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Thread: Another Gold Medal in Dumpster Diving

  1. #1

    Another Gold Medal in Dumpster Diving

    Years ago, I recovered a True Temper two wheel barrow from dumpsters. Pan was cracked, but was usable. Later recovered a single wheel barrow that had steel "Power Control" handles which I use to replace rotted wooden ones. Over the winter, took tires and rims off, derusted, primed and painted rims. Put new tires and tubes on rims. Checked on buying replacement pan as everything was renewed to like new condition. Found out that True Temper doesn't sell replacement pans, only complete wheel barrows. Earlier this week at dumpsters was a complete two wheel barrow, also by True Temper. One of the brackets that hold axle was broken. Being the pack rat that I am, I had saved axle and axle bracket from wheel barrow that I salvaged handles from. Fifteen minutes after arriving home, second wheel barrow was fixed. Thing that bothered me on this trip to dumpsters was there was a Gold colored Craftsman table saw in dumpsters, complete with a TEFC motor. Over the years, I have recovered two Sthil chainsaws (both working,) a Miller Thunderbolt welder, Lincoln "Tombstone welder. two generators, Weber Spirit grill, many lawn mowers. 10" saw blades that needed to be sharpened, heavy duty SS stock pots, folding metal chairs, along with folding tables, and lots of bed rails. Missed a Troy-Bilt Horse tiller by only a couple minutes once. Simply too heavy to recover, as it out weighed my by over 100 pounds.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Where are these dumpsters???....meaning, are they near shopping centers? small business industrial parks? Apartment/condo complexes? neighborhoods with single family dwellings?
    "What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.
    It also depends on what sort of person you are.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Are you sure you aren't confusing dumpsters with storage units?

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    People leave a lot of stuff like that at our local municipal recycle center, at the scrap metal dumpster.
    < insert spurious quote here >

  5. #5
    Good job Bruce! It is good to get the most out of our natural resources. It is tough when those resources are tied up in poor quality items designed for a throw away society. One of my favorite trash finds is the Scotsman Merry Tiller. It is chain drive. The chain is inside a case filled with oil. I got the old 3.5 hp Briggs running in no time. The 3.5 ran for many years before a rebuild, then for many more years after the rebuild. Parts for the 3.5 are obsolete now so I put on a 5 hp Honda.
    I dropped F.I.L's 10" motorized Delta table saw off at the transfer station last summer with a lump in my throat. With permission from the station manager residents can pick through the scrap iron area. I have an imaginary image of that saw in a thrifty country persons shop converted into a router table, or better yet re-created as a proper saw with a serviceable motor.

    IMG_2027.jpg
    The Merry Tiller, The narrower cultivating tines came off of a trash find MTD that was obsolete and un repairable after just 5 years (main drive shaft broken in two). The MTD tines fit in between the rows for weeding.
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 06-09-2024 at 9:52 AM. Reason: Merry Tiller image

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Mebane NC
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    Those are some good finds.

    A few weeks ago I picked up a nice metal cabinet at the metal section at the county landfill, perfect to organize various cans of lubricants, spray paint, chain saw and mower parts. Sure it was a bit rusty in places and I had to make some ply shelves. Primed and painted and it will out live me.

  7. #7
    Good stuff.

    My best is a Delta band saw from a dumpster at the high school, that only needed a couple of guide bearing bits. It's for sale now after years of good use. Same dumpster also a woodworking vise, VG fir 1x12 shelves and bookcase sides, and a bunch of plywood. There was also a gigantic scroll saw that I couldn't deal with.
    I've gotten thousands of $ worth of lumber and stuff from the dumpster at the lumber yard, up to and including 6x12 beams. Once maybe 50 lbs of plumbing brass, brand new & identical to what was on the shelves. Someone hiding that they double ordered? Probably $1500 retail. Still using it- a lifetime supply of hose bibs.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice Mcmurry View Post
    Good job Bruce! It is good to get the most out of our natural resources. It is tough when those resources are tied up in poor quality items designed for a throw away society. One of my favorite trash finds is the Scotsman Merry Tiller. It is chain drive. The chain is inside a case filled with oil. I got the old 3.5 hp Briggs running in no time. The 3.5 ran for many years before a rebuild, then for many more years after the rebuild. Parts for the 3.5 are obsolete now so I put on a 5 hp Honda.





















