Thursday, September 6, 2012

I Caused A Collapse In Prices

Two solid weeks I spent chopping leftover rebar into 4' lengths, after talking scrap steel prices with a recycler in Las Vegas.(They give the best price if the rebar is 4' or shorter.) I decided it was worth trailering these up to him, so I bent my back to the task.

I made a rack and stacked up 4 piles, 1000 lbs. each, about half of what I chopped up. My trailer is rated to carry 5K, so I thought I'd better not push it. #6 rebar, 3/4", weighs 1.5 lbs/ft. I weighed one of the 4' pieces, and my digital scale said 5.8 lbs. Close enough. Two trips.

A friend of mine suggested I check scrap prices in Victorville, California, just to keep the Vegas guy honest. So I called Victorville first. They weren't interested, in spite of their Yellow Pages ad that said they were. Hmmmmm. OK, so I call the Vegas guy and ask him what his current price is. He said, and I quote, "The market is in freefall. I'll buy your rebar, but you won't like the price."

So I caused a commodity market crash, all by myself. Now, if I could just figure out how to crash the market for politicians, the Military-Industrial Complex, Welfare-as-we-know-it, Welfare-as-Corporations-know-it, etc., well then, I could call it a day.

Posted by Dave


  1. Been looking to do the same thing myself. As to the scrap prices, telling. Very telling indeed...

  2. Hi Craig,

    Scrap prices hit a peak about March of this year and have been on a downhill slide since. I'm famous for timing, so you know that when I want to trailer a load to the recycler, the bottom drops out.

    The funny thing is that two weeks ago when I started chopping up my rebar, my shear died, so I had to switch to the chop saw. With my shear I could have cut everything in about 3 hours. With the chop saw, two weeks. I could have gotten $40/ton more. I tried to fix my shear, but I'm afraid I don't have your wrenching skills and I didn't think it prudent to spend $1800 for a new shear.


  3. Hydraulic shear? Probably a 50 cent o-ring would fix it. I bet you burned through some chop saw blades...

  4. Yup, hydraulic shear. I took it apart to the sub-molecular level, but couldn't find anything. All the o-rings were still supple. The shear will still cut 1/2" rebar, but doesn't have enough power to snap a 3/4" bar. I replaced the fluid and jiggled it back and forth to clear the air bubbles, but no go. At that point I had to give up. I called up Multiquip, but all they could do was direct me to their "authorized" repair dealers, like "Jerry's Corner Tool and Sewing Machines." I didn't feel like letting "Jerry" scratch his head over it for $78/hr.

    I only used (2)14" blades for 1050 cuts. I just cut 1/3 of the way through, then snapped it off with a hickey bar. I had the chop saw and blades from when I did the steel studs in my house.


  5. wish I lived closer I would love to buy it at that price

    1. Hi Gtajmack,

      After I chopped it up into 4' lengths, I had two people tell me that they would have bought it, uncut. Sigh.


  6. i love your blog, to express your views, this is the correct way.


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