Saturday, September 2, 2023

Copper Time

Back home we've acquired quite a bit of oilfield reda cable. This heavy gage electrical wire is used to run submersible pumps and other motors around oil and gas production. If there's a weakness in it they just get rid of it. And if you know the right guy, you can pick some up for pretty cheap. Having it on hand, we've used it to power all sorts of things, mainly different buildings around the place. I've had a string of in sitting around the rectory, so I thought I'd see how hard it would be to strip and recycle the copper. Let's find out.

There's probably 100'+ of cable here. Stiffer than heck and super hard to work with. But for the right application, it's gold.

8 gage solid copper with and an extra ground wire. 

I simply took my sawsall and cut it into 3' lengths. Then the pushed the guts up from one end, grabbed it on the other end, and pulled the wire out of the conduit. 

Then separated the insulated wire from the ground wire. The shiny copper sells as #1 copper and the tarnished as #2. #1 is worth more.

Then I grabbed a cold one and went to stripping. With a good sharp utility knife, making one pass across the insulation wasn't that hard. 

Then simply pull the two apart. 

3 or 4 hours later and we had it all stripped. Our Blessed Mother approved. 

45 pounds of copper at $2.35 a pound = $106 of cash. 

Not bad. I'm sure the Lord can find a better use for that money than being coiled up in the corner. I'm also all about reusing the earth's precious recourses. Copper, like many minerals in the ground, is a gift from God. It's here for us to use, not abuse. Instead sitting back on the north 40 or throwing it away, might as well get it back into production. 

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