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Thread: Ok, What's your best ever Dumpster Dive?

  1. #1
    Don Taylor is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Ok, What's your best ever Dumpster Dive?

    When I was a very young lad (7 or 8 years old), I lived in Indiana. We had alleys behind the houses big enough for the trash trucks to pick up. On my way home one afternoon I spied a big wood box in a pile of trash and it had a cord on it. I loved taking things apart, always have.
    I drug this thing home by the cord filling it with sand as I went. When my Father got home he told me it was an old tube radio that should pick up other countries. (I'm not sure if you call that short wave or not. That's what I remember it being called.) Dad put $7.50 in that radio and for years he picked up Moscow, Germany... all kinds of neat stuff. It became his favorite toy. I couldn't tell you where it is today but I know it was very old even when I found it.
    Since that day (Back before the Civil War. ) I've never passed a junk pile without checking it out.

    DT

  2. #2
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    Dec 2006
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    Didn't pull them out of the dumpster, but I managed to save a couple maple workbench tops from getting put in one! Found plenty of odds and ends, but I can't think of anything that stands out.

  3. #3
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    Northville, MI
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    I don't do dumpsters. When I was in high school my Dad bought a pickup and in order to pay for it we collected Al cans. I was the one who had to jump into the dumpsters and get the cans. Not the greatest memmories. We did manage to pay off the whole truck with cans.
    Jim

  4. #4
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    My father was and is a major dumpster diver. For a few years he worked at one of the local dumpster sites operated by the county and dragged more stuff out than you would believe. A log splitter that needed a spark plug, a 25" color console TV that needed a fuse, and the list goes on. He ended up stopping bringing weed eaters home as it cost more for parts than a new one, but lawn mower galore. Several nice riding mowers that took minimal repairs. I got one and used it for 10 years until it threw a rod.

  5. #5
    Don Taylor is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Actually, by Dumpster I meant any throw aways. My finds normaly aren't in dumpsters either.
    I found the other half of the corner counter top I drug home last week. They must have thrown it out yesterday. Now, with a little work this thing will go nearly the full wall as I wanted.

    Here is the start on my leg/shelf setup:
    I make my own legos









    It will be a frame some day soon, honest!

    DT

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Constantine, MI
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    Does "almost in the dumpster" count?
    I picked up these steel drawer cabinets Attachment 5074 from a fabric store that was remodeling. For $25 each they were a steal. 10" deep all steel drawers with full extension ball bearing glides and a capacity of 200# each. They hold gobs of stuff including all my routers, drills, sanders, saws, etc. All in a relatively dust free environment. They're great for 'compartmentalizing' the shop. For instance; one drawer holds all of my painting and wallpapering supplies. Another holds all of my electrical stuff.
    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  7. #7
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    Nov 2006
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    Don,

    Living in Japan garbage has a whole different meaning. Many Japanese, especially in the cities, live in less spacious surroundings. Consequently when they upgrade they often throw away. In the early days when I came checking the garbage pile on the side of the road was habit for most foriegners. I am not kidding you. Stu can back me up on this. I got my first bicycle in Japan out of the garbage. It was a good bike. I have friends that used to make the rounds once a week looking for stuff.
    Last edited by Alex Reid; 02-22-2007 at 12:50 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Berks Co, PA
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    I got addicted to dumpsters when I worked at a major aerospace company. I was in shock over the things they threw out. I still have bolts of kevlar fabric waiting to build a bulletproof canoe.

    Within 15 minutes of my house I have a real smorgasboard.

    A cabinet shop dumpster - ton's of hardwood pieces, 1/4 sheets of 3/4" birch ply, and lot's of pre-laminated 1"mdf. Used for TS extension tables, and router tables. When they do high end stuff, it's full of walnut and bubinga. All of my jigs and fixtures, and most shop shelves are from free wood.

    A major hardwood distributor - anything less than 30 inches goes in the dumpster.

    A local electrician was moveing his shop, I got enough 12/2 romex, extension cords, low voltage cable, coax, to re-wire the house twice.

    Sheet metal shop dumpster. What a heaven that was.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Nova Scotia's beautiful south shore
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    My big score was from a demolition skip next to the place I was working. They were gutting a restaurant prior to turning it into a Red Robin's. The whole place had been done in 3/4" luan (aka phillipine mahogany), stained deep red and lacquered.

    I filled my little VW van 3 times over. I got a few glares from some of the guys on site, but nobody ever said "stop". I suspect the stuff was destined for landfill, so nobody really cared to much about the crazy dude in the big dumpster - as long as I didn't hurt myself and sue. I was in there crosscutting long pieces with a handsaw to fit them in my van - LOL ! I don't think I've got the stones to be that brazen anymore.

    I made a lot of simple projects with stuff - all painted. There were enough nail holes that it wasn't worth cutting around them. I completely satisfied wifey's demands for more shelves - upstairs, downstairs and basement Gave some away too. I figure there was 150 - 200 bd ft altogether.
    All the best,
    Ian G

    **Now holding auditions for a catchy new signature**

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Ill.
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    57

    My "take"

    When we lived in Ohio and I still used to jog, one evening saw the remnants of a torn down deck ready for trash pickup the next AM. It was all 2X6 cedar or larger and in decent shape. In spite of LOML's mild protests, I went back and picked up. Removed the nails, cleaned it up and built 2 large garden benches (posted on the "other" forum earlier) and some other outdoor furniture, Still have a few pieces left. It was a big deck...

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