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  • box beam - scrap? what to do?

    I have a piece of steel that used to be the nose of some kind of crane. It is box beam. In cross section, it is six inches square, and 5/8" thick everywhere, about 24 lbs/foot. That's 3.3 kg/m for overseas readers. It's about ten feet long, rusty yard steel. I can scrap it these days for about $24US.

    Still, it seems like a hollow cube about 6x6x6" might be useful for fixturing. Or 4 very heavy 30" legs. Or I could dig out the track burner and slit it four times lengthwise and wind up with 40' of 3x3x5/8" angle, which would be stout indeed at six pounds per foot.

    It's been lying in my driveway for a couple years now. It's got to go. I'm having trouble pulling the trigger, though.

    Can any of you brilliant minds think of something truly intelligent to do with this thing?

    metalmagpie

  • #2
    Scrap it. I am moving so in a scrap mode. Took 2200 pounds to the scrap yard. Made $208.00. Have another load for the morning. The best part, I have not missed a bit of it!

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    • #3
      awww, now in the future when you need some steel,,, TRY buying AGAIN for $228.00.

      Metalmagpie,, save that steel,, a use will come for it, and you will be glad you kept it.

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      • #4
        A little cutting and welding, and It might make a nice, vandal-proof Mailbox.

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        • #5
          If I had the space, I would mount it horizontally and use it as a base for any kind of fixturing. Just bolt or weld fitmants at each end as and when needed. It could be the base for a long occasional turning machine/lathe, it could be the base for a twisting machine, a straightening fixture, you name it. But horizontal, in the dry, it's weldable and usable. In the driveway it's an obstacle.

          I turned my bench into a lathe once, for an oddball of a job. I'd have rather have had your beam and the space at the time.
          Richard - SW London, UK, EU.

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          • #6
            A couple chunks 6" long machined up nice and pretty with all four sides drilled and tapped on a grid makes some nice mill fixtures.

            For added clamping options add some 5/16x5/16 slots near one end for toe clamping it the the mill table.
            I just need one more tool,just one!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wierdscience View Post
              A couple chunks 6" long machined up nice and pretty with all four sides drilled and tapped on a grid makes some nice mill fixtures.

              For added clamping options add some 5/16x5/16 slots near one end for toe clamping it the the mill table.
              I'd probably also cap the ends and machine everything nice & square. Along with the tapped holes I'd include drilled & reamed every other hole to make an interesting universal fixture sorta like a tombstone.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post
                I have a piece of steel that used to be the nose of some kind of crane. It is box beam. In cross section, it is six inches square, and 5/8" thick everywhere, about 24 lbs/foot. That's 3.3 kg/m for overseas readers. It's about ten feet long, rusty yard steel. I can scrap it these days for about $24US.

                Still, it seems like a hollow cube about 6x6x6" might be useful for fixturing. Or 4 very heavy 30" legs. Or I could dig out the track burner and slit it four times lengthwise and wind up with 40' of 3x3x5/8" angle, which would be stout indeed at six pounds per foot.

                It's been lying in my driveway for a couple years now. It's got to go. I'm having trouble pulling the trigger, though.

                Can any of you brilliant minds think of something truly intelligent to do with this thing?

                metalmagpie
                If it "has to go" - get rid of it before you change you mind - ie scrap it.

                As its off a crane I'd be surprised if it was mild or structural grade steel..

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                • #9
                  i second the mailbox. in our area they play mailbox baseball. they ride by in a car and hit themailbox with a baseball bat. can you think of the look on the batters face when that back hits the unmoving mailbox when they are going about 20 mph?

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                  • #10
                    Mailbox!!!! Did that a few years ago after only one destroyed mailbox....Laying awake one summer night heard 'em coming for round 2....watched as it was hit, driver said what the hell was that? Hitter said I BROKE my arm....Yelled at them, went outside to check my handy dandy work and discovered ALUMINUM bat laying next to it....Never got hit again

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post
                      about 24 lbs/foot. That's 3.3 kg/m for overseas readers.

