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  1. #21
    Scrappah's Avatar
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    Great pics. Quite a blast from the past. I did building & grounds maintenance at a nursing home for six years and the building layout was about the same. I guess form follows function.

    It seems like there's never enough time with everything on a tight schedule. If you had the chance the prep tables and sinks in the kitchen are probably a decent stainless steel. They might have had a walk in cooler and freezer. There could be some copper & stainless in there. The building probably had a heating & air conditioning system of some kind. The HVAC units have copper in them. They draw a lot of electricity so there was some heavy gauge wire feeding them.



    There was probably a commercial sized backup generator somewhere. They're tens of thousands of dollars to buy new. Those ones have pretty good resale value if they're not too old.

    The exterior doors of the building are commercial grade. That stuff is crazy expensive to buy new.

    When you're pressed for time you have to go for the quickest and most profitable thing first. If there's a little time left over afterward you might be able to squeeze a little more money out of the project with some of the odds n ends.

    ETA: I was always a Milwaukee guy because they held up so well but the quality isn't what it used to be. I shifted over to Dewalt about 10- 15 years ago. Was wondering .... the Milwaukees have that orbital blade motion feature. That makes a big difference. They cut a lot faster. Maybe that's what made the difference between the Dewalt sawzall and the Milwaukee ?
    Last edited by Scrappah; 11-20-2016 at 07:55 AM.


  2. #22
    Beamer started this thread.
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    Ok, We went back this morning to get a few scraps that we knew we could get but it wasn't as easy as the rest of what we got. Sadly, when we showed up, a local fire department was doing training on the building. Cutting the front doors off, hacking holes in the roof, ripping the ceilings out and wouldn't let us in. We had a lengthy discussion with the chief and ultimately, he admitted that we had every right to be there but we bowed out and let them do their training. They probably don't get too many chances to do what they were doing.

    We considered taking all of the store front hardware and doors for resale. It was all in good shape but time wasn't on our side. There was tons of stuff in there that could have been taken and sold for a small profit if a guy had time. We basically had 1 day and 1 night and just couldn't get to all of it. I'd imagine that there is a market for all of the door hardware in that building. 60 rooms plus all of the other doors in there. Someone somewhere would have bought it, I'd guess. 60 Mirrors. Nothing super nice, but here again, there's surely a buyer out there. Every door in there was a solid core door. The kitchen was empty when we got there. The walk-ins were nasty...Like bad nasty. We left the coils and the condensing units were steel (Very old R-12 equipment). There's a good market for used walk ins but there was no chance I'd ever resell these. They were bad. We got all of the HVAC split system coils (evaporator and condensers) and the line sets. I don't have pictures of it as they went to our shop in another truck. There was also a P-Tac unit (Hotel units) in every little room but we were asked to leave them. I'd have resold those. They weren't worth a mint, but they were worth more than scrap value. All 1 ton units. Most of the lighting was in there but it was all 80's décor and honestly, it was ugly. Given the time, I'd have loaded it all and made what I could off of it. Plumbing fixtures were all still there. Showers, sinks, toilets (most toilets...Some were broken). Nothing new or nice, but I'd assume there's value there somewhere. The guttering was all still on the outside. Didn't get any of it. Upblast ventilators on the roof (I think 9 of them). Left them. Pretty much everything was still there as far as the basic construction of the building. Someone mentioned a back up generator. There was one when we showed up on Friday night but it was gone before we got started Saturday morning. It didn't look new but it didn't look real old either. The place is fenced so I don't know if someone was supposed to get it or it was stolen. Either way, I didn't get my hands on it. There are still miles and miles of communication wiring through that building as well as all of the electrical drops to every room throughout the building. Too little time. I wish I could have gone in there a month ago.

    We spent about 5 hours today cutting joints and separating no.1 from no.2 copper. I'm putting a few pics below and the trailer looks emptier than it is. We slid 1-1/2" inside of 2" and so on and so forth. It doesn't look as cool as it did when it was all piled up. lol. We did use a chop saw to cut it all up and it made pretty short work of it. We even tried a cutoff saw but it was more difficult. It cut faster but it was a pain to handle.

    Thank all of you for the suggestions and info. I've scrapped all of our HVAC units for years, so I thought I was prepared for this job. Had all of the tools I needed including a generator so I figured the job wouldn't be all that tough. I was incorrect. Physically, it was more demanding than I thought it would be and it took a toll on the tools as well. I think part of the issue with the tools was the water they were drinking when we cut pipes but I think we lost 4 sawzalls on that job. Scrappah, you asked if it was an orbital blade motion saw. I honestly don't know. I never paid attention. I know I'm going to get one Monday morning though! That thing is a beast.

    Anyway, here's a few pictures of the mess we left and the clean up. I didn't get a picture of the brass but it filled up a 55 gallo

    n trash can. I'm guessing somewhere between 3 and 4 hundred pounds.

    ~[IMG][/IMG
    Just a picture of a hallway after it was stripped. Thank god we didn't have to clean up after ourselves.

