Saturday, March 30, 2013

Custom Pickets

Custom Pickets

A staircase is an often-forgotten part of your home. It’s functional, helping you get from the main floor to the upstairs or downstairs, but most people don’t consider just how much architectural beauty they are missing out on by having a generic staircase. One of the best ways to dress up your staircase is with custom made pickets and supplies for steel staircases from Wasatch Steel.

An Artistic Touch

Whether you decide to go with an all-metal look for your stairs, or you want to combine wood and steel, designing with metal can help turn ordinary stairs into an artistic expression in your home. The sheer variety of different custom made pickets that you can choose from ensure that whatever your artistic style, you can create a unique look just for your home. The clean, modern look of metal ensures that your neighbors, friends, and visitors will be talking about your home long after they leave.

Choose Your Picket Style

There are so many different styles you can choose from when it comes to pickets (also called balusters or spindles) for your stair railing. Whether you prefer to go with a more traditional or basic look, or you want something ornamental and decorative, Wasatch Steel can create it. You can choose from existing designs, or use your imagination to come up with something totally unique for your staircase and let us custom design it for you. Here are just a few of the picket styles we can create:

  • Square, round, or rectangular bars

  • Waves and bows

  • Baskets in a variety of shapes and sizes

  • Twisted, smooth, or embossed

  • Leaves, vines, fleur-de-lis, and spheres

  • Ornamental designs

  • Continuous curve scrolls

  • Rustic chiseled designs

  • Classic style hand-forged

Consult the Experts

If you are not quite sure what you want for your staircase railing, come to Wasatch Steel to see our extensive line of supplies for steel staircases. Our catalog includes over 4,000 ornamental metal designs so we can help you figure out exactly what you want your stair railing to look like. Your custom made pickets should be a reflection of your personal style, not a cookie-cutter version of someone else’s ideas.

Create Your Own Design

If you have a favorite design or flower already in mind, or there is something unique about the design in your home (such as a specific shape that you are using in the architecture, or a color that you have in your décor), custom made pickets can be a great way to enhance that element and bring the entire room together.

Custom pickets are great for a wide variety of different types of staircases. They can bring more dimension and depth to a straight staircase, or they can bring out the wow factor in a winding staircase or a rounded design. When you coordinate to have steel elements in your staircase, the modern and clean look can extend through the entire staircase with custom pickets or balusters. When you’re ready to add sizzle to your staircase, choose the right balusters to complete your look.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Staircases With Steel Components

Staircases With Steel Components

The stairs in and around your home are a very functional part of your architecture, but that doesn’t mean they need to be boring. Today there are many options that allow you to express a unique style and make a dramatic statement with your stairs, and one of the best ways to do that is with strategic use of steel components in your staircase. Steel could be used in the surface area of the stairs, the posts and other decorative pieces, or the railings.

A Modern Feel

One of the biggest reasons people integrate steel components in their staircase is for the modern look and feel. You can use steel in a variety of ways on your stairs, including custom pickets, posts, balusters, stair panels, scrolls, and even around the surface and edges of the stairs. Whether you decide to do some or all of these things in steel depends on exactly the look you are trying to achieve. The instant aesthetic appeal that comes from both the simplicity and the trendy look of steel can transform your space.

Safety and Security

Another reason many homeowners like the idea of steel on their stairs is the safety it can provide. Wasatch Steel has helped many homeowners with supplies in getting a sturdy, secure staircase using metal components, using one of the most durable and strongest metals on the market. Steel can withstand significant heat, offering a safe alternative to wood stairs, since it will not burn in a fire. It also has one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of any metal, which makes it a fantastic addition to maintain structural integrity despite the loads that you take on the stairs day to day.

Sturdy Stairs That Last

Stairs can be one of the most dangerous parts of your home’s structure, since they have very little support and carry a heavy load on a regular basis. Over time, wood stairs can get worn down and start to sag; eventually they may even get worn completely through, causing accidents or becoming dangerous for you and your family. Steel can help support the structural integrity of the stairs, keeping them from sagging, even if they also include some wood and are not entirely made of metal.

Another big threat to the integrity of your stairs’ structure is the possibility of termites. Stairs with a significant amount of steel can prevent termite damage, since termites do not eat through metal.

