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View Full Version : Bulk wire stripper plans...??



lakeside53
05-10-2010, 11:08 PM
There's about a $1.00 a pound difference between insulated and "bright" copper wire scrap. I have a few hundred lb of 8, 6 and 4 AWG THHN wire in random lengths.

I figure some type of tapered hole to feed the wire through, a fixed blade to cut the insulation, then pull the wire and insulation separately.

Anyone build anything similar or can point to an example?

wierdscience
05-10-2010, 11:38 PM
A piece of plastic,say UHMW maybe 1" thick with a 3/8 hole drilled in.Cut/mill a slit on the hole centerline and add a couple setscrews to hold a Stanley HD utility knife blade.

Adjust blade's projection in the hole so it just cuts through the insulation on the size wire your stripping.Shove the end of the wire through the hole to the otherside of the block,clamp Visegrips on that end and pull through.

fishfrnzy
05-10-2010, 11:41 PM
I have only seen one that was being used at a scrapyard. It had 2 rotating blades that looked like sharper larger versions of can opener blades. I'm sure that one was adjustable but i did not get a good enough look to see how it was done.

You might be able to drill a hole in a flat bar to clear your smallest size with a razor type blade mounted on the exit side to slice the wire's insulation then pull it through. Then upsize the hole for the next size etc.

Paul Alciatore
05-11-2010, 12:04 AM
I don't know how eco-friendly or legal it is, but I have heard of just placing the insulated wire on a bonfire and collecting the copper when it cools down.

The difficulty involved in stripping it is probably why it is a lot more valuable already stripped.

Kinks in the wire are going to be the worst problem. You may need some rollers before the stripping station to get them out.

lakeside53
05-11-2010, 12:09 AM
Luckily this wire is in big coils - no kinks!

Burning.. not sure if the result will be graded as "bright copper", but...

winchman
05-11-2010, 02:33 AM
I've seen people run the wire by a wire brush mounted on a bench grinder to remove the insulation on one side. Then the rest can be peeled of with little effort. It was messy, but seemed to work.

Black_Moons
05-11-2010, 02:46 AM
How about grind and sort by density?
Infact I bet the right fluid would let all the ground insulation float off...

50BMGBOB
05-11-2010, 06:15 AM
I use to strip 4 conductor 8 gauge cords with a stripper made from a small pipe nipple with slot cut in it. I welded a flat bar next to the slot and with a second flat bar bolted to it to clamp a blade from a box cutter to stick into the pipe nipple. The flat bar welded to it was long enough to clamp in large vise. I would strip it during standby time at work to make it easier to store until I had enough to turn in for scrap. I actually had two strippers, one for the outer sheath and one for the inner conductors.

Funny thing is after doing a lot of them one day, we weighed the insulation and the wire and figured that you got about the same amount of money if you didn't strip it down.

Bmyers
05-11-2010, 06:59 AM
In most areas it is illegal to burn off wire. Scrap yards are not allowed to accept it and are supposed to report offenders

kendall
05-11-2010, 07:04 AM
why not just a couple of hard wheels pressing the wire between them? Should work with solid wire by crushing the insulation on two sides allowing it to peel easily like a banana

Mating V's cut into metal wheels with adjustable spacing to press the wire down to it's conductor size in the groove , ridges (as rings) cut into female side to cut/abrade the insulation when the wire is forced in by the male wheel
could be powered or just pull through by hand.

Tried drawing it through a hole with a blade, it works, but is not as smooth operating or as easy as it sounds.
The way I did was to drill a hole the size of the wire (with jacket), cut a slot where I inserted a utility blade, and fed the wire through then pulled with a hand crank. need to hand strip a section large enough to grip prior to feeding through, and as mentioned earlier, kinks are a stopper.


Ken.

davidh
05-11-2010, 07:28 AM
i just brought in some burned wire, no questions asked. same price as bright.
this was power cord wire, 16 ga and smaller. i built a stripper that worked in my lathe, what a pain in the butt. peeled the rubber nicely but then therre was the cotton that was wound on. . . couldn't cut that.
we do a fire in the fire pit and a good brandy on nice eve;s good time to throw in a few lbs of wire. i have no shame.

Paul Alciatore
05-11-2010, 10:46 AM
......

Funny thing is after doing a lot of them one day, we weighed the insulation and the wire and figured that you got about the same amount of money if you didn't strip it down.

I wondered about that. Scrap yards are not stupid. They are paying for the copper, not the insulation. Why bother? Just sell it and let them worry about separating the copper from the insulation. They certainly know the legal ways to do it and probably have it down to a science. Surely you have better things to do.

MuellerNick
05-11-2010, 10:51 AM
They look up the weight of the isolation in a table, and reduce that. They do have decent machines that strip the isolation. If you do that by hand, or half automated, you'll end with 10 cents / hour.
Not worth the efford.

You should only be clever enough not to mix different types. Or maybe you just strip the outer isolation that goes off easily.


Nick

Metalmelter
05-11-2010, 11:13 AM
Lakeside,
Since I can't ever seem to post a picture here without a ton of issues I'll just post a link to the Bridgeport I bought a few years ago.

http://www.metalmelter.com/makeovers/bridgeport/index.html

More importantly notice the cutter he had installed and the free wheeling bearing/guide. This guy built cell towers for a living and kept all the scrap copper wire. With a simple cutter he made he stripped a HUGE pile of wire and believe me -- bought a Corvette!!

