If you are new at this or just a hobbyist blacksmith, you must spend a lot of time looking for scrap metals you can practice with. It’s easy to just take anything that remotely looks like metal and expect it to get the job done. Sometimes, you may be unlucky and go home with a bag full of alloy steels. While these have their uses, they are much harder to use and are more prone to get damaged by overheating. They can also leave your work with traits you do not want in your finished work. So when looking for scrap metals, here are the best ones to look out for:
1. Wrought Iron: This is the best of the best, if you can find them. That’s a big ‘if’, because they would be long gone before you got there and you would most likely not find any. Many people find them before you and want to sell them to you at high prices. That defeats the purpose of finding scrap metals, right? Yes, it sure does suck!
2. Mild steel: Most people use this. It’s readily available and it gets the job done. Of course, it is not wrought iron, but it will do. It has higher carbon content than wrought iron, so it’s harder once heated, and is more difficult to weld under the hammer. If you are using electric welding, then this will work well for you.
3. Copper: This is a pure metal, which is very ductile. It is great for making architectural ornaments and decorative ornaments; especially when combined with steel. It can be forged, and then used for whatever you have in mind.
All in all, most scrap metals are great. Try to go for small knives, old files, old wagon tires, lawn mower blades, braided cables, leaf springs, etc. Furthermore, most steels will work, depending on what you are trying to do. When you find steel, take them and keep them, you will use it very soon. Be careful when scrapping though, think about your storage space because you do not want to turn your shop into a junkyard now, do you?