What are these large metal objects?
March 18, 2012 2:43 PM   Subscribe

What are these large metal objects?

My boyfriend works in a theater whose building was once a shop of some kind. Their basement contains several large metal objects that apparently date back to that time, and nobody knows what they are or what to do with them. There are five of them, and they all look approximately like this one. Any idea what they are, and what they should do with them if they want them not to be in their basement anymore?
posted by andrewpendleton to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
Scrap metal is going for a pretty good price. I would suspect that someone would be glad to take them off their hands.

I have no clue what they are... I get a "foundry/smelting" vibe from the pictures.
posted by HuronBob at 2:58 PM on March 18, 2012

I don't know exactly what it was used for -- probably a fixture to help assembling something. It looks like perfectly good scrap iron now, so scrap it. Advertise them in Craigslist's free section -- someone may be happy to haul them away for you for nothing.
posted by jon1270 at 2:59 PM on March 18, 2012

It looks like a method of holding pieces in position for welding while at the same time catching the sparks as they fall safely.
posted by odinsdream at 3:52 PM on March 18, 2012

My guess is that's the top of a manhole. Most of the length of a manhole is concrete, but they use metal at the top so that they don't get wrecked by passing traffic.

But you haven't told us how big they are, so it really is just a guess.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:16 PM on March 18, 2012

I asked my husband, who is a welder by trade-- we own a machine shop. He says that it looks like a small forge for smelting or possibly annealing (blacksmithing), and that the bottom part looks like a refractory of some sort.
posted by mireille at 4:16 PM on March 18, 2012

My idea is stupid. I retract it. (I didn't realize that the stand was part of it.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:27 PM on March 18, 2012

They're definitely something for working with hot metal, probably specific to the shop since they're hand made. But they're not really anything special and any serious metalworking shop could easily make one if they needed it. Feel free to offer them to your local scrap metal dealer with a free conscience that you aren't depriving the world of valuable and rare metal confabulators.
posted by Ookseer at 9:53 PM on March 18, 2012

Metalworking is definitely in line with what some of the theater staff speculate that the building was used for (it's actually possible that some of the manufacture of the Iwo Jima memorial was done there, as we're in Washington, DC). Anyway, thanks for the help, everyone.
posted by andrewpendleton at 8:30 AM on March 19, 2012

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