Posts Tagged ‘scrap metal junkie’

Top sites for scrap metal enthusiasts

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Screen shot 2013-08-25 at 8.00.34 PM

So you’re thinking of getting into scrapping metal for money.  Maybe you’re a beginner looking for information, tips and tricks. (We recommend checking out previous blogs for some helpful advice and information on scrap metal collecting) Or maybe you’re a veteran scrapper using the hobby as a second source of income. Maybe you’re an investor looking to buy and trade precious metals like gold and copper. Because a typical Google search of “scrapping” brings up page after page of scrap book sites, we’ve taken the time to highlight some of the top websites for “Scrappers”.

 

Scrap Inc

Since you’re already here, we might as well give you a little tour. As previously mentioned, The Scrap Inc blog has a ton of helpful and informative articles on everything from what to recycle, to the latest news in the world of metal, to fun local events. Check out our questions page and when you’re ready to bring your material in to recycle find the Scrap Inc. recycling center location nearest you.

Scrap Monster:

For those interested in keeping up with the scrap metal market. Scrap Monster will keep you up to speed on the market value of different scrap metals all around the world.

Scrap Metal Junkie

Scrap metal Junkie features the “Scrapper’s Handbook” with some tips and tricks on finding and identifying what you can bring to the scrap yard. Some articles even offers general explanations on how to disassemble things like old air conditioning units and BBQ grills. They also feature a forum where you can chat with other Scrappers.

Craigslist

Tried and true, craigslist is still the best place online to find scrap material in your community. A quick search in the “Free” section or just searching for “metal” and you’ll see results for people getting rid of everything from old sheds, to electronics, to vehicles.

iScrap App

Not just an app, iScrap has a forum, and a plethora of information for eager Scrappers. Our favorite is the metal list, which explains (with images) the different types of metals.

 

 

How to Scrap a Television Part I

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Screen shot 2013-07-23 at 4.42.45 PM

It’s amazing how easy it is to make money from things we were about to throw out.

Take, for example, old televisions; They are generally worth less than the scrap metal contained inside of them. So before you send them to your local landfill, pull out the scrap copper, scrap aluminum, and scrap circuit boards! Here is how to break them down for their scrap metal value…

 

Tools you will need
Screw driver / power drill with screw bits
Nut driver / hex (socket) head bit
Side cutters, or wire cutters of your choice.
A razor knife
A few 5 gallon buckets (for sorting metals at the end)
Gloves
Patience

 

Remove The Scrap Television’s Back Cover
In most models, this is just a molded piece of plastic on the back of the TV with a few fasteners holding it on. Every TV is different, so it requires a little trial and error. (If you’ve ever disassembled an old tube tv, you know exactly what I am talking about.)Often times the fasteners are 3/8” hex head screws, and there is at least one in every corner of the back cover. Once you remove these screws, the cover will usually just pop off. If this is not the case, and you have a larger style TV, my only universal suggestion is to keep removing screws until you can see the “guts” of the TV.In some TV models, the power cable may need to be cut off before the cover comes off. Either way, cut the copper power cable and set it off to the side.

 

Discharge the TV’s capacitor
All devices containing  large capacitors – microwaves, TV, etc – can hold an electrical charge that is powerful enough to hurt you!  It’s danger is often exaggerated, but it could still give you a very nasty shock!If the TV you plan on scrapping was plugged-in any time during the previous week, then it could still hold a charge. Conversely, if it was unplugged for over a week, then you can pretty much expect the capacitors to have lost their charge. So no worries.

 

Cut Out Scrap Circuit Boards
There are at least two circuit boards in a scrap TV; one of them is attached to the narrow top of the tube (the “electron gun”) and the other is the large board that usually rests at the TV bottom. Both boards can get separated from the TV usually by hand, but sometimes it requires cutting zip-ties or undoing screws.The printed circuit board connected to the electron gun just above the copper yoke is usually held on with some soft calking that acts as an electrical insulator. Pull this board off carefully, without breaking the glass on the TV.Once you have isolated the scrap circuit boards from the rest of the TV, you will be able to pull off any attachments that you think are more valuable, for example: small scrap transformers, small inductors, small aluminum heat sinks, and small precious-metal-bearing IC chips.