    IMG_2027.jpg
    The Merry Tiller, The narrower cultivating tines came off of a trash find MTD that was obsolete and un repairable after just 5 years (main drive shaft broken in two). The MTD tines fit in between the rows for weeding.
    The MTD tillers were trash from day one. Chain case is crimped together, so no servicing, or checking of fluid available. Before your tines wear further, you might want to consider applying a coat of hard surfacing rod. Welds don't have to be pretty. Because of high amperage, weld coating on from outer ends toward center. Otherwise, you risk burning off tips of tines. DAMHIK If you need any of the internals parts for chain case or tiller, they are still available. Couple years back, broke the larger (#50) chain in chain case. Ordered a new gasket, and a 10' length of chain. If I need a gasket again, I ordered a roll of gasket cork off Amazon. Gasket $30 plus shipping, roll of cork $10. FYI. Currently I own three front tine tillers, one a genuine Merry, a Winston, and an unknown brand. All use the Merry chain case. For owners manual, research Alotment Gardening in the UK. Merry Tillers were licensed in the UK for many years. Check for cracks, or wear around shaft hole. MIG welder can be used to repair them without splitting case into. When that Scotsman was new, it sold for over $600. Latest versions sell for around $1500 the last time I checked. Snapper also sold tillers that used Merry chain case, so seals are available from them also. Shaft uses FOUR seals, two per side. Inner faces outward to contain fluid, and outer faces inward to keep out dirt, FYI. Shaft bearing can be had off Ebay
    Last edited by Bruce Wrenn; 06-09-2024 at 1:56 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    My brother used to make a decent living off of dumpster diving. Went along with him a few times. We found a couple of still in the box Atari computers in one of Atari's dumpsters. That is how long ago it was.

    At a few places he worked a deal where he could buy it before they tossed it. A lot of places didn't want to deal with the paperwork involved in selling it or donating it, but they didn't mind letting him dig it out of the dumpster.

    He did get all kinds of nuts, bolts and screws from some manufacturers. They would change the product line and they had tons of hardware to get rid of.

    My brother would mix it up in barrels and then sell it in baggies as random fasteners. I still have a few pounds and been using it for years.

    Apple didn't like people going through their dumpsters. The guards told us we had to leave. Fortunately we put some of the best stuff we found in his truck before they chased us away.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    The MTD tillers were trash from day one. Chain case is crimped together, so no servicing, or checking of fluid available. Before your tines wear further, you might want to consider applying a coat of hard surfacing rod. Welds don't have to be pretty. Because of high amperage, weld coating on from outer ends toward center. Otherwise, you risk burning off tips of tines. DAMHIK If you need any of the internals parts for chain case or tiller, they are still available. Couple years back, broke the larger (#50) chain in chain case. Ordered a new gasket, and a 10' length of chain. If I need a gasket again, I ordered a roll of gasket cork off Amazon. Gasket $30 plus shipping, roll of cork $10. FYI. Currently I own three front tine tillers, one a genuine Merry, a Winston, and an unknown brand. All use the Merry chain case. For owners manual, research Alotment Gardening in the UK. Merry Tillers were licensed in the UK for many years. Check for cracks, or wear around shaft hole. MIG welder can be used to repair them without splitting case into. When that Scotsman was new, it sold for over $600. Latest versions sell for around $1500 the last time I checked. Snapper also sold tillers that used Merry chain case, so seals are available from them also. Shaft uses FOUR seals, two per side. Inner faces outward to contain fluid, and outer faces inward to keep out dirt, FYI. Shaft bearing can be had off Ebay
    That is a remarkable wealth of knowledge! It is almost word for word what my go-to Machinist and engine mechanic hero told me when I had him put new seals in the chain case. He also honed the cylinder of the 3.5 and sold me a new set of rings. He said "see you in a few years for a bore and new piston". Alas, he retired before I was able to get the 3.5 rebuilt. I know the .030 over piston and rings are still inside his closed down shop. I hope all of his vast horde of N.O.S. antique parts do not get thrown away. He has a lot of Model T parts in that shop. It is looking very sad around there : ( .
    -Maurice

  11. #11
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    While not technically "dumpster diving" I'm amazed at the things you can get for free. Tuesday I got an old Bridgeport knee mill that was headed to the scrap yard. It's an old 70s machine that uses stepper motors and a real t real to control it (really old version of a CNC). The previous owner upgraded it to be a modern CNC (replaced steppers with servos, new controller, etc.). It's a beast of a machine and has almost no wear on it.

  12. #12
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    A few years ago there was a new Star Bucks going in locally. I pulled a cart out of the dumpster that was 13 ft long by 3 ft wide. It had 8 five inch swivel casters on it that were brand new. I also pulled a stainless steel frame from the same pile that was made of 1 x 1.5 inch rectangular tubing. It was 21 inches wide by 10 ft long. I am still using various pieces of both finds. Never have made it into the Starbucks though

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice Mcmurry View Post
    Good job Bruce! It is good to get the most out of our natural resources.

    IMG_2027.jpg
    The Merry Tiller, The narrower cultivating tines came off of a trash find MTD that was obsolete and un repairable after just 5 years (main drive shaft broken in two). The MTD tines fit in between the rows for weeding.
    Have Merry Tiller, Will Travel .
    IMG_2053.jpg

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    While not technically "dumpster diving" I'm amazed at the things you can get for free. Tuesday I got an old Bridgeport knee mill that was headed to the scrap yard. It's an old 70s machine that uses stepper motors and a real t real to control it (really old version of a CNC). The previous owner upgraded it to be a modern CNC (replaced steppers with servos, new controller, etc.). It's a beast of a machine and has almost no wear on it.
    I got $700 worth of nice new Smartside soffit that a guy had posted for free on Facebook Marketplace. He just wanted rid of it quickly. He told me I was lucky to have contacted him because it was going in the trash the next day. It was late fall or winter so probably not a lot of people looking for siding then.

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