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Thread: Stripping smaller gauge wire? worth it?

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    jord0690 started this thread.
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    Stripping smaller gauge wire? worth it?

    Have lots of smaller gauge wire out of cars iv scrapped, anyone have any good and quick ways to strip wire? I don't like burning it.. and is it worth it to strip the smaller stuff?

    If I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all...

    GC Metal Recycling & Recovery
    Barrie, Ontario.


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    No, I don't bother with the stuff like wiring harness. I just throw them in a barrel to sell as Insulated Wire.
    People may laugh at me, but that's ok. I laugh all the way to the bank.

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    I read somewhere that they don't want it stripped they toss it in a machine that cuts it up small and gets the wire separated. I will see if I can find where I read that.

    Here it is http://www.altermetalrecycling.com/a...vagingWire.jsp
    Last edited by KrazyK; 09-16-2012 at 10:28 AM. Reason: added website

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    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyK View Post
    I read somewhere that they don't want it stripped they toss it in a machine that cuts it up small and gets the wire separated.
    There's something about that idea that just doesn't sit right with me. When it comes to copper, the cleaner you can get it, the better price you should be able to get. If I had to, I would find another yard to go to. I guess I just don't like a yard that tries to encourage me to accept lower prices for my copper wire.

    Only you can decide for yourself whether or not to strip certain wires. There can be a lot of factors to the decision, I suppose. I don't strip down tinned copper, but that's my choice. For the most part, I will strip wire if it results in at least #2 copper prices. Depends on the PITA factor.
    You can observe a lot just by watching. ~ Yogi Berra

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    Smaller wire to me goes in the #2 wire tote. Have you ever tryed stripping xmas lights after the bulbs have been cut off? dont bother, the wire doesnt weigh anything and the wind can blow it away its so light.

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    The insulated wire you sell to the scrap yard goes to companies that have granulators. The granulators chop the wire and seperate the plastic from the copper. We have two members of this forum, that I know of, whose business is chopping insulated wire. If you are interested there a many videos on youtube.

    The opinion that small wire isn't worth the effort comes from experience. So strip some small wire and decide for youself. I have no doubt you will choose to sell it as insulated. Mike
    "Profit begins when you buy NOT when you sell." {quote passed down to me from a wise man}

    Now go beat the copper out of something, Miked

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    Again, I've said it a million times. Can you make more money with your time doing something else than stripping wire? Work at it for a while, weigh what you have and see what your making in an avg hour. If it doesn't meet your minimum find something more profitable to do with your time. To me I make more curb shopping or breaking down more profitable that I've accumulated.

    It's a really a matter if opinion. Just remember... While your trying to make $1 you could be making $10.

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    And on the other hand, for some of us who might be "smaller scrappers" making $1.00 might be better than making $0.00. It all depends on where you are at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billygoat View Post
    And on the other hand, for some of us who might be "smaller scrappers" making $1.00 might be better than making $0.00. It all depends on where you are at.
    Perhaps instead of monkeying around for $1; explore your options, take that time and educate yourself and get creative and figure out how to make more. Reading threads for 1 hr on this forum will net you more per hour in the long run than struggling with a pound of wire.( which coincidentally you'll need to strip at a small gauge wire recovery rate to make 1$.

    Likewise that wire could of made you $0.70 un stripped so your formula needs to account for a 30% increase per pound. The question is efficiency. It's most efficient to sell as is to someone who can properly and efficiently strip/ recover the material.
    Last edited by Russell; 09-16-2012 at 01:00 PM.

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    You really have to do the math for yourself. I stopped stripping cords. My yard pays .70 per pound whole. If I cut the end off and strip it I get 2.85 for bare bright. Sounds like a great increase except it takes about 3 pounds of cord to get a pound of copper. So some times I gained a few cents others I lost money. I would have never known unless I did the math. I would still be wasting my time to lose money!! But you really should figure it out for yourself because cords I get and the cords you get may be different. If I collect cords that are 14 and 16 gauge and you get cords that are 10 and 12 gauge there is a big difference.

  14. #11
    Power cord power ranger
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    I got a decent pull through stripper. When I was still learning how to evaluate when to break something down vs time to reward ratio I tried stripping everything. Now it is easier to throw it into a bucket with all the ends on they weigh a good bit and get paid .75-1.00. If you get some nice wire strip it for sure. If you got free time go hunt for more scrap, or network it will be more profitable.

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    I strip solid 12 gauge or better and always strip degausing cables from monitors. Most everything else I chuck into the number 2 insulated and get around 95 cents per pound.
    "64K should be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates 1981
    Buying Hard drive magnets and pewter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell View Post
    Reading threads for 1 hr on this forum will net you more per hour in the long run than struggling with a pound of wire.( which coincidentally you'll need to strip at a small gauge wire recovery rate to make 1$.
    I agree spending time reading the forum will net you more in the long run.... Since I strip all my wire with a razor I do it while I'm reading the forum, you can learn quickly how to cut and scroll at the same time. All depends on your prerogative!! I spend 2hrs a week watching TV, I read the forum during the commercials and strip wire while watching my shows. If I don't have any wire to strip then I unwind all the copper from the little things that I took off low grade boards. Usually I do about 2lbs of that in an hour... works for me since I'm already sitting on my behind.

    I guess my point was if you want to bother with the small things, do it while watching TV, having your morning coffee or on the phone chasing leads... things like that. This way your not actually wasting time you could be doing other things.

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  18. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyK View Post
    I read somewhere that they don't want it stripped they toss it in a machine that cuts it up small and gets the wire separated. I will see if I can find where I read that.

    Here it is Salvaging Wire
    Right on their page is this, are they for real. Add's no value if stripped, it add's about $ 1.50-1.75 a lb to mine when it's stripped. But no the small stuff is a waste of time usually.
    Stripping insulation by hand can lead to injury and doesn't add to the value of the wire.
    What I was commenting on is their "blanket statement" of adding no value to the wire.
    Big difference between $1.00-1.20 ins. and around $3.00 BB or #1 clean.
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    I usually weigh my insulated copper, strip some, then weigh it again, if the insulation is more than %60 of the weight, I don't strip it. The wire I do strip, I do it while watching tv, so I don't feel like I could be doing something more profitable with my time.

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    Stripped a bunch recently and decided that 10 gage an under I will strip for sure,
    Maybe some 12 gage.The smaller stuff just does not yield enough so will be sold
    as insulated.


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