Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

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REDONE
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Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by REDONE » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:20 am

I'm starting this thread for us all to share where we get fabrication materials on the cheap.

Bed frames! Someone is almost always giving these away just to get rid of it, good source of angle iron.

Old appliances! My floor pans are made of stainless steel refrigerator doors. A note on fridges, if you take the whole thing, you have to pay to recycle the refrigerant parts.

Who else has a tip?
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tedlovesjeeps71
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by tedlovesjeeps71 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:40 am

This thread is perfectly timed and one of my favorite types. I'm a pretty well skilled scrounger and love ideas on this kinda stuff. It is part because I'm cheap and broke, but also because I hate seeing stuff go to waste.
I'm kinda laughing that you started this thread because I'm currently trying to get the Maintenance Chief to let me rummage through the reserve units dumpster. I saw a large (18"x18"x 5-6') aluminum BII box being thrown away. It's in decent shape and I could probably make something useful out of it. Trailer box or slide out drawer. Something. The military has a horrible habit of trashing very useful stuff.
I have used bed frames as well. The appliances could be useful depending on what you're making. Cleaning off the powder coat or paint may make it rather labor intensive but you can find em free a lot.



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tedlovesjeeps71
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by tedlovesjeeps71 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:14 pm

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CherokeeOwner
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by CherokeeOwner » Sun May 21, 2017 10:44 am

We bought bundled, washed, shredded tee shirts for rags from our uniform supply guy for cheap years ago. The uniform company never advertised it, we just asked if they had any cheap rags for sale.


cmaje72
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by cmaje72 » Mon May 22, 2017 6:23 am

My wife always gets mad at me for picking up old bed frames off the side of the road...but I made several things out of them for my latest cherokee project. We have some pretty dedicated scrappers in my area now...aggressive almost. Its hard to find anything useful before they pick it up.
79 Cherokee 5.3/4l65E/NP241C
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tedlovesjeeps71
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by tedlovesjeeps71 » Mon May 22, 2017 10:15 am

cmaje72 wrote:My wife always gets mad at me for picking up old bed frames off the side of the road...but I made several things out of them for my latest cherokee project. We have some pretty dedicated scrappers in my area now...aggressive almost. Its hard to find anything useful before they pick it up.
When I was stationed in Arlington Virginia I had great success, initially, with finding stuff from the free section of Craigslist. One day it all kinda dried up. I'd head by a "curb alert" that was posted a short time ago (like less than 2-3 hours) because they were tossing something I could use. By the time I'd get there, everything would be gone. Turns out there was a group, all Hispanic, who ran several "teams" of trucks/vans. As soon as someone posted a free on CL they would get directions and send whichever vehicle was closest. They covered a lot of ground and would take everything, sell it if they could, or just dump the non valuable stuff. I can't fault them for profiting on what people are throwing away but it did suck because everything I saw I believed I could use was never available.


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Tatsadasayago
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by Tatsadasayago » Mon May 22, 2017 12:41 pm

When I was working up in North Dakota I noticed the pipe supplier (CTAP out of Colorado) used Oak boards for dunnage under the pipes. The guys who unloaded the pipe from the freight cars would pile it all up and burn it. I loaded the 45' flatbed 4 feet high and trucked it over to our place in Montana one weekend.
My uncle grabbed some, planed it and built a beautiful lady's dressing table with it.
Free hardwood is always a good thing.
1977 Cherokee Chief - The Blair Jeep Project III
A collection of parts flying in close formation

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tedlovesjeeps71
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by tedlovesjeeps71 » Mon May 22, 2017 1:44 pm

Tatsadasayago wrote:When I was working up in North Dakota I noticed the pipe supplier (CTAP out of Colorado) used Oak boards for dunnage under the pipes. The guys who unloaded the pipe from the freight cars would pile it all up and burn it. I loaded the 45' flatbed 4 feet high and trucked it over to our place in Montana one weekend.
My uncle grabbed some, planed it and built a beautiful lady's dressing table with it.
Free hardwood is always a good thing.
Too bad oak pallets are so much hassle to make workable.


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threepiece
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by threepiece » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:22 pm

This thread is no doubt one of my favorites. I have a saying “those who are throwing this stuff out should be embarrassed, not me for picking it”

By far my favorite place to get goodies is the scrap yard. The amount of tools, machines and building materials I have gotten over the last few years would shock most of those reading this. It’s Christmas morning for me every Saturday I’m in town.
I used to name my FSJ’s after their previous owners, I realized I had too many when I had five named Rick.


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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by threepiece » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:12 am

My friend works at a chain muffler/repair shop. He brings to me used paper towel rolls from the dispenser. This paper is reinforced. Half of it looks perfectly clean, a quarter of it is lightly soiled. He beings far more than I can use so I store it for a few years before I use it. I expect whatever germs were on them are no longer.

I always have free shop towels on hand and never have to be conservative with them.
I used to name my FSJ’s after their previous owners, I realized I had too many when I had five named Rick.


bigun
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by bigun » Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:36 pm

Have a friend who has his own personal stash of vehicles who is willing to share


threepiece
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by threepiece » Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:10 am

tedlovesjeeps71 wrote:
Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:40 am
The military has a horrible habit of trashing very useful stuff.


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I expect most companies are the same. I find “good stuff” from several companies on a regular basis at the scrap yard. They must make room so out it goes, usually the fastest way.

