Scrapping For Dummies

Posted: 11/10/2010 in Uncategorized

After several inquiries about what exactly scrapping is all about, I’ve decided to spare a little time and give out some guidance. Theres nothing worse than being in the scrap yard, and seeing people throwing away their money. Theres a science to this, its not all dumpster diving you know. Scrapping is the collection of various metals to recycle them, and get paid in the process. Theres two ways to scrap, fast money, and slow-but-free money. Lets begin:

Now thats a pile of money

Fast Money Getting a good find is the best. Since weight is the key in scrapping, a good find is usually a junk car. Since the price of tin is about $200/Ton, and a nice size car/van/truck is roughly 4000 pounds, thats $400 cash. You will need a title, if there is no title, you need to go to your local DMV and get with them for a salvage title. Some places will give it to you, some may want the cops to fill out a portion of it, but thats what needs to happen. Second, you either need to take off the gas tank, or have a hole drilled in the bottom, and the antifreeze drained out.
Now, $400 sounds good, but if you just roll it in there, you are throwing away money. You need to cut off the catalytic converter. Its between the muffler and the engine… and its worth between $50 – $100. Then, you need to cut out the radiator, theres aluminum in there… might be good for another $20 – $40. Dont forget the battery, theres another $10. Next, take a pair of snips and cut out all the various wires everywhere, ball it all up, and turn that in. Usually, you can get $1.50/LB…. say 10 Lbs of wire gets you $15. So… $400+$100+$40+$10+$15 is $565… for about an hours work, you get an additional $165. Tomorrow, me and the father in law are going to buy a van for $300, then scrap it. Fast money.

Slow-but-Free
This kind of scrapping takes a bit more work. You need to look for ANYTHING metal in peoples garbage, or hit up businesses dumpsters after hours. Appliances are always good. Find a dryer, cut out the motor, cut out the wiring, store it in the back yard. You need to get a good pile of stuff going. Air conditioners, metal lamps, brake rotors, lawn chairs, bed frames, christmas lights, lawnmowers, stoves, iron benches, exercise equipment, aluminum boats, aluminum siding, copper piping, any kind of engine, any misc. pipes, cast iron benches, boat propellers, dumbell weights, car batteries, swing sets, you name it, its scrappable.

Its a habitual thing. As you drive around doing your normal daily routine, keep your eyes peeled. On the night you put out your garbage, drive all around the neighborhood, and look for people putting stuff out to the curb. When you drive to work, find out what day their trash day is, then drive around there before you go home. Out late at night? Stop by a Midas or AutoZone and peek in their dumpsters. Might be a muffler in there… I’ve picked mufflers up on the side of the road before. Point is, keep collecting, and piling it up in your garage, or back yard. As you collect, separate the metals. Lets take an example… an old air conditioner.

First, you need to release the compressed freon in the lines that run through the compressor to both coils. One way to do this is bashing a hole in the lines with a hammer, or using snips to nip a line. Be careful, it will go spraying out of there, so watch your face. Then, cut both coils out, they are a mixture of copper and aluminum. Store that in your aluminum pile (Along with your lawn chairs- Most of them are aluminum, and you already cut the fabric off, and poked all the rivets out with a hammer and screwdriver). Next, cut off the motor, not shown, but its between the fan and the blower. Put that in the pile of motors you took out of your dryers and washing machines. Next, take off the compressor, and put that with the compressors you chopped off the fridge and that chest freezer you found. The casing of the air conditioner its self is just tin, and goes with the bed frame and swing set.

Parting out is key, do it to everything. The AC alone will get you $3 by its self. Chop it up, and you get about $10 – $15, depending on the size of the coils… the older the unit, the better. And collect as much as you can, when you can, for 1 month. Then go and turn it all in for cash. Its fun, and free. You can get online to a lot of scrap yard websites, and they list the prices of what each item is currently worth, and if your not sure about something, Goggle it, or drop me an email or something. Its definitely worth it, and it actually becomes addictive. I look foreward to driving around, its like gambling… you lose a lot of the time by not finding stuff, but when you come across stuff… its exhilarating!!!

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Comments
  1. Scrapper T Fie says:

    I thank you for your helpful info, I’m new to the Scrappin’ Game & a Craigslist junkie…lol! I have my father as a backup for help too, he’s been doing it for 20+ years! So there is NOTHING WRONG with going around neighborhoods and business dumpsters either?!? Thanks again & I will be back for ?s!

    Scrapper T Fie

  2. Walt says:

    You give good knowledge! You also are on point!

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