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Scrap prices? Sorta OT, maybe not

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  • Scrap prices? Sorta OT, maybe not

    I own a rigging and sail loft. Oftentimes I replace the standing rigging on someone's boat and I end up with the old wire. If it's stainless I save it and I decided this year since I have so much of it I'd take it and get the scrap value.
    The scrapyard, not having seen something like this, immediately pulled the magnet out and started picking through it, and as it turns out some of it is NOT type 316 as I had been led to believe. I've been buying wire for about ten years now, and the only options are T316 or T304. This guy starts telling me it's 400-grade steel.
    I left it all in the trunk and said, "I'll separate it and be back tomorrow." Everything was cordial. So I went through all 180 pounds with a magnet and found that about half was nonmagnetic, and half was. I'll call that 304, since there's no other option, really.
    Here's the weird part: The UPS guy dropped off a box of wire I had ordered, all T316, in three different diameters. On a lark I figured I'd check them. Two out of three were magnetic! I looked in the box of ends I had cut off from splicing and there were certainly some there that I had ordered and used, bought and charged customers for as T316, but there they were, all shiny and new and magnetic.

    I'm thinking I'm going to call my supplier and ask, why is some of this magnetic and some not? Meanwhile, I don't even know what to say to the scrap guy, who wants to give me 10 cents a pound for half of what I bring to him.

  • #2
    It sure sounds like you may be getting some bunk stainless. We'll all be interested to hear what they say.

    The scrap guys I deal with in Detroit are pretty sharp and they have an XRF gun (X-ray fluorescent). It is a $15K gadget that reports the composition of any alloy. You should try and find someone who has one. I once had a paint chip tested with one for lead, so you may be able to find a place that does lead testing to do a test. But before they XRF, the scrap guys always test stainless with a magnet.

    I find this site very interesting for checking scrap prices. Of course you can't expect to get paid the base rate.


    • #3
      Look at the section covering cold working for your answer-

      For fun,find a single strand of stainless wire that is non-magnetic.Bend it to a sharp 90* bend,then check the bend with a magnet.
      I just need one more tool,just one!


      • #4
        Wow. I love this place. THank you all so much. Now all I have to do is convince the guy writing the check!


        • #5
          The scrap yards I deal with around Lancaster, Ohio do not separate out Stainless weather magnetic or not. I don't understand as I think it would be easier to remelt purer grades instead of having to treat somehow.
          mark costello-Low speed steel


          • #6
            I have been told that stainless, big chunks of HSS tooling, CRS, whatever.... not worth separating, because the yard doesn't care and throws it all together. So far, it seems to be true.

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan


            • #7
              Ha. Well, after separating the two grades I had, and cutting all the ends off (that had other stuff on them he would not have been interested in dealing with) I brought both totes back to him. I had 68 pounds of T316 and 86 pounds of T304. He cut me a check for $60, which works out to about 38 cents a pound. Which is better than he wanted to give me but I was up front and told him, it's not in my interest to rip him off, and I gave him my card w/ my number on it. I told him that when he resells it if he runs into any trouble he can call me and we'll work something out. I basically offered him his money back. Scrap dealers are notorious for shortchanging people, but I appeared to know what I was talking about.
              I'm curious to know why the T316 wire I just bought is magnetic, however. I'm calling the supplier on Monday.