OK, I spent the afternoon going through the local Computer & Electronics Salvage / Recycle place. They gave me rock star access and I dove in with no fear. I was able to harvest a number of motors, actuators, ballscrews, timing pulleys, belts, linear rails, 24 to 48 Volt toroidal transformers and metal wall mount boxes. All for the high price of $0.00.
After getting everything home I started going through things more closely. Many of the things should be usable for CNC projects. Some surprises though.... Many of the small servos were 220 Volt. Some of the motors did not have any voltage stamped on them at all.
The point of my thread is bring some thoughts together from other forum users.
- What is worth taking and what is not?
- How can you tell?
- What can you do with this stuff?
I will post some pic's of my finds on a website I have started and will follow-up with further freebee finds.
Looking forward to the pictures. Motors come in many flavors, but the ones you will want would be the ones that were connected to the motion controlled mechanicals of equipment. Many old large printers (line printers) used sizable steppers for movement of the paper (via tractor feed) and would be useable. If you come across a robotic tape library (large machine) you may strike gold with servos, encoders, linear motion componenets, and possibly even servo amps and motion control boards.
Some older large dot matrix printers used servo motors (with encoders attached) for print head movement. Larger sized HP laser printers often used sizable stepper motors for drive motors. On the steppers, look for ones that have 4, 6, or 8 wires as they can be used with bipolar drivers. The ones with 5 wires are genreally unipolar only drive. Sometimes you can find the board that drives the motor and look up the part number on the driver chip. If you happen to have internet on your phone, you can google the part number while you are there. Large scale plotters (engineering plotters) often have some usable motors and linear motion parts
One place I went to was scrapping out old slot machines where the reels were stepper motor driven. The motors themselves were fairly small and had the shafts coming out the back end (opposite the flange mount) and were not very usable as they were. There were hundreds of them and each had 2 bearings that were just fine for use. The flange mount also made for excelent bearing mounts for those bearings.
Don't forget to look for framework material. Some equipment racks may have very nice aluminum extrusions and plates usable for construction. Just be sure you offer to pay the going price for the aluminum of 50 to 75 cents a pound.