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View Full Version : Dealing with chips. swarf, and broom tangling strings



feets
12-29-2013, 10:42 PM
Being a home shop hack I don't generate a ton of chips and wanted to get input from other small polluters so to speak.
Recycling is the obvious answer but it'll take ages for me to generate enough to make the trip worthwhile. How do you guys deal with the mess when it starts to get annoying but too little to pay for the trip to the recycler?

Mr Fixit
12-29-2013, 11:13 PM
Hello Feets,
I have a 30gal metal barrel that I put it into until it's 3/4 full of all types of steel and mixed scrap. If I let it fill too full I can't get into the back of my pickup truck bed and have to seperate it into a couple of 5gal buckets for the trip to the recycler. I have a buddy that keeps a 5gal bucket next to each machine then he puts all the swarf and othe sweepings into each one as he makes the mess and cleans up. A bit more then I want to do I just sweep the shop when it gets so bad that I yell at myself to clean up the dam place.
Just a couple of ideas to think about.

Mr fixit for the family
Chris :)

quadrod
12-30-2013, 06:53 AM
I use 5 gal. buckets that are repurpoused from work. I fill with swarf and pack it down with a heavy axle. When I get four of them filled I take to the scrap yard and give them to the owner just to stay on good terms with him, after all he
does not have to let me poke through the scrap piles.

quadrod
12-30-2013, 06:54 AM
I use 5 gal. buckets that are repurpoused from work. I fill with swarf and pack it down with a heavy axle. When I get four of them filled I take to the scrap yard and give them to the owner just to stay on good terms with him, after all he
does not have to let me poke through the scrap piles.

vpt
12-30-2013, 09:17 AM
I get a junk car and use it as my metal dumpster till it is full then take the whole deal in for scrap.

I also use a shop squeegee for sweeping up chips. ;)

KiddZimaHater
12-30-2013, 09:22 AM
Steel and cast iron chips go directly into the garbage. I have twice a week curbside pickup, so I don't generate enough scrap for the garbage men to notice.
I bag my Aluminum chips into trash bags, and when I have enough to fill my truck bed, I go recycle them.

LKeithR
12-30-2013, 09:33 AM
Anytime you can make small, individual chips--which means most mill work and a lot of stuff on a lathe--a good shop vac is invaluable for cleaning up. You can suck up chips and coolant/oil from all the nooks and crannies on a machine quite easily. Even better, depending on what you're cutting--cast iron and bronze are good examples--you can position the vacuum so it ingests the chips as they come off the cutter. Once captured they go into a 45 gallon drum and eventually make it to the scrapyard...

Stern
12-30-2013, 11:23 AM
Dont make a lot, as some months nothing, and others a lot. I just use 5 Gal pails (I have a lot) until I get 5 or more, then off to dump them at the recyclers. Never generate enough to take in for "cash", just get to dump it for free (along with my oily Rigid 300 pipe threading waste). All my other scrap (mainly old sprinkler piping) I save until a scrap guy wanders round, then he takes it all away (and makes himself a few bucks :) ).

feets
12-30-2013, 12:49 PM
I was thiniking about getting a can or barrel for my stuff. I've been using a shop vac (with internal bag) to catch the mill chips. It's been attached to the machine when side milling stainless or doing other annoying jobs.
A bunch of it went out with old dead car parts and other scrap I recycled.

The problem is that I really don't need to drag another item into my garage/shop. A can or barrel doesn't take up much room but space is already at a premium.

lakeside53
12-30-2013, 01:23 PM
After it builds up to the point I can't stand it... once a week, maybe, I just rake/broom up all the big stuff up into any garbage/old grocery bags and dump them into the trash. Then vac up the rest. When the vac bag is full, into the trash it goes also.

I had a mountain of aluminum swarf once. I was going to get rich.. but the whole lot weighted maybe 10lb. No point in wasting gas trying to sell that.

KiddZimaHater
12-30-2013, 01:40 PM
I had a mountain of aluminum swarf once. I was going to get rich.. but the whole lot weighted maybe 10lb. No point in wasting gas trying to sell that.
Agreed.
When I fill up my truck bed with Aluminum chips, the tightwad recycler only pays me about $40.
He goes thru the chips with a magnet, and when iron dust sticks to the magnet, he says, "These chips aren't CLEAN. I can only give you 20 cents per pound."
I already know his routine.

Highpower
12-30-2013, 02:57 PM
I had a mountain of aluminum swarf once. I was going to get rich.. but the whole lot weighted maybe 10lb. No point in wasting gas trying to sell that.

Both of the recycling centers that used to be near me closed up a few years ago. So now when my 30 gal drum fills up it goes into a trash bag and out to the curb. I would spend more in fuel driving to a distant recycle center now than what the swarf would bring in.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Highpwr/Carbide%20Grinder/SwarfDrum.jpg

Mike Amick
12-30-2013, 03:12 PM
Like the OP .. I too was wondering what to do with this stuff. I have been really thinking
about just putting it in the garbage but was real hesitant thinking it might be a silly move.
You guys have made me feel much better about that decision.

Mike A

feets
12-30-2013, 08:46 PM
I'll probably take it to work and dump it in the scrap metal bins. It would take me years to pile up enough to be worth a single load to the recycler.

lost_cause
12-30-2013, 09:21 PM
i use 5 gallon pails (metal if possible) for all the ferrous metal scrap, be it nails pulled from home remodeling, bolts replaced on a piece of lawn equipment, or mill, drill, lathe, and bandsaw scraps. i don't fill them up very often either, but storing a 5 gallon pail isn't very difficult. it would be more trouble if i tried to put them into the plastic bagged trash i generate. there are tons of people around here who scrap for a living that i would have no issue getting rid of a 5 gallon pail of metal, but usually once a year i have something else made of metal to sell for scrap anyways. i don't generate enough aluminum scrap to bother with at all.

i will add that i'll probably never give anything to the local scrappers. they're idiots in my book. if i set 10 pails of brand new steel pipe fittings in buckets at the end of the drive, i could guarantee them to be gone in 5 minutes, and 30 minutes later whey would have been sold at $0.10 a pound to the local yard. these guys will sell everything they can get for peanuts, even when the item has function and resale left in it. i'm a believer in re-purposing objects and not scrapping until there is virtually nothing left of function in it.

vpt
12-30-2013, 09:53 PM
Sometimes one job fills up the barrel.

http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/8457/hydraulicram005.jpg