About Us

Who are we, and what do we do?

Simply put, OnlineMetals.com is an internet-based small quantity metals supplier. We specialize in orders for less than full bars and less than full sheets, but carry a variety of materials rivaled only by the largest metals service centers. Update: On August 1, 2007, we were acquired by one of those large metal service centers - ThyssenKrupp Materials North America. For more details, click here.

As you can see on our home page at www.onlinemetals.com, we carry aluminum, copper, brass, stainless, tool steel, hot and cold rolled steel, titanium, plastics, nickel alloys, and even carbon fiber, in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and we keep adding materials as quickly as we can locate sources for them.

OnlineMetals.com opened for business in 1998. At that time, it was just a website, two guys, and a shed in the back of the house crammed full of metal. As customers found us online, though, we started to grow, and in 2000 finally moved out of the house and into a proper warehouse on Nickerson Street in Seattle.

Three years after moving into the first warehouse, we grew out of it, and moved down the street to our present location. We are now in a 10,000 square foot warehouse located at the southeast corner of the Ballard Bridge in Seattle.

As we've grown, we've had some amazing interactions with our customers, both the ones that come in to pick up their materials, and the ones who place orders from around the country and the world. From the guys in Arkansas making duck calls to the Manhattan couple buying a stainless steel backsplash to match up with their newly-installed Viking range and Subzero refigerator, to the local customer who made a blimp-cam out of our materials, we are continually surprised by our customers' creativity.

At the same time, we've tried our best to keep our small-company culture. Read the FAQ (and the RAQ), and check out our comments around the site - it is clear that while we're pretty good at what we do, we try to have fun at work. Heck, we've even got a dog policy so our employees can have their best friends around during the day.

Shipping - Rod and Bar
As we've grown, our sophistication in packaging and shipping has grown as well. Where we once sent out packages that looked like our kids had wrapped them, we now have a full-time shipping manager to preside over our packages. Almost daily, he repeats our mantra:
The last thing you do is the first thing the customer sees. Make it right.

Rod and Bar Packages Our rod, bar, tube, and structural products are shipped in sturdy cardboard tubes with steel end-caps that are stapled inside the tube. We add additional packaging material at each end to make sure that pieces do not move while they are in shipment, reducing the chance for in-transit damage and/or loss.

Shipping - Sheet and Plate
Our sheet and plate items are packaged in sturdy cardboard boxes, or sandwiched between two pieces of 1" cardboard hex material. Depending on the material, we may also include side boards to further protect the material from bending during shipment.This is the way we pack our sheet, pack our sheet, pack our sheet...

CuttingCutting to length
Our rod, bar, tube, and structural products are cut on Ellis saws - all of our cut pieces, with the exception of the random 10-12" pieces we sell, have a guaranteed tolerance of +0.125", -0.000", meaning that your material will always clean up to the correct dimensions.

Any width, any length Our sheet and plate items are cut on our AccurShear, a 10-foot monster that turns big pieces of metal into little pieces of metal. It has a digital back-guage, and typical tolerances are +/-.063 (or tighter), on everything from .016" copper all the way up to 1/4" stainless plate.