    ~[IMG][/IMG
    The lines in the ceiling. The whole building looked just like this. Hot, cold and hot water return.

    ~[IMG][/IMG
    Bathroom. Unimpressive, I know.

    ~[IMG][/IMG
    Before processing.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    No.2 Some of the cuts look long but whoever soldered these joints left runs everywhere. I probably could have taken the time to clean it up but didn't.


    ~[IMG][/IMG
    All of it loaded. We slid a bunch of it inside each other to try to stay below the side rails. Once we were done, it would have been better to pile it up higher than the little rails. There was nothing for the straps to push on. Lesson learned.

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  4. #23
    Beamer started this thread.
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    Oh, I also figured out a critical mistake when I calculated 10,000 pounds. I figured the hallways length X 2 pounds/ft (internet showed 2#/ft). Where I looked in the ceiling, it was 2" pipe. What I didn't figure was that as that line went down the hall, the size decreased to 1-1/2", and then to 1" by the end of the hall.

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  6. #24
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    Interesting what you learn by doing it and looking back. Thank you for sharing. 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

  7. #25
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    keep them coming
    and let us know what u got for it all- if u dont mind.

  8. #26
    Beamer started this thread.
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    Turning it in tomorrow. I probably should have gone in person (as someone here suggested) but I called the two places that I've used over the years and they aren't coming up much on the pricing. They've both quoted 2.20 for #1 and for #2 one place said 2.03 and the other said 1.94. Those prices aren't too much higher than regular price.

  9. #27
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    No matter how it turns out ... it was still a pretty good haul in a short amount of time. No doubt there's enough there to pay your guys, replace the broken tools with new, and put a little profit in your pocket. It's not a bad thing.

    Just an afterthought. Sometimes those commercial generators have a pretty big fuel tank. The one at the nursing home where i used to work at had a 10,000 gallon tank. We ran both building heat and generator off that tank.

    If the backup generator there was diesel there should be a tank somewhere. There could be hundreds of gallons of fuel left in there. If it was propane or city gas than it's probably a no-go.

  10. #28
    Beamer started this thread.
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    The weight wasn't what the guys or I thought it would be. Once we figured out that the lines reduced as they went down the halls, we knew the 10K pounds wasn't going to happen but we still thought (Ok, I was hopeful) that it would be around 7K. Nope, just over 5K of #1 and #2 combined. We didn't turn in the brass yet, so there's still that but it's not going to be crazy money. Total was $10,396.00. I'm not complaining by any means, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I was disappointed in the overall weight. But hey, I had a good time and we all made great money vs the hours we put in on it.

    I'm glad I found this site though and would like to thank everyone for their advise/opinions. I've learned a lot reading through everything on this board. I'm going to change the way I do things starting next week. We keep all of our scrap copper at the shop and bring back every unit we change out and scrap those too. But, we throw away literally thousands of pounds of sellable scrap a year. I don't have the time to spend taking apart contactors, motors, transformers etc. Stainless...I don't have the room to store a bunch of stainless, so I usually just tell our customers to throw it away (we cater to restaurants mainly) There's just not enough time in a day to run the shop and try to scrap all of that too. But after reading this forum, we are no longer going to be throwing those types of items away. I have a guy that comes by and picks up our compressors pretty regularly and I'm sure he'd be glad to take that kind of stuff off of our hands. Seems now like such a waste to trash those items when someone could benefit from it. The only motor I've ever taken apart and scrapped for the copper was a 300 hp motor. It sucked. It was worth it, but I hated every second of it.

    I'd gladly do this job again, but I'd go at it a little differently. I'd do it with 2 guys and the 2 kids again. We could have cleared that building in the same amount of days if we'd have worked longer hours and had the boys stripping the pipe. The other two guys I had help us were green to say the least. Neither had ever used a sawzall and had no understanding of where to make cuts, etc. I spent too much time trying to "teach". Not a big deal. Those guys worked their butts off and both needed the money badly, so I feel right about the way I did it this time.

    I'll continue to check these boards on a daily basis and try to offer up any advise that I can (probably only on HVAC/Refrigeration stuff). Thanks again to everyone.

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  12. #29
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    Just saw this thread so insight might be a little late for you, but might help others. I always bring the manager/owner into the facility and let them make an estimate of material. Then there is never a question. Example, three different scrap yards bid on an estimate of 10,000 tons of metal. We took the higher bid and only ended up with 5,000 tons. They had no complaints because they did the estimate. Before the job was done we renegotiated with them to avoid having to separate cast, from steel, from non ferrous. They set the prices based on their inspection. We came out smelling like a rose on this deal.

    You asked the question if you can get better prices for the amount. Yes you can, but you have to let each scrap yard know you are taking bids from others. You have a nice project going, keep it up.
    The first 50 years are for learning, the next 50 are for living.

  13. #30
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    All I can say is don't sell to boardsort.com. Scammer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInTheHat View Post
    if there was an xray room, check for silver in the drains. someone made a comment about that at some point

    More than likely was me, the silver will show up in the drain pipes as beautiful black sludge.
    The art of survival is a story that never ends. American Hustle.


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