By MARK H. STOWERS
Steel needs in and around the Greenville area have been met by Nichols Steel for the past two decades. The business began seventeen years ago when the Nichols brothers expanded their already successful business to include more steel work after a local company that had been filling the need left the industry.
“John owned a shipyard and Joe had a propeller service and they both did a lot of metal work,” says Brad Taylor. “They either had to buy from someone else, or start their own business. In 2003, I came to work for them.”
The full-service center sells raw materials for structural building including “anything from deer stands, riser boxes for farmers, and even supply material for large construction jobs. Basically, we can provide steel and fabricating services to meet any customer’s needs. We do towboat business and shipyard work. We have a shop where we form and fabricate pieces as well,” says Taylor.
The company also provides steel materials for others to create their projects.
“We have people coming in and out all day with a variety of needs. We cut to length, bend, form, or weld to help them any way we can,” he says.
The company uses both a 12-foot and 20-foot shear and break machine to form steel for customers and they also have a 10 x 40 foot high definition plasma table.
“We’re probably the only steel business in this area with a 20-foot press break,” he says. “It’s a hydraulic machine with 600 tons of power.”
The company is part of the Nichols Propeller business so there’s plenty of tow boat need met by the steel company.
“We actually build river tow boats and do a lot of forming and fabricating. We cut all kinds of parts for towboats,” says Taylor. “If someone wants something cut out of metal, they bring it up here and we draw it out. Then we have a computerized table that cuts it out in high-definition.”
Taylor has seen plenty of special projects come in the door including nameplates, signs, and grill grates just to name a few. At the end of the day Nicholas Steel can handle any order that comes through the door.
Taylor also notes they supply stainless steel and aluminum for various household needs.