Anyone Scrap Out A Welder Before?
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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone Scrap Out A Welder Before?

    Hey All-I've been buying several welders, looking to get some good ones for the shop. I'm curious as to how much copper is inside them. Say I buy one and its a dud-like, if I can get it at scrap price, it won't be too bad. But the question is, what is scrap price? I'm talking industrial 3 phase welders, 300-400 amp...from the 60' and 70's. Mainly transformer type.

    Thanks for any input!

    Eric

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    Interesting topic.

    My experiance.

    Local salvage operation had several welders. I tried buying them. No way to test. How much. "well I get $2lb for copper" Ok, so how much then. He weighed the entire machine, including steel case etc and multiplied by 2. Of course only a full would pay that. I remarked that the entire machine was not copper. But he wouldnt budge.

    I have scraped welders. They paid going rate for mixed steel only.

  3. #3
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    Default Copper or Aluminum Windings?

    Be careful when buying welders to scrap. If they are copper, fine but I understand that some of them use aluminum transformer windings nowadays.

    I have a Miller Synrcrowave 200 and a Lincoln SP 175 plus Mig and I couldn't tell you whether they have copper or aluminum windings.

  4. #4
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    Eric;

    I've scrapped a number of welders. You may yield up to 75# of #1 from a good one.

    The best way to do this is pull the transformers off then put them in a pile. Pile wood over them and burn them. The smoke like the dickens until they get hot. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Let them burn till they get real hot. You must get the core real hot. Most important step. Once hot, dip the transformers in water and they will shine like a new penny. Take a 2 lb. cross pein hammer and break the welds. Unwind the wire and bingo!

    Keep in mind if you don't get the varnish off, you drop one grade. #1 wire with varnish becomes #2 and so on.

    Hope all went well loading today in Shreve!

    Craig Donges

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    FWIW;

    I have never burnt copper in my life. In the previous post, I was describing how some people told me it was done. I would never violate any laws. Especially if it involved harming our planet.

    Remeber, burning copper in open fires is a crime!

    Craig Donges

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    Thanks guys! Looks like Craig has given me a good idea of what I'm lookin for!

    Craig, Load out went well! Made it back safe so that's a blessing too!

    Eric

  7. #7
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    There is another way of looking at the problem. Most welders have a good cooling fan that can be usefull in other applications. The sheet metal housing can be used for machine guards and most any other fabrication projects involving light sheet...some with louvers or clean vents already in. The real question would be...what else can you use that transformer for? Monster spot welder? There must be something. I've got a big old single phase AC machine awaiting some fate.

  8. #8
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    Concerning re-use of parts some of the single to three phase converter drawings suggest using a welder transformer to get the high voltage stepped up output. I guess its possible to connect them as an auto-transformer.

    Clive

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    Craig: What law prohibits burning copper in an open fire? Federal, Ohio, or local. I Did not know it was against the law.
    John Burchett
    in Byng OK

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    Quote Originally Posted by kc5ezc View Post
    Craig: What law prohibits burning copper in an open fire? Federal, Ohio, or local. I Did not know it was against the law.
    John Burchett
    in Byng OK
    I have a feeling you can burn all the copper you want -- it's burning off the plastic insulation that you'll get in hot water for.

  11. #11
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    A friend of mine is an EPA air quality control guy. First fine for burning insulation off is 10,000.00 , second offense is 250,000.00. I don't know if they can put you in the can as well, probably if a judge decides you need it. He doesn't know of any cases around these parts but certain area's of the country they have been after wire burners.

    Some scrap yards will no longer take wire that has had the insulation burnt off and it is coming in the future that they will have to turn you in if you bring in burnt off wire. All the local scrap yards have refused burnt off aluminum wire for years. It only took them getting burnt on that one time to never accept that again.

    I have acouple places that I take wire that pay about 10 cents a pound less than #1 as they have access to a shredder so anything less than about 1/2 in size goes there and everything else I run thru a home made wire stripper. One great thing about the shredders is that nothing goes to waste, even the insulation is recycled into new insulation or plastics.

    The way I see it a person would have to be worse than an idiot to burn off wire insulation and they deserve everything that is coming to them.

    tim


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