If you are considering building with metal as part of your next staircase, whether it’s along the surface of the stairs, or in the decorative pieces around your stairs, such as the balusters, custom pickets, posts, scrolls, or stair panels, be sure that you begin with quality steel from Wasatch Steel so you know you’ll get long-lasting, durable, beautiful steel for your home, and you can choose from a wide variety of steel types, shapes, and colors to perfectly fit into your space.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Importance of Steel

The Importance of Steel

Steel is one of the most widely used metals in our modern world, building everything from our homes to skyscrapers, roads, and bridges. Its versatility, durability, and strength make it a popular choice for many different applications, and it is also an affordable and environmentally-friendly option for contractors all over the world.

Building Our Lives with Steel

When you take a look around our modern society, chances are you are looking at steel in one form or another in many things we build. Steel is used to build cars, buildings, and homes. It is used for natural gas pipelines, electrical power towers, weapons for the military, and tools that we use on a daily basis.

Advantages of Steel

The main reason steel products are used so often in so many different ways is their adaptability and durability. Steel is easily one of the most adaptable materials, capable of being shaped and molded for many different uses. In addition, it is one of the strongest materials that contractors can use, forming the backbone for even the largest structures in modern society, such as roads that support millions of tons of vehicles every year, and buildings that must withstand both everyday stresses and the threat of potential disasters, including earthquakes, fires, and more.

Environmental Benefits

In addition to being extremely strong and durable, steel is also an environmentally-friendly metal. Whether it’s used to create lighter and more efficient vehicles, to generate renewable energy, to build more efficient power stations, or in the creation of energy-efficient homes and commercial buildings, steel is a fundamental part of reducing our carbon footprint.

Steel manufacturers have increased the energy efficiency of the steelmaking process by more than 50 percent since the 1980s, and continue to work on innovations that will reduce the carbon footprint of this process. However, when compared with other similarly light, strong metals (such as aluminum) the production costs of steel are still very low. In addition, many places can now recycle old steel products—unlike some other metals, steel can be almost infinitely recycled with very little reduction of performance or change in the metal’s properties over time.

Finally, because steel has such a long life, when we build homes, buildings, and infrastructure projects using steel, we reduce the number of times we have to continue rebuilding the same structures, which limits the raw material production, machinery use, and transportation required by new construction, and further reduces carbon emissions.
sculpture recycled metal Mercedes 300 SLR 600 Custom sculptures made from recycled metal in metals art  with Sculpture Recycled parts Motorcycle Metal custom Automotive


Steel is also one of the most versatile metals available today, offering contractors and artists the chance to work with a unique metal that combines supreme strength with weldability, corrosion resistance, and heat resistance. As a result, it can be used for a wide variety of applications—such as when you need corrosion resistance, mold and mildew resistance, heat or fire resistance, lightweight materials, high strength-to-weight ratios, and more.  At Wasatch Steel they will help you find whatever type of steel you are looking for. 

Steel can give you the benefits that you need for a many different products and building applications. Check out all the different types of steel that are available at Wasatch Steel and get started on your next project right away.



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What You Can Make Out of Steel

What You Can Make Out of Steel

Steel has long been a product critical to the construction industry, and while the Industrial Revolution (which is most often associated with steel production) is gone, steel is definitely here to stay as a major part of our lives. There are so many things that we make out of steel supplies every day, ranging from very functional to entirely artistic.

The Functional Side of Steel

Two areas where steel products are widely used today are in the construction and transportation business. We use steel to build all manner of transit vehicles and infrastructure, including automobiles, trains, and ships, as well as roadways, bridges, and railways where those transportation vehicles travel. Without steel, our cars would not be as light and fuel-efficient as they are today.

We also use steel in the construction of a wide variety of different buildings. Its unique quality as an extremely durable metal (with the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any other building material) and its affordability make it an ideal product for construction companies looking to build long-lasting architecture while still keeping prices affordable. It’s also used for small construction components, such as nails, screws, bolts, hinges, and more.

The Everyday Side of Steel

Throughout our daily lives we see and use steel in so many different formats, most people probably don’t even realize it’s such an integral part of life. In your home, chances are all your major appliances, such as the washer and dryer, refrigerator, and oven are all constructed of steel products, as well as fixtures like light covers, door handles, faucets, and more. In addition, most high-end knife sets are made of stainless steel, and tools are also commonly constructed with steel supplies.

Bring NASCAR Home with Scrap Metal Benches by Bevara Design House

Your office building is probably constructed of mainly steel, in the reinforcing beams, in the walls, and the ceilings. You can also find it in desks, filing cabinets, chairs, paper clips, and more. If you work in a hospital or medical office, the sterile qualities and sanitary nature of steel make it ideal for surgical settings, especially tools.