 

Disassemble the Scrap Copper Yoke
The copper yoke is a cone-shaped coil of wires at the end of the tube. It’s easy to pull all the copper out once you separate it from the tube.Most scrap copper yokes have 1 or 2 stainless steel screws/clips holding them onto the tube. If you simply undo these screws, you will we home free. Just give the scrap copper yoke a firm twist, and it should slide off the tube. (Sometimes it’s a bit sticky, but just keep twisting, and it should come off just fine).As a LAST RESORT you can use a hammer to break the yoke off of the glass. This is horribly messy, and dangerous. Once the glass is broken, it will be difficult to dispose of without cutting up your gloves or hands. Don’t break the yoke from the tube with a hammer. Once it is removed from the tube, however, that is a different story…

Copper Yokes.73221033 How To Scrap A Television   Scrapping a TV

Check out Part II tomorrow.

Read more at: How to Scrap a Television

How to Scrap Apart a Computer: Part II

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Check out How to Scrap Apart a Computer: Part I

Once I have the wires cleaned out, I will pull out the CPU and the RAM, both of which appear below. The CPU is almost alway covered with a heat sink, also pictured below. The CPU has a little throw switch lever that needs to be UP to allow it to come out, as well as a strap that holds it to the heat sink. The RAM is usually secured with little plastic tabs on their ends.

ram1 How To Scrap Apart A Computer
1100.CPU.Remove How To Scrap Apart A Computer
How To Remove a CPU from a motherboard

The next thing I pull out of the computer is the PCIs. These can usually just get ripped right out of the motherboard. If I just give it a nice strong pull, the whole thing will get ripped out in one go. If that doesn’t work for you, there is a single screw holding it against the case that you need to take out.

PCI boards have gold fingers. The gold fingers are cut off and sold separately for a premium!  A single PCI, aka daughterboard, is pictured below along with some gold fingers:

PCI How To Scrap Apart A Computer
Screen+shot+2010 12 04+at+8.48.11+PM How To Scrap Apart A Computer

The next thing I pull from the computer is usually the Motherboard, aka the big board screwed into the case. To liberate the motherboard, grab a trusty screw driver or power drill and take out the screws. Its pretty simple. A motherboard appears below:

motherboard How To Scrap Apart A Computer

Now that the motherboard is out, I usually pull out the Hard Drive and the disk drives. A hard drive appears below. There is a very small board on the bottom of all the disk drives that can be sold along with the PCIs and the motherboards. For more info on the hard drives, check out my page on How To Scrap A Hard Drive…

ide hard drive ez9c How To Scrap Apart A Computer

How To Scrap An Air Conditioning Unit

Friday, July 5th, 2013

As we mentioned before, breaking down your scrap materials before recycling really pays off. Here’s an article outlining how to disassemble an old AC Units. We’d like to take a moment to remind you that air conditioning units contain freon that should be properly serviced/disposed of by a licensed professional and oil that should be carefully collected and recycled.

metal scrap az

How To Scrap An Air Conditioning Unit

Every scrapper’s dream is to find a “jackpot” of metal that is ripe for the picking. If you have any type of experience under your belt, you’ll know that “jackpots” are not happened upon often… unless, of course, you happen to find an old AC unit.

That’s right, AC units are a ripe cocktail of non-ferrous metals, and contain many pounds of copper on average! They are a specialized scrap item at most scrap yards, and they can easily get picked up or bought off of an HVAC  man. The more you know about the value of a scrap AC unit, the more money you will find yourself making.

WARNING: AC units contain freon and other refrigerants regulated by the U.S. federal government under the Clean Air Act. Briefly breathing freon will cause little harm to you physically; but if you are caught releasing freon by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) without an HVAC license (even with the proper equipment) you will be fined tens of thousands of dollars and/or jailed.

Now that I’ve gotten that line out of the way, lets discuss the three main types of AC units:

Portable/rolling AC units are built like humidifiers/de-humidifiers. They usually have a little more plastic than other types of AC units. These are worth taking apart.

Window AC units are small and densely packaged devices. They have relatively small radiators/condensers, and are heavy for their size. These are worth taking apart. 

Larger AC units have a rather flimsy build, with very large radiators/condensers. After taking out several screws (depending on the model) the whole thing will basically fall apart. These types of machines are the real money makers! They are packed with non-ferrous with very little contamination! These are worth taking apart.

