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Cheek the wiki for the scrap metal glitch. Places with a lot of robots will have a lot of pieces lying around and robots often have a piece on there corpse. Some good places are Roboco, the mechanist forge, Fort Banister, and the national archives.
I can generally rack up a nice number of Scrap Metal at level 2
Check Vault 101. You should have at least 2-6 scrap metal by the time you're leaving. Garanteed 2 that arn't inside random loot toolboxes. (One inside only open room after exiting the Elevator, and one inside the room to your right if you backtrack instead of exiting the Vault right away. There are also several tool boxes you can loot that should have some)
After leaving Vault 101, go to Megaton. Billy Creel's house usually has one or two inside one of the metal boxes on the first floor of his home. Moria might or might not have one or two for sell.
(Optional: Head to Rivet City (which should be on your map now if you asked Lucas Simms about the area's around in the Wasteland). Siegred Holms (Think that's the spelling) Usually has one or two to sell, sometimes none. (Also grab your INT bobble head if you have 9 INT for 10 INT and moar skill points.)
Fast travel back to Springvale and head to The Maresti Trainyard. There are 4 tool boxes and one tool cabinet along side one of the entrances. If you're facing the two from the trains it'll be the one on your left. Also enter this one to find a tool box directly on the inside that could contain 1-2. Inside is pretty barren until you get to the Family guard. Pass the speech check or whatever. There's two peices of scrap metal laying in the open. The only hard one will be the one on the shelf directly next too his bed, but it's do-able. Also there's a toolbox here near the computer.
Go inside the Family's lair. Once inside see if Karl is at his store. If he is go buy the scrap from him. This includes ALL scrap metal within this area. Not just the 22 in his little bunker. That means if there's any hidden in toolboxes, etc this is a sure way to get it all and not lose Karma or toggle the 'Blood Ties' quest by overhearing about what happened in Aerfu.
You should be in the 30s or lower 40s by now.
Fast travel back to Megaton and head south towards Robo Corp. If you need too talk to Burk and start the Power of The Atom quest to get the location of Tenpenny tower, since Robo Corp is right next too it.
Find Tinker Joe, who usually roams around the area near Robocorp. He usually has 5-9 scrap for sale.
Head inside Robocorp. I wouldn't suggest messing with any of the computers or anythign since you come back for a quest task later. But there are a lot of busted protectrons with scrap usually in them, lots of scrap laying around on the ground and on shelves. and there's at least 5 or 6 peices in some of the little control room areas on the 'belt' like machines. It's also only populated by Mole Rats and Radroaches making it easy to deal with.
After that, usually in a fast travel to Megaton and back to Robo Corp. I've noticed Tinker Joe usually restocks on Scrap Metal and you can buy more from him.