Aluminum is at once a lot easier for us and a lot, much harder. Our parent in Australia is certainly an expert in the design, ordering, and refinement of aluminum extrusions. Its a big part of what we do. So depth should play in our favor.
Yet given customs and tariffs, we have to be very careful about it. And as commoditized as it is or should be, unlike brush which is very value added, aluminum is also tied to local channels for production. Aluminum takes a lot of electricity or energy to manufacture, and is expensive to ship, and in our case, its long and thin, unlike consolidated palettes of say hardware or produce or raw materials like concrete, sand, or chemical containers.
And you would guess around Boeing Washington State would have lots of production, due to Aerospace, but is not the case, so you have to go to Canada, Southern Oregon, and Los Angeles to get access to manufacturing.
We certainly had to talk to SAPA in Portland, that is correct, and they did what they could, but with aluminum, you have to order if not 1,000 lbs at a time per shape, if not more like 2 or 3,000. So we had to widen our search.
Just like with brush, we liked the model and reached out to two excellent manufacturers, and thank MikeL and JudyW. There are no big secrets in a small world, and we thank everyone. Thank you.
Prices were similar, and comes down to learn term fit, expansion, and service. Both helped us a lot.