prices for quasi-scrap (leftovers)?

Checking the classifieds this morning for whatever, I noted
someone selling some leftover brass and stainless rod stock.
Now, I don't understand the commodities market... there is some
base value that gold, say, is worth on the market. Let's peg it at
$900/oz. But if I'm buying scrap, it should cost less than $900, and
if I'm buying refined alloyed ingots or even better, sheets, gold
leaf, wire, etc., it should cost rather more than $900. What is that
commodity priced based on? Is it for cast ingot form, not scrap, or
further worked sheets and wires?
I'm actually making walking cane heads out of stainless; figure
it'll be cheaper than brass and won't stain the user's hands like
aluminum will. I have no idea what alloy he has (and nor does he), or
how to test for it; but anything really should work for such a general
and low-key operation as a walking stick head?
If it's about 75 pounds' worth, but is refined, better than scrap
for sure; what should I offer? I should offer more than scrap price,
which i found was $.75-$.85/lb depending on just what alloy he has;
but much less than "retail" price because I've limited myself to just
1.5" diameter rod and fully 75 pounds of it, compared to picking out
various sizes from the huge selection of the suppliers down at the
The other option is that the brass might make a good cane head, and
more rustic with the tarnish besides...
Reply to
Bernard Arnest
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The first thing you have to do is differentiate 'scrap' from 'leftover' metals. Leftovers from a metal supply house are commonly called 'drops' or 'burnouts'. Drops are short leftover pieces of stock from sawing operations that the supplier has no (or little) immediate demand for. The supplier may warehouse the drops in the hopes some buys them or may just recycle them. Since the quality of the drop is known, the supplier will sell them at (or near) market prices. Locally, one metal supplier sometimes sells drops at market prices, one sells at _above_ market, and one never sells so much as a chip and really doesn't want to talk to you unless you're buying material by the ton. I buy from . Burnouts are the same as drops, but are pieces of stock from burning (torch) operations .
Scrap is metal that has been used or altered and may need to be significantly reworked or reprocessed before it can be reused. Scrap is the stuff in railcars headed for the foundry.
Frankly, I don't understand the commodities market either, but I do know that precious metals such as gold are in a league of their own. Jewelers collect the smallest chips and dust particles from machining operations so that they may be recycled.
Reply to
Carl Byrns
The test is, does a sample piece machine well.
Less than he wants, more than he paid. Negotiate.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Yeah, if someone asks me for some scrap I show them the chips. Being a research shop at a university we don't throw much away. Randy
Reply to
Randy Replogle
I just paid $3.61 a pound for 304 stainless round bar in 1 1/2" diameter, in a 12 foot length.
So that tells you about what new price would be.
As you said, scrap is going for .75/lb or so, the price they pay YOU at the scrapyard- but if you try to buy the same piece back you just sold em for .75, they are gonna want more than that. How much more depends on location.
So any price the two of you can agree on between .75 and $3.61 is a deal for you- how much of a deal depends on your haggling skills.
Anything under a buck and a half a pound is pretty darn good, if you ask me.
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