Unoffical empeg BBS

Quick Links: Empeg FAQ | Software | RioCar.Org | Hijack | jEmplode | emphatic
Repairs: Repairs | Addons: Eutronix | Cases

Topic Options
#315262 - 19/10/2008 22:47 Copper, crackheads and how you can profit
FireFox31
pooh-bah

Registered: 19/09/2002
Posts: 2491
Loc: East Coast, USA
I have an idea for how to profit by selling scrap copper. But first, the story.

My neighborhood had a garage sale, so I put some random stuff at the end of my driveway with a "Free" sign on it. By the end of the day, an old amp, CD player and power strip weren't taken. I forgot to take them in that night (because I didn't really care), and by the morning, I saw them lying at my mailbox in disarray.

When I retrieved the electronics, I saw that their power cords had been cut off. That nine feet of insulated wire was obviously valuable enough for someone to bother retrieving them, ruining three devices in the process. And I live on a dead end street in a less-than-suburban area. It's a shame, I realized the CD player could have been donated to a second-hand store for someone to actually use.

I know insulated wire has an obscenely low scrap metal value, but there may be a way to both profit and recycle from this craze. Many of you are techs, so how many computer power cables have you amassed? I somehow have a 25 pound box full at my house and two smaller boxes full at my office; none of which I will ever use. I'd love to see these things be recycled, so selling them as scrap wire would be a relief AND a profit.

Does anyone know if computer power cables can be sold as scrap metal? Are they copper, aluminum, or what? And clearly this idea isn't revolutionary, so why aren't there people hoarding these unwanted power cables for scrap?
_________________________
-
FireFox31
110gig MKIIa (30+80), Eutronix lights, 32 meg stacked RAM, Filener orange gel lens, Greenlights Lit Buttons green set

Top
#315265 - 20/10/2008 02:41 Re: Copper, crackheads and how you can profit [Re: FireFox31]
lectric
pooh-bah

Registered: 20/01/2002
Posts: 2082
Loc: New Orleans, LA
Scrap copper can be sold for a decent profit, but you have to strip the wire for decent dollars. There are different grades depending on whether the copper is bright, dull, or burnt. Here in N.O. there has been a problem with people breaking into newly renovated homes and stealing the copper out of air conditioning units to sell for scrap. It's gotten to the point that a friend of mine installs the air conditioners without the coils inside until the unit is ready for sale/rent. Crazy. He currently has 5 AC coils in his house waiting for the houses to be complete.

Top
#315312 - 20/10/2008 18:56 Re: Copper, crackheads and how you can profit [Re: lectric]
siberia37
old hand

Registered: 09/01/2002
Posts: 702
Loc: Tacoma,WA
I think I checked the price of scrap copper once because I was thinking of going to the scrap metal dealer to sell some solid copper heatsinks and a copper plate. I came to the conclusion it wasn't worth the drive. These people seem to be a ridiculous amount of time on their hands to do this.

Top
#315313 - 20/10/2008 18:58 Re: Copper, crackheads and how you can profit [Re: FireFox31]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31244
Loc: Seattle, WA
Step 1: Steal copper.
Step 2: ...
Step 3: Profit!

(sorry, someone had to do it)
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#315315 - 20/10/2008 19:46 Re: Copper, crackheads and how you can profit [Re: tfabris]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
You need to have a large quantity to make it worthwhile and as lectric said, it has to be stripped out. The AC coils are attractive to thieves because of that.

Top
#315337 - 21/10/2008 04:05 Re: Copper, crackheads and how you can profit [Re: tman]
lectric
pooh-bah

Registered: 20/01/2002
Posts: 2082
Loc: New Orleans, LA
A friend of mine's dad used to strip copper while watching TV. It was less about the money and more about something for idle hands to do. Of course, the thicker gauge the wire, the easier it is to strip. #12 is far thicker than number #18 or #22. I believe he did it with electrical wire only.

As far as idle hands go, in college we used to make chain mail shirts out of steel wire. All you need is a metal bar of the diameter you want the rings to be, some sturdy wire, a drill, a pair of pliers, and lots of free time. They sold pretty well at renaissance fairs too! In much less time we would make coifs as well. Gloves were too hard to get right, and the rings had to be very small.


Edited by lectric (21/10/2008 04:05)

Top
#315348 - 21/10/2008 13:59 Re: Copper, crackheads and how you can profit [Re: FireFox31]
Redrum
old hand

Registered: 17/01/2003
Posts: 994
When I scrapped some metal before someone could steal all of it (they did take some) the scrap yard required a thumb print and my driverís license number. They should probably take a picture of the metal too because in moments it was shredded.

The IDíing wonít do a lot of good if the evidence is gone.

Top
#315367 - 21/10/2008 17:06 Re: Copper, crackheads and how you can profit [Re: Redrum]
andym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/01/2002
Posts: 3979
Loc: Manchester UK
When our parent company moved to it's new building the contractors stripped the old building out at a reduced rate because they were holding on to all the copper and selling it themselves. It was all a gentlemen's agreement between the builders and their contractor. The copper was left in a skip on the site but on the last night someone broke in and stole it all. From what I could gather there was literally tonnes of the stuff and it was worth a small fortune.
_________________________
Cheers,

Andy M

Top
#315371 - 21/10/2008 17:39 Re: Copper, crackheads and how you can profit [Re: andym]
Redrum
old hand

Registered: 17/01/2003
Posts: 994
It is a perfect item to steal. If they are not caught in the act the item is melted down and there is no way to equate the goods with the thief. One of my friends is a machinist and they had some carbide scrap thefts, big dollars. They put up a camera and caught two people stealing the scrap. One was a mother of three who made a nice living off stealing.

A sad situation for her kids but also a sad situation for the machine shop. I think the USA has about five machine shops still left in business.

Top