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Old 11-21-2009, 05:13 PM   #1
jake00
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Default best way to strip Thick copper wire?

at the risk of sounding like a meth head.....

We removed a room full of outdated electric panel and disconnects at work. We've got about 300 lbs of Thick (3/4") copper wire.

Whats the best way to strip this?
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Old 11-21-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

fire....or a stripping machine. other wise id just get a few sharp knives and get cuttin
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Old 11-21-2009, 05:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

Utility knife and patients.

That is how I have always done huge wires. But I am sure someone has a better way.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

Check with your local scrapyard, and find out what the price difference is between stripped and unstripped wire. Then, decide if it's worth your time to strip it or just drop it off as is.

I wouldn't burn it. Besides creating a toxic cloud, it may also affect the scrap price.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

its about 1.80 more a Lb for stripped.

I'm thinking dremel with a cut off wheel
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

do you have a table saw? take a piece of PVC pipe slightly larger than the OD of the wire. Clamp it down on top of the saw (on top of and inline with the blade). Turn saw on and raise blade through the pvc pipe to where the blade is protruding through an amount equal to the insulation thickness. Shove the wire through the pipe, have another guy receiving it and yanking the jacket off.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

If you think it's 300 lbs, and it is 3/4 inch in diameter, then it sounds like you certainly don't have too many lineal feet of it. I would take all my stripping method research time and spend it with a good utility knife and some of your favorite tunes while you just strip it by hand
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

I have always used a utility knife with a new blade and cut the insulation. If you have a heat gun and soften the insulation it will make it easier.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

soak it in fuel oil...
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

Most places wont take it if you burn it. The best way I have found if it is big enough and long enough is to stretch it tight. I did a little over a thousand pounds of number two through 4/0 last year. I hooked one end to a beam and the other to a forklift and drove it until it was really tight, then I used a drawknife, peels right off. Still not a lot of fun though.
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

Our local scrapyard take it w/insulation, burnt and clean and pays a different price for each. The burnt price is always better than w/insulation.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:55 AM   #12
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

[QUOTE=jake00;658192]at the risk of sounding like a meth head.....

Now that's funny, I don't care who you are.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:13 AM   #13
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuart in MN View Post
Check with your local scrapyard, and find out what the price difference is between stripped and unstripped wire. Then, decide if it's worth your time to strip it or just drop it off as is.

I wouldn't burn it. Besides creating a toxic cloud, it may also affect the scrap price.
China doesn't care about the quality, they just want quantity.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

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Originally Posted by tw33k2514 View Post
Utility knife and patients.
I'm not sure what a person who is under medical care has to do with it, but I do think removing insulation from wire takes a lot of patience.



Sorry - couldn't resist.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:20 PM   #15
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

Maybe weld up a V-shaped contraption you could mount in a vise. I'm picturing two sickle sections (google the image) mounted close together, with something else weighting down from the top. A slight twist should cut the insulation, then pull towards you to remove the insulation from the wire.

It would definitely be easier to design something if all the wire was the same diameter.

Maybe a set of 3-4 blades set up in a cross pattern, open in the middle, just the right size to feed the wire through... Just pull it through and the insulation should be cut into ribbons.
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

Two friends an I once pulled all the wire from an old building, piled it onto a car trailer and hauled it out to the desert, where we burned the insulation off of it in a bonfire. Not exactly eco-friendly, but then a lot less damaging than razing a rainforest.
We got top dollar for the copper, which in those days was a fraction of what it is today. As an investment, it would have paid us to hoard it for twenty tears or more instead.
But I don't recall being in it for the long-term return at the time. Whatever we did with the cash has resulted in long-term memory loss instead.

Last edited by Steevo; 11-23-2009 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

We always burned it in piles. It works good, and its a HECK of a lot easier quicker than stripping it yourself. We just used a hard metal rake and moved it around to keep the insulation off of it. We used to do 400 - 500lbs at a time when I worked for an electrician. We used to throw all the scraps in a trailer until it was full, then burn it.

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Old 11-24-2009, 12:45 AM   #18
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

you really should not burn it. the coating is very toxic and a carcinogen. so sell it with the coating on it and let the next person find a way to get rid of the coating. all the firms that took the wire from like at&t and stripped had no way of getting rid of the coating and now there are toxic waste sites all over from. I know i live by one. and no one seems to have an answer what to do with it.
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:09 AM   #19
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

I used a dremel with a cutting wheel, went pretty quick,
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:24 AM   #20
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

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Originally Posted by jake00 View Post
I used a dremel with a cutting wheel, went pretty quick,
So what what would the price difference been if you wouldn't have stripped it?
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:55 AM   #21
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

Many moons ago I inspected General Cables, a producer of Power Service Entrance Cable and Transmission Cable.

To strip wire by hand, the used a utility knife and scored (not cut through), but scored the cable on one side, then 180 degrees on the opposite of the cable, down the length. They then took Klines, grabbed the insulation, and it peeled back like skinning a deer. They would clean 100' of cable in minutes.

However, if they had to strip several hundred feet, they used an automatic stripper.
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:12 AM   #22
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

cable ripper...

http://images.google.com/images?q=ca...ed=0CCkQsAQwBg
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:40 AM   #23
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Default Re: best way to strip Thick copper wire?

I've used one of these for over a decade. They work very well.

You can find them a lot cheaper at the hardware store.

http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....e=&dir=catalog
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