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  1. #1
    olddude started this thread.
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    air conditioner compressors , a can of money or a can of worms ?

    I opened my first compressor last night, I used an angle grinder with a makita 1/4 in high duty blade. took about 15 min. I cut it attound the middle, using a saw type motion as I moved arround the container, the compressor was a middle size from a window air conditioner. I xur rtw first hole and drained the oil into a bucket.
    Once open the Motor fell out in my lap. I then tried to get the top half, (actial compressor) out after spotting copper in the top end.
    I spent 2 hrs on this effort and ended up with less then an ounce of copper. that part is not worth the effort. However the motor looks like it has a pound or more so in my opinion it is worth the effort to salvage the motor, with this caviot, I am in a situation where money even pennies are more important then time at this point. so for what its worth I will lwr you know how much weitht is in the copper when I weigh it. with this info it may help you decide to sell them for .20 motor price or salvage them.



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    Congrats on your first compressor, I haven't had the oppurtunity to open one myself.
    But curious to know the exact type of blade you used. Sounds more like a grinding wheel than a cut off wheel.
    "If only I had known then, what I know now."

  3. #3
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    can you just bring the compressors back as electric motors...?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by vamped400 View Post
    can you just bring the compressors back as electric motors...?
    Yes they can be sold whole but my yard gives you $3.00 each for the big ones and $1.50 for the small compressors, (window unit size)
    Now if you take a compressor that weighs 80 pounds and cut it open you get about 4 or 5 pounds of #2 copper.
    When you are finished removing the copper you are left with 75 pounds of steel scrap. That comes out to $6.75 in steel @ $0.09 a pound. If you add up the steel $6.75 and add the copper say about $13.00 to $18.00 one can easily
    see why it's worth the effort.

    When you take those figures for one compressor and multiply it by 15 or 20 you are talking some good money.
    With a cutting torch I can clean 20 in just a few hours!

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  6. #5
    olddude started this thread.
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    I have used both a torch and an angle grinder to open compressors, my personal prefference is the grinder with a Makita 1/4 in wheel High performance they cost about $2 each and to me are just as quick as a tirch, and a whole lot safer because of the oil/fire situation in the compressor. just my 2 cents

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  8. #6
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    Joe, just curious, are you a math professor turned scrapper ???!! Or do you just love math ? You have been so helpful to us all by pointing out the value of "harvesting". Sorry you have to keep on doing it for those who haven't taken the time to "harvest" your posts, as well as other experienced scrappers who so graciously and patiently share their wisdom. Thanks.

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  10. #7
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    Thank you Dee. Oh and I'm just a guy that likes numbers.

    Olddude I am confused, a few days ago you post that you had just opened up your first compressor and took about 15 minutes. Today you post that you have cut them open with both torch and grinder.

    Not sure how skilled you are with a cutting torch, but about two minutes is about the average time it takes me to cut one open! As far as fire goes the lack of oxygen inside the compressor keeps flames to a minimum.

  11. #8
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    Compressor biz

    everyone be careful with the fumes from those things, It is VERY bad for you.

    I have a compressor recycling service, I actually charge money for disposal and then cut them up and recycle them! cool huh?

    anyway, i stopped cutting and now only drill to avoid the health problems from acidic fumes that come out after torching, etc.

    take care.

    jw

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwhadley View Post
    everyone be careful with the fumes from those things, It is VERY bad for you.

    I have a compressor recycling service, I actually charge money for disposal and then cut them up and recycle them! cool huh?

    anyway, i stopped cutting and now only drill to avoid the health problems from acidic fumes that come out after torching, etc.

    take care.

    jw

    I love getting paid to do something I already do.

  13. #10
    olddude started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by injunjoe View Post
    Thank you Dee. Oh and I'm just a guy that likes numbers.

    Olddude I am confused, a few days ago you post that you had just opened up your first compressor and took about 15 minutes. Today you post that you have cut them open with both torch and grinder.

    Not sure how skilled you are with a cutting torch, but about two minutes is about the average time it takes me to cut one open! As far as fire goes the lack of oxygen inside the compressor keeps flames to a minimum.
    Joe ; as I mentioned before Im not new at scraping, scrapped cars for yers, on occasion I would find an air cond and take the torch to it. Now I am totaly into smaller stuff because of my health so I looked at it as a new venture, I had only opened a couple of compressors before with the torch with not great success, in the last week I have done 15, tried the torch again and didnt like the resulting mess or danger, so went back to the grinder. snall ones take me about 5 min. biggons 15. and even tho I have been using a torch for years, I am just not an acetaline surgon.

  14. #11
    olddude started this thread.
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    like I said I have now done 15 compressors of varing size, most of them small. I have tried various cutting disks here are my findings. I have tried the High grade Makita cutting disks and the extrem disks. the extreem disks are a dollar higher, and I dont feel they are a dollar per disk better then the High grade.

    the nost econimaclal for the money is the Makita 1/4 inch disk it is kind of between a grinding disk and a cut off disk. it is just a tad slower, but lasts 3 times longer or better. as soon as I get mu scale working I plan to give a report on the value results if any one is interested. I have been working on my 4 year old junk pile for about 2 weeks and so far have about 60 lbs of #2 copper 10 lb #1 and about 25 lb of cast alu.

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  16. #12
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    oldude, I am so glad you are feeling up to working again and I hope you keep getting stronger. We can learn a lot from you. And not only about scrapping. Thanks again.

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  18. #13
    olddude started this thread.
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    thank you ! You are so kind.

  19. #14
    olddude started this thread.
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    evaluating compressors

    yesterday I worked on opening my last 5 compressors. they were the small ones from window AC units. They turned out to be much harder then the larger ones. the way they are pressed into the housing means I had to make 4 cuts, if any one has an easier way, HELP, it extended my time for each one to about 20 min. I first had to make 2 cuts around the shell one about 1 inch from each end.
    then made two cuts one down each side , ending up cutting the shell into 4 parts, a top a bottom and 2 sides. Not sure if the time spent is worth it to most, but to me I have nothing but time.
    To get the copper out. I cut one end off with the high Makita cutting blade. as you know there are some nasty little threads woven arround the copper bonet. but if you just hit the top with the flat side of the wheel the threads are taken care of. I then set the remaining piece up on 2 blocks, cut side up. I made a punch roughly the shape of the slots holding the copper and start going arround the piece with 2 or three wacks each hole, after a few wacks arround the copper falls out the bottom. Probably is a better way out there, but this is the easiest way I have found so far. Suggestions welcome.
    Last edited by olddude; 05-20-2011 at 10:07 AM.

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  21. #15
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    Well, I know I keep waiting for "the way" to scrap compressors. I worked on one with a sawzall and grinder. Got about half way around it and said "Forget it". I've just been throwing them aside till someone comes up with something that works and is profitable.

    From window AC's, refrigerators and dehumidifiers, mostly.
    People may laugh at me, but that's ok. I laugh all the way to the bank.

  22. #16
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    Where I can find compressor scrap in bulk?

  23. #17
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    Hey where I can find compressor scrap in bulk. Huge quantity like 100000 pounds or more

  24. #18
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    khokar...please introduce yourself

  25. #19
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    Khokar = the new Ronald
    Faith x Needs = Motivation

  26. #20
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    Mr. Dee I am khokar looking for compressor scrap. I need 50000 lb or more.


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