Copper in CRTs: A Follow Up

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This stash of CRTs was accumulated while scrapping. CRTs are very
easy to get for free, as people are always trying to dispose of them

You may or may not remember, but I previously posted regarding the inside of CRT monitors.

This Saturday I spent all morning breaking apart 20 CRT monitorsdisassembled half of the pile of 40 CRT monitors pictured at right. I spent roughly 15 minutes per monitor…And that was because I was harvesting EVERYTHING. (sometimes it was more if the monitor was bigger and older, sometimes it was less if it was newer and smaller.)  I used a power drill, some big pliers, side cutters, a hammer, a bolt cutter, and a long screw driver (to reach deep screws). 

I make separate piles for

  • Copper breakage (transformers, inductors, and the black box controller thing that I ripped from the circuit board with some big pliers)
  • Aluminum heat sinks/aluminum magnetic shields
  • Stainless steel shields and stainless steel yoke fastener rings
  • Wire
  • Copper Yoke
  • Degaussing coil (check link for info on how to strip)
  • What ever metal is left over (shred pile)
  • ABS plastic shells

I have developed my own technique. Here are some tips for those who want to try this themselves:

  • Use a screw driver or power drill to unfasten the 4 little screws holding down the main case.
  • Do NOT break the leaded glass when pulling out the yoke! Take the two stainless steel fasteners off with a power drill. If you do that, you can just twist the copper yoke off without breaking the glass.
  • There is a decent amount of industrial grade wire in each CRT, not to mention the power cord and video cord.
  • There is a whole circuit boards chalked full of small transformers in there too! Pull those off of the board with some big pliers, seeing as they pay 4 times the price of the printed circuit board.
  • There is usually a fair number of aluminum heat sinks on the circuit board that many people look over…

I can understand ignoring some of these metals when you are breaking apart one CRT. But I’m not. 

After I’m done making all my piles, I take a hammer and break the copper out of all the yokes. (I sweep up the metal left over from the yokes and throw it into the shred pile). I strip all the degaussing coil with a straight razor by hand. Here are my numbers for my 20 monitors I broke open in a just under 5 hours.

  • Copper breakage: 24# @ $.25 per = $6
  • Copper 2: 22# @ $3.00 per = $66
  • High Grade Wire: 13# @ $1.90 per = $24.70
  • Contaminated Aluminum: 19# @ $.40 per = $7.6
  • Non-Magnetic Stainless Steel: 5# @ $.66 per = $3.30

Brings my total to $107.60

My total time spent on Saturday was 5.2 hours including travel, bringing my hourly wage for this morning to $20.69 per hour (not including the shred pile, which I left behind). 

I sell all types of scrap copper, not just scrap breakage and copper 2. Get the overview of Scrap Copper.


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