                      Can any of you brilliant minds think of something truly intelligent to do with this thing?

                      metalmagpie
                      your weight calculations are way off.at 24 lb/ft you. 24 / 2.2 = 10.09kg per ft X3.01 ft per M.=32.836 kg / m

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                      • #12
                        20 ft of 6 x 6 xa 5/8 solid wall beam? Thast aint scrap iron, that's a resource. Burn a few feet through opposite corners and make angle plates. Make 3 finished on the inside; they have a surprizing range of uses. Make a couple of gusseted outside angle plates. Make a bunch and sell them to friends. Make a couple of columns with welded flanged bases. The radiused corners won't hurt.

                        Cut a short piece. Weld a lifting hook or a clevice each on opposite corners. Weld a tab inside one corner to take the lug back of a dial indicator so the indicator contacts the opposite inside corner. You've just made a lifting dynomometer. All you have to do is lift a known weight, note the reading, work the math, and come up with a thousandths per lb factor. Then make a chart. Or whittle here and there to refine the calibration to direct reading.

                        That's heavy stuff. Cut a piece 16" long, Weld 3/4" thick flanges on it. Pick a good site and bolt and grout it to a stout concrete floor with female anchors. Mount a heavy duty vise or an anvil on the upper flange. Now you have a Stout Place where you can exert muscle and inflict mechanical shock.

                        There's tons of stuff a clever guy can to with a hunk of iron besides scrap it and spend the money on beer or toys. A guy who'd scrap a piece of steel like that would cut a walnut tree for firewood.
                        Last edited by Forrest Addy; 08-20-2012, 11:21 PM.

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                        • #13
                          re: Cut a walnut tree down and burn it:

                          Have to AGREE!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post
                            I have a piece of steel that used to be the nose of some kind of crane. It is box beam. In cross section, it is six inches square, and 5/8" thick everywhere, about 24 lbs/foot. That's 3.3 kg/m for overseas readers. It's about ten feet long, rusty yard steel. I can scrap it these days for about $24US.

                            Still, it seems like a hollow cube about 6x6x6" might be useful for fixturing. Or 4 very heavy 30" legs. Or I could dig out the track burner and slit it four times lengthwise and wind up with 40' of 3x3x5/8" angle, which would be stout indeed at six pounds per foot.

                            It's been lying in my driveway for a couple years now. It's got to go. I'm having trouble pulling the trigger, though.

                            Can any of you brilliant minds think of something truly intelligent to do with this thing?

                            metalmagpie
                            All or most of the suggestions so far include probably oxy-acet of plasma cutting (allowing for a small home shop) which will leave very hard heat-affected zones that have to be ground out before a machine cutter is put anywhere near it as those cutters are expensive.

                            Scrapping seems the best option as you have no real need for it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              At one time I bought a length of square steel tubing to use as a vertical post in the shop. What I had in mind was to use it much like a drill press column. You could bring a V shape up to it and clamp it anywhere, and the V could carry a table, a spindle, punch and die holders, something akin to a tailstock, etc. I ended up using it as the bed for a horizontal boring machine. Being square, anything that rides along it stays aligned (not talking great precision here).

                              I bought what I could determine to be the best of the little cheap drill presses, then adapted that to be the 'headstock'. The tailstock and saddle both are sort of built like V blocks, each can be secured anywhere along the 'box beam' by tightening wing nuts. Pretty crude, but quite serviceable, and handy for jobs where no other machine has the capacity in length or depth of throat.

                              I missed the boat just a little with this machine. Because my shop is small, I wanted to be able to fold this out horizontally for use, but then tilt it to vertical to lessen the footprint. I mounted the drill press head on the 'low' end of the tube, so when tilted up the drill press faces upwards. It would have been better with the press mounted on the 'uphill' end- then I could still use it almost like a normal drill press in vertical mode.
                              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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