It should be pretty clear; every type of AC unit is worth taking apart. Never just throw them into the scrap heap if you can otherwise help it. I realize that time is not unlimited, and for many people selling scrap metal is just a part time job or hobby; but if you are in any way serious about getting the most money for your scrap, you need to learn to tear AC units apart.

 

Scrap Compressors And Scrap Sealed Units

These things are the big black spheroids that weigh down the AC unit. They are a thick layer of steel plate, inside of which is a rather heavy duty motor used for compressing the working fluids in the scrap AC unit.

Some scrap yards buy these “sealed units” as is, and others want nothing to do with them. I know many scrappers who swear by sealed units, save them up for months, and then spend days non-stop breaking them down into copper, steel, etc. (The only problem is that there is always a lot of oil left over.)

If you can’t find a scrap yard that buys the sealed units as-is, and don’t want to break them down yourself, consider finding another scrapper that does…Many scrappers in your area would love to buy your sealed units to break down. (If that doesn’t work, you can always network at the scrap yard, or on Craigslist.)

Scrap sealed units can be cut open with an angle grinder while being held in a vice; The wire can be stripped from the motor, or the motor can be sold as is.

Before cutting open the sealed unit, let all of the compressor oil drain out. It will take several minutes for the last dribbles to come out.

 

Scrap Radiators and Scrap Condensers

These are the non-ferrous tube systems that are used to compress air and radiate off heat. The bigger the AC unit, the larger its radiators are and the more valuable it is.

Scrap radiators come in a few different flavors: Aluminum, Copper-aluminum, and copper-brass. When it comes to scrap air conditioner radiators, however, they are almost exclusively copper-aluminum. That is to say, they have aluminum fins with copper tubes.

To get the best prices for your scrap radiators, you will want to clean them up! This doesn’t mean you should pull out the soap and water. This means you need to remove all steel contamination from the aluminum/copper. This means cutting off the steel with a sawzall or circular saw. (And wear eye protection!) After cutting off the steel, be weary of the hydraulic oil that will drain out of the scrap AC units and scrap radiators/condenser coils.

Scrap Copper Lines
There are numerous scrap copper lines in a scrap air conditioner, besides those in the scrap radiators. To assure that you get the best prices for these scrap copper lines, be sure to cut out any solder joints. Copper tubes without soldered joints are worth at least 10¢ more then copper tubes with soldered joints. (Copper tubes with soldered joints are called “Copper #1″ and copper pipes without soldered joints are called “Copper #2″) The difference between them is ~10¢ per pound, so it is worth separating if you have the patience.

Screen shot 2013-07-01 at 2.33.16 PM

How To Break Down A Scrap Air Conditioner

..We start off by disassembling the outside of the AC unit to get to the insides. Take the outside shell of the AC unit off by finding whatever type of drill bit or socket is necessary to remove its fasteners. If you are taking apart a central air conditioner, like pictured right,  then you can just cut the condenser lines and pull it out. Otherwise, work taking off appropriate fasteners until you strip the machine down to the condenser(s)….

Once you have the steel components separated as much as possible, you can next cut the copper lines out. This is usually done easily with a large pair of copper wire cutters, or a bolt cutter.  Avoid leaving any small pieces of copper by cutting close to connections, but not close enough to leave steel contamination. Cut out soldered joints in the lines as they are worth Copper #2 price; If what is left is not painted, then it is copper #1.  Be sure to have some type of oil pan ready to collect the compressor oil left in the copper lines.

Using side cutter, bolt cutters, or wire cutters, isolate any other copper rich components like insulated wire or fan motors. The fan motors in large scrap air conditioning units are generally very good motors for tearing apart.

Save all of the left over steel. It adds up  much quicker then think. I know it sounds crazy to most of us reading this, but there are still many people who will just throw out the steel because they don’t think it’s worth saving. (If you don’t like dealing with steel, I know many people who will “recycle” it for free. )

Don’ts:

  • Don’t sell your AC units as shred, if you can help it.
  • Don’t release refrigerant, because if you get caught it is a serious fine and possible jail time.
  • Don’t sell your scrap radiators and condensers without first cutting off any steel contamination.
  • Don’t forget about sealed units: They are worth more than shred. Network with other scrappers, or scrap yards, to find a buyer if you don’t want to tear them apart for yourself.
  • Don’t throw out the steel. 

Read more at: How to Scrap an Air Conditioning Unit