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  1. #1
    Imamarco started this thread.
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    Used to scrap looking back into it.

    Hi, long story short I used to scrap I highschool for spending cash. I'm currently in a bit of a bind when it comes to funds (not looking at this as a full time job) just need cash for rent. I have a lot of useless medal on my property that needs to go. Mostly allunimun. My question is would I receive more cash if I began to break down my scap at home? The reason for bring this up is I seen relatives of mine tear down everything from ladders to full blown cars. Their excuse being it brought in more money. Either they're telling the truth or they were lying to teenage me as a way to hide the fact the fact the stuff they were scraping were from I'll gotten gains.



    Tl;Dr would I receive more money if I process some of the scrap before selling it.

    Thanks for your time


  2. #2
    APA's Avatar
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    You have to clean your metals to get the most money. If you have a lot of time on your hands, go for it.

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  4. #3
    mikeinreco's Avatar
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    removing all excess steel and attachments from aluminum will always bring more money........Make sure the metals are clean then call around and see who has best price for the material that you have

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  6. #4
    WhiteSquirrel's Avatar
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    ^
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    Time is money! If I have a limited amount of scrap and am not picking volume at that time, I find it worth while to separate certain types of steels and alloys (rotors, flywheels, heavy steel, then alum rims, motors and pumps). I've found that personally disassembling large components like engines for heavy vs shred is not a worthwhile time/return investment, but if you have some time on your hands, it does provide more.

    Copper is usually always worth separating and cleaning IMO. If there are any components you have questions about being worth your time to separate or not, google is a wonderful tool

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  8. #5
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    If you are hurting for money, and are trying to maximize profit, then YES taking things apart get your more money, at the expense of your time. But if you got time, but no money, then yes take it apart. Its best to just run the numbers of time/vs profit to see if it is usually worth it.



    Here are some examples.... say you have a lamp, that is 10lb, if you just take that in as is, as light iron, you may get $0.03/lb, so $0.30 for that item.

    Now say you take 30 seconds and clip the cord off, and 30 seconds and unscrew a piece that holds the lampshade on, that is brass.

    Say the cord is 1/2lb @ $0.50/lb, and the brass is 1/3lb @ 1.30/lb. Now youve gone from $0.30 to $0.96, for 1 min of work. So that 1 min got you $0.66 extra, extrapolated out, thats $39.60 and hour.... so probably worth your time to do.


    Now lets take another example. Say you have an electric motor that is 20lbs. You can sell it whole as is for $0.10/lb, which is $2

    Or lets say you take out the angle grinder and grind it in half, and then angle grind out all the copper. Say that takes 30mins, and uses up 1 grinding wheel, and gets you 3lbs of copper.

    The 3lbs of copper get you $6, the remaining 17lbs goes as light iron @0.03/lb getting you and additional $0.51.

    So now you have done 30 mins of work for $4.51 extra.... however it also used up a grinding wheel, which are $1 a peice, so now you are down to $3.51 additional money for 30mins of work, or $7.02 an hour..... is that worth it? For some people maybe, for others maybe not.


    These are all examples but just give you an idea of how it can play out. If you scrap long enough you'll just get a knack for if something is worth it to take apart or not based on prices and past experience, without running these numbers or putting much more thought into it other than just looking at something.
    Last edited by kss; 07-24-2020 at 10:02 AM.

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  10. #6
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    Not everything is worth breaking down. I use to save all my alum to clean it no matter how dirty it was. I got sick of that crap and now AL Breakage is my best friend, Not really but ya know.

    But we all deal in different quantitys and different types of scrap. Example, when my car guy calls, i dont really have to break down anything, its all shred pretty much. But if HVAC place calls, i have to disassemble condensors and furnaces and such.

    Only things really worth cleaning is copper, brass, acrs, and wires. Stainless steel is fun but its over hyped.

    Anyways, take everything apart once to learn whats worth it or not

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  12. #7
    WhiteSquirrel's Avatar
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    You know what's funny? I asked the same question as the OP but with different words - "Is it worth it?", and I got some responses saying I should have my account locked for asking that!

    Lots of good info coming in for any amateur scrapper!

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  14. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteSquirrel View Post
    You know what's funny? I asked the same question as the OP but with different words - "Is it worth it?", and I got some responses saying I should have my account locked for asking that!

    Lots of good info coming in for any amateur scrapper!
    Must have just caught us in a better mood today lol.....

    In summary for anyone asking "is it worth it"


    The answer is ALWAYS "IT DEPENDS". And the answer is different for everyone, and the answer is different even for one person depending on the day of the week, the price of certain metals, what else that person has going on in their life, their financial situation, tool availability, and a million other things. For you and him and anyone who sees this, asking "Is it worth it to X?", is like asking "is it worth it to buy a house?".... without a ton of surrounding details it is impossible to answer.

    This guy said he is low on cash, so making money, at the expense of any amount of time, seems his main focus. He may be willing to tear things apart for 8hrs if it gets him $50 more..... other people may have another way to make $100 in those 8hrs so they wont.

    Even though I say this, I am a hypocrite as I think I posted a "is it worth it to tear down power supplies" ..... but then I at-least reported back with some research and numbers and opinions on the matter (https://www.scrapmetalforum.com/day-...tml?highlight=)

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    APA

  16. #9
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    It's just a thought.

    Some places are around .25/lb for aluminum. It would take 400 lbs of aluminum just to make a hundred dollar bill.

    It would take a ton of aluminum just to make one 500.00$ rent payment.

