Scrounging and salvaging material and parts can be very cost effective. I ask, look, and talk. I make it known what I am trying to find. Most of the stuff I have on the shelf and in the steel stock pile is either leftovers from someone’s project that has been given to me, or leftovers from my own, and some of it is brought home from some other place. I scrounge electric motors, free steel stock no matter what size (it can all be sold for scrap if I can’t/don’t use it). There have been times that I needed a windshield wiper motor and had just thrown one out because it was sitting on the shelf for two years. I didn’t know that I was going to need it, but sure enough a week after I threw it out, it was needed.(I Save “almost” everything, but I’m not a horder, I do throw things out)
Finding usable scrap metal and salvageable pieces is easier than you may think. Sheet metal from used appliances, yes some of it is crude but if you have a plasma cuter or a torch it’s easy enough to get. Discarded steel shelves, tanks, barrels, electric motors, fans, and pumps could all become something useful once again. Try not to have to much stuff just laying around otherwise its hard to keep track of what a person has, and don’t go hastily cutting into fuel barrels (use your head and common sense). When building I try to make it a game to see how creative and inexpensive it can be done. I have seen dishwashers turned into sandblasting cabinets for example. You never know what something can be unless you use your imagination and think outside the box.
Many people think that if a unit looks good, it must work good too. That is not always the case. Store bought units are fine, but what happens when a machine is needed and no one makes it, or its out of your budget? It needs to be built.
I do take pride in my work and I don’t cobble things together using bailing wire and steel fence posts. When I repurpose items into usable pieces of equipment I always make sure the items I’m incorporating are safe to use for the application and will hold up over time.