View Full Version : Possible way to get recycled steel?

Wed 04 February 2009, 14:29
OK first I wasn't sure where to place this thread, since most of the steel that I am talking about is for the base table I decided to put it here. Ever since I found this forum I can't stop thinking about my CNC router, However it takes a little capital to get started (significantly less than just buy a brand new CNC Router). The first thing I wanted to do was get some of the steel for the table. After getting some quotes I realized I would need a little over $1000. Then I had an idea and I wanted see if you folks think its stupid or maybe worth pursuing. Now keep in mind I have NO experience with steel, so this may not be feasable. Anyway I started looking on craigslist for used trailers. Up here in NY we have a lot snowmobile trailers for sale and and some utility trailers for sale. I found a trailer that is 7' x 12' for less than $200, does anyone think the steel from a trailer could be salvaged and used for the frame of a CNC router? Obviously I would have to check for significant rust, but barring that anyone think it might work?

Wed 04 February 2009, 14:52
It might work, but consider all the time and tools needed to cut, grind and pull all that steel out from the trailers. Is it worth the time and aggravation? Also I doubt you will find the main beams needed for the MM in a snowmobile trailer. :) What if the steel has been bent too? :(

Wed 04 February 2009, 14:54
check out ebay also you might be suprised and find a local company that has reclaimed steel. I found one here in michigan but it is 2.5 hours one way drive and as I have yet to price my steel I dont know if it will offer savings to make the drive feasable. On the plus side I have a cottage that is only half an hour from them but trailering it back here is where I don't know if it will be worth it or not.

Wed 04 February 2009, 15:59

One trailer that I found on craigslist used to be a camper but was gutted down completely to the floor and used to haul stuff, because it was a camper it might have stronger steel. Based on the pictures (which is hard to be accurate) it looked fairly decent and like it was square frame not c channel, not really sure if that makes it stronger. But for about $150 maybe worth a look.

Craig thank you I never thought to check ebay.

Wed 04 February 2009, 16:05
I would look at a mobile home base. The side channels should be heavy enough, and the cross braces would work for other things. They usually aren't very rusty. You can get them for scrap prices (at least here in Ohio) cut out what you need, then scrap the rest.

That might be too much work for the savings. Another thing to try is take a drive through your local industrial area and see what's lying out back of some of the places. If you see something good, ask them if they will sell it to you. I would suggest asking at the loading dock instead of the front door.

Wed 04 February 2009, 16:27
Thats a good idea, actually I was just walking my dog (BRRR -10 Degrees F here) and I remembered my neighbor has an enclosed trailer in the back that has never moved. There is no rust on it so maybe I could salvage some steel from there. As far as it being more trouble than its worth I almost think it might be enjoyable (that remains to be seen), kinda fun salvaging. This leads me to another question, do the round tubular frames for the cross beams add more strength than say the square frames? Just wondering because those might be hard to come from salvaging might just have to buy them, I just wasnt sure if it was strictly asthetics.
Thanks again

Gerald D
Wed 04 February 2009, 20:27
do the round tubular frames for the cross beams add more strength than say the square frames? . . . . I just wasnt sure if it was strictly asthetics.

No difference in strength, and aesthetics are in the eye of the beholder.
(The round ones collect less dust and make smaller bruises on the shins :D)

Gerald D
Wed 04 February 2009, 20:32
Your Yellow Pages surely lists some scrap merchants who buy old steel? Or demolishers/wreckers who tear down buildings/factories? Some phoning around should give you some pointers on who might have a yard full of sorted sizes.

Thu 05 February 2009, 06:19
Gerald thanks for the info on the round vs square. I have been calling around trying to find some recycled steel around here, and just last night I talked to my father who told me a place to try... so I will continue my search.
Thanks again all