    It's hard times for a lot of folks these days ... that's understood. Don't want to be any more discouraging but scrappin' probably won't do it for you.

    Better to know now than later i guess.

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  18. #10
    mikeinreco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    It's just a thought.

    Some places are around .25/lb for aluminum. It would take 400 lbs of aluminum just to make a hundred dollar bill.

    It would take a ton of aluminum just to make one 500.00$ rent payment.

    It's hard times for a lot of folks these days ... that's understood. Don't want to be any more discouraging but scrappin' probably won't do it for you.

    Better to know now than later i guess.
    Probably the reason you work a real job

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  20. #11
    hills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinreco View Post
    Probably the reason you work a real job
    Yeah ... i don't know anyone IRL that's doing it full time. The expectation in this area is that you pick up an extra fifty or a hundred every now and then. It's just a side gig and not your prime income source.

    Probably much the same for most of the people here on the forum as well.

  21. #12
    WhiteSquirrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    Yeah ... i don't know anyone IRL that's doing it full time. The expectation in this area is that you pick up an extra fifty or a hundred every now and then. It's just a side gig and not your prime income source.

    Probably much the same for most of the people here on the forum as well.
    That sure is my case - I mostly do it as component removal from side jobs (my brother in law is a contractor, gets some cool wierd jobs every now and then), when I'm working on a car (ask my wife about my Mustang and RX7 collection...oh and those F350s as well. She loves them), and when I'm looking for some motors or parts for a wierd job I've got on the go.

    Ex wife can't get her hands on any of the scrap income either

  22. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    Yeah ... i don't know anyone IRL that's doing it full time. The expectation in this area is that you pick up an extra fifty or a hundred every now and then. It's just a side gig and not your prime income source.

    Probably much the same for most of the people here on the forum as well.
    I do this fulltime and its not easy.

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  24. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    Yeah ... i don't know anyone IRL that's doing it full time. The expectation in this area is that you pick up an extra fifty or a hundred every now and then. It's just a side gig and not your prime income source.

    Probably much the same for most of the people here on the forum as well.
    I think you missed the point.....You have commented before that dismantling some scrap was beneath you (THIRD WORLD WORK YOU CALLED IT)........Us that actually rely on this for a living do what is required and those that can't make a living doing this get a job

  25. #15
    hills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinreco View Post
    I think you missed the point.....You have commented before that dismantling some scrap was beneath you (THIRD WORLD WORK YOU CALLED IT)........Us that actually rely on this for a living do what is required and those that can't make a living doing this get a job
    Mike:

    I think somebody has a wild hair across his backside. Got the crankies or what ? Heat getting to you and making you irritable ?

    We might have been talking about power supplies if i recall. We all have a certain cost of living here in the states. You HAVE to be making X amount of dollars per month just to break even. Good for you if you can ... but i certainly couldn't make a living at breaking those things down.

    If what i was saying had no merit ... you would just blow it off and forget about it.

    If there's a grain of truth that you don't want to deal with ... you are apt to react strongly to it.

    Maybe things aren't going very well for you ?

  26. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinreco View Post
    I think you missed the point.....You have commented before that dismantling some scrap was beneath you (THIRD WORLD WORK YOU CALLED IT)........Us that actually rely on this for a living do what is required and those that can't make a living doing this get a job
    If I take the amount of time I spend taking apart escrap and the amount of money I get from selling it after all expenses, I think my hourly wage would be around $2/hr, by my most optimistic estimates. That is essentially a third world wage.

    With more contacts, more material, better tools, etc, I'm sure the profit margin would be better, and if you're doing this for a living, I'm sure it works out to a much better hourly wage. But for most people, I'm am assuming if we take all the scrappers out there, and average out their hourly wage, it would be closer to the third world wage than a livable wage, even if there are a few people who can make a living at it.

    Additionally, I'm sure the people's making a living at scrapping, aren't just scrapping, they're probably also doing cleanouts, junk removal, reselling, transporting/moving, and/or other things that supplement income other than pure scrapping.

    Scrapping is the lowest denominator of an items value, it squeezes out the last drops of value out of items when there is no other value left in the item.

    If you are making a living at this, I commend/respect you, but if you have alternative employment, making a decent wage, it would be quite a bit of work to replace normal employment wage, with scrap.

    for full disclosure I am comparing this to MY full-time job, others with other salaries/jobs may think/feel different, but I dont think I could ever REPLACE my fulltime wage with scrapping unless I started my own scrapyard or found a honey-pot of good scrap that I could get for nothing.


    Edit: I over estimated my hours spent vs what I actually have in my work log. Before taxes Im actually around $9.25/hr thus far... which isnt nearly as bad as I thought, but still only barely a livable wage in my opinion....
    Last edited by kss; 07-25-2020 at 05:40 PM.

  27. #17
    mikeinreco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    Mike:

    I think somebody has a wild hair across his backside. Got the crankies or what ? Heat getting to you and making you irritable ?

    We might have been talking about power supplies if i recall. We all have a certain cost of living here in the states. You HAVE to be making X amount of dollars per month just to break even. Good for you if you can ... but i certainly couldn't make a living at breaking those things down.

    If what i was saying had no merit ... you would just blow it off and forget about it.

    If there's a grain of truth that you don't want to deal with ... you are apt to react strongly to it.

    Maybe things aren't going very well for you ?
    Lol.....it doesn't bother me to work like a 3rd world person I even joke about it with family and friends.....once again you missed the point.....you are not the guy to be giving OP advice because you are not doing this for a living


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