to make sure that the guys operating the sheer got the idea and the dimensions right (even though they were spelled out on the work order). As the expression goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. What better way to convey what was needed than to attach a drawing to the paperwork. Clearly she wanted me to be happy with the results, and get what I was paying for – Nice touch for sure.
But wait, the story doesn’t end here. I got back into my car and sat in front of the store. I immediately called my neighbor, the welder, and asked him if what I’d chosen would be optimal. He suggested that I get a thicker plate based on what we were trying to do. So back in the store I went and was greeted by the same helpful saleswoman. She immediately proceeded to update my order. It was clearly not a problem for her to help me get it right … a second time – More kudos.
Arizona Steel & Ornamental Supply stocks a variety of Steel Related Products, a full line of Hardware & Ornamental Items, and Welding Supplies as well. A look at their website (see our link in this listing) will give you more detailed information on their products.
To round out their business offerings are several services, including:
- Plasma Cutting
- Saw Cutting
- Tube Rolling and Bending
- Punch Pressing
- Radius Bending
- Light Welding (not heavy duty fabrication)
They also have another business location (open to the public):
Arizona Steel & Ornamental Supply
3585 N. Romero Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85705
Mon. – Fri.: 8 AM – 5 PM
Sat.: 8 AM – 12 PM
The thing I liked most about Arizona Steel & Ornamental Supply is the awesome customer service. It just so happened that they ran out of the steel we needed – right after I placed the order. The uber-helpful saleswoman that I spoke of above kept me posted every step of the way via a phone call to let me know the status of when the ordered material was scheduled to arrive. The nano-second the steel was cut and ready to pick up she called and left me two voice mail messages (on the same day). In my book that speaks volumes about what matters most in business … The relationship with the customer. They kept my business because of this value. Even though the order was delayed, I never felt that I had to go elsewhere.
PS. When I went to pick up the steel, I was helped by two great guys who worked in the warehouse. They loaded my SUV with about 200 lbs. of all the cut steel that I ordered. From start to finish, my experience with Arizona Steel & Ornamental Supply was terrific.