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Thread: Tips for scrap-ing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
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    464

    Question Tips for scrap-ing

    Figured someone here probably has the scrap thing figured out, so any tips for getting the best return on the scrap pile? I've got several cubic yards of scrap (cleaning out an old hvac/tinsmith shop), so figure if it would pay better I'd sort it a bit. Obviously separating the metals is a good thing, but what about tube and structural steel from sheet? Cast iron? Stuff like fluorescent light fixtures go in with the sheet? What about nice forged aviation snips that are rusted beyond hope? Buckets of rusty screws and nails? Electric motors? Gas motors? At what point does sheet become plate and should be lumped with the structural? Unsalvageable bottle jacks? Spools of rusted welding wire?

    If you can't tell, there's more than a little bit of everything in there. Including a 48" diameter saw blade which I assume came out of a sawmill (which I'll be keeping, along with a bunch of other interesting/useful things).

    Thanks for the help!

    -Aric.
    Last edited by adatesman; 03-17-2012 at 04:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    3,017

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    Locally, it's really only sorted by material.

    In other words, steel is steel, be it plate, bar, rod, sheet, wire, old rebar, dead bottle jacks, rusty tinsnips, out-of-date gas bottles, etc.

    They do have specific pricing for electric motors (which includes car alternators) as well as things like car radiators (both aluminum and brass) AC condensers and heater cores, etc.

    Everything else is pretty basic, for example, it's either "aluminum"- no specifics on grading, like separating 6061 from 2024- or "cast aluminum"- as in things like transmission cases, engine blocks, etc.

    They grade stainless simply by whether it's magnetic- if it's not, it's "stainless", if it is, they pay as if it's regular steel.

    Copper scrap is different from copper wire, too. If you took the time to strip all the insulation off a roll of Romex, they'd call it copper, if you brought it in with the insulation still on it, it's "copper wire".

    Your local scrapper might be different. Couldn't hurt to give them a call first, and ask. Do you need to separate galvanized sheetmetal from structural steel? Is brass priced different than copper? And so on...

    Doc.
    Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    670

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    Go to the scrapyard, ask for a price sheet. Ask questions about anything on the list you don't recognize. I don't cut anything unless I have to to fit it on the trailer. Tin and wire go in a separate load from "unprepared". If you mix cheap stuff with the more valuable stuff, they give you the lesser value. I'm a get in, get out quick kind of guy. Time spent cutting and carefully sorting is money lost.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada, Bc
    Posts
    7,350

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Nickel
    Everything else is pretty basic, for example, it's either "aluminum"- no specifics on grading, like separating 6061 from 2024- or "cast aluminum"- as in things like transmission cases, engine blocks, etc.
    Doc.
    One of my friends keeps on going on about the 'thousands of dollars' he will get from scraping his RV because its skin is made out of 'Aircraft aluminum' (its some very old Revcon)

    I keep telling him, After you get a quote from the scrap yard, bring it to me and i'll likey beat it. I doubt his RV is worth more then a grand as scrap!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
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    6,960

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    Pretty much what the others have said. Everthing you have there will just be generic steel scrap. Don't waste your time separating it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    16,308

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Moons
    One of my friends keeps on going on about the 'thousands of dollars' he will get from scraping his RV because its skin is made out of 'Aircraft aluminum' (its some very old Revcon)

    I keep telling him, After you get a quote from the scrap yard, bring it to me and i'll likey beat it. I doubt his RV is worth more then a grand as scrap!
    Less than that if he leaves so much as ONE steel bolt or rivet in it....... A neighbor of my father-in-law found that out..... He helped scrap an aluminum truck body with my FIL and got half the scrap material for doing it. He got about 1/4 the money for his scrap, due to leaving some fasteners in place.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
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    Ah, guess that was a wasted afternoon then....

    On the upside, I found a couple things in the pile that I'd rather keep than scrap (rainproof enclosure boxes, fireproof oily rag containers, etc), plus a bunch of stainless that was added to the pile before I realized there was stainless hiding in the workshop. And it was a good workout, so perhaps not a wasted afternoon.

    Anyway, didn't know scrappers would give out price sheets; will stop by and get one. Only experience I have is with the place around the corner which barely tolerates non-commercial folk and pays $5 per cwt regardless of what it is. Place I'm looking at going instead (which is where the machine shop I ran ages ago sent their stuff) is a bit of a drive but from talking on the phone seems they'll pay at least double that and might have a grading system more than ferrous/nonferrous.

    Thanks!

    -aric.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Iowa
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    670

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    Just for reference. Here are the items on my price sheet.

    NO. 1 Cast
    Alum Breakage
    Alum cast and sheet
    Painted alum siding
    Alum pistons with iron
    Alum transmission
    URD Alum cable
    Whole auto batteries
    Brass breakage
    Elec. brass (clean)
    Brass meters
    Car bodies
    Red brass
    Yellow Brass
    Brass turnings
    No. 1 copper
    No. 2 copper
    #1 ins. copper
    #2 ins. copper
    Sheet copper
    Oversize and unprepared cast
    #1 weather proof
    Die cast Breakage
    Clean die cast
    Unstripped motor blocks
    Elec. motors
    Sealed electric motors
    Soft lead
    Lead wheel weights
    No.2 3' x 18" steel
    Radiators
    Heater cores rad.
    Stove cast free of soil pipe
    Soil pipe
    Stainless steel
    Stainless steel breakage
    Tin & wire free of white goods
    Unprepared shear iron
    Unprepared torch iron

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