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View Full Version : Where do you find machine 'scrapyards'?



T.Hoffman
07-17-2012, 03:52 PM
I often see mention of people getting things from the local scrapyard, like old machinery and such.

Where are these places? I'm in SE Wisconsin, and would love to walk around some machinery yards just to see what's there.

I see auto salvage yards listed, but wondering if local metal recyclers have this stuff?

JoeLee
07-17-2012, 03:57 PM
I don't believe there are any scrap yards that are machine corpses only. Any scrap yard / recycling place that takes iron or junk cars may have scrap machines in the pile. The problem in most cases is insurance regulations and liability issues will not permit you to browse through the scrap.

JL.............

Rustybolt
07-17-2012, 04:05 PM
You're about 25 years too late. The big industrial areas near you are production ghost towns. Racine, Kenosha, West Allis.

T.Hoffman
07-17-2012, 04:18 PM
yeah, my friend was involved in going into the Chrysler plant in Kenosha years after they shut down.

....he said it was spooky almost. Tons and tons of equipment, just sitting there, not having been touched in years.

flylo
07-17-2012, 04:50 PM
Look on ebay, there are many people & companies tearing machines down for parts. A local guy does Atlas & South Bend. I was at a place near Grand Rapids last week that sold the prime machines out of country mostly, auctioned the OK machines & broke down the rest for parts & scrap. Quite the operation. I'm sure when a company closes the machines get in the way of selling or leasing the building so these guys probably get them for cleaning it out. Which is better than scaping all the machines as I've seen done. So much waste it makes me cringe. :(

Arthur.Marks
07-17-2012, 05:04 PM
Being in Chicago---and you not that far---I can say this. All the scrap vendors I've seen around here dump'n'load. Then its off to the mills in NE Indiana almost immediately. I think those that "find" stuff in their scrap vendors are much, much farther afield of a steel mill. Around here, it is a quick procession around the lake to feed the furnace. For example, the one I go to dumps an iron load directly into a dump truck immediately after being weighed. The truck, shortly filled, hauls a short distance to a RR car and off-loads. No one in hell would have a chance at noticing what was sold, let alone retrieving it once it is weighed.

KiddZimaHater
07-17-2012, 05:26 PM
Take some cans to a local recycling place. Chances are they'll have a huge yard in back.
At my local place there was a huge old turrent lathe, giant 3 ft. sheers, a Mazak CNC mill, old Mazak tape-reader lathe, and another Hurco CNC mill just rusting away in the yard.
Damn shame :(

sasquatch
07-17-2012, 08:30 PM
Times are changing, and the liability issue now to go wander around in scrapyards is getting more of a problem.

I've saw a number of old machines in scrapyards in my area over the years, most were baffed, worn out, or busted in some way.

Another fact is a LOT of manufacturing has moved OUT of the country to off shore, and a lot of older machines are long gone, along with some newer models being exported, sold to companies in other countries.

I had a good scrapyard in my area close to me, one man operation, had everything organized that may have some resale , machines in one spot, antique vehichles in another, old farm machinery in another spot, etc, but he has passed away, the place sold, now the new guy just parts out big trucks.
These little one man yards are disappearing one by one.

jdunmyer
07-17-2012, 08:57 PM
A couple of friends and I go shopping at a scrapyard very regularly. We'll often see machine tools, but many/most times, the machines are damaged from the unloading process. IE: the big crane with the 4-jaw "Claw" grabs it off the trailer and tosses it onto the pile. SOMETIMES, they'll set it down more or less gently and leave it for a period of time, sometimes weeks. It's often possible to get bits & pieces, for instance:

A Cincinnati radial drill press came in recently, and I glommed the #20 Jacobs Super Chuck from the spindle. Although it included the #4 M.T. arbor, sadly, no key was present.

Last visit, one friend spotted a 6" Kurt style milling vise, on a swivel base. He unbolted the swivel base and bought the vise. I found a 6" BridgePort vise, also on a swivel base. Dunno why, but I bought the base & all, running the price up to over $13.00. It is dirty and somewhat rusty, but probably salvagable for my purposes.

A while back, I found a Biddle megger that seemed to work. I doubt that I paid over a buck or 2 for it.

We've gotten: temperature controllers, industrial thermometers, all sorts of industrial electronics and electrical stuff, combination starters, etc., pipe fittings, pressure regulators, carpenter's levels, and much, much more. I can't tell you how many 3/8" and 1/2" Jacobs chucks I've removed from dead drill motors. Found a huge boring bar, 1 1/2" with #5 M.T. on the end.

That's besides the metal: 1/4" X 1.25" strap iron, all sorts of brass and aluminum, etc.

No, I won't tell you where it is. :-)

John Stevenson
07-17-2012, 09:24 PM
When our local guy gets something interesting in he often gives me a ring and I go down and sort out.

Can wander around as long as I have hi-vis vest on.

For some reason never gets any usable non ferrous, just old taps, water tanks etc. Plenty of bar steel and often buckets of used carbide with a lot of reusable cutters in.

He saves me lengths of thick walled tube as I use loads for bearing rings in motors.

Helps that I have been dealing with local scrap men for 40 odd years and many are the sons of fathers I grew up with.

CCWKen
07-17-2012, 10:43 PM
I always call them scrap yards but I think the official name is Recycling Centers. The one I go to is pretty small but it gets a lot of old farm machinery, tools, cutoffs (drops), car/truck parts, factory equipment, lawn tractors, mowers, and most anything metal. I've been pretty busy lately but I used to make it a Saturday morning regular stop. I still have project "stock" that I wonder if I'll ever get around to using but it's too cool to throw out. It was easy to get hooked once you make a few great finds. :cool:

justanengineer
07-17-2012, 11:06 PM
As others have said, scrap yards that will sell back to the public much less allow you to wander around in them are getting few and far in between, but Ive had good results by making friends with the car, truck, and other used parts dealers that often have "scrap" hauled in to them.