The Artistic Side of Steel

Wasatch Steel also sells steel that can be used for artistic purposes. Many artists look for unique ways that they can use steel as an expression in their art pieces, and it is a special material for artistic purposes. Artists today use it to build everything from sculptures of animals and people, to abstract pieces that include scrap metal, and basic home or wall décor.

Artist can be inspired by the functional form of steel, its cold unyielding nature, or its strength, and often that comes out in their metal artwork. Steel comes in a variety of grades and colors, it is uniquely adapted to creating imaginative pieces for many different of decorative purposes. Artists can also turn parts of your everyday home into a work of art, by creating steel designs for fences and gates, for stair railings, and more.

Finally, steel makes a great material for larger sculptures that will be displayed in places like public parks, since it is incredibly durable and will not become weathered, or break down when exposed to the elements. It can be a lasting legacy of an artist for many years to come in public spaces.

Monday, March 18, 2013

How is Expanded Metal Made?

The process of working with metal has been around for many, many years. However, expanded metal was only discovered and first patented in the UK in the late 1800s. While it has been used for decades since that time, the work to create it has really not changed all that much.

What is Expanded Metal?

Expanded metal is made when a sheet of metal is slit or sheared, then stretched so it expands and leaves small diamond-shaped spaces in between. The metal may have a staggered pattern, with holes nested (this provides the opportunity for the most open area), or in a straight pattern where rows and columns are all aligned.

What are Common Uses for Expanded Metal?

The most common uses for expanded metal include architectural uses, grates, outdoor furniture, benches, and fencing or guards that are installed around hot or hazardous machinery. It can be used for interior design, sunscreens, noise control, and in specialized industries such as HVAC and food processing.

You can find these steel products in the brewing, chemical, energy, manufacturing, mechanical, and automotive industries. It is also a common material for facilities or units that require heavy-duty security fencing, since it is far more secure and difficult to breach than any other kind of fencing that you might find. Generally it requires specialty cutting equipment, or even explosives to breach the metal.

How is it Made?

Almost any kind of metal can be expanded, even precious and specialty metals. The process begins by feeding sheets whatever metal you are working with into the expanding machine, which is set to a certain specification and includes a unique cutting pattern, or “knife” pattern.

The process is designed to expand metal using two steps performed simultaneously, which ensures that the metal is stretched evenly and it produces very little waste overall. The knife pattern shears the metal, then it is immediately stretched. It continues through the machine until it reaches the final thickness. Once it comes out of the machine, it is immediately rolled up on coils or cut into pre-determined sheet sizes to be sold or used for a variety of different applications.
What are the Benefits of Expanded Metal?

There are several reasons you might consider using expanded metal. It provides many advantages over traditional sheet metal, starting with being cost-effective. The process of making expanded metal uses only a little bit of actual metal in the beginning, but after it’s done stretching, it turns into a significant amount of metal. It can also improve acoustic performance, help contain radiation and other harmful materials, allow for a transparent “wall” that is strong enough to protect sensitive areas but still see-through, and even offer an option for non-skid surfaces. Architects and builders that use it in construction for new buildings can help reduce energy costs as much as 30% by using expanded metal in a building’s façade.  It is also a very low-maintenance option for areas difficult to clean and do upkeep.

When you need material that is strong but durable, and versatile for a variety of different applications, expanded metal from Wasatch Steel may be just what your’e looking for.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Art in Plasma Cut Steel

Metal art has many uses today, whether you want it as a decorative piece for the interior or exterior of your home, or you want it for commercial purposes at your business. There are so many things you can do with metal art, and today’s plasma cutting technology enables metal fabricators like to get the most precise cuts, creating beautiful designs with ease.

Old Metal Cutting Technology

Metal fabricators have long had the ability to cut through different types of metal plates, but it was with varying success using old technologies. These methods, including oxyfuel, waterjets, or laser cuts, were either too expensive, too imprecise, or limited in their ability to cut different types of metals. Depending on the type of metal you needed, you may have been forced to pay a premium for the technology to cut it to the shape you wanted, or you may not be able to get a professional, precise cut for your project.

The Advantages of Plasma Cutting

There are many things you can use plasma cutting for, and the rise of this technology has made cutting steel and other metals faster, easier, and less expensive than ever. Some of the advantages this method provides include faster cutting speeds, a wider variety of metal thickness that you can cut through, the ability to cut through all different types of metal with one tools, and increased safety, since plasma gases are not flammable and it does not cause radiant heat through the metal, cutting down on the danger of burns.

