Mackinac Bridge grating for sale

The state is selling 5 pieces of ~2 ton grating from the Mackinac Bridge. No free shipping. :frowning:

About 7 days left, if LMN made pocket knives and some jewelry and the things That can be made it would kill at local markets, document the process and provide certificates of authenticity…

That was my thought too. There’s a seller on Etsy that’s made smaller cuts from a previous auction, rounded the corners off, and spray with a sealer, and selling 9"x3" pieces for over $100. The state auction is for a 5’x38’ piece. There are nearly 1000 such 9"x3" pieces in the auction. $100k for cutting, grinding/sanding, and sealing??? It sounds too good to be true.

My concerns are three-fold:

  1. Transportation and storage: The auction is for 2 tons of grating. They will provide one cut. We’re still looking at a ton per piece we have to figure out how to move. Now we did move the Bridgeports and other heavy equipment in the move. Perhaps moving 2 one ton pieces isn’t an issue. But then, where does it stay?
  2. Lead: The bridge has been painted with lead paint and I don’t know what we’d be getting into with respect to legal and moral issues with pushing lead contaminated things. Especially knives which might touch food and wearables like jewelry. Maybe it’s simply buyer beware. Also, how do we guarantee the safety of those in the space if someone is in the back grinding lead coated steel?
  3. Money: The auction prices are $400-600 right now. I don’t know what they will finish selling for, but this might be a many several thousand dollar purchase by the end of the auction.

The paint wouldn’t really be that big of an issue. it could be removed with paint stripper easy enough. My main concern is that the steel is likely some type of low carbon/high corrosion resistance steel that is old enough or worn enough that its being retired. most likely not something you would want to make a knife out of in the first place. Decorative things might be doable but again, that steel is old and we dont know for sure what kind of shape its in. It could also be that its alloyed with something toxic or galvanized with zinc. either way that would make the steel itself a hazard to work with in the space.

Having a quick look at the photos, there is only one photo, and no telling which one of the lots is the one actually pictured. Part of the closest part of the grate has rusted away. It also looks like pieces may have crumbled onto the pavement. This may not be what the knife makers want to hear.

Some parts definitely look pretty beaten up in the auction photo. On the other hand, below is an Etsy seller’s listing for part of the grating from a previous auction. The pictures here don’t look so bad, but I don’t know much about knife making and just how nice the metal needs to be.

I’ll continue thinking about this. I think the idea of buying part of the bridge and incorporating it into things is pretty neat.

If anyone has a trailer that can handle that kind of weight i have a truck that can pull it.

I think it would be kinda cool to incorporate some of that in a sign for the space. Way cooler than diamond plate

If there are serious plans to purchase a grate I can pick up this trailer to haul it back to the space. We would need to cut the grate in half to fit the trailer, but that should be doable with a couple of angle grinders and a generator which I can supply.

Come to think about it the trailer could solve the storage issue as well. Simply leave the grate on the trailer and park the trailer in the gated section behind the freight dock.

I just want to jump in here and remind folks that, as a rule, LMN doesn’t stock or store consumables or materials. We want to have space to facilitate your projects, but we don’t stock scrap materials just to have them around.

If individuals want to purchase some pieces of the bridge for their own use, by all means do that, and when/if you have a specific project you want to work on with it, feel free to work on it at the space. We love that.

But we want to make sure we don’t get into the habit of bringing materials into the space with the mindset of “I might want to make something with it at some undefined point in the future.” Our current building is sizeable, but it is not infinite, and that will create clutter faster than you can imagine.