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Money On The Metal – Making The Best Of What’s In Grandpa’s Shed

A potentially untapped area of treasure hunting might be your grandfather’s tool shed or garage. In 2010 it was estimated that up to $7 billion worth of recyclable metals was wasted and some of these came from the most metal-rich resource areas in the house: the kitchen, bathroom, living room or garage. The scrap metal from these areas often finds their way into the shed. In fact, it is estimated that there are millions of tons of scrap metal that can be found in such places and these could find new purpose and benefit to you.

So if you are sitting on a treasure trove of metals locked up in Grandpa’s shed, here are two suggestions of how they could be of help to you.

Let it go

It might seem a daunting task to sift through all that metal clutter, but it is possible, especially when you come armed with a magnet. Before you start to imagine being buried under a pile of metals attracted to your handy magnetic sidekick, remember that not all metals are attracted to magnets. This information is what you will need to use to divide and conquer, putting those metals that attract (ferrous metals) in one pile and those that don’t (non-ferrous metals) in another.

Ferrous metals such as steel or iron are not as valuable as the non-ferrous metals like copper and brass, so the more non-ferrous bits found, the better for your pocket. Brass can fetch as much as $1 to $2 dollars per pound while copper can range from $2 to $4 or more. Metal prices are rarely fixed so expect some fluctuation as you go.

Give it new life

The reuse of scrap metals, especially those that are in good condition, is only limited to your imagination. Scrap metal from anywhere in your house or yard can be re-used in a new way to make your decor unique and interesting. It is possible to use such items as a barbed wire to make a picture frame or an old bucket to make a lampshade. Even an old car can be given new life as a bed frame or grill. 

These can be done as a do-it-yourself project if you are creative and artistic or even if you can follow the directions available online. However, more complicated designs might require a welder or metal work artist and probably should not be attempted by an unskilled person. Depending on the project, a welder might cost you anywhere from $50 to about $805.