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Advice for finding materials/scrap...I'm a newbie to welding.

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  • Advice for finding materials/scrap...I'm a newbie to welding.

    I just ordered a Hobart Handler 140 and am wanting to just start messing around and making some simple garden art and whatever else comes to mind. The maintenance techs at my work are going to start collecting scrap metal at work for me. But, I want some other suggestions for where I can get metal, both scrap and also specific pieces (like let's say I wanted a certain length of 1/4" round stock steel).

    Also, is there a good way to look at a piece of metal that isn't marked and determine if it is weldable, or if it is stainless versus mild steel. I feel stupid asking that question, especially because I do piping design in my job, but for me I always use sanitary stainless so I don't get to see the other variations.

    Thanks for any advice you can give. Seems like there is a lot of knowledge out there.

    Alicia

  • #2
    My local thrift store gets loads of "junk" that people leave. They set all the scrap metal aside, and haul it to the salvage yard when they have a load, but at a penny or two a pound, its hardly worth the gas, so they let me grab anything I want from that pile for free. Much of it is too thin to weld, but I still get loads of stuff there. Another source I have is a Chopper Motorcycle shop...the H-D dealer doesn't give me any scrap, but this shop gets loads of pips and damaged parts (many just scratched and scraped) that are insurance take-offs. I also get many parts fro local auto repair garages that they removed. All junk to those folks, but you'll need people skills to "get in "...and don't neglect to give them one of your better pieces now and then to "keep the parts flowing".
    "Good Enough Never Is"

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    • #3
      Dumpster diving! I used to work next door to some commercial HVAC/plumbers in a small office park. They were always throwing away bits and pieces of brackets, hatch covers and the like... even brand-new copper fittings. I've often found an odd piece of 2x2 angle or something behind other businesses in their dumpster area.
      --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

      Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
      -------------------------

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      • #4
        You might try some local welding and/or fab shops. Tell them what you are doing and they might be willing to sell you some scraps or "drops" at a price better than they could get for scrap, but still cheaper than you could go buy new stuff for. If you are new, try to stay away from old rusty stuff and junk. Clean metal works much better especially if you aren't familiar with welding techniques and how to deal with dirty and oily metal.
        Jim

        Miller MM 210
        Miller Dialarc 250P
        Airco 225 engine driven
        Victor O/A
        Lots of other tools and always wanting more

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        • #5
          check www.craigslist.com for free stuff. you can limit your search to a local area to reduce pickup cost.
          Jim
          Jim Young
          www.jimyo.com

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          • #6
            As to the dumpster diving, There are a couple of things that you should be aware of:

            Some localities it is illegal to go into dumpster behind businesses. depending on whether the pick up is commercial or by the city/town etc. As they all now process the waste stream for recyclable materials. Other than smaller locations that have town dumps and some prohibit removing stuff so check your local rules.

            Stuff next to or in the area of the dumpster may or may not be junk. Ask first avoid lawyer fees later!
            And when dumpster diving look before you leap in. Wear heavy duty gloves and have some rags, paper towels and hand cleaner. in case there is some semi liquid slime on the stuff.

            Having been a facilities manager with a large number of unsecured dumpsters. People tend to dispose of hazardous and dangerous materials. We have had asbestos materials, mercury, 50 gallons of used truck motor oil and filters mixed with rotting fish parts placed in plastic coolers sealed and placed in the dumpster. That somebody tried to recover and thought it was body parts (human in the containers). That was a real fun time.

            So look, smell and listen as small furry creatures are around when food scraps are present. (dogs,cats,rats among other small animals)

            If in doubt move on.
            glen, been there, done that and probably broke it!If you aren't on the edge. You'r taking up to much room

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            • #7
              I'm new to this as well and have been dumpster diving (with permission) and have been going to yard sales, thrift stores, etc. and finding stuff free or cheap. Found a tool cart missing a wheel in a Firestone dumpster, I asked just to be sure, and am using the panels as a backsplash to my welding table.

              Someone already mentioned craigslist. That's a good source as people are dumping treadmills, fence sections, security doors, yard sale remnants...

              One fellow in another forum found a local bedding store that was tossing the metal frames from beds they picked up as a service when they delivered the new beds. He now has a steady source of free angle iron.

              Green welding.


              Warning: I have been wrong before!

              Art welder gonnabee. Small patio workshop, Lincoln 125+, Victor oxyacetylene, DHC-2000/Henrob, and a lot of ideas. Life is good!

              Typos are there for those that look for them. I try to do something for everybody.

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              • #8
                I looked on craigslist in the free stuff section and saw an ad saying they were emptying a yard filled with junk and anything you hauled away was yours. I dropped by and picked a cart of some type with some extra casters (green thing) and something to cut up (black thing on the left). The cart will be used as part of my outdoor workshop as the inside one is small. The black thing will be recycled into something as will the other pieces in my growing scrap collection.
                Last edited by visorblue; 10-26-2008, 05:04 PM.


                Warning: I have been wrong before!

                Art welder gonnabee. Small patio workshop, Lincoln 125+, Victor oxyacetylene, DHC-2000/Henrob, and a lot of ideas. Life is good!

                Typos are there for those that look for them. I try to do something for everybody.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Cool Finds

                  Good for you, seems like here you have to go to recyling centers to buy stuff.
                  Miller 140 A/S
                  HF Flux Core
                  Dewalt Chop Saw
                  Smith O/A Torch
                  Ryobi Grinder, Craftsman & HF Grinders

                  Harley Electra Glide Classicsigpic

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                  • #10
                    I'm just getting into this and finding that yard sales can be a good source of stuff as well as craigslist. Beds usually come with the angle iron frame. I bought one for $5 and was given another.

                    I have a friend with a very nice and large workshop and yard. He has a pretty decent pile of assorted scrap that he can usually find something to work with in. I don't have the room for what he has but I plan to get somewhat close.


                    Warning: I have been wrong before!

                    Art welder gonnabee. Small patio workshop, Lincoln 125+, Victor oxyacetylene, DHC-2000/Henrob, and a lot of ideas. Life is good!

                    Typos are there for those that look for them. I try to do something for everybody.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by visorblue View Post
                      I'm just getting into this and finding that yard sales can be a good source of stuff as well as craigslist. Beds usually come with the angle iron frame. I bought one for $5 and was given another.

                      I have a friend with a very nice and large workshop and yard. He has a pretty decent pile of assorted scrap that he can usually find something to work with in. I don't have the room for what he has but I plan to get somewhat close.
                      I'm sure you know this by now, but bed frames are like spring steel. One way to cut is with abrasive wheel, I use my 4.5 inch angle grinder with the wheel. Or plasma cutter which work great, but expensive. I made a light weight 4 wheel cart/ with remove able "U" handle for my step daughter to move her art work around. Welded up with my Hobart 187, she was delighted.
                      Retired...
                      Master Electrician
                      Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter
                      Semi-pro/Hobby Welder
                      Hobart Handler 140
                      MakerGear M2 3D Printer


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                      • #12
                        Around this part of the country farm auctions, estate auctions and consignment auctions are my preferred supply. I have bought some new metal for next to nothing several times and then other times it brings retail price, so you just have to keep an eye out.. as said before yard sales are good...Jim
                        Lincoln 255 Mig
                        Hobart Stickmate AC/DC
                        Miller AEAD 200LE
                        Cutmaster 81

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