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Where do you find machine 'scrapyards'?

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  • Where do you find machine 'scrapyards'?

    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?

  • #2
    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.



    • #3
      You're about 25 years too late. The big industrial areas near you are production ghost towns. Racine, Kenosha, West Allis.


      • #4
        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.


        • #5
          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.
          "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
          world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
          country, in easy stages."
          ~ James Madison


          • #6
            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.


            • #7
              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


              • #8
                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.


                • #9
                  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. :-)


                  • #10
                    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.

                    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        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.
                        "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."


                        • #13
                          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.


                          • #14
                            Scrap yard around Austin, TX???

                            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??
                            My cup 'o plasma: No dialog, just ten minutes of dancing plasma and music. Turn on, tune in, space out.


                            • #15
                              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!