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A Scrapper's Dream

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    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    A Scrapper's Dream

    This story will chronicle the journey of a scrapper who went from collecting aluminum cans a year and a half ago, to becoming a full time scrapper a year ago, that scrapped a community water tank 6 months ago and now is scrapping an entire power plant complete with building a scrap yard from scratch. It will be a story of a steep learning curve, many mistakes, endless challenges, and the methods used to over come the challenges. This opportunity was presented because of this forum.

    This is not a demolition job, it is a salvage operation where all of the metal will be scrapped and the building will remain intact. If there is a fairytale ending to this story, it will be a remarkable endeavor and a gorgeous finished project. My goal is to see it to the end and watch it be added to the historical registry.

    I was hired as a consultant for the project by a company. In essence I traded in my torch and trailers for a smart phone (it is my first and smarter than I am) and computer.

    The point needs to be made that I am not the best iron worker, the most knowledgeable metal man, the smartest administrator, the most creative individual, the greatest motivator, the most experienced scrapper, or the best at anything I am about to tackle. The success of this challenge will not be based on my knowledge or skills, but the insight of numerous individuals that make contributions. I will share the lessons learned and hope members of the forum will share their expertise as well. May you enjoy this story as much as I will enjoy the adventure.

    P.S. The man that hired me loves challenges more than I do.







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    Best of luck! I'm looking forward to hearing about your progress, it sure sounds interesting!

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    WOW!!! Congratulations. It's really great to read such success stories. It just goes to show that with determination and hard work instead of crying and whining, there is still opportunity in this country. I've enjoyed reading this and other similar stories over the past 3+ years I've been on this forum.
    People may laugh at me, but that's ok. I laugh all the way to the bank.

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    Coolio! and best wishes for a successful project. One thing comes to mind I've heard from many great leaders is that their best asset was in the qualities of the people they chose to have around em ; ) bon voyage my friend

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    Best of luck on your endeavour! As bear said, you are only as good as your employees are. Looking forward to seeing the progress on your new project. That being said, I'm still glad I don't live in ND anymore!

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    Good Luck Patriot.
    Recyclable Material Merchant Wholesaler
    Certified Zip-Tie Mechanic
    "Give them enough so they can do something with it, but not too much that they won't do nothing."

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  12. #7
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    wow a power plant..........Are there alot of EPA regulations when doing something like that

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  14. #8
    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinreco View Post
    wow a power plant..........Are there alot of EPA regulations when doing something like that
    I am learning as I go. It cost almost two million to remove asbestos from the plant, contain mercury, and do a radiation test. The only thing I am aware of that still needs attention is oil from the coal pulverizers.

    Any factory that uses natural fuels for energy will have some radiation. It is naturally produced from fossil fuels. This plant has not been in operation for two decades and the radiation test came out negative. The plant was built in the early 1940's before we even had the nuclear bomb. Some of the equipment is date stamped 1948 indicating it was not operational until the late 40"s. Many environmental studies have been done on this facility over the years, but some studies are only good for one year and then need to be redone. So far everything has checked out clean.

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  16. #9
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    Wow *whistles*. congrats Patriot!
    Scrapper, Scrap Yard Worker, Horse farm worker, Cooler Puller and just plain ''tired''

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    Some of the machinery may well be wanted for re-use in third world/developing countries. I've seen this in facilities/machinery,boilers etc made well before the 40s

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  20. #11
    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    Before this project began, the forum was used to gather information. Because of information provided by members four large metal buyers have visited the facility at their cost and will be providing bids. They include Sims out of VA (largest metal recycler in the world), Acme (out of Chicago is one of the largest in the U.S.), Alters in the Midwest (they have 51 scrap yards), and a fourth one I cannot disclose at this time. We have direct access to fill gondola rail cars for direct shipment to their refineries. A safety cushion has been created to truck or send by rail car to two more regional steel yards. Since this facility is located on the river, we are looking at shipping the iron by barge as well.

    Each company sent representatives to view the plant and each was asked to bring a metal gun to identify precious metals. We plan to color code special metals for sorting later. My conservative estimate of 5,000 tons of steel has been increased to 10,000 tons by the experts.

    All of the companies submitted bids in two scenarios. First, if we loaded and shipped the metal and the second was for them to pick up at the site. We will be using the Iron Age index as a guide for market fluctuations. Working with metal buyers at this level has defiantly increased my knowledge of the metal industry.

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    I can not give any advice on a project of this size because I have no idea how to go about it. I will however be reading this thread to follow you as you progress. Looks like your well on your way to a greate start, you have done your home work. Good luck and keep us updated as much as you can, looks like you'll be very busy so if thiere is time inbetween post we will understand. Now get to work!!

