Scotsmun Steel – if they don’t have it, you probably don’t need it
Scotsmun Steel and The Nut House, located at 510 Frontage Road West in Virden, offer a diverse range of products and services to the agriculture, petroleum, construction and manufacturing industries.
Owner Dean Munchinsky acquired the business from his father Karel upon his retirement in 2010 after more than two decades of successful operation.
“He had sold enough steel and was ready to continue, so I bought the business and we continued to do what he was doing,” Munchinsky said.
The acquisition of the building that once housed Wee Willie’s auto sales provided more space and greater visibility along the front road of Highway 1.
“It has been helpful in moving the business forward. A little more space and space to grow.
Three full-time employees, Shae Apland, George Baker and Erin Lynch now assist Munchinsky in day-to-day operations.
Scotsmun Steel sells over 3,000 types of fasteners, nuts, bolts, screws, washers and more. Steel supplies are also available – items such as angle iron, stainless steels, tubing and checkered plate – which can be sized and cut to customer requirements if needed.
“We have a huge selection of bindings, and I’m pretty proud of where we are at. I think the majority of people who use them know what we have here, but we have new people coming in all the time and are surprised at what is in this bolt and nut store in Virden.
New elements are added to the mix on an ongoing basis.
“We are constantly bringing different types of products. I can’t store everything because I don’t have a building the size of a football field. If there are products that people are asking for and that I can provide, then I’m happy to bring them in and store them. This is one of the differences between what I do and what a lot of other fastening companies do. We try to keep the product that people need in stock.
Munchinsky often goes in search of a specific item requested by a customer to meet a certain application.
“We face this all the time. For steel I have three main suppliers… for nuts and bolts I have two… and then we have probably a dozen other places that we go to on a regular basis trying to find weird things. I like to say that if we don’t have it you don’t need it, but sometimes we have to dig a bit to find it.
With a welder on staff, products such as corral panels, bale feeders, and livestock gates are built in-house, and all related accessories are readily available. Munchinsky says this foray into manufacturing work is now becoming a growing segment of his business.
“We do more and more welding, building projects for people and trying to meet their needs. We still build a lot of farm projects, panels, doors and bale feeders, but we also do more custom builds for people who also need special things. We are just starting to weld the aluminum.
The work can be both simple and stimulating.
“It’s not impossible to glue two pieces of metal together with a welding machine, but it’s difficult to take someone’s blueprints, whatever they have in mind, and build it according to what they want. wish. I am very proud of the work done by (welder) Erin. She’s been with me for three years now. And I really like the product that we left out the doors here.
Scotsmun Steel’s customer base extends far beyond the commercial area of Virden, and even south of the 49th parallel.
“I supply manufacturing plants in a number of different areas with specialized products. Some of our nuts and bolts ship to Alberta and we receive special orders from different locations. During the steel shortage, I’m now getting messages from the United States asking me to sell them steel there, which is a bit more complicated. We receive calls from a fairly large area. We have a lot of customers from Brandon, Saskatchewan, all the way to Russell and all the way to the United States.
Like many other local businesses, Scotsmun Steel has been hit by volatility in the agriculture and oil industries as well as COVID-19. They have gone ahead, adapt as necessary and focus on their niche market.
“Everything we sell is considered essential, but COVID-19 has changed the way we do business. We had to make the addition on the front so people had room to stand inside when it was winter. We keep it for one person inside the store because it’s pretty tight here, but people have been great in being patient with us and helping us take care of them in the current situation.
“Oil, of course, affects everyone, even if they don’t know it. When the prices fell, it was difficult for a lot of people, which also affected us. Fortunately, the company started to take care of the farming community, and we continued to take care of them through the oil boom years and they were good enough to stay with us.
Outside of work, Munchinsky is well known for his prowess in the performing arts both on and off the stage. He has performed, directed and co-directed several musical and dramatic productions in the historic Aud Theater in Virden. While preparations for his latest project, co-directing the musical Matilda, have been derailed by the pandemic, he remains optimistic that the production can be presented later this fall if restrictions allow.
“I would like to spend a little more time playing,” he said. “Right now in the COVID world there is nothing we can do and I miss my people in our arts community very much, spending time working together and building some great things. We look forward to the possibility of November. We’ll see. The more people that get vaccinated, I think, the more likely we are to see some of them pass, so we’re hopeful.
The Monthly Oil Field Report is made possible by the following sponsors
Virden counter | Forsyth Haling | KayElle Industrial | Scotsmun Steel & The Nuthouse