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  1. #1
    Patton started this thread.
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    What do you all say about making ingots?

    While building my forge for metal casting I had the epiphany (or brain fart) of taking my non ferrous metals and making them into ingots.

    Less space, easy handling and storage, quick and easy weigh outs, and getting #1 price for my #2 copper.

    I have advanced this idea to a couple of people in the scrapping business and they told me it was not a good idea.

    "The yard wont take the ingots."

    "No way of knowing what the ingot is cast out of, so you will get the lower price, if they even take them."


    I can not be the first person to come up with this idea, so was wondering if anyone on this forum had tried it before.


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  3. #2
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    I wouldn't due to the labor time and cost involved. It'd eat up your profit.
    People may laugh at me, but that's ok. I laugh all the way to the bank.

  4. #3
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    Welcome aboard mate, sorry been doing fiberglass on my boat all day.

    I have thought about this a great deal just never to act on nor ask questions about it.


    Thanks
    Last edited by injunjoe; 03-03-2011 at 05:12 PM.

  5. #4
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    We did this years ago by accident. I was working for the local cable company more than 20 years ago, and we were tasked with cleaning up an area after a recent rebuild. There were dozens and dozens of those big woden cable spools. Some of them had dead ends of cable on them. We spent all day out there doing stuff and we had a fire going. We rolled a couple of spools on at a time to burn. Later in the day there was a little river of aluminum pouring out of the fire and puddling on the ground outside of the fire.

    The next day I was able to pick up one of these "ingots" and drove it to the scrap yard for the heck of it. I don't remember how much I got for it exactly, but it surprised me and I brought as many clean pieces as I could find the next day and we had enough for a few cases of beer. there were some pieces that had nails sticking out, etc. I held on to that an intended to make a furnace of sorts to remelt it and clear it of the nails, but never got around to it.

    They did take it and it looked pretty cool, but would not be worth the fuel expense to do that. The end user is going to do that to it anyway.

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  7. #5
    Patton started this thread.
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    Thanks Parrothead. Good to know that it will be taken, of course depending on the yard.

    The cost will be negligible. I am doing the forge for metal casting, so the cost of the forge I am forwarding to the metal cast side. Fuel is going to be used motor oil, which I have in abundant supply. Ingot forms are old bread and muffin pans that were given to me for scrap.

    I figured that after a metal cast run, leave the forge going and then pour some copper ingots so I no longer have buckets of copper everywhere, and hopefully make it to #1 price range.

    Along that line I have found out that I will lose some copper to oxidization. Which should be turned around by selling at #1 price.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Patton; 03-03-2011 at 06:00 PM.

  8. #6
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    I wouldn't bother with it. #2 isn't that much lower than #1 and you could spend your time doing more worthwhile things
    There's nothing more fun and more effective than hitting something repeatedly with a sledgehammer

  9. #7
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    I would do one and then take it to the scrap guy and see what he says. Don't do a whole mess of them. Get a mold with your name on it and sell "made in U.S.A. 99.99 pure copper ingots" on e-bay.

    Like this guy. http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-1-POUND-999-...item4cf56255fb
    I think he just takes copper stock, cuts it and polishes it and then stamps it.

  10. #8
    Patton started this thread.
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    HA HA HA, I guess I just have to get more diabolical.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patton View Post
    While building my forge for metal casting I had the epiphany (or brain fart) of taking my non ferrous metals and making them into ingots.

    Less space, easy handling and storage, quick and easy weigh outs, and getting #1 price for my #2 copper.
    i thought the whole idea of casting your own molds was to make more money... a lot more money.
    i read one of gustavus post awhile ago about casting aluminum molds to sell on ebay for $10+/lb. (or so i thought)

    ok, i know a mold isn't exactly an ingot but if you're going to go through the trouble of melting metal then why not produce something many people will want.
    Last edited by NWOdrudge; 02-12-2013 at 03:08 PM.

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  13. #10
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    I thought about doing this to put ingots in flat rate 65lbs a box to ship to higher prices but so far ive not come up with a good buyer that I trust

  14. #11
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    It all depends on who you are selling your metal to, and how they are set up to check the composition of the metal.

    For precious metals it's a no brainer, you recover, refine, cast into bars and sell it for more than otherwise you could.

