Monday, February 25, 2013

A Visit To The Metal Scrap Yard

just a quick update

DD Em is down from her mountain town and helped me haul 5 dead cast iron sewing machines to the metal scrap yard today.  I had previously stripped them of everything useful to me.  They were all well and truly dead.  Do I sound defensive?  (Yes)  Am I feeling guilty?  (No, not really)

We had a good time wending our way through Durham's industrial district.  The actual place was on a gravel road off of another gravel road.  Pretty far back in there.

Wish I had pictures, but this was the most security-conscious place I have been outside an airport.  Our license plate number was recorded.  My driver's license was recorded and checked against a database.  THEN they scanned my index fingerprint.  Never had that happen before.

So, no pics, but you can check out their website:  Always Buying Scrap.  There is even a video.

It was very, very cool.  We spotted the corner where they were obviously hoarding things too good to be melted down (cool old metal 1950s chairs, large spoked wheels, and what looked like some kind of giant grinder.  Rick of American Restoration would have loved it).

The three different guys we talked to were all great--friendly and helpful.  They butted each machine up against a tubular magnet about 3 feet tall and 4 inches in diameter.  I could have told them they were iron!   Then they put them on a platform scale all together.  Printed out a ticket.  I took the ticket into a little booth (again very secure) and slid it into a slot.  And my astonishing payout emerged from the ATM.

So what were my ill-gotten gains for wanton sewing machine destruction, you ask?

Twelve dollars.  Not apiece, $12 for all five.

We had spotted a diner on the way in, so we went there and blew the whole thing on brunch.  Actually, it wasn't enough to cover brunch for two at Joe's Diner

And if it weren't for looking up the link for YOUR benefit, dear readers, I would never have discovered that Joe's Diner is not just a corner diner in the heart of Durham's industrial district.  It is also a magnet for celebrities.  Here's a partial list of the photos of happy Joe's customers:
Spike Lee
MC Hammer
Katie Couric
Matt Lauer
Earth, Wind, AND Fire.  Yes, all of them
Charles Barkley

for some reason they did not ask to take our pictures while we were there.  perhaps they did not know who we were!


  1. There was a day that I would not even dream of scrapping a sewing machine. Not anymore. No quarrels from me. Anyone who argues with you about scrapping a machine should be willing to pay you the 12 dollars to take them off your hands, I say.

  2. Earth, Wind and Fire! Cool! We can't save all the machines in the world, some are just past saving. If I ever find one in that condition, then I might use it to try repainting it. I'd hate to mess up one of my working machines.

  3. No matter how much you love and cherish your old things, a time will surely come when the best thing to do is dispose them. You can always strip some of their parts that might still be useful though. You got rid of the things you're not using anymore and are occupying space in your house, and even get something out of it. Win-win situation, wouldn't you say?
    Mike @ A&R Metal Recycling


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