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Free Metal! Where to find it.

We all know we can purchase metals from suppliers as well as buying material at the scrap yards.
However, there are ways to get metals either free or for less cost.
First of all, the scrap yards pay you less for scrap than they will sell the same scrap to you for.
So, if you can intercept metal before it gets to the scrap yard you will only have to pay what the yard offers or less. You might even get it for free.
To determine what you should offer for metal, go to DemolitionScrapMetalNews and see what it is trading for.
Finally, learn to identify metals. Keep a magnet in your pocket. Lots of steel things are brass plated.

In order of lowest melting point to highest, here are some metals and where I have found them.


Wheel weights are mostly lead with some antimony for hardness. Weights aren't reused.
INTERCEPT: The best place to get wheel weights is at a tire store.
Check with small places first, but know your prices! Avoid weights that have been submerged in water.
FIND: If you only need a pound or two, keep your eyes peeled at intersections.
Seems the weights loose their grip while the wheel is spinning.
When the car comes to a stop at a light, the weight just falls off.

FIND:The best source of zinc I have found is the once fired practice grenades from a military range. The plastic nose of these is filled with orange powder, but the base is pure zinc!
If there is a military base near you see if they have a range where they shoot these things.
Offer to clean it up for free.

FIND:By far the eaisest to get metal is aluminum in the form of beverage cans. They are just everywhere! Squash them as flat as you can before melting.
Can aluminum isn't the best for all applications, but it pours nicely, machines OK, and shines up really well.
Copper Brass Bronze

Plumbers and electricians generate copper scrap. Every town has both.
Is there a shooting range near you? Metalic cartridge cases are mostly yellow brass.
INTERCEPT:Check your prices and then call around. Avoid insulated wire.
FIND:Does your town have a clean-up week? Watch curbside for discarded water heaters.
When plumbers replace a water heater, they leave lots of brass and copper on them.
FIND:Check shooting ranges for brass. Does your police department have a range?
Most of the centerfire brass will be recovered by reloaders, but the rimfire brass just lays there.
If you get the stuff already picked up and in containers, go through it very carefully and remove any LIVE rounds.
Just one in the melt can ruin your crucible, your furnace and your day! Also avoid lots of nickle plated brass.
Other places to check might be local machine shops. Reducing chips (called shavings in the scrap industry) is a pain, but can still yield castable metal. Big shops may recycle their chips already, but ask nicely with a smile and a 5 gallon bucket ready you may just score!