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How to Pick Up Steel

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. Where are we and, what are we doing?

Kevin Caron: We're at the steelyard doing some shopping.

I'm starting a new contemporary art commission, and I need some steel. Here we are at the Davis Salvage steel yard in Phoenix. This is where all the scrap metal here in the Valley of the Sun ends up.

You can come here and buy whatever you need to create any type of metal art. Let's say that I want to do a ?found object? piece of sculpture. I might need a piece of steel pipe, a piece of rail, or just some weird piece of machinery.

That side of the yard over there is where I would go to paw around, pick out little parts and pieces, maybe take an old machine apart. This side of the yard is the side where I would look for new steel, which is what we're looking for today.

Right now I need to go inside and talk to the guy behind the cash register and pay for my steel. Then we'll get the forklift driver and he'll go pick up our steel, throw it on my trailer, and I can begin work on my metal sculpture.

(forklift delivers steel)

You've got to love hydraulics! The forklift picks it all up and brings it over as easy as that! Now let's get it back to the studio, get our tools and go to work.

We're back at the studio and we're looking at a 4-by-8 foot sheet of steel, eighth inch thick. I think it weighs about 150 pounds.

This is a plate lifter. It's actually pretty cool. Check out the way the little mechanism works inside. See how the jaw opens up so you can put it over the plate. You pick up on this part with the crane, it actually picks up on the jaw and makes the jaw grab tighter. Just clip it on like so, jack up the crane and pick up the whole plate.

(lifting steel with plate lifter and crane)

It's that easy.

We'll see you next time.

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