by Doc Nickel

There are some recyclers out there that won't take chips- generally called "turnings and borings". This is because the small size and relatively large surface area tends to mean most of it goes to waste as oxides, rather than adding to the melt.

My local recycler takes 'em, although they're not worth much at the recent scrap prices. I collect it in heavy-wall horse-feed sacks (one of the neighbors has horses) and a stuffed-full fifty-pound (of feed) sack only weighs about five or six pounds, tops.

Some shops have a machine that "pucks" the chips- basically a conveyor feeds the chips into a die, and a hydraulic ram compresses them into a much more solid puck about the size of a tuna-fish can.

That saves space- important when your factory is producing 60,000 pounds of just chips a week- and helps squeeze the excess coolant out- which is expensive and can be reused.

I once toyed with the idea of making a quick and dirty die like that for my hydraulic press. Something like a short section of heavy-wall pipe with a hinge and a latch so it could be popped open, and a matching ram nose to do the pressing. Maybe even make it sized to closely fit a soda can- cut the top off a can, fill it with chips, squash the whole mess. The can would act like a "jacket" to help hold the puck together.

It'd be a fun little side project, but being a manual press, would take a HUGE amount of time to process even just one of my sacks, and there's no real economic benefit. I wouldn't get paid more, I have no coolant to recover, etc.


Posted on Jul 10, 2017, 12:05 PM

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