Art Applications

One of the greatest benefits that the economical and precise plasma cutting technique provides is the ability to use it for artistic purposes. Whether you are looking for art for your personal use, or something you can have for your business, there are endless possibilities with this metal artwork.

Business Art

Many businesses are looking for ways to stand out from competitors, and having a noticeable and professional sign can be a great first step. If you don’t want to use the typical signage that all the other businesses are using, or you want something that looks classy and sophisticated, consider using plasma cut metal artwork.

You can get signs that have your business name or a logo, or artwork that you can display in and around your office, no matter what kind of design you need. At Wasatch Steel, you can bring any drawing and have it converted to metal art. Give your company the edge you need with custom-designed metal art pieces.

Personal Art

Artwork around your home is another way you can use plasma cut metal. There are so many different ways you can use plasma cut metals around the house, including:

  • Address signs

  • Decorative art for the top of a gate

  • Logos for your favorite sports teams

  • Customized art with your family name

  • Candle holders

  • Mailbox toppers

  • Business card holders

  • Wall art

  • Yard art

  • Door stops

  • Door toppers

  • Clocks

  • And much more!

Plasma cutting can be used on any metal that you want to have in your home or business, allowing you the freedom to choose the perfect sign or décor to match your unique style. Visit Wasatch Steel and let us help bring your ideas to life!  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Steel Beams

What types of Beams are there?

Steel is one of the most important building tools that we have available. With many different types of steel products and a wide variety of applications, it can be used to construct residential, commercial, and public buildings and structures. Here is a brief overview of the different types of steel beams you can find, and how they are used in different building applications.

Steel I-Beams

The most commonly used construction beam is the steel I-beam. It got its name for the resemblance to a capital letter “I”, with a central beam that goes through the middle and two perpendicular beams on either end. They are extremely strong, capable of withstanding significant weight demands, which is why they are commonly used in commercial and warehouse applications—everything from tall commercial office buildings and skyscrapers to sports stadiums and large warehouses. Another reason they are so popular is because they can easily be customized for any project by welding, cutting, and drilling.
Flitch Beams

Flitch steel beams are a combination of wood and steel that is layered so you can connect other structures to them with nails, while still getting the strength and weight-bearing benefits that steel products can offer in construction. Since flitch beams include both metal and wood, they also tend to be a more affordable option for building on a budget. These beams can be used in both residential and commercial applications.

Channel Beams

Channel beams are a “U” shape, which help the beam support a much bigger load than a traditional flat beam would be able to support. Although the sides of the steel channel beam are often not very thick, they are extremely efficient.

Box Girders

This type of steel is usually in the shape of a square or rectangle, and the middle is hollow. They are extremely strong and capable of bearing very heavy loads of weight, which makes them ideal for construction of bridges, roadways, and other public transportation projects.

Other Steel Beams

One of the reasons so many builders choose to use steel in their construction projects is its strength and versatility. There are dozens of other steel beam types that can be cut and customized for different projects and uses.  There are Z-shape, hollow structure section—which comes in shapes like square, rectangle, circular, and elliptical, angled steel with an L-, C-, or T-shaped cross-section, steel bars, or steel rods. At Wasatch Steel in Utah we sale variety of beams. We are great at helping customers find what they are looking for. 
Many contractors prefer to use steel over any other material because it has an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, it is able to resist corrosion and rust and will not rot like wood or other materials, and it is an affordable option compared to other metal alternatives like aluminum and titanium (both of which are strong, but tend to be far more expensive than steel, making them cost-prohibitive for building at competitive prices). In addition, steel can be welded and customized into almost any shape you need, and has great fire resistance properties. For these reasons, it is one of the best building materials you can find for commercial, residential, and industrial projects. Shop for all your steel needs at Wasatch Steel in Utah, your local Steel Supermarket.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

What Does a Blacksmith do?


The profession of “blacksmith” may seem like the kind of thing you only see in 19th Century western movies, but it’s a profession that still exists today. While the reasons for blacksmithing have changed, the basics of the trade have not.

Blacksmiths are professionals that work with metals, such as iron or steel, shaping it into different items. Some blacksmiths shape metal for decorative purposes, while others do it for professional purposes, developing shaped metal for many different companies and uses.

To become a blacksmith, one must become proficient at using the tools that help shape the metal they are working with. While blacksmiths no longer make the same things they made 100 years ago—including nails, wrought-iron furniture, tools, weapons, and more—they are still in relatively high demand because they are somewhat rare, and they often possess superior skills in working with steel supplies and other metals.

