MBMMLLC.com: How to make money scrapping brass and copper with a hammer mill


This is Jason Gaber with MT. Baker Mining and Metals I’ve run quite a bit of scrap metal through our hammer mills in the last week, and put some videos on youtube. And that’s all well and good, its fun to watch them and see all the stuff come out the bottom. The real question is can you make money doing it, is it worth doing it. So were going to take this unit, this is a 16″ x12″ hammer mill, you can see down there inside there is the hammers The bar grate spacing on this is 2 inches As soon as something gets hammered to 2 inches it falls out the bottom. and into the box and what I’m going to do as a trial run here is go get some dirty brass, contaminated brass run it in this machine, right into the box and hand sort it. into its separate components and take it in as clean brass, clean copper, clean stainless and whatever else we hand sort out to see if you can actually make money by cleaning brass up Just as an example, here are some old kitchen faucets some old plumbing fixtures lots of plumbing, valves this is an old regulator off a welder or an oxy acetylene torch there is an old light for a porch Here is the discharge from the hammer mill and I’m just going to hand sort this There is a piece of clean copper. There is two pieces of clean yellow brass there is a piece of clean red brass There is some more clean copper Here is a bucket of clean yellow brass and its everything from little tiny fittings on valves to old, this is probably an old kitchen faucet. it’s that chrome platted brass. here is some more of it, this whole bucket is clean brass, yellow brass. This is clean red brass Red brass you usually find in your larger valves it’s worth just a little bit more than yellow brass This is pot metal a little bit of stainless steel Here is all your steel and your garbage, plastic This is all clean copper. We have finished running our brass. and there was quite a bit of fines, this is all the stuff that we didn’t hand sort, it’s all the fine stuff we just put it all in a bucket. and I’m going to play around and try to figure out how to get all hte brass out of here still some brass copper wire A bunch of plastic and garbage and stuff. There is still some value in here but we just got tired of hand sorting it there is about 20lbs left here so there will be 20lbs missing from the total of 160lbs that a I bought when I take it back another thing I will mention here real quick We ran all 160lbs through the hammer mill and there were 30lbs that I had to re-run through the hammer mill again and it went fairly fast because it had already gone through once but it did not knock all the steel contamination off the first time and after the 30lbs there was about 6lbs of brass I had to hand clean with a screw driver and a hammer and stuff It was a little time consuming at the end but it gives you an idea of what we did. I screened it, this is the screen I used This is the stuff that was larger than half inch here is another cut over here, this is between 1/2″ and a 1/8″ You can see some brass and some copper wire all mixed up with little pieces of plastic That’s what an 1/8″ screen looks like and here is the the fine material that went through an 1/8″ screen lots of little brass shavings and things and there is about 20lbs of material here here you can see of three of them here and I am not sure the best way to clean this and I’m hoping I’m going to keep this and not turn it in but I’m hoping all my value is left here is this 20lbs of stuff here are our results of the dirty brass and hammer mill hand sorting I will walk you through a couple of sheets and let you know how it went These are the scrap prices, its November, 2014 Right now my scrap yard will take dirty brass at 55 cents a lbs I had a 160lbs of dirty brass and if I took it in it would be worth 88 dollars. here are the results of the hammer mill test and this is all hand sorted I ended up with 58lbs of clean yellow brass They paid me a $1.70 a pound so that was worth $98.60 38 lbs of red brass at 2 dollars 8lbs of number 2 copper at $2.35 11lbs of stainless 8lbs of what they call pot metal 17lbs of steel I ended up with a 140lbs of material I have the 20lbs of fine material that I kept So that’s why I didn’t bring back 160lbs The total value being a $199.45 So if I had taken it in as dirty brass it would have been 88 dollars I took 140lbs of clean brass and got $199.45 I made $111.45 by running it through the hammer mill and cleaning it by hand and like I said I had a 160lbs of dirty brass and it took me about 4.5 hours of work and that number is actually probably a lot higher than what it would take on a production basis I didn’t have the right tools and kept having to go get a hammer or screw driver or whatever to clean the last litttle bit of brass. and when I was sorting it i’m not very good at telling the difference between yellow brass and pot metal and red brass So there was apretty steap learning curve for me having to sort all this stuff by hand Thats a pretty high number but even at that it’s still about $25 an hour or so the value was increased so if you cut that number in half if you got real good and you know the difference between pot metal and brass and become pretty fast at it, your looking at $40 or $50 an hour Looking at it another way, I made $111.45 out of 160lbs of material I increased the value by 69 cents a pound If you take 69 cents a pound and multiply it by 2,000lbs I increased the vale by $1,393 a ton If I would have taken in a ton of dirty brass I would have been paid .55 cents a pound or $1100 a ton and if I ran that same ton through a hammer mill it would be worth $2493 a ton When I cleaned it. and I will also say that when I went and got the dirty brass I didn’t cherry pick it, I didn’t pick all the valuable stuff I really tried to be as neutral about it as I could I picked a lot of dirty kitchen faucets and plumbing stuff I took a lot of valves from water lines and gas lines Things that I knew were fairly common in the industry and if you went and tried to get dirty brass you would run across a lot of the stuff that I ran threw hopefully this was a help to some of you guys and it always helps me to put some numbers to some of the ideas I have and make sure they work So looking at these numbers I think they are pretty promising and I’m going to do a couple more videos like this with different metals over the next couple weeks or months so stay tuned and don’t forget to like, subscribe and comment. and if you guys are interested in any of our hammer mills or other recycling equipment please give us a call or any email All of which is in the description, so thanks for watching

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