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Weights and Measures: A Few Key Things to Know About Scrapping

Understanding the Scales at a Scrapyard

Most people who scrap for metal go into it as a hobby. They’re handy and looking for something to do in their spare time that will earn a little cash. They love to see how things are built and break them down. Smashing things apart can be a great stress reliever after work, and the hunt for scrap can be a lot of fun. A lot of scrappers may not be in it for the money, but no one wants to leave money on the table, right? Hobbyists and professionals alike are drawn to metal scrapping because there’s always the chance you can have fun doing something you enjoy and make some money at the same time. But you need to know how the money is made first. Understanding how scrapyard scales can maximize your effort and save you from unnecessary tasks.

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How to Set up a Scrapping Workshop in Your Garage - Encore Recyclers - Dallas, TX

How to Set up a Scrapping Workshop in Your Garage

So many people these days are looking for ways to earn a little extra cash. The gig economy in America is booming, but it’s not all roses. Folks driving for ride sharing companies, delivering food, or charging electric scooters put in a lot of work for small returns. They end up feeling like they’ve wasted a lot of time and effort making large companies richer. It’s led a lot of people to reassess what they want out of a side job. More and more they’re searching for how to turn a hobby or something fun into a small money-making venture. Metal scrapping is a great way people who love working with their hands can learn a skill and make some cash.

You Can Make it Work if You’ve Got the Space

Scrapping metal frequently involves taking apart large appliances to separate out valuable copper wires or brass pipes. You’re going to need a place other than the front lawn to store all those appliances and break them apart. A garage is a great place to start a DIY scrapping operation. Park the cars in the driveway so you can put your metal haul inside where it won’t upset the neighbors. Separating ferrous and non-ferrous materials can take time, especially for beginners. Take your time, though, it can be a lot of fun as you learn the ins and outs of different machines.

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Should You Take Apart an Item For Scrapping?

Should You Take It Apart?

Everything you take into your local scrap yard should be cleaned and sorted to the best of your abilities: it helps you make the most money, and also ensures the safety of the employees at the scrap yard. It might just impress your local scrap yard (and your scrapping friends), too.

However, sometimes you’ll come across items that are quite challenging—and in some cases even dangerous—to properly take apart. In these situations, you have to ask yourself about your expertise, the tools you have on hand, and your willingness to put in the work. Of course, you’ll also have to consider the additional profits you’ll make from taking an item apart before scrapping it.

Easier Than You Think

There are a lot of things you’ll come across in the scrapping world that seem a lot harder to take apart at first glance than they really are. These are worth taking the time and effort to disassemble properly, because you’ll be able to learn how to do it effectively without a huge amount of effort, and because they’re fairly common items.

Desktop computer towers are a big one: because the technology behind computers is so complicated, we almost automatically assume that it’ll be extraordinarily difficult to disassemble one of these. However, taking apart a computer is a lot easier than designing and building a microprocessor. Best of all, it can be done even if you don’t have many tools around: a simple screwdriver will take you a long way.

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Weights and Measures: A Few Key Things to Know About Scrapping

Weights and Measures: A Few Key Things to Know About Scrapping

Getting the most out of your recyclable scrap metal often means simply knowing what you have—and part of knowing what you have is knowing your weights and measures, and how they affect your bottom line.

We all know what a pound is, and most of the time when you see scrap metal prices displayed, they’ll be in dollars per pound. However, there’s a lot more that goes into truly understanding scrap metal recycling weights and measures.

Other Measurements You’ll Need to Know

While the pound is the basis of virtually everything in scrap metal recycling prices, you’ll need to take a few other things into account too. For example, with precious metals like gold and silver, you may be more often considering the price per ounce instead of the price per pound, because smaller amounts of these types of metals are more valuable.

Also, if you own a business or are very serious about recycling the heavier scrap metals out there (or if you just hold onto your scrap a long time before bringing it into the yard), you may even see your loads weighed in tons!

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Staying Cool While Scrapping - Garland, TX - Encore Recyclers

Staying Cool While Scrapping

The weather is heating up again, which means it’s important to take some time to think about how to stay cool while you’re gathering and working with scrap. It’s not just a comfort concern, but a safety one as well!

While there are plenty of dangers when it comes to collecting, sorting, and cleaning scrap, overheating is one of the most common ways people injure themselves. Follow some of the tips in this post to keep yourself cool!

Keeping Cool While Gathering Scrap

Staying cool while you’re outdoors collecting scrap can be very challenging. It’s not like you can change the weather whenever you want! On top of that, collecting scrap often involves more physical labor than cleaning or sorting it, unless you have something really difficult to dismantle.

Wearing the proper clothing is one of the best ways to keep yourself cool. Short sleeves and shorts are a no go because they leave your arms and legs exposed to potential hazards like sharp edges, but wearing clothing that isn’t too tight and breathes well can make things a lot easier.

It’s not all about your clothing, though! Taking frequent breaks and drinking lots of water will also help you keep your body temperature down, even if you’re collecting scrap in the heat of the day.

