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  • Transformer tear down for the copper.

    I have two large 3 phase transformers here and a couple of heavy single phase transformers that I cant use.

    The three phase transformers are kinda heavy, about 85lbs each. From some electric fork lift chargers. Im thinking most of the weight is in the steel plates. But looking at them there is also some decent winds of 1/8" solid copper wire that Id like to remove and recycle.

    To be honest its not about recouping any money. I just hate the idea of tossing them in the trash to be turned into the dirt that the major dump will do.

    It took some heavy machines to pull the copper out of the ground. I dont think the best ending would be some heavy machines to "try" and put it back in the dirt, but at this point Im ready to toss the X-formers in the bucket.

    So how can I remove the copper 1/8" solid wire?

    I thought about slicing through the cores with the abrasive chop saw. But then I still couldnt remove the copper wire, its thick and doesnt want to bend much at all. I thought about putting the cores in the band saw. It would be a better route. Set it and walk away till it made two parts. But then still? How to remove the copper lines from the core??

    I hate to say it but at this point it seems like chucking these bad boys in the dump might be whats gonna happen. I just hate the thought of that..

    Id like to be able to remove the copper lines and toss the steel.

    But even then the copper is still coated. What? Make a fire in the backyard and cook the copper lines?

    ERRRR!!! I dont want to toss these x-formers. What a waste of copper. I dont need the money, I just dont like the waste.

    Any and ALL ideas are welcome at this point.. JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

  • #2
    Easy... Just bandsaw off the windings on one side close to the laminations, then press (or beat) out the "C" shape of windings left. Ignore the wire enamal coating - it will be graded as #2 anyhow, left or burnt.


    Burn? lol.. around here if you take in burnt copper they want a copy of the burn permit (which you can't get unless in an approved facility).


    But.. before you get carried away, make sure it's actually copper, and not Aluminum with copper colored coatings on the wires. And... in most cases, aluminum wound transformers have copper wires for external connections.
    Last edited by lakeside53; 11-12-2011, 01:34 AM.

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    • #3
      the core of many transformers are like an E with a cap welded on....grind out the welds, the E and end separate and the coils lift out.
      .

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      • #4
        sounds like a spot welder to me!, make them into somthing perhaps?
        mark

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        • #5
          Leave them on the curb for the metal thieves. They will be gone by morning.

          But.. before you get carried away, make sure it's actually copper, and not Aluminum with copper colored coatings on the wires
          I've seen that before in a Maytag washing machine motor that I was salvaging for copper.
          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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          • #6
            Your scrap dealer will have a rate to transformers and motors which might be worth checking into.

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            • #7
              Leave them out for the thieves- but run a hidden wire to them and plug them in
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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              • #8
                But.. before you get carried away, make sure it's actually copper, and not Aluminum with copper colored coatings on the wires.
                Yep, anyone seen Copper coated Steel wire being sold for house wiring?

                Regards Ian.
                You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                • #9
                  In the 70's I used to work for a company that repaired the pad and pole transformers, that had problems or had been shot up. As been said check to see if they are aluminum, wire or one company made them out of aluminum sheet windings.

                  We used the pneumatic muffler chisels to cut the windings in half then use a pry bar/hammer to start the windings coming out. After a couple they come out easy.

                  On the ones that where in for repair, that had cores that were welded we used a pneumatic chisel to remove the spot welds, on the ones that had metal packing straps to hold it together, Make sure that your body parts are out of the way when the strap is cut, some are bolted together. All are under some pressure and can pop outward.

                  Also be careful as all of the steel lamination's to some degree are razor sharp.

                  The ones we did were all oil filled ones and back then the oil had PCB's as the fire retardant in it. Some weeks when the utility companies were slow in paying. We cut up the damaged ones, and scarped the copper and aluminum to make payroll back when scrap was under 30¬Ęper pound.

                  The used burnt oil was sold to road oiling firms and used to keep the dust down. That was of course before they figured out it was a problem.
                  Glen
                  Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                  I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                  All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Circlip
                    Yep, anyone seen Copper coated Steel wire being sold for house wiring?

                    Regards Ian.
                    Not in the US and or not for long!
                    Glen
                    Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                    I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                    All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Artful Bodger
                      Your scrap dealer will have a rate to transformers and motors which might be worth checking into.
                      £400/tonne round here.
                      Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

                      Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
                      Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
                      Monarch 10EE 1942

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                      • #12
                        Since it is transformer windings, you don't need no stinkin burn permit.....

                        The reason you are scrapping it is because it burned up already by itself! They can do that.

                        Then you picked off the paper and kapton.

                        Easy, see?

                        Originally posted by PTSideshow
                        The used burnt oil was sold to road oiling firms and used to keep the dust down. That was of course before they figured out it was a problem.
                        I wondered where Russell Bliss got all that oil for out in Times Beach...... Now I know
                        1601

                        Keep eye on ball.
                        Hashim Khan

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                        • #13
                          You may want to check with your local scrappy as the have rates for complete transformers and motors pro-rated for copper and the steel along with the other materials. Might be worth it to just haul in instead of messing with them. As the burnt smell gets into everything that comes near and lingers for a long while!
                          Glen
                          Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                          I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                          All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Circlip
                            Yep, anyone seen Copper coated Steel wire being sold for house wiring?

                            Regards Ian.
                            No, but we did have copper coated aluminium for a while, late '60s I think, another time when copper prices were really high. It wasn't a success, too fragile.

                            Tim

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                            • #15
                              Once again ALL great ideas.... More than one way to skin a transformer.

                              The wire is copper, I just double checked.

                              I cant figure out how they put this thing together. Might be hidden under some sheetmetal, dunno. I just know these are very heavy and it would be nice to be able to get them apart. Ive usually found anything that was made can be "unmade"

                              Here are some pics to show what they look like (this is one of two). I also have some single phase transformers that are built the same way (same large wire and plates) that Im gonna tear up...

                              Thanks for the help folks!!! JR



                              My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                              https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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