    For other metals, it depends. Most scrap yards do not seem to be equipped to analyze metal composition. This is why most scrap yards don't accept ingots. If you find a scrap yard that uses an XRF gun to test metals, they will probably take your bars. However, if you skip the scrap yard all together and take your bars directly to the end user, like a foundry or refinery they will not only be able to take your bars, but you will have removed a middle man and make more from all your hard work and labor.

    I'll use this as an example because I actually know a couple that went into the recycling business who did exactly this. They started accepting cans at a location, that's all they started doing, 4 years ago. The husband decided, because the cans are bulky and took up a lot of room in their small location, that melting the Al and casting into bars would better serve their purpose. They could make fewer trips to the people they sold the Al to because they were able to load far more in Al bars than cans. In they state they live in, they pay the recycle value their state government has set for Al cans. Once melted into bars however, the metal is worth more, it's sold as clean Al instead of cans.

    Generally speaking you can get around .50 cents per lb on Al cans. You can get over $1.00 dollar per lb on ingots.

    So if you spend the little extra time, sell to the right people, you can make twice your money just on Al cans.

    The couple I am using as an example did exactly this. They now have a 15,000 sq ft facility and are repurposing, remarketing, and recycling all kinds of metals and machinery. They landed a big Land-O-Lakes account and are doing very well for themselves. When you talk with them, they both will say it's because they started casting Al ingots and selling them for more.

    So to answer the question is it smart? If you are able to sell directly to the end user, and remove the middle man, that's is always smart, you make more profit. Casting metals into ingots and selling to the correct end user, smart, you will make more money. Is it feasible? Only if you live in an area where there is an end user, a foundry or refiner who is close enough to make it cost effective to truck it to them, and skip the scrap yard.

    I imagine the next question would be "who to sell to" I would google people in your area who purchase scrap, ingots, are foundry or refiner who also have the ability to analyze your ingots either by XRF or ICP, etc. Many scrap yards now also lease XRF units to check for alloy composition so I wouldn't totally discount them. If you cannot find a foundry or refiner close by, scrap yards that can analyze your metal composition should pay more for ingots just because they get more for ingots.

    And as one person has already mentioned, if you are melting and pouring, might as well go one step further and cast something artistic or useful, you will get far more taking your item from recycle to retail product than you would selling as scrap. You wouldn't have to scrap so much, and would make more money in the long run. That's what I do with a lot of the precious metal I recover and refine, I turn it directly into retail products and sell sometimes, for twice the actual value of the metal.

    Anyway, that is my two centavos. I hope it helps

    Scott
    Last edited by NobleMetalWorks; 02-12-2013 at 04:16 PM.
    At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. -- Carl Sagan

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  16. #12
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    This is what I'd like to be able to do eventually. Still need the furnace setup though.


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  18. #13
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    The scrap yard that I go to, here in Va. told me that they could take the ingots of any kind of non ferrous only as long as I had a smelters license, registered them, and stamped them, thereby assuring that the contents were viable.
    I am more interested in your "used oil" smelter - how does it produce the amount of heat needed to melt the various metals??

  19. #14
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    If you are smelting metal into ingots, you shouldn't be taking it to a scrap yard. You should be taking it to a refinery. Most refineries will Assay and pay you out a percentage, usually 80% on that assay and the rest once processed. Best way is to represent your material and be paid out in full on all values. Regardless, you shouldn't be selling ingots to scrap yards as they will not pay you the value, even if they do purchase the ingots. They are not usually equipped to re-melt and almost never to properly assay.

    I cast and sell ingots of different metals, and alloyed metals but I have an established relationship with customers who request metals of specific alloys or purities. Al (Aluminum) ingots can easily be sold to backyard sand casters. Many people sell ingots on ebay at a premium, for example there are many examples of copper ingots being sold at x3 the scrap value.

    Scott

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    A long time ago ,I work on and aluminum smelter that used and old cement truck can as a rotary furnace and a burner out of a ships boiler burning used oil as fuel. The can was lined with refractory brick. We could produce 3 500# ingots in and 8 hour shift. We mostley melted dross and automotive scrap and loaded the furnace by hand. I got a real surprise one day when I threw in a peice of magnesium

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