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I Forge Iron

How do you develop a useful scrap pile ?


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One thing you can't see from the picture is that there are stair step levels on the base; so you can see stuff the same height, say 3' square stock on the first row and 3' round stock on the second row. It repeats halfway back where longer stock is "stocked".  An easy way to duplicate this would be with wood on the base: 2x4", 4x4", 2x4" + 4x4".  My stock is more random length so it doesn't matter as much.

It's like building tong racks; I once found 4 old steel wheelbarrow wheels at the scrapyard; so I locked for stout bases for things with provision for a pipe up the center.  Sourced pipes and cut them to the correct length, mounted them on the base, dropped the axle in the top (or a shaft with a nut on the end if they were axle-less). And you have a rotating tong rack.  (Another fast and simple tong rack is to just get a basketball hoop and mount it to the wall.)

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Having lived at this location for 30 years, I have managed to accumulate a good size resource pile.   A woman I know calls it my "rust garden".  I have quite a bit of good rusty stuff and have to move it now as I want to add on to my garage for a place to keep my new old truck, a 1951 Chevy 4400 flat bed with hoist:-).  As I go through the pile, some will head to the scrap yard I'm sure but some is to good to scrap!

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And to answer Glenns original question, it grew from the road side trash piles,  picking at the dump (which is no longer allowed), the scrapyard and from where I used to work.  A couple of weeks ago, I scored about 15 pieces of 3/4" round each 5'-6' long for .20 cents a pound.  Not sure what i will do with them but when i figure it out, I'll have them on hand.

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I finished my shorts rack Sunday but the site has been so slow I haven't been able to post. I used 6x6 sidewalk drain cut with a torch and welded together with 2x2 angle and a piece of 3/16" on the bottom. All from scrap I had laying around. As to how have I built my pile I visit the scrap yard regularly plus they have special hours every other Saturday where we can go wandering before they start up the equipment. Also some came from other metal workers who had weekend get togethers and yard sales, and a lot came from just asking people "do you want that?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

How do you develop a useful scrap pile ?

In my case it takes time. I just toss everything made of ferrous metal in a pile. Non ferrous metal goes into a separate pile. And small stuff goes into a bucket, which I have to dump out and scrounge through on occasion.   I really need to sort it all out one of these days. ;)

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I invited all my smithing friends over one Saturday and gave it away!   One fellow showed up with a small dump truck; which was great. I'd pick up a piece of scrap and ask him if he wanted it. If he said "yes" I'd throw it in the truck.  If he said "no"; I'd wait till his back was turned and throw it in the truck!

I also shared out the location of my best scrounging sites. No use to me 1500 miles away.  I know it was useful to others because of that "Anvil from a forklift tine"  webpage.  Shoot they even thanked me by name!

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