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Bulk wire stripper plans...??

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  • Bulk wire stripper plans...??

    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?

  • #2
    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.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

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    • #3
      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.

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      • #4
        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.
        Paul A.

        Make it fit.
        You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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        • #5
          Luckily this wire is in big coils - no kinks!

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

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          • #6
            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.
            Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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            • #7
              How about grind and sort by density?
              Infact I bet the right fluid would let all the ground insulation float off...
              Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  In most areas it is illegal to burn off wire. Scrap yards are not allowed to accept it and are supposed to report offenders

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                  • #10
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 50BMGBOB
                        ......

                        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.
                        Paul A.

                        Make it fit.
                        You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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

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                          • #14
                            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...ort/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 )
                            "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk" Thomas Edison

                            Better to have tools you don't need than to need tools you don't have

                            73's KB3BFR

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paul Alciatore
                              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.
                              Last edited by lakeside53; 05-11-2010, 12:36 PM.

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