Looking for Yard Junk
May 10, 2008 8:38 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a good non-auto junk/ salvage yard in Portland, OR area that allows you to dig though and buy scrap metal. I am trying to find some funky old metal to use to build a metal gate and some trellises for my yard. That and I just sort of feel like wandering around a junk yard, but I can't seem to find any (other than auto yards) that allow people to dig around.

In addition to junk yards, any place that might have rusty old gates, crazy old headboards, or random wrought iron would be helpful. Something like Scrap but more dangerous and dirtier.

Any ideas?!
posted by crawfishpopsicle to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Might have some luck at an architectural salvage. There are plenty more like that in the Portland, OR area.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:08 AM on May 10, 2008

Response by poster: Architectural Salvage looks cool, but they charge an arm and a leg. I am looking for a place that is more along the lines of pay by the pound. Thanks for the tip though.
posted by crawfishpopsicle at 9:13 AM on May 10, 2008

Architectural Salvage is also in Portland, Maine. The ReBuilding Center is in Portland, Ore. and has better prices, but it's still not by-the-pound, and isn't primarily metal stuff. Of course, if you're familiar with Scrap, then... oh, yes, I see from your profile that you're in the 'hood. NE represent, yo.

My gal rides the 70 to work and notes that it passes some kind of scrap metal yard in SE along 17th Ave somewhere near the Trimet bus barn at Center St. Big bins filled with stuff, sounds like. Searching for "scrap metal" in Portland, OR doesn't yield anything that central, so I don't know where she's talking about, but hey, the map looks promising.

Also, you could ask Portland folks in person at the May 24th meetup, if you missed the announcement.
posted by mumkin at 9:41 AM on May 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

There must be some shipyards around Portland which maintain things like factory trawlers; you should be able to outbid the jobbers who ship all that scrap to Asia on a piece by piece basis, I'd think.
posted by jamjam at 10:37 AM on May 10, 2008

Response by poster: The ReBuilding Center is rad, but I am looking for more down and dirty. I am actually down in SE now, so I will go bum around 17th and see what I can find. -thanks for the tip.

I'm sure there are shipyards filled with treasures, anyone know of any?! Portland seems like the kind of town that has a lot of good finds, but not a lot of people willing to share the secrets!

I feel like SE Powell out near Gresham or NE along the Columbia must have tons of great crap to find. My dad was a materials scavenger when I was a kid in CA. He found all sorts of great crap in weird industrial yards, dumpsters and random industrial areas. But he spent years doing it and learned where all the good spots were. I am just looking for the quick fix!
posted by crawfishpopsicle at 10:56 AM on May 10, 2008

I would give Schnitzer Steel a call -- they MUST have a public scrap yard in the Portland area (I have only been to the one in Eugene, but it was AWESOME).
posted by misterbrandt at 1:04 PM on May 10, 2008

Here's some listings I found, http://portland-or.yellowusa.com/Junk_Dealers.html.

Let us know if you come across a good stash -- I'd be curious to check out some good junk!
posted by amanda at 1:08 PM on May 10, 2008

Response by poster: Looked into Schnitzer Steel, although their corporate offices are here it didn't seem like there was a public yard. The one in Eugene sounds exactly like what I am looking for!

Looked up the Junk Dealers link. A few seemed to be buyers not sellers, and the rest were closed today and/or weekends.

Still need to check out 17th.

Again, thanks for the suggestions. Any others?
posted by crawfishpopsicle at 8:26 PM on May 10, 2008

Sorry I don't have any specific recommendations, but I work at a scrap yard (in Idaho Falls, ID, unfortunately) that does allow the public to "browse" and purchase recycled metal. My suggestions would be to check recyclers in your area, as they often handle things other than just aluminum cans and paper. We, for instance, in addition to the "standard" recyclables like fiber products, aluminum, copper, brass, etc., also handle everything (and anything) containing metal, from refrigerators and stoves, washers and dryers, to car bodies and structural steel.

We do have signs posted saying anyone who enters does so at their own risk (for liability purposes), and one of the things I personally tell each person who asks if they can "look around" is yes, but don't get run over by any of the equipment. :)

And yes, I myself have drug home many things I simply "couldn't live without." It's a truism that one man's trash is another's treasure. :)

Good luck in your search.
posted by Falling_Saint at 6:09 AM on May 12, 2008

Hrm. On further investigation today, the girl tells me that Far West Fibers is the name of the place on SE 17th on her bus route. Demonstrably not a scrap metal place, sorry. Dunno what she saw that made her think so.
posted by mumkin at 8:55 PM on May 12, 2008

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