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Chapter 1. Introduction > Scrap-Fu: The Way of the Yard - Pg. 26

Introduction lost on the desolate plains of Ex Tru Sion. Now pay attention, grasshopper. Class is in session Understanding a scrap yard means understanding the scrap they deal with. Some yards are general-purpose, some are more specialized. Some are huge industrial yards that deal with hundreds of tons of one or two specific kinds of metal daily. Other yards are more like a neighborhood junkyard repurposed into a thrift shop. Both have their merits, but a smaller "mom and pop" yard is more likely to have trippy cast-off arcana from unexpected sources. Scout out a few different flavours of yard and get a feel for each. You'll eventually end up needing the services of all of them, if you're halfway adventurous. Scrap Metal at a Glance There are four main commodity metals traded regularly at scrap yards: copper, brass, aluminum and stainless steel. There are a bunch of different grades of copper and aluminum and a few flavours of brass and stainless, and each of them can be found in various subgrades. Each is of structural steel plate and 18" I-beams, you're better off finding and frequenting a local scrap yard. In addition to the various commodity metals, most scrap yards salvage artifacts, componentry, and technology for resale. What kind of componentry? Damned good question, Billy. To answer it, you need to answer the main question people ask when they first visit a scrap yard: "Where the hell does all this shit come from?" Seriously, every yard I've ever been in is for the most part a chaotic mass of twisted copper plumbing, piles of aluminum window frames stacked like cordwood, huge drums of snarled CAT5 cable and fetid mounds of decommissioned commercial kitchen equipment. Scrap yards are filled with the metal from demolition jobs, leftover supplies from construction sites, scrap and cutoffs from manufacturing firms, obsolete industrial equipment, and the contents of hundreds of garages and basements. Which is to say that on any given day, you run the possibility of finding anything.