Identifying Scrap Metal in old VCR's

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  Every spring, as I do my cleaning, I take the time to strip the metal from
all the old appliances I discard. I remove the aluminum parts and strip
anything that may be attached to them. The recycler paid me about $.50/lb
for the aluminum last time, but looking around on the net I see there are
many different grades of recyclable aluminum. In particular, one type called
Cast Aluminum was listed for over $2 /lb! I'm wondering if VCR heads and
cylinders qualify as cast aluminum. How about heat sinks from old TV's? And
finally, what about the pieces of brass that the VCR rotary heads screw
into, what would these be classified as?
  Thanks for any advice. I'd like to be sure I'm not getting cheated the
next time I take a load of stuff to the recycler......

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Re: Identifying Scrap Metal in old VCR's
If you were to get a few lbs of metal, is it worth all that trouble?  You
must have a lot of time on your hands. If you were to have the metal
transported by carrier or public mail, you should check their rates since
they go by volumetric weight. You will find that the cost of the shipping
would be far more expensive than the scrap metal value of what you are

There is very little cast aluminum used in home appliances. The VCR heads
are aluminum, and the main chassis may be of cast aluminum in a few models.
You may get a few lbs of mixed types of metals from a single VCR.



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Re: Identifying Scrap Metal in old VCR's

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  No kidding - I've got a 5-gal bucket half-filled with the VCR heads I've
stripped in the last couple of weeks alone. Even at 50 cents /lb, it's still
better than sitting around doing nothing.
  So VCR heads ARE cast aluminum?
  FYI each stripped head is about 40-60 grams, and each stripped cylinder is
about 40-80g. The brass pieces (mainly in older VCR heads) can weigh up to
80 grams each, so if you don't have much time, these are what you should be
  Ever try stripping a VCR head and cylinder? It takes about 10 minutes for
each unit. Start by removing all the screws, then use a hammer & screwdriver
to whack out the shaft. The rotary transformer is usually glued in, but
heating this with a blowtorch will melt the glue and allow it to easily
separate (I just stick them in the wood stove for a minute or two).
  Too much time on my hands, for sure......

Re: Identifying Scrap Metal in old VCR's
Unless you're bringing in a truckload of scrap with the type of metal
certified, you'll get the lower prices.  Only specific alloys qualify
for the higher prices and you're probably not equipped to do the assay
to determine the actual content of your metal.  50 cents a pound is a
decent price for scrap aluminum.

Rather than cheating you, the local recycler is doing you a favor
buying your tiny quantities of mixed metals.  Sorting that stuff is
hardly worth their time.

Chris F. wrote:
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