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How to acquire materials from a scrap yard

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How to acquire materials from a scrap yard

Unread postAuthor: ramses » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:36 pm

I am picking up my lathe tomorrow!! (very lightly used 7x14) and I will obviously need materials to turn. I have never really used a lathe before, so I will obviously waste some material before I get the hand of it.

I know a lot of members here, as well as the guy who maintains mini-lathe.com, have had a lot of luck acquiring materials from scrap yards. I was rather curious how the process went. Did you just show up and say "hey, do you have any large-ish chunks of [insert material here]?" or what? What kind of scrap dealer did you go to (car type scrap yard, "scrap processing" or "material recycling"? Finally, around how much did you end up paying, in relation to what is available as the "scrap price."

Ideally, the advice would come from someone in the North East US, as different regions are, well, different.

As a reward for reading this post, Enco has a 20% off your order of $100 or more, ending tonight, coupon code {save20}
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Last edited by ramses on Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: McCoytheGreater » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:45 pm

My brother and I are working on a jet kart project and whenever we need metal or stuff from a scrap yard we just walk into the office part and say, "We need this". It's a metal scrap yard that has everything from 1" plate to 1" steel tubing. They usually will refer you to someone in the back. No problem, really, and it can be fairly cheap if you look in the right places. Have fun with the new lathe and acquisition of materials.
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Unread postAuthor: Demon » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:30 pm

I am picking up my lathe tomorrow!!


Great! Now you just need a grinder, some hss blanks, a parting of tool and holder, a drill chuck to be good to go.

Learning how to cut is very simple. For most parts that i made i only use one home grinded hss blanks to face and turn and learned within one week.

(i spent 7 $ on 6061 aluminium and i still have 1 foot of it, so its not really a problem of practicing on material)

If you really need some lathe thing to turn, you can turn a threaded rod.

But before, i recommend you to perfectly adjust the lathe, as there is some play in it.
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:00 pm

Unless of course he wants to buy indexable carbide, which I can really recommend. Carbide will take much thicker cuts in much harder metals. I tried taking a finishing cut on a chrome plated (hardened) hydraulic ram and the HSS bit was dull in millimeters. Carbide was fine.
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Unread postAuthor: ramses » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:12 pm

@demon: he is including HSS blanks. this is a link to the ebay item. I got him down to $460. By practice materials, I meant little parts in soft-ish materials that don't need to be perfect. ex: not threading 316 stainless for an ETG as my first operation.

@inonickname: I am considering making my own tools, then just buying the inserts. Mostly for boring.
I didn't see any parting tools in the box, and I have a grinder. I will most likely be ordering some stuff from Enco. Their material is, i general, ridiculously expensive, but they sell drill rod reasonably. I will also be picking up assorted accessories, including parts for a milling attachment.

just to be clear, McCoy, that was a metal recycling type scrap yard?
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Unread postAuthor: velocity3x » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:24 pm

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Unread postAuthor: ramses » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:29 pm

yes, I am aware of the online sources. I would rather get the materials at scrap prices, without shipping costs.
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:35 pm

About the milling attachment, you should be aware how limited they are. I purchased one for my lathe ($160) and it is extremely incapable. It has a hard time machining steel, and aluminum is really the upper limit for them. It can do steel, but not quickly.

The attachment isn't very rigid at all/ It will do if you are ready to spend a lot of time with it or machine soft materials, but mines only caused me problems.
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Unread postAuthor: rp181 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:19 am

piercemetals.com

dirt cheap, but limited stock. Im pretty sure its surplus. Cheapest place I have found.
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Unread postAuthor: ramses » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:47 am

Inonickname, I was planning to build a milling attachment similar to this one. It should be as rigid as the compound. I don't mind taking my time with steel, and I will mostly be sticking to aluminum or softer.

I just visited piercemetals, and it is literally a storefront for onlinemetalsupply.com

I was hoping to get advice about actual, physical, scrapyards, as opposed to online retailers of new or surplus metal.
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Unread postAuthor: Zywiec » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:03 pm

Hi
Always when I visit scrap yard, the "manager" :wink: only explain that I can take just everything I want. Of course, I have to pay (a few months ago i was paying ~30-40 cents per kg of steel and ~80 for steel+copper like motors, transformators etc).
It's perfect place to find usefull things for almoust free. I paid ~3 dollars for washing machine engine (500W) :)
Once they gave me a microwave oven just for loading a trailer with old wood :lol:
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Unread postAuthor: ramses » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:28 pm

alright, bump.

Has anyone had any experiences with "auto salvage" yards? it seems as though they deal exclusively in auto parts.
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Unread postAuthor: Alster370 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:42 pm

You might find some useful materials in peoples skips out on their front gardens, and the best bit is you don't have to pay for it. Although i think metal would be less common compared to plastics and such.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:18 pm

scrap -> objects are treated for material value only. It could be a brand new car frame or a rusty old pipe of the same weight, they have the same value

salvage -> a part has value depending on function and is intended to be resold as is rather than broken down to be recycled.
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Unread postAuthor: LeMaudit » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:14 pm

You must have some scrap metal place in your town. They usually buy and sell by the ton, but they don't mind selling to people if they pick themselves what they want in their junk. They make a much better deal that way, but you don't want to bother them too much as you are really buying peanuts.

Basically, you go there with gloves and dirty clothes, and you search in an large amount of bits and pieces, some small, some huge. They usually have sorted out aluminum, brass, copper and steel. When you're done, they'll weight roughly the stock you picked and ask for a small price. Between 50 cents and 2$ per Kg maybe? Can't remember what I paid last time... Metal is heavy. So expect 10$ to 20$ for a nice assortment of rods and plates.

I suggest you don't buy just 50 cents of metal, or they may not bother selling you next time! And don't buy too long pieces either, the price will be the same for small ones, and you will save some cutting sweat ;-)
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