Scrap Metal NYC
July 30, 2013 3:31 PM   Subscribe

Is there anywhere in NYC I can go to browse through scrap metal and parts? I'm looking for broken machine parts or empty metal cases or just scrap steel, but not car parts. I've tried Film Biz Recycling and BuildItGreenNYC, but would like larger more useless items than what they carry.
posted by edbles to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You might try places like A&A Scrap Metals out in Queens, but I think you're going to have trouble getting "browsing" privileges at most general scrap metal yards, simply because of insurance, liability, and loss control reasons. These places are usually organized to let their buyers look through stuff coming in on their own collection trucks, or at retail out on the curb. Metal they pickup or buy on spot rates is almost immediately sorted by metal type, and stored in bins/containers for a short period, until the owners make a deal for a certain weight and type of scrap to go to re-smelters or steel mini-mills. It's a low margin, turnover kind of business, not the kind of high margin, buy-and-hold business that auto junkyards are. I doubt you'd find a lot of recognizable, big steel pulleys, shafts, or beams, that you might be looking for, in ready supply. That kind of stuff is on its way to the smelter within a day or two of coming into the scrap yard.

But I guess if you never ask, you'll never know.
posted by paulsc at 4:31 PM on July 30, 2013

Used to be quite a few places like that out on 440 in Staten Island.
posted by JohnE at 5:56 PM on July 30, 2013

It sounds like what you want is interesting bits of metal that clearly used to be a not necessarily obvious something. Weird bits of machinery and the like, bigger than you can carry but small enough to lift with a forklift?

What you want are government surplus auctions. All sorts of weird things. If you are lucky there's a store stocked by someone who obsessively goes to auctions and similar to buy things and stuffs them into a huge warehouse. A surplus store -- not Kaufmanns or army surplus, surplus equipment.

If you can't track one down, go to an auction for these sorts of things and ask around discretely. Don't just go up and ask the person who seems to be buying all of the sort of thing you want, if they do have a store, you won't find out about any others from them, and they might not even tell you about their own. Auctions can be weird. Don't register to bid your first time out if you can help it.

If this is an an ongoing need, sign up to get notifications from the auction company.
posted by yohko at 10:46 PM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Charles J King Inc located at 1301 Grand St Brooklyn NY 11211: (718) 497-1950


G & G Scrap Metals (718) 782-8312 51 S 4th St, Brooklyn NY, 11211

I've done business with both places. Charles King is epic big, G&G not so. Both deal in all kinds of scrap, not necessarily cars. I honestly don't know that either or any place would let you just roam around because of insurance issues. But if you have a specific thing you're looking for, you might be able to ask nicely, and find something. There's also some scrap dealers up in Hunt's Point in Queens but I think that's mostly cars. This kind of thing kind of doesn't exist anymore, I don't think - there's Church St. surplus, down just off Canal St., but the last time I was in there (very long ago) they were relatively expensive.
posted by From Bklyn at 9:01 AM on July 31, 2013

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