Jump to content
I Forge Iron
Glenn

GTTS Go To The Source

Recommended Posts

Just as TPAAAT works for finding anvils, GTTS  (Go To The Source) works for finding metal. Need alloy steels, make friends with the machine shop. Need leaf springs, go to the spring shop or where they customize vehicles. The fab shops and welding shops have all sorts of interesting drops. The garages throw away anything that is replaced on a vehicle, brake drums and rotors, sway bars, torsion bars, steering linkages, etc. A rental business throws away everything that people break or wear out, such as jack hammer bits, circular saw blades, hand shovels, etc. The hydraulic show has bent hydraulic cylinders, think fullers, anvils, and convex shapes. 

Junk yards buy anything metal. It is getting hard to find a just yard that sells, even small things that are thrown out and end up in their junk pile. Make friends with the folks there with donuts and cookies on a Friday where there is little traffic at their facility. Wear PPE to show them you want to be safe. May take a bit of looking but there are small junk yards out there with which you can build a relationship. You know you are allowed in when the junk yard dog rushes up to your vehicle for the treats.

The little mom and pop shops are a great source for materials. They do not want to throw things away if someone can use them. A little cash or a thank you item can win them over.  

When a store goes out of business, they try to sell off everything then can sell, and junk the rest. The clothes racks, display racks, tables, track lights, etc become available. Behind every building is a stack of pallets. 

Where do you GTTS for material? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Structural steel companies have "drops" that would be considered large raw stock for most people.  They pretty much only deal in mild steels though.

In a completely different direction, you can often convince a tire shop to give you a bucket of wheel balancing weights.  The lead is easily melted down (please use PPE) for use wherever you might need a bit of ballast.  Lead also make nice soft-faced hammers.  It's possible to take an empty soup can and cast yourself a nice cylinder of lead.  It's easily drilled for the hammer handle.

A word of caution on re-using lighting from a commercial space.  In the US, commercial spaces typically have three phase power systems for greater efficiency.  Lights are particularly likely to be 277 Volts which is not at all the same thing as the single phase 120/240 Volts  that is found in most homes.  Older fluorescent fixtures can have some nasty stuff in them and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps can have dangerous amounts of mercury and other nastiness inside.  Most of the HID lights are pressurized so when they break, they send shards of glass everywhere.  Demolition is rarely a delicate procedure.  Lights get tossed around a lot, if you see a rough pile of fixtures, there's a good chance that shifting it will break a lamp.

Some cities and clients require that all lamps and ballasts be properly disposed of.  That's expensive since there aren't a lot of companies that handle EPA regulated lamp and ballast disposal.  Clients and contractors who are doing things on the cheap may not be too careful about that sort of thing.  Just because it's piled up, doesn't mean it's safe electrically, or biologically.  Some businesses are particularly given to REALLY nasty electrical fixtures.  Dry Cleaners, Battery manufacturing, furniture restoration, auto-body shops and anywhere that cutting oil is in the air. I've seen some machine shops so hazardously coated in filth that they would make a foreman from the industrial revolution blush.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Tucson there is a place that maintains and repairs suspensions, every thing from trucks and RVs down to cars.   Out back they have a dumpster where they toss the old parts.  Lots of U-bolts and leaf springs and a smattering of other stuff.   The photo is what I picked up last time, $0.15 per pound and this came to $12.

 

IMG_20161013_122157_830.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a county trash compactor and take our household trash there every Friday. They have a roll on dumpster there for metal. We made friends with the personnel and they let us "dumpster dive" in it. Amazing what we come up with. A couple of weeks ago we got 4 coil springs and a torque rod from an old garage door...perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I quick drive through the desert. The amount of dumped material is insane.The arid climate preserves metal indefinitely. You do have to be careful of protected areas but unposted public land has plenty of resources. The is laws about anything over 50 years old. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rockstar,

There is another source for lead. It is not well known that small lead block holders are used to ship radioactive solution containers that are used in radiology departments. Those laboratories are located in hospitals, private x-ray and cancer treatment centers, etc. etc. The used lead blocks are not reused nor returned to the supplier, (who couldn't be bothered setting up a return service) The shipping containers are small. But they just pile up, slowly, and eventually become a storage nuisance and are disposed of.

Where I do not know, but we can conjecture. In other words most hospitals, I did research in, ( and probably most hospitals), did not send the lead to a salvage yard.

The lead containers are NOT radioactive, nor do they become so while they contain the hot solution containers.

Nurses can easily acquire these container,s as no one in situ wants them.

Any responsible looking person that will take them off their hands is appreciated. You should tell them what you are going to use the lead for, before making a request.

Also, the wheel weight lead are lead alloy. But those containers are generally pure lead.

There is one caveat. Things may have changed in the last few decades, but I doubt it. A quick discrete inquiry can ascertain that.

