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Tool to remove copper plug from heat sink?

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    Ironhunter started this thread.
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    Tool to remove copper plug from heat sink?

    What tool do you guys find works the best to punch the copper plug out of the bottom of AL heatsinks? or do I just need a bigger hammer?

    Urban Mining: When people give you free money.


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    Abshere's Avatar
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    My stepdad did a couple that i had set aside to do later. He just went outside with a hammer and punch. Hit that thing until it came apart. I haven't done one myself though. Would like to know if there is an easier way as well.

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    brandon's Avatar
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    depends on what type it is, some of them I use a big socket that the plug will fall into and knock it out with a punch, others you have to cut the ali off of them.
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    I just put mine into a vise and either:

    a: spread the "fins" apart with a screwdriver and cut a slot with my grinding wheel...or..
    b: put my metal blade on the sawzall and fit it down between the fins and cut a slot

    either way the grip on the copper is broken and it plops right out with 5 seconds of work. Yes, I have tried to bang them out and had a minimum amount of success. My current method(s) costs a bit more for the blade, but saves a ton of time.

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    Or the other option of course is to sell as cop/alu. I of course just had a problem with that lately and my local yard went through them and picked out about half of them that they would not pay that price on. They would if it looked like a radiator, i.e. copper tubes running through aluminum fins, but the ones with the copper plugs, they did not like, nor the copper base with fins. I took them back and already found a new yard to sell them at.

    Otherwise, I would think that clamping them down and cutting through them with a sawzall or band saw would be best. I have not had the time to mess with it, but others have and will probably chime in. there may even be some old threads on that subject.
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    Angle grinder- bend the fins with screwdriver or chisel and getter done!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shendog View Post
    I just put mine into a vise and either:

    a: spread the "fins" apart with a screwdriver and cut a slot with my grinding wheel...or..
    b: put my metal blade on the sawzall and fit it down between the fins and cut a slot

    either way the grip on the copper is broken and it plops right out with 5 seconds of work. Yes, I have tried to bang them out and had a minimum amount of success. My current method(s) costs a bit more for the blade, but saves a ton of time.
    I do "b". Easiest way I've found to do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoScrapper View Post
    I do "b". Easiest way I've found to do it.
    Ah, do be do , do wap shebop.


    man it's late.
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    Glad I found this post. Got a couple myself I need to get out. I already have about 15 lbs of copper heatsinks. Those lil dudes are heavy!

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    I would think, if someone is doing a lot of these, that maybe something like a wine bottle opener would work. Something that screws into the plug, has braces on either side, and pulls it out.

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    I thought I'd read somewhere they were hitting it with a plumbers torch and droppin it right out of there, but guess it could have been on something else

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    I do the spread, cut, and tap out method myself. But I am looking for an old heavy duty and of course inexpensive arbor press for this job and others.

    Brent

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanw View Post
    I would think, if someone is doing a lot of these, that maybe something like a wine bottle opener would work. Something that screws into the plug, has braces on either side, and pulls it out.
    Yea but you would be trying to screw it into a copper plug which is very hard.

    I believe I read also where someone used a hand torch and then gave it a good tap and out it would pop.

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    I have been using a propane torch to heat them up. I get propane tanks from one of pickers I buy from and all the tanks have some propane left in them. The hand torch I have has a 6' hose. The nearly free propane is the key to this. It melts the solder on the ones that have solder. Use caution and proper gear while doing it this way. It works very fast.

    The ones that have the Cu plug in the center I do as others and cut the Al with my grinder and the plug falls out.

    Any yard that does not recognize the value in a heat sink with a solid Cu plug in it is a place I would look to see if there are opportunities to buy stuff from them. They may be missing more than just the heat sinks. 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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    We use our hard drive punch machine to remove the copper plugs. We put a socket in the plug, place it in the machine then the metal rod the punches holes in our hard drives pushes the plug out with ease. Hope this helps

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    Ironhunter started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechanic688 View Post
    Ah, do be do, do wap shebop.


    man it's late.
    OK THAT made me laugh, you guys rock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhunter View Post
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    I use a hydraulic press and press them out. Quick, no mess, no consumables (blades, grinding wheels) to use up.

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    Believe it or not I've had some of these. Takes about 5 seconds with a 2lb hammer and concrete chisel. I open my vise wide enough for the copper plug to fall thru but narrow enough to hold the fins(set the heat sink on top of the vise), usually two whacks but sometimes 3. For those that don't know concrete punch can be bought at lowes or homedepot for about $12, same thing I use to poke a hole in metal gas tanks

    Last edited by corycouch; 12-01-2013 at 10:15 PM.
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    I use hammer.


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