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Taking Care of Your Scrapping Truck - Encore Recyclers - Garland, TX

Taking Care of Your Scrap Truck

You might use your scrap truck for work or pleasure as well as your scrapping enterprise, or you might have a truck just for scrapping. Either way, you rely on your scrap truck when it’s time to get the job done—whether you’re out collecting scrap or hauling it to the yard.

Taking the time to take care of your scrap truck properly can keep it dependable for years to come. That means less transportation expense for you and an easier time scrapping for the foreseeable future. In addition to general good advice for taking care of any vehicle, there are a few other things you should consider for trucks used for scrap in particular.

Things to Check and Do

There are a few things you should check on every time you use your scrapping truck:

  • Be sure you have enough fuel for your trip, and keep extra on hand if necessary.
  • Check all of your lights. When you’re carrying a heavy load, it’s important that you can see the road and other drivers can see you!
  • Make sure your tailgate and any tie downs are completely secure before driving with a load of scrap. Losing scrap is losing money at best, and at worst can lead to very serious accidents.

In addition, you should be sure to keep up with all your regular vehicular maintenance, such as regular oil changes. However, that’s not where it ends with a scrap truck.

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Scrapping Old Tools - Encore Recyclers - Garland, TX

Scrapping Your Tools

If you’re a scrapper, you keep a lot of tools around—and if you’re a contractor, construction worker, or landscaper, you’ve got even more tools. A lot of businesses keep tools around, too. However, tools don’t last forever, and there’s a much more responsible and economical way to get rid of the old ones than chucking them in the trash.

It can be the start of a bad day when one of your power tools cuts out or a socket gets warped, but you can help those tools do one more good thing for the planet (and for your wallet) on their way out.

Why Scrap Tools?

There are plenty of great reasons to scrap your tools instead of simply throwing them out. Obviously, getting even a few cents for your trouble is better than getting nothing at all. On top of that, recycling tools rather than throwing them out means that landfills don’t fill up as quickly, and it also reduces pollution and the energy cost of mining new metals.

There’s more than that, though! As power tools become more and more technologically advanced, there are some seriously valuable metals used in their inner workings. Also, highly specialized tools, like the carbide bits used in machine shops, can be made of very valuable and interesting metals that are always worth scrapping.

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How to Scrap a Stereo - Dallas, TX

How to Scrap a Stereo

When a car or home stereo goes bad, rather than throw it out, it’s worth the effort to take it apart at least a little bit and get at some of the potentially valuable scrap metal inside.

In this post, we’ll give you some tips and tricks to make the process of dismantling a stereo easier. Metals such as copper and even gold (in small amounts) are often available inside stereos, and even the wiring and motherboards can have significant value.

Before beginning to dismantle a stereo or any other appliance or electronic device, it’s important to make sure it is completely disconnected from all power sources. For a home stereo, unplug it from the wall, and cut the cord—this can be sold as insulated wire! Before dismantling a car stereo head unit, remove it from the dashboard. Stay safe, scrappers!

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How to Tell the Difference Between Aluminum and Stainless Steel - Encore Recyclers - Dallas, TX

How to Tell the Difference Between Aluminum and Stainless Steel

Stainless steel and aluminum are both worth collecting, but we all know that their values are different—and, of course, you’re going to get more money for each scrap haul if you sort different types of scrap out from one another. However, telling the difference between aluminum and stainless steel can be very challenging, especially when you’re out in the field without a ton of tools to help you in identifying different metals. Here’s a short, helpful article on how to tell the difference.

General Differences between Aluminum and Stainless Steel

Aluminum is a great deal lighter and more malleable than stainless steel, while stainless steel is generally much stronger. The malleability of aluminum, but its overall lower strength, comes from the fact that it is a much softer metal. This will be important later, as it’s the key factor in the handy tip we’ll give you in the next section of this post.

Both of these metals are so useful because they’re so different—each of them is better than the other for a certain application.

For example, stainless steel‘s strength and corrosion resistance make it ideal for use in the construction field. Aluminum, on the other hand, is one of the primary materials used to make airplanes, because it is so lightweight—obviously a big consideration when you’re making something that’s intended to fly!

The challenge when it comes to identifying aluminum or stainless steel, though, is that they look so similar. A lot of scrappers don’t know how to tell the difference out in the field. However, we’ve found a simple test that a lot of our top scrappers use to determine which is which—and the best part is, it’s very easy to do.

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How to Pick a Scrap Metal Yard - Garland, TX

How to Pick a Scrap Metal Yard

Starting out a scrapping enterprise involves a lot of up-front work besides just gathering scrap, and one important part of that work is the process of choosing a scrap metal yard.

Of course, price is always a factor in choosing a scrap metal yard, but prices are often very similar within a given geographic area, and also fluctuate constantly. While it’s easy enough to find the single yard that usually has the best prices, it’s virtually impossible to find a single yard that always has the best prices for every metal, every time.

However, there are a few other factors that definitely stay more constant—and determining which of them is most valuable to you is the clearest way of choosing the best scrap metal recycling facility to fit your needs.

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