Regards,

SLAG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

   Is cruising the backroads with an eye on the ditch considered a source?  Fool litterbugs toss some valuable things sometimes.    Riverbanks unfortunately can be a great source of loot.  They used to push old junked out cars over the bank around here, I guess for erosion control.  Not so much anymore.  Yard and estate sales.  In my area there are always farm auctions (changing times) and if you know how to read the sales bills you can do well.  Cagey old farmers stow neat stuff away.  Rainy, cold crappy weather really lowers the bid.  Also dumpster permission helps, if you work in the right place;).  Always ask permission and scrounge safely!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always ask permission!  I've been gifted with tons, (yes tons!), of great stuff after I've asked permission to scrounge in the trash and explain that I do blacksmithing.  Turns out there often is a lot of stuff too good to throw away; but no longer needed and they are just looking for an excuse to clean it out.  *Be* that excuse!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

  Turns out there often is a lot of stuff too good to throw away

My....sagging rafters...broken concrete floors....and bulging walls are a testament to this FACT.  I'm considering not sourcing any more items before i become the source.  After it all caves in on me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to add a disclaimer to this post I made.  I was joking.  Always re-cycle, re-purpose and re-use.  Ive been at it for a long time, hence my bulging walls and sagging things. LOL.  I strongly advocate for anything an individual can do that has a positive impact on on the environment or the growth of the resource pile.  Scott.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I'm getting to the stage/age where I'm handing stuff to folks who can use it...I can find the stuff faster than I can use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just returned from a tractor dealer, lawn mower, and tool rental place near Hannibal Missouri. A buddy bought a lawn mower & I went along for the ride.

I chatted up the manager and got permission to "raid' their scrap bin. I carted away many large mower blades. (rider mower size). There was no charge. I'll be making a large knife for said manager soon, as a gesture of good will.

It never hurts to be pleasant and ask.

Regards, i.f.i. denizens.

SLAG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three of my first four knives (including the one in progress) are from lawnmower blades from my local John Deere agricultural implement dealer, who similarly let me raid their scrap bin. That was after they said that they'd just sent a dumpster load off to the scrap dealer. Good Lord -- what did I miss?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JHCC, John Deere advertises that they use 5160 for their blades, so it's nice with those you know what you are getting. I've collected up some worn out ones from my old man who actually has a summer John Deere and a winter John Deere (he's a nut, but he's my pops). I've been using them for knife making as well and find they work great (better than my cub cadet blades, which I don't know what they actually are for steel). If you've got a good source on collecting those John Deere blades up you've got a good steel supply going I'd say!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make friends with your local railroad track repairmen. They can usually get you "junk" spikes and maybe even a section of rail. I've gotten quite a few spikes that were deemed unusable simply because they were bent from being extracted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In conjunction with with Wills suggestion, if you have a railcar repair shop nearby it might be worth the almost impossible task of getting access.  That would be the motherlode!  I used to work at one, but it was long b4 i got into metal working  as a hobby.... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in the lawncare business for 11 years before retiring.  I've got a large stash of blades.  Make friends with the local lawn care guys.  They will probably be glad to get rid of them.  I always bought the more expensive blades, made by Rotary Equipment or Systems IIRC. they were $2-3 more per blade, but held an edge much longer than the bargain blade.  I could tell being a knife maker that I was still cutting the grass at the end of the day instead of tearing it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am scrounging from work lately. I work at a small commercial bakery (we average 600,000# of flour a month), so there are sprockets, big chains, shafts, bearings, mesh belting, fabric conveyor belts, and equipment that gets swapped out. I have chain from #35 all the way up to #80-2 / #80-3 with the #80-2 being 10' long pieces. There are two on each of the "small" 200# of flour mixers for drive chains. The triple wide is the main drive chain and it is around 6' long. The link pins for this size would make good punches.

Any place that does production work will have items like above that get swapped due to wear. When I worked at the Jelly Belly Candy Co we would fill a 55 gallon barrel every shutdown with bearings, chains and sprockets pulled from the two moguls. The banjo bearings had 5/8" balls and had an ID around 5" and an OD around 7"

One item they toss at work and I grab are the 55 gallon poly drums the mineral oil comes in. One is generated about every  3 days. I pressure wash the outside off then pour out the oil that is left inside before selling the drums to the locals. They have been getting used for horse feeders, barrel racing practice, water storage after washing the inside out, etc.. I also have close to 10 gallons of mineral oil now that I use for sharpening knives, cutting board preservation, and always looking for more uses.

When I worked at the screw machine shop they generated thousands of bar ends that were 7"-20" long that were brass, stainless, copper, BeCu,  titanium, steels, etc and I could buy them at current scrap rates.

I just found out one of my neighbors works at rental company and he said he has stacks of "junk" forklift forks. I want to see if he can put me in touch with the guys who change out the big hydraulic breaker bits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...