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Chip collecting - do you?

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  • Chip collecting - do you?

    I'm currently doing a favor job (that happens to pay a bit) turning 7 pieces of 12" long 6" diameter 6061-T6 into what look like giant boat trailer keel rollers Between the 1" bore for the axle, and making the "V" (small diameter is 2" x 1" wide), most of the material is getting turned into chips. And not the nicely broken variety either. Most of it just does not lend itself to any technique (or tool) that I know of to break a chip, so I wind up with lots of birds nest (or worse). I finished the first tonight, and I've got a large shop trash can filled to overflowing AFTER tromping them down the best I could.

    So here is the point. How many of you actually gather chips to recycle? In the past, I've never had enough at one time to be worth fooling with. But by the time I finish this, there is likely to be well over 40 lbs of chips. Still probably won't cover the fuel to carry down to scrap, and I don't have room to keep them all collected till I'm done. It's clean, no coolant, so it will probably go into the city recycling bin...
    Master Floor Sweeper

  • #2
    Aluminum and stainless (if in quantity) are the only materials I use that I save for scrap. Steel chips and swarf go right into my residential garbage can at a hundred plus pounds at a time (sometimes).

    The stuff that's worth my effort gets bundled up in trash bags and when I have a truck load I haul it all in.

    Of course, the recycler is across the street from the steel yards I frequent, so it's not really a special trip other than not deadheading there as usual.

    If you have a lot of these, you might look at changing your speeds and feeds. You can usually get aluminum to break if you run it hard enough. Maybe you don't have a lathe strong enough to do that though. If you're using HSS, you could also try grinding a chip breaker into the tool.


    • #3
      I do collect.
      Steel: The one driving it to the scrap gets the money. I live on a farm (not mine) and we collect maybe a tonne steel a year. So it's worth collecting.
      Al and stainless: I collect 'till I have enough.

      I get used empty 20 liter drumms (that were for paint). I do stuff chips in there. They even have a lid, so I can put them outside for storage.

      Right now, there's an old bath tub full with chips waiting to be taken away. About 200kg.



      • #4
        Cashing in your chips?

        Are some here seriously thinking of cashing in their chips?'s+chips


        • #5
          Yep I collect mine in 55 gallon drums that I have de-headed. I clean the lathe before switching material and keep the materials in separate drums, I have 6 six drums right now for scrap and cuttings. I have drum shields to keep the rain and snow out of them. I will load them up and take them to the scrapyard here in a week or two.
          I classify them by type and material,
          Heavy steel.
          Steel chips.
          Aluminum chips.
          Aluminum castings.
          A friend of mine takes the aluminum castings off my hands for use in his hobby, I let him have what he needs.
          Right now I have three drums of heavy steel, a drum of steel chips, one empty and a drum of aluminum chips with about ten pounds in it.
          Most of the heavy steel is cut-off ends of threaded pipe, pipe fittings and bits and pieces of structural steel.
          I load the drums with a chain and the loader frame on tractor, I figure that I have around 3000lbs of scrap in those drums as I can not move them with my 600lb cap. hand truck.


          • #6
            Better question is - "How much are you getting for your chip?

            I've been quoted as low as $.05 / lb and as high as $.20 / lb. Pretty big difference depending on where you go


            • #7
              Question is, can you sell them? Many scrap yards won't buy chips and swarf.
              It's only ink and paper


              • #8
                Originally posted by Carld
                Question is, can you sell them? Many scrap yards won't buy chips and swarf.
                Scrapers around here will take chip/swarf. But who said the people in scrap yards are any where near honest?

                At $.05 per lb I feel like why bother collecting up all the chip and hauling it down there. A 50lb box nets a whopping $2.50. Not enough to recoup the gas.


                • #9
                  I do collect it, and have quite a bit of steel, with less weight of aluminum and brass etc......

                  What have you been getting for the various materials if you have turned it in?

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan


                  • #10
                    I was surprised to learn that a vocational school here with a sizable
                    enrollment has ceased collecting chips for scrap and now just tosses
                    them into a general refuse bin, at least for output from the manual
                    machines. I asked but didn't get a definative answer as to the reason
                    for the change.