I work in the prototype department of an automotive company you all have heard of. It is common for them to replace a complete powertrain from six or more production vehicles with prototype units. These brand new engines and transmissions get tossed in the dumpster.

Years ago they had a custom made production spot welder hard wired in the building. They bought it and several overhead cranes to fabricate prototype car and truck bodies. This unit had two water cooled welders each with a tool balancer and jib crane. I guess the four swivel casters alone cost $400 each. Not one body was ever built there. After about eight years it too went in the dumpster.
I used to name my FSJ’s after their previous owners, I realized I had too many when I had five named Rick.


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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by bigun » Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:55 pm

threepiece wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:10 am
tedlovesjeeps71 wrote:
Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:40 am
The military has a horrible habit of trashing very useful stuff.


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I expect most companies are the same. I find “good stuff” from several companies on a regular basis at the scrap yard. They must make room so out it goes, usually the fastest way.

I work in the prototype department of an automotive company you all have heard of. It is common for them to replace a complete powertrain from six or more production vehicles with prototype units. These brand new engines and transmissions get tossed in the dumpster.

Years ago they had a custom made production spot welder hard wired in the building. They bought it and several overhead cranes to fabricate prototype car and truck bodies. This unit had two water cooled welders each with a tool balancer and jib crane. I guess the four swivel casters alone cost $400 each. Not one body was ever built there. After about eight years it too went in the dumpster.
There is a guy in Germany on youtube who goes out into salvage yards to pick up stuff he can refurbish or use to make something else, it is unreal some of the stuff he finds

The Post Apocalyptic Inventor


threepiece
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by threepiece » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:03 am

tedlovesjeeps71 wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 1:44 pm
[
Too bad oak pallets are so much hassle to make workable.


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I came up with an idea of how to process them but I have not tried it yet. My plan was/is to make flooring. My process is to cut around the nails with an annular cutter with a size that matches easily obtainable wood dowel rods. The boards can be planed or edged and fastened to the floor structure. The holes can then be plugged with the dowel.
I used to name my FSJ’s after their previous owners, I realized I had too many when I had five named Rick.

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Phils67
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by Phils67 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:46 pm

I know it sounds stupid probably but if I junk any appliance or see one on the side of the road I always cut off the cords. Ive rewired tools like my circular and reciprocating saws for example with cords from old vacuums and they are nicely jacketed and extremely long. Buy a head at the hardware store and make extension cords or whatever. It is braided wire so its flexible like automotove grade. You can run a few wires to a switch altogether in a single jacketed harness. Maybe i am just cheap but if its in good shape then to me its useful. Usually the appliance goes before the wiring. My Sawzall has like a 20' cord on it from an old steam cleaner.

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threepiece
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by threepiece » Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:06 am

Phils67 wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:46 pm
I know it sounds stupid probably but if I junk any appliance or see one on the side of the road I always cut off the cords.
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Curious why so many think this is behavior stupid and have no issues discarding usable items. It seems the opposite is more logical. I suppose we can thank television and corporate advertising for helping to define the values for so many. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRnNDkHb0MU
I used to name my FSJ’s after their previous owners, I realized I had too many when I had five named Rick.

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Phils67
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by Phils67 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:25 am

I personally don't think it is stupid but alot of people that have seen me do it think im cheap for doing it lol uh, I'm all about free stuff if it is usable. Years ago before 2 of my uncles passed away they used to tell me one man's junk is another man's treasure. I didn't really grasp it til I got a little older but its true. We live in a "throw away" society. No one repairs things anymore, they just junk things and replace them. I have a double wall oven at my house from 1968. The lower one hasn't worked since we moved in. I ordered a 35 dollar heat element and it works fine. Same with an old recliner I had. My mother was tossing it because the plastic handle you pulled to kick it back broke. The chair was like brand new condition. I ordered a $6 handle and had that chair for years lol

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1967 Gladiator J2000, currently under the knife getting J20 axles, late model spring-under-frame frontwith FSSR, 52" GM springs with ranger brackets in the rear, 3.73 with Detroit's, 4 corner disc, 235/85R16's on white steelies.

1990 Comanche MJ/ 2.5TBI Renix/AX4/2wd SporTruck base model shortbed/main Jeep/daily driver

2001 Cherokee XJ/ 4.0/AW4/NP231/D30-35/backup Jeep/daily driver


j10builder
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by j10builder » Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:34 am

I hear ya Phils67! I hate wasting usable stuff. My father used to cut the cord off everything that was headed to the scrap yard.
Old electrical boxes are a great source of sheetmetal. I cut and welded in some patches for my firewall yesterday from one.
This mentality is probably why I'm bringing a J10 back to life instead of buying a new Kung Pow XYZ9000 MegaDuty Super Stomper Light Truck too.


threepiece
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Re: Cheap/Free Fab Materials, Share Your Tips!

Post by threepiece » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:29 pm

j10builder wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:34 am
I hear ya Phils67! My father used to cut the cord off everything that was headed to the scrap yard.
This is common practice for all scrappers as they get paid a higher rate for the wire than the appliance it was connected to. The problem I have is when this is done to otherwise perfectly good units. I have collected dozens of working kitchen appliances and shop tools from the scrap yard, most have had their cords cut.
I used to name my FSJ’s after their previous owners, I realized I had too many when I had five named Rick.

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