Workshop materials you can't have too many of:
This is just a selection of what I keep an eye out for during my
wanderings. Wherever I go I am always thinking; "what could that
piece of scrap be used for".
New materials are just too expensive for most things I make, even second-hand
/ salvage / scrap yard materials are becoming extortionate now. If your
not 'comfortably well off', the more we can use scrap materials, the more money
that becomes available for the items we can't make for one reason or another.
As a friend of mine (Bob) mentioned,
photocopiers. They have lots of bearings and bushes, rods and rollers with
gears, motors and power supplies to run them. Very interesting optics with
mirrors and lenses as well.... Some laser printers are similar but have much
lighter duty components.
A source of 30 - 50 mm
round bar is from broken trailer axles. If they get bent then they are not too
much use so they can be picked up at the right price.
Another use for bolts
from engine blocks is as punches.... Punches in many different sizes (a few
minutes on the lathe) make it easier to retrieve bushes and bearings. A
collection of old bearing housings gives a really wide range of sizes to
support stuff while I use the punch on the other side.
|Hex socket machine screws|
|Hex head machine bolts & nuts|
|Countersink head machine screws|
|Washer - flat, spring|
|Rivets - especially the old snap head solid type.|
|Roll-pins & taper-pins|
|Shimming steel or brass|
|Aluminium, Brass & Steel bar - round, square, flat, Hex. - any
length, any size - i.e. I use a lot of steel rods from old printers
& can never get enough 1/2" to 2" round steel bar.|
|Aluminium plate - any, but especially if thicker than 4mm|
|Steel plate - any size|
|Steel angle & box tubing - assorted sizes|
|Spring steel, silver steel or other high carbon steel for making
|Cast iron - bar, angle brackets from machines etc|
|Plastic - rod & bar - any size|
|Old carbide tips from lathe tools, milling tools or saw blades, for silver brazing onto home made tooling
- I think I will have to find a friendly saw doctor who will sell me a
handful of used pieces.|
|Lathe tooling - you can always sharpen them or silver braze new tips
|Twist drills - old ones can be re-sharpened or turned into new cutting
|End mills, slot drills etc - a/a|
|Old gears & shafts from gearboxes & other machinery|
|Old camshafts, rocker arm bearing blocks & saddle blocks|
|Bicycle bits - chain sprockets ...|
|Saddle blocks, grease nipples & spring-cap oilers (hard to source)|
|Ball & taper races
|Good = making 'new' machinery|
|Old = milling hardware - spacers, parallel blocks etc|
|Sources of the above:
|Old engines & gearboxes - numerous parts|
|Old tools & machinery - motors, pulleys, bearings, shafts, chucks
|Leaf of thick truck spring - for making threaded dies|
|Sewing machines - various shafts, grub screws|
|Old printers - Shafts etc.|
|Bed frames - angle iron|
Example of the sort of things I look for:
||An old piece of machinery. It has a worm to gear to worm to gear
set-up, delivering a 320:1 reduction.
I picked it up at a salvage yard, but I think it originated from the
Australian Navy - The salvage yard has the contract with them.
||Although it will still be a major job, it's a great start toward
building or modifying it into, a dividing head or rotary table.
For scale, the large flange is about 6 to 8" (150 to 200mm)
I've already optimised the number of dividing plates & holes I will
need for it - I just need to get around to rebuilding it.