Scrap Metal: How to Clean Copper Wire and Use It to Make Money
Money for Old Rope, Or In This Case Wire.
Scrap Metal is a very good way to earn yourself some money and give your house and garage a good clean out. But how do you know what's what? Most garages have a collection or jumble of missing parts.
Bike frames, skateboards, old car engines, etc and so on. So how do go about figuring out how to make some money of scrap metal if you don't know anything about it? Copper is one of those metals that you don't really take a lot of notice off, and most people throw it away without thinking about it.
What in your house is made from copper? You can probably think of one or two bits, like a kettle or a a few jugs or vases. But you are missing one particular and major part in any household. In fact this is so proficient you will be surprised when you realise what it is.
How many wires have you got laying around the house? That old extension wire that was used in the spare room, curled up in a corner. Old computer plugs and wires thrown in a drawer. Get the picture. So how do you go about changing that wire into something that will make you some money? How to clean copper wire is an easy step by step guide that will teach you just how easy it is to turn scrap metal into cash.
Learning the Gypsy Way
Now I have not lived for years with a Gypsy without picking up some of the scrap metal habits. I have come home quite a few times to find my kitchen taken over with copper wire tied to the door handles. And piles of shiny copper strips laying across the floor. Obviously most people will clean and scrap metal outside, but the thing with copper is that if you are only cleaning the copper from wire, it can be done inside your house. But what do you need?
1. A very sharp knife
2. A magnet
3. Very strong garden gloves, as you don't want to get any wire in your fingers. Nasty.
4. A screwdriver, hammer, Stanley knife or scraper. And of course wire strippers
5. A lighter.
And of course if you are doing it inside, you need copious amounts of newspaper on the floor as your spouse may feel the urge to murder you! Fact!
So why do we need a magnet?
Pure Grade Copper Wire Stripped And Cleaned
Double Check Your Metals.
Scrap metal dealers always use a magnet to make sure that all the metal is separated into the right piles. Copper is not magnetised. When you hold the magnet to it, it will just fall off. Some metals will be magnetised. There is nothing worse for a scrap metal dealer to see someone who has no idea what the hell they are doing, come into the scrap yard with a a big bag and a grin saying, 'Here you go mate, I got you some metal'! The dealer will definitely not be happy. And more important, you will only get a tiny amount of money doing it this way.
For two reasons. One, it will automatically be regarded as second grade metal, which means it is not pure. And two, the poor dealer has to sort it out himself.
You are not doing yourself any favours by trying to make the weight of the metal heavier, by letting other bits of metal stay on the copper. Brass for instance or iron. The weight of the metal is the thing that will give you your money. More weight, more money. But only if it is pure. Mixing the metals will make the grade go down. So don't do it.
How To Strip Copper Wire
Clean and Tidy. Pack Ready To Go.
Copper piping is pretty easy to recognise. We all know how shiny and red looking it is, if it is mixed with brass or anything else the colour will be dull. Don't forget the magnet. Remember? So if you have copper piping, just cut it into strips and make sure everything else, like plastic taps or cogs are taken off.
Copper wire can be stripped in a number of ways. You can use a vice to hold one end, and then get a pair of wire strippers and grip the wire with one hand and pull sharply. This can take a while but it is one of the best ways to do it. We have always wrapped it around a door handle, or I hold the wire while it is being stripped at the other end. It's best to keep it at the long length whilst doing it as if you cut it into strips it gets very fiddly and you are likely to lose half of the copper.
We always use a Stanley knife or just a sharp knife. It's quicker but more dangerous to do it this way. One slip and you can lose a finger, so be careful! When the wire is stripped, wrap it around into a small ball. The tighter the better. Tighter equals weight!
You can of course burn of the plastic covering of wire, this way is much quicker as it leaves the copper nearly cleaned of plastic, but black. The only trouble with this is, if it gets damaged in the flames, it will be regarded as grade 2. less Money.
Scrap Copper Prices
At this moment in time, September 2010. Copper is marked as:
$3.47 per pound. = £2,24 per pound. English and U.S.
So, you can see how much money you can make if you do it right!
So Get Scrapping!
So, just remember that rubbish in your garage may not be rubbish, it may be a little gold mine, well copper mine!
It is best to use a knife when cleaning copper and metal. Burning the rubber/plastic off can cause be dangerous to health if you breath it in. And its not good for the environment.
Questions & Answers
© 2010 Nell Rose