Global Fastener News

1986 FIN – New Domestic Sources For Rod and Cold Heading Wire

May 10
00:00 2011

By Dick Callahan, FIN Editor


June 10, 1986 FIN – The U.S. is going to have a bug new domestic fastener manufacturer, Nucor Fasteners, a division of Nucor Corp. in St. Joe, Indiana which will this fall begin producing standard hex head cap screws in grades 2,5 and 8 and sizes from 1/4″ to 1/-1/4″ with lengths up to 10″ as well as structural bolts, types A325 and A490.


This faith in the revitalized domestic industry’s ability to survive, despite the closing of so many manufacturing plants in the past couple of years has probably provided the impetus for others to lay out considerable investments in setting up facilities to supply the domestic manufacturers with raw material, namely wire rod and cold heading wire.
We’re referring specifically here to American Steel & Wire Corp., which will soon be producing both rod and wire and CHQ Wire Co. Inc., which is in the process of establishing a plant is in the process of establishing a plant in the south to produce cold heading quality wire.
American Steel & Wire Corp. is the name of a new company established with the purchase of the Cuyahoga Works and other properties from U.S. Steel by an investor group including Thomas Tyrell, former vice president marketing of Raritan River Steel Co., Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Prudential Bache Securities and the Chicago West Pullman Corp., among others.
Tyrell provided FIN as on-the-run, over-the-shoulder update on what’s going on.
First of all let’s look at what the investor group purchased from U.S. Steel. As we understand it, what American Steel & Wire Corp., a subsidiary of Chicago West Pullman Corp., bought included: The Cuyahoga Works, in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio, which has an annual capacity of about 600,000 tons of rod (7/32 through 35/64″ in low, medium and high carbon) 150,000 tons of wire, and about 130,000 tons of cold rolled strip; the Joliet Works of Illinois, which has an annual capacity of around 250,000 tons of rod (19/63 through 1-1/8″); and the T.O.W. Wire Plant in Cleveland, Ohio which produces tracking wires for missile guidance systems.
The Cuyahoga Works, which employed about 800 people before its closing in early 1984 will be starting up around August or September to produce rod, followed by wire production and cold strip production around October. In the first year about 300 people will be employed at Cuyahoga.
The Joliet Works, which employs about 100 people at present, will continue to produce the same product mix (mostly cold heading and cold forming quality rod) with perhaps the addition of some larger sizes. Billets for Joliet, like those for the Cuyahoga Works, will be supplied from U.S. Steel’s Lorain (Ohio) Works.
The T.O.W. wire plant, which employs about 30 people, will continue to turn out the same product as it has been making in the past.
The new company has already assembled an impressive management group, some of whom, we believe are disclosed here for the first time.
President of American Steel & Wire Corp. (which is headquartered at 4300 East 49th St., Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio 44125) is Thomas N. Tyrell, 41, who started with Bethlehem Steel as general product salesman in Greensboro, North Carolina, then transferred to Bethlehem’s Rod & Wire Division home office sales where he was employed until 1978 when he joined Raritan River Steel.
Tyrell left Raritan earlier this year, when he was vice president of marketing, to help set up the new company.
Vice President of sales and marketing for American Steel & Wire is Walter Robertson III, who was in sales for Bethlehem from 1968 to 978 after which he was in sales with Raritan until 1983 when he joined Ohio River Steel as vice president of marketing, followed by a 1984 to 1985 stint with Ivaco Inc.’s U.S. sales staff.
Vice president of operations for American Steel & Wire is John Thomas who was formerly the Cuyahoga plant superintendent.

General manager of the Cuyahoga wire mill is David Smith who began with the Cuyahoga Works around 1964 and was wire drawing supervisor from 1978 until 1984 when he went to Cook & Co. (the U.S. Steel managed tire cord plant) in Lumber City, Georgia.
Two other executives who have recently joined American Steel & Wire are John Asimou who was with U.S. Steel at Cuyahoga as a general supervisor of metallurgy for the wire mill and after that with Bethlehem as metallurgical service engineer for the Rod & Wire Division; and Biff Bartley who, we believe was manager of sales for the Cold Rolled Strip Division of U.S. Steel at Cuyahoga from 1981 until 1983 when he was named Atlanta district sales manager.
If the name American Steel & Wire Corp. has a somewhat familiar ring to it, you’re right.
American Steel & Wire Co. was the name of the company, which was started by the famous John Warne “Bet-a-Million” Gates in 1898 in New Jersey to produce and sell, as we recall, mostly barbed wire. American Steel & Wire Co. later became a part of U.S. Steel.
The Cuyahoga Works before it closed was considered one of the few domestic producers of rod, which could compete with the Japanese on quality, and the loss of this source of cold heading quality rod brought a boost in business to such companies as Bethlehem, Charter Rolling Div. of Charter Mfg., and Nelsen Wire Co.
While a big part of the Cuyahoga Works business was in welding quality rod (specifically for Lincoln Electric) you can bet that the new company is going to be coming on strong for a share of the holding rod business—evidence if which we spotted ourselves at Columbus in some heads together, corner of the room chitchats between American Steel & Wire’s sales staff and some major fastener producers who we’ll keep anonymous for now. CHQ Wire Co. (standing, as you’ve guessed for cold heading quality) is the name of a company that Jack Long, until recently president of President’s Island Steel & Wire Inc., is establishing in Olive Branch, Mississippi, in the northwest corner of that state, about five miles southeast of Memphis.
Long tells FIN that his new company will be producing cold heading quality wire, low carbon plated and some high carbon in sizes ranging from 16 gauge up to 3/4″. Equipment on order includes straighten and cut nits, furnaces, bull blocks, Morgan 4-hole and 7-hole wire drawing machines and pickling equipment from Keramchemie Corp. of Canada. Target date for start up is around April 1987.
Long until recently was a co-owner (along with Robert C. Wilcox, who’s not involved in the new venture) of President’s Island Steel & Wire Inc., Memphis, Tennessee, which began operation in June 1983 after purchasing the assets of the Wire Division of Piper Industries. That company which produces high carbon spring wire, plating quality wire, was recently as reported in FIN, sold to Laclede Steel Co., St. Louis, Missouri, which is majority owned by Invasco Inc. of Canada, which is probably North America’s largest producer of fastener and nails.  ©1986/2011 Fastener Industry News

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