You can make something very similar as well :))

lakeside53
05-11-2010, 11:30 AM
I wondered about that. Scrap yards are not stupid. They are paying for the copper, not the insulation. Why bother? Just sell it and let them worry about separating the copper from the insulation. They certainly know the legal ways to do it and probably have it down to a science. Surely you have better things to do.


No.. they arent stupid, but they certainy try to make as many $$ as possible. Not all wire is created equally, but locally they just lump "insulated" on one catagory.

What you say may hold if you are selling 12 awg romex, appliance cord, computer cables or whatever, but most of mine is larger diameter with a very thin (THHN) modern lightweight insulation.

They can have the thick insulated, cords, twisted and other stuff as is, but the 4 and 6awg is definitely getting stripped.

lakeside53
05-11-2010, 11:35 AM
Lakeside,
Since I can't ever seem to post a picture here without a ton of issues I'll just post a link to the Bridgeport I bought a few years ago.

http://www.metalmelter.com/makeovers/bridgeport/index.html

More importantly notice the cutter he had installed and the free wheeling bearing/guide. This guy built cell towers for a living and kept all the scrap copper wire. With a simple cutter he made he stripped a HUGE pile of wire and believe me -- bought a Corvette!!

You can make something very similar as well :))


Nice job on the BP :) but where is the cutter?

garagemark
05-11-2010, 12:07 PM
Here in WV, or at least in my county, they will not accept burned cable. They pay 25% of scrap price for insulated versus stripped wire.

I usually get hold of large wire, from #2 AWG to 500MCM. The last wire I sold weighed in at one click shy of 1800 pounds, so it behooves (is that a real word?) me to strip the stuff. As I am at work now, I cannot pic or remember the name of the stripper I use. But it is a cast aluminum pistol grip device that has a flat plate on one side with a blade in the center of it and a V groove roller on the other. The plate side shoves up tight to the groove with thumb action, and locks in place. You stick the end of the cable in it, push the blade up tight against the roller, piercing the jacket, and pull the wire while holding the pistol grip. And pull until you get either get tired or run out of wire. It works best on wire over about #6 AWG

Cheers,
Mark

Metalmelter
05-11-2010, 12:12 PM
Nice job on the BP :) but where is the cutter?

The cutter is installed in the quill. And the bearing or guide is locked to the table. You can see it on the first few pictures. The sixth picture down the list shows a decent shot. These are pictures of the machine as it was sitting in his basement. He would just feed the cable between the two at low speed and it cut out a nice groove off the insulation. Just had to peel off the rest I think...

ADGO_Racing
05-11-2010, 12:22 PM
http://www.metalmelter.com/makeovers/bridgeport/index.html[/url]

More importantly notice the cutter he had installed and the free wheeling bearing/guide.

Also note the chuck key conveniently stored IN the lathe chuck in the background....:eek:

Metalmelter
05-11-2010, 12:34 PM
Yea he did that while he was pulling out the tooling before I bought the lathe too. It wasn't plugged in but just the same ..... bad practice!

bruto
05-11-2010, 09:25 PM
I found this odd tool many years ago at a yard sale. It works, though I rarely find it useful. It's probably a bit small for the job at hand, but the principle might be worth considering. The two stiff wire wheels counterrotate. It takes insulation off pretty effectively.http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/3483/wirestripper.jpg

I've never seen another like it since, and a cursory search doesn't find them on the web. It's an American brand, but the tool itself was made in Germany. The motor looks about like what you'd find on an angle grinder or biscuit joiner.

edited to add: in case the photo is not clear, this is a portable hand held tool, about the size of a small angle grinder, and the wheels are in the one-inch ball park for diameter.

doctor demo
05-11-2010, 09:59 PM
In this part of the country burnt copper wire is a major red flag at the scrap yards(or it is supposed to be).
Last nights news reported 4,000 feet of stolen street light wiring from the City of Davis.
We strip anything 10ga and up if it is reasonably tangle free. Phone and computer cables and co-ax get sold as is.

Last year on a fairly large demo job we hired a girl to strip for Us... NO, wire strip... sheesh.
She could easily strip 200-300 lbs a day, and at a dollar a pound difference in price her eighty bucks a day was a bargain.

The wire stripper She used was 120v single phase gearhead motor with a ''V'' drive wheel and a pipe cutter blade above it with a guide wheel in front to keep things running smooth.

Steve

lakeside53
05-11-2010, 10:15 PM
A pipe cutter wheel - that make sense. I'll try that...

doctor demo
05-11-2010, 10:42 PM
This looks like a newer model of the wire stripper I was talking about.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boHidQc29fU&feature=related

Steve

tdmidget
05-11-2010, 11:58 PM
Search wire stripper on Google, or is that too easy. Greenberg makes the best probably.
Small wire is granulated and separated on a fluidized bed air table.

Bluehill
05-12-2010, 08:33 AM
Lakeside,

check out this you tube video. Dead simple design that looks like it would take very little time to make.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO1Ra1Yvluo

MuellerNick
05-12-2010, 09:14 AM
I'd like one of these (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rmYC-sz79w&playnext_from=TL&videos=QZk91uUOaJQ&feature=rec-fresh%2Bdiv-r-2-HM) ... stripping! :D


Nick

lakeside53
05-12-2010, 10:58 AM
heck, If you going to get in trouble, why stop at one:D