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Do you break down copper transformers? - Page 2

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  1. #21
    ScrapmanIndustries's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thxdts View Post
    I was thinking of going to harbor freight and picking up a cheap air hammer with chisel and hammer away at the weld marks instead of swinging a hammer all day. Think it will do a good job or stick with the hammer?
    The set up I made for processing transformers is an Angle grinder used to dig into the weld. follow that up with an air hammer to knock the sides off. then depending on how its made you might be able to use the air hammer or manual swung hammer to slide the copper off or you may have to cut the copper and then slide it off. but pay close attention to if there is a weld or not. some are made where each layer is reversed sorta like a tongue and grove I guess. those ones are a pain to get apart. also unless your air hammer is the size they use on the highway the air hammer alone will not be enough to break the weld. and a vice really does help.



  2. #22
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    This is from another thread, but it is how I bust the "E" transformers. https://www.scrapmetalforum.com/gene...rs-copper.html

    Quote Originally Posted by spinroch View Post
    For transformers with a weld on the side:

    Lay the transformer on its side. Take a small hatchet (I use a 10lb hammer/axe combo)
    A big hammer alone will work. too
    Give the weld a few good whacks with the hatchet
    The weld will break and you can knock off the metal, giving you easy access to the windings

    Check out this video:

    It is really easy!
    I may give the "8" transformers a try with an angle grinder just to see how it shakes out.

    I push the copper or laminated steel out with a 12 ton Harbor Freight press.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by t00nces2 View Post
    This is from another thread, but it is how I bust the "E" transformers. https://www.scrapmetalforum.com/gene...rs-copper.html



    I may give the "8" transformers a try with an angle grinder just to see how it shakes out.

    I push the copper or laminated steel out with a 12 ton Harbor Freight press.
    Cool video.....


    Quote Originally Posted by auminer View Post
    This guy has some hilarious (yet still very instructive) videos.

    Out of clutter, find simplicity. --Albert Einstein

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  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimicrk View Post
    I like my horizontal band saw.
    How many TPI ( teeth per inch ) yea a fine tooth blade works but be careful of a dull blade.
    New scrap forum uptime 100% http://scrappers.freeforums.net/

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by alloy2 View Post
    how many tpi ( teeth per inch ) yea a fine tooth blade works but be careful of a dull blade.
    18 tpi.

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimicrk View Post
    18 tpi.


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  9. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobo finds View Post
    No more self portraits for you mister and trim that beard. Mike

    ps it seems you have something green stuck in your teeth, lettuce, wheat grass and celery infused smoothie today?? Mike
    Last edited by miked; 11-27-2017 at 06:33 PM.
    "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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  11. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by thxdts View Post
    Are there any PCB's or anything to worry about while busting apart the transformers?
    Probably not, as long as you are working with the actual transformers, shown on the left. PCB is a thick, black, tarlike substance so you will not mistake it for much else. You might get some metal dust or fines in the grinding process but as long as you have your PPE, you should be OK.

    The capacitor, that can on the right, is a different tale. That could very well be PCB, depending on the age of the equipment. Or not; they've used a few different kinds of oils in those things over the years. What's more, unless it specifically says, "No PCB's" on it, someplace, RCRA requires that you handle it like it does have PCB content, and that means it all goes to haz waste, even if it's just salad oil.

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  13. #29
    thxdts started this thread.
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    Harbor freight air hammer is working great.
    Last edited by thxdts; 11-29-2017 at 09:55 PM.

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    triangular rat tail file, cold chisel, and a 3lb sledgehammer will do the trick just fine

  15. #31
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    i mostly break down 600V+ (mostly industrial) welded copper transformer that have at least 2 pound of copper per units. In street collecting, Some old microwave transformers can worth the time also but not the new ones,it's the only think that I can collect in garbage that worth to be break down. Also few industrial transformer box (a couple of hundreds pounds per units) can worth break down but I've never did those because I sell it as it on classified adds each time i pick one .

    small transformers don't worth the time for me, but if you agreed to work for china labor price, go ahead =)

  16. #32
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    I made sure I knew how to work faster, cause time of breaking apart is... well we all know it doesn't help the profit

  17. #33
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    The method the most often heard is using a punch/chisel and hammer on the weld, but it rarely take consideration that most of the small transformers I got are mostly all I and E interlaced. In that case, are the good old angle grinder the best method or there's another easy solution?
    NEW TO SCRAPPING? READ THIS: Build up your horde of magnetic and non-magnetic metals in two piles until you have a better understanding of the business. Read old threads about non-magnetic metals and ewaste (and how to sort them), but don't forget that they generally have absolutely no tolerance for contamination (screw / iron / foreign material). Magnetic material has low value and is mostly always steel / shred / short iron.

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    Fastest way for me without speciality processing equipment is to cut off one copper end with a bandsaw or sawzall then prybar the remaining copper out.

  19. #35
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    For something the size of microwave transformer or larger, that's what I usually do, if I cannot break the weld. The issue is that I am stuck with a bucket of smaller 2"-3" ones from PCBs and the steel things are usually interlaced (It won't work if I can't punch on the weld). It would s*ck to give them away at what's paid for transformers (almost shred price).

  20. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopperMiner View Post
    For something the size of microwave transformer or larger, that's what I usually do, if I cannot break the weld. The issue is that I am stuck with a bucket of smaller 2"-3" ones from PCBs and the steel things are usually interlaced (It won't work if I can't punch on the weld). It would s*ck to give them away at what's paid for transformers (almost shred price).
    With the small ones I usually just whack them a few times on the sides with a hammer until they separate a bit, then start pulling the fins out with pliers. Once I get a few out it usually gets much easier but I usually have to whack it once or twice after to break a few stubborn ones free. I have tons of time though so I don't know if it's the best way, it's just a bit cleaner than grinding or cutting and I have the time.

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