Monday, November 1, 2010

The No Scrap Shop

One sure way to achieve this is to throw all the drops into the scrap/recycle bin and haul it away.

However, my goal is to use all the steel I bring in and not have to recycle any. I never fully achieve this but come pretty close by being well organized.

After any length is cut from a new stick it never returns to a “full length” rack. I often write the length on the visible end with a correction pen marker. This makes selection and inventory easier.

I explained earlier how I accumulate same-type stock drops approximately between 2” and 15” in several 5 gallon buckets near the tumbler. When the bucket is nearly full I dump out the pieces on the platen table and sort them “same size” then lay them end-to-end in a 5’ piece of angle and tack them together to create approximately 5’ lengths and rack them. The reconstituted stock is mainly used to construct things used in the studio, frames, jigs, labels on porter bars and dies, etc.

When a drop is just to small to be worth tacking but still has significant mass it goes into the “smash” bucket. Off and on in a slack time I heat these and smash them with the power hammers to form little random tiles about a half inch thick and tumble them. They are later grouped and used to provide the mass required in sculpture bases.

When a drop is just too small or ugly to be useful as a smashed tile it goes into the recycle can but that is a very small fraction of the the steel which entered the shop.

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