                    My own output is small. I transport it to a friendly business and transfer
                    to their commercial bins, respecting the need to sort dissimilar materials
                    into their respective bins. I am getting to know some people with home
                    foundries - they will be welcome to any Al I produce.

                    From a past life with larger quantities of metal scrap, I'll offer to
                    those who use 20 & 45 gal drums that the addition of 'ears' (welded
                    to vertical reinforcing strips on the drum sides) makes handling these
                    by hand, sling and forklift more convenient (and possibly safer.)



                    • #11
                      I've never had enough to even consider taking it in. But I will call Monday to see what the rate is, and if they will take swarf.

                      As for breaking the ships, I did get them to break just fine when roughing out the V. Looked like 2 gallons of popcorn. The problem is with what I guess you might call secondary roughing, drilling, and finishing. This is roughly how it played out.

                      1) 1" hole 12" deep. Breaking chips by stopping feed (well, until deep), but still some longer chips. No big deal.

                      2) Get mounted on center so I can rough. Plunge parting tool in center so I can get a CNMG-432 in there and plow out the "V". I have a 7.5hp 17x60, no problem breaking chips, or taking heavy feeds 0.200 at a time with fast feeds. But the V was important, so I left plenty of material to be "safe".

                      3) Cutting the 5" V sides with a compound is a pure PIA and takes forever. So to move things along, I did a "secondary roughing" by trigging out the points at 0.100 intervals, and plunging 0.125 parting tool, leaving enough for the finish operation. This produced much of my problem with long ribbons. I tried chip breaker (both step and cut), and the best all around was flat top. I did finally gave up and used hand feed so I could break them by stop-n-go with the feed.

                      4) Finishing on all surfaces is always a PIA with aluminum. I tried harder on this than with most, but everything I tried either wanted to pile the chip right back into the cut path, or send it out across the lathe. I finally settled on tools (facing, OD finish, and V) that kept most of it out of the cut path. The facing worked fine, rolling up a nice coil and sending it off the side. The OD tool also worked ok. It's the V finish tool that was killing me. Once I got past the plunge steps, most of the tools I tried/made kept wanting to flip the chip right back into the cutting path (to pile up, bind, wrap around, etc), or sending it down beside the compound. I settled on the latter. But the result was longer (again, broken by feed) chips that don't want to pack down in the can.

                      I rarely do aluminum, and when I do, it's no where near this volume of material to go through. So there was a lot of experimentation and learning involved, and a lot of that produced a lot of horrible open chips. This all took longer than expected (desired), and by the end, I was getting tired and just wanted to finish (needed to finish). I think the next will go much better. I think I'll be trigging out the V roughing for MUCH closer work. That will drastically reduce the excessive plunging with parting tool. And, I'm going to switch to (make) a tool that can do the V finishing with more clearance (hang out) between it and the compound/post. That will give me more options for chip control. And I'm going to modify my compound handle so I can remote (and possibly power) drive it.

                      But as to the topic at hand, I expect the city will get it in the recycle bins (perhaps I should check to see that this is ok). I just don't expect it will be worth the effort to haul it 15 miles to the nearest scrappy.
                      Last edited by BadDog; 05-02-2010, 01:52 PM.
                      Master Floor Sweeper


                      • #12

                        3 mil contractor garbage bags work wwell. never had a Chip escape.


                        • #13
                          Well after the first time I took Aluminum chips in with my cans and was told we really don't pay much for chips .05 or so and then watch them toss them into the cuber with the cans I thought ok. I now make pucks of my chips and toss them in with the crushed can and get .50 to .65 per lb. or whatever cans are bringing.

                          Steel chips I take as I'm running that way anyway.... and feel it's better to have them re melted then buried in the landfill.
                          Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Carld
                            Question is, can you sell them? Many scrap yards won't buy chips and swarf.
                            The scrapyard I deal with takes them, as we have a high concentration of tool shops around here.


                            • #15
                              Last AL chips I sold were .32/lb and swarf was .38/lb or vise versa. After a couple hundred pounds it comes out to something to buy lunch or some gas. I make more money on my cans and solids, but it's still a little coin so I keep em.