Anyone that knows me very well knows I have a fascination with Metal items.
From time-to-time I enjoy exploring different areas to see what metal items can be found. Unfortunately, it is getting harder to find scrapyards that will let individuals walk around due to liability issues if anyone was to get hurt.
Recently decided to drive to the Scottsdale/Phoenix area instead flying so I could do a little ‘Metal Scrounging” at the local scrapyards and metal shops.
Found a nice place called ‘Mark’s Bolt Nut Surplus’ and purchased several different sizes of raw steel nuts & washers that work well for welding & powder-coating since they are raw steel without corrosion coatings.
Mark’s Bolt Nut Surplus ~ http://marksbolts.com
6710 W. Belmont Ave., Glendale, AZ 85303
In addition to the ‘weldable’ nuts & washers, I picked up a good selection of Snap-Rings because, as my Australian friend said the other day, “You can never have too many snap-rings” … I’m sure he wasn’t being sarcastic?? *GRIN*
Came home with a pretty good haul of end-cut remnants of round & flat stock steel & aluminum. Even found a good chunk of 4″ diameter steel round stock!!
Best find was a 16.25″ length of 1.5″ Brass Hex stock for Metal Lathe projects.
Found several left-over ends of 2″, 1.5″, 0.625″ diameter round stock that will work nice for those quick Lathe projects that require a short piece of round.
Was asked once how I am able to finish SolidWorks project assemblies so quickly and much of the reason is whenever possible I attempt to draw in every part purchased or found … After a while have built up a pretty good selection of SolidWorks part files which helps speed up the process when creating SolidWorks Assemblies & Simulations.
One item that increases accuracy of SolidWorks CAD part files is weighing the real-world parts with a set of digital scales and entering material weights.
( Between the 4 scales can measure from 0.001 grams up to 350 lbs. )
In addition to creating part files … Also like to draw in the exact size and shapes of the end-cut remnants and scrapyard finds. This way, even if traveling, I know what I have in the workshop and can also store material without having to worry about keeping visual access to it to see what is available … Instead I just check on the computer to see what is available.
If a chunk is cut off for a project, I cut the same amount out of the SolidWorks file, thus updating what is available for use in future projects.
Maybe not the most interesting post on this website for some people, but we all have our odd little quirks we enjoy and my guilty pleasure is ‘Scrounging’ for metal to see what one can find for use in future projects.
Sometimes an interesting piece of scrounged metal can inspire a project …
Just the other day I cut a piece of cast iron on the lathe that came off a mount from something that looks to be an old medical device stand that my little brother sent to me. The item had a date on it that showed it was originally built in the 1950’s. ( Fun re-purposing old metal into new tools )
Fun, Fun, Fun!!!
UPDATE: At first I thought it might be a waste of time to start taking digital photos of the left-over items I put into my scrap bins, but after just one project found that I have checked the photos several times and knew exactly where to find small pieces of metal for the project.
Left-over rounds from inside Hole Saw ‘cut-outs’ work great for putting on the lathe and making small round parts such as wheels or rollers … In addition, the side cuts from other projects can be used later as triangle gussets when welding together items.
Now have a folder on the computer labeled ‘Scrap Metal items’ and can check it to see which container in the different bins has the item I need to locate … The whole process only takes seconds.
Anyway… Seems to be working, so will keep doing it for now. 🙂
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