Something else I have done is to become friends with the local small time scrappers that act as middle men between the public and the yards. I "gift" them appliances I dont care to lift/remove myself upon occasion, and they resell iron to me.

jdunmyer
07-18-2012, 09:48 AM
If you happen to have a scrapyard that allows you to "shop", it doesn't hurt to take a couple dozen donuts for the crew every now and again. Stay out of the workers' way, and don't do anything stupid that would get you hurt. That's why most yards don't allow us to wander around, after all.

Weekend_Scientist
07-18-2012, 02:45 PM
Oh how I wish someone would list a metal scrap yard around Austin, Texas that would allow individuals to "shop"

I've tried Google and asking one local machinist but haven't come up with much.

Lazlo, or CCWKen, any leads??

oil mac
07-18-2012, 03:58 PM
Over here in Scotland Everything of any worth has been harried &gone long ago It is getting more &more problomatic to find much of worth, The ravenous demand for metals from China has seen to that

Many years back, we had a very good scrap yard near where i live, sadly across the road from my house dwelt two of the management team both not one bit sympathetic to the homeshop worker Just my luck!

Rustybolt
07-18-2012, 06:57 PM
hoff.
About the only thing I can tell you is that if there is a boneyard near you, take the time to visit it on a regular basis. Stuuf gets cycled through so fast if you wait a week you'll miss it.
Doe the Journal post auctions in its sunday business section?

George_Race
07-18-2012, 08:17 PM
Don't know if any of you are in, or could get to the Cleveland Ohio area, but there is a great place to go walk through and spend a few hours if you get there.
I was in Cleveland for a GE Lighting School, a few years back, and discovered HGR out on Euclid Avenue. They have about 15 acres of walk through area with every kind of shop machine you could imagine. And they do sell parts and pieces, at least they did a few years back.

There web address is: http://www.hgrinc.com/
Thousands of items there to look at.

George

CCWKen
07-18-2012, 10:16 PM
Oh how I wish someone would list a metal scrap yard around Austin, Texas that would allow individuals to "shop"

I've tried Google and asking one local machinist but haven't come up with much.

Lazlo, or CCWKen, any leads??
Never been there but have you tried Austin Metal & Iron?
http://austinmetalandiron.net/map.nxg

Here's another: http://gardnermetals.com/AboutUs.aspx

Weekend_Scientist
07-18-2012, 11:00 PM
Thanks Ken!

I haven't tried out either of those places but I see they're open on Saturday morning. I think I'll pay them a visit.

--Weekend

CCWKen
07-19-2012, 01:29 AM
I'm about 25 miles SW of San Antonio (Lytle) so I go to a yard in Devine, TX. They let folks browse the yard as long as you stay out of the way. You might call ahead and make sure the "big city" places even let you in the yard.

Bill736
07-21-2012, 11:47 PM
If you can't get access to scrap yard machines, keep a lookout for farm auctions, estate sales, Craig's List, eBay, and local newspapers that still carry inexpensive classified ads. I've bought a Bridgeport mill, and three lathes from those sources for a total of $1300 . Tool and machinery dealers tend to be a bit pricey, but are still worth looking at. If you know what you want, you can post " want" type ads of your own, and perhaps find someone retired who has machines in his basement for sale. I bought some items at a very old but bankrupt machine shop auction. The building was about 4 storeys high, and the higher the storey, the cheaper the prices . ( You had to remove the items yourself . The freight elevator was broken.) Heavy machines on the 4 th. floor could hardly get a bid at all ! I still regret leaving that 30 inch wide wood thickness planer behind !

ken572
07-23-2012, 01:36 AM
Hi! T.Hoffman,

I lived in Racine, and Kenosha area, most of my life upto and through 1987 and they
were scattered all over the south side of Racine off of Durand ave., and up and down Hwy 32 on
the lake in Kenosha, and also in South Milwaukee on Hwy.32 and on Hwy38 area's. Also if Wally's
Surplus is still on Hwy 32 between Racine and Kenosha, you need to visit there and walk around.
Racine Hydraulic's had a test/prototype lab in the rear of the old Horlicks Malted Milk Complex off of
Northwestern ave., It was a great place to dumpster dive for goodies on mid Sunday mornings:)

Ken.

T.Hoffman
07-23-2012, 10:28 AM
I lived in Racine, and Kenosha area, most of my life upto and through 1987 and they
were scattered all over the south side of Racine off of Durand ave., and up and down Hwy 32 on
the lake in Kenosha, and also in South Milwaukee on Hwy.32 and on Hwy38 area's. Also if Wally's
Surplus is still on Hwy 32 between Racine and Kenosha, you need to visit there and walk around.
Racine Hydraulic's had a test/prototype lab in the rear of the old Horlicks Malted Milk Complex off of
Northwestern ave., It was a great place to dumpster dive for goodies on mid Sunday mornings:)
Thanks! Looks like I'll be taking a drive around one of these weekends to see what's there anymore...

bobby1
07-23-2012, 08:07 PM
we had one local place the plant i used to work has sold scrap to them they left a dumpeter next to the shop and then would buy some stuff back again i use to get stuff at work so if you have a fried thats a mech at a local plant see if they can get some scrap also when i take my trash to the dump i usually cruise by the brush pile for any old wood and then the scrap pile your are not supposed to scavange big sign out front but if you go in be quick and don't dig to much they won't say anything but it gotten harder with scrap bringing a high price to many people dig. i have found some good stuff last week i got 1/8 inch pc of alum thats 28 in by 54inch just laying there another reason they dont like you to look the workers go down and get styff out of the pile kinda unfair they get it and i don't