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    This is going to be simply remarkable to watch and experience vicariously. I cannot explain how much I enjoyed your water tank adventures. Any idea of a timeline or deadline for this project?

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    I'm following your adventures with some envy. There's probably even a few treasures in there that you need to discuss with your boss so they end up in your home shop!!

    How big is the turbogenerator? What voltage did it run at? As others have said, there are some markets for the used stuff that you will probably be investigating. Don't forget to test transformer oils for PCB's (and oil-filled capacitors, especially because of the age of the stuff!)

    If you don't already know about this site, "Surplus record", its a very good start to find the people who buy and sell the big stuff like what you have. Link here. They put out a monthly publication advertising stuff in very fine print, like a little phone book about an inch thick. Some people have been advertising in there since the 20's!!

    A big THANK YOU for sharing this!!

    Jon.

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    Awesome project. Congratulations! Be on the lookout for old computers too. I know DEC machines were often used in power plants, and those are worth a fortune now (over $10k for some types).

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  30. #16
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    Been following your threads with great interest, Patriot and I have to say I'm impressed!

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  32. #17
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    I defently envy u on this project. I loved the water tank project, and am sure to love this as well. I have not been around on the forum as long as some of u all, but I really love that u have welcomed me in, if nothing else to be able to read about stuff like this. Nice find on the job, good luck on everything, and most of all, be safe. A lot of stuff that can really hurt u in there.
    Keep us informed and I for one love pics. Wished I had a computer so I could post some myself though. Don't worry patriot, my phone is a lot smarter than me too!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sawmilleng View Post
    I'm following your adventures with some envy. There's probably even a few treasures in there that you need to discuss with your boss so they end up in your home shop!!

    How big is the turbogenerator? What voltage did it run at? As others have said, there are some markets for the used stuff that you will probably be investigating. Don't forget to test transformer oils for PCB's (and oil-filled capacitors, especially because of the age of the stuff!)

    If you don't already know about this site, "Surplus record", its a very good start to find the people who buy and sell the big stuff like what you have. Link here. They put out a monthly publication advertising stuff in very fine print, like a little phone book about an inch thick. Some people have been advertising in there since the 20's!!

    A big THANK YOU for sharing this!!

    Jon.

    I think once those bids are taken they'll be expecting pretty much all parts of it, at least all major ones anyway, to be coming to them

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  36. #19
    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sawmilleng View Post
    I'm following your adventures with some envy. There's probably even a few treasures in there that you need to discuss with your boss so they end up in your home shop!!

    How big is the turbogenerator? What voltage did it run at? As others have said, there are some markets for the used stuff that you will probably be investigating. Don't forget to test transformer oils for PCB's (and oil-filled capacitors, especially because of the age of the stuff!)

    If you don't already know about this site, "Surplus record", its a very good start to find the people who buy and sell the big stuff like what you have. Link here. They put out a monthly publication advertising stuff in very fine print, like a little phone book about an inch thick. Some people have been advertising in there since the 20's!!

    A big THANK YOU for sharing this!!

    Jon.
    We have had PCB tests completed and everything is looking good. I cannot give any information about the generators yet because the research has not been done. A picture of one of them is posted. Thank you for the contact information. I had been contacting individual buyers, very time consuming. Now I will be able to post to numerous companies.

    Bear, as far as the metal buyers, each one was told we may use multiple vendors depending on price and needs. Although each one was especially interested in the miles of one and two inch copper wires running throughout the building, none put a condition on their bids.

    Last edited by Patriot76; 01-27-2014 at 07:36 AM.

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  38. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by snorton1 View Post
    This is going to be simply remarkable to watch and experience vicariously. I cannot explain how much I enjoyed your water tank adventures. Any idea of a timeline or deadline for this project?
    I have been given one year to move roughly 10,000 tons of steel. Certain areas have shorter deadlines which will be explained later. The representatives from Sims Metal told us they moved 13,000 tons in seven to ten days at a Chrysler Plant. Of course they had more equipment and a larger crew, but that is impressive. The Chrysler Plant was shut down for a remodel and that is the time they had to complete the job. A lot of the steel was robots, so they also did a lot of sorting of metals.

    There are four parts to the building. We call them the office, the boilers, the turbo room, and the power station. The boiler building is 10 stories tall with two more floors below ground level. The boilers themselves are eight stories tall and I am guessing 60 ft. by 30 ft. in diameter. I will give a more accurate measurement later. Right now we have limited light in the building and have to use flashlights to navigate. Therefore some pictures will not be good quality and some items will not be shown.

    I am meeting a member of the forum this morning to give him a tour. This will be the second member of the forum that I have met face to face.
    Last edited by Patriot76; 01-27-2014 at 08:33 AM.

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