Blacksmiths will use heat to make metal pliable, then a hard surface such an anvil, and tools like a hammer to refine the metal and create the desired shape. For the most part, blacksmith tools are very simple, and the finished product is entirely dependent on the skills and artistry of the practitioner.

In order to create ideal conditions for shaping metal, blacksmiths use experience and skill to judge the temperature by the color of metal as it’s heating. As a result, blacksmiths often work in very low-light conditions, which may seem counterintuitive when you consider that they create such beautiful pieces of art and decorative metal.

Several decades ago when the majority of families in the United States lived on a farm, many farmers were themselves amateur blacksmiths, crafting different tools using steel supplies or iron for use around the farm. Today we no longer need to make our own rakes, shovels, axes, and knives, and the availability of machines to create most of the functional tools we use today at homes and in factories, combined with the fact that most people no longer live on a farm, means most blacksmiths now focus on creating more decorative pieces of metal. Some of the most common projects include gates, grills, railings, and sculptures, accessories such as hinges and iron accents, or furniture and ornaments for decorative purposes. At a place like Wasatch Steel, a steel supermarket,  blacksmith can find any materials s/he may need. The handmade beauty and skill of these pieces is often what drives the demand for the metals.

Another specialty area where some blacksmiths work is creating custom horseshoes. Basic horseshoes are made in factories today, but they must be custom-fitted to the horse by a skilled blacksmith. Properly fitted horseshoes can often contribute to strong, healthy horses, while ill-fitting ones can contribute to lame horses that suffer from leg conditions. While we often refer to someone who works with horseshoes as a “blacksmith”, the official term for this profession is actually a farrier.

With a forge, hammer, anvil, and some tongs, blacksmiths today are still able to create beautiful metal with steel and iron, and while the times have changed, the skillful art that is required to be a master blacksmith remains the same. Visit Wasatch Steel for any of your Steel needs -

Friday, March 1, 2013

What is the Difference Between Hot Rolled and Cold Rolled Steel?

The Difference Between Hot Rolled and Cold Rolled Steel

With such high strength capabilities, versatility, and affordability, and such a wide variety of steel products available, steel has become one of the most widely used products in manufacturing and construction. There are two different processes by which steel can be created, hot rolling and cold rolling. If you’re not familiar with the processes, here is an overview of the basic differences between these two types.

Rolling Temperature

Whenever a shop like WasatchSteel in Salt Lake City is working with metal, it will pass through rollers. The temperature at which the metal is rolled is what determines whether it is hot rolled or cold rolled. Hot rolling is done at a temperature above the recrystallization temperature for the metal (about 1,700-2,000 degrees Fahrenheit), which means the grains inside the metal deform and recrystallize to prevent the metal from hardening during work. It is more difficult to predict the exact finished tolerances with hot rolling because the steel will change as it cools.

Cold rolling is done below the recrystallization temperature, usually at room temperature. Because it does not break down the grains inside the metal, it usually increases the strength of the steel and can be done to more specific tolerances, since there is no cooling phase.
Steel Thickness

The hot rolling process begins with a standard steel slab, which is usually around 10 inches thick. The hot rolling process reduces the steel’s thickness to anywhere from less than 0.07 inches to about 0.35 inches, depending on what it will be used for. Once it is through the hot rolling process, it can be sent through a cold rolling process by going through more mills to make it even smaller, between 0.01 and 0.15 inches. The cold rolling process often produces a much more exact finished size, because the steel will not change as it cools.


With any metal, heating and cooling will change the structure of the molecules. As steel goes through the hot rolling process, it becomes softer and more easily manipulated. However, with the softer metal, it can also fracture more easily during the finishing process. Cold rolled steel has a higher tolerance before it will fracture than hot rolled steel.

Applications for Each Type

When you go to buy your steel from a steel supermarket such as Wasatch Steel, you should have an idea of which kind of you want. The type of steel you choose (hot or cold) depends entirely on your intended use. Hot rolling is better suited for processes where you need more ability to form the steel, such as automotive uses, pipes, water heaters, heavy agricultural equipment, metal buildings, and railroad cars.

Cold rolling is better suited for applications where you need better surface finish, improved thickness and flatness tolerances, and the ability to paint. It is often used for manufacturing appliances such as refrigerator doors, washer and dryer, and some automobile parts that need greater strength, such as roofs, fenders, and hoods. These are also the exposed parts of an automobile, which will often be painted. The cold rolling process also allows the steel to be painted, which makes it a popular choice for many different steel applications.