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Old 08-03-2010, 05:17 PM   #1
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Default What to do with copper rods?

At the scrapyard I grabbed up a few 1/8 to 1" round copper rods anywhere from 6 to 12" long--at the time I thought they were brass (newb mistake). Copper any good for anything other than plumbing fittings? I know they're machineable because some of them have obvious signs of being turned on a lathe (bored on the ends, center-drilled, etc...). Copper durable enough to be used in place of brass or too soft?


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Old 08-03-2010, 05:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: What to do with copper rods?

I have seen copper used in 90% of boilers made on this website.

Just a thought.

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Old 08-03-2010, 05:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: What to do with copper rods?

Copper with signs of machining? Sounds strange given the fact that copper is such a bear to machine. Are you certain they are copper? Some of the marine brasses/bronzes have a reddish color close to copper.
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: What to do with copper rods?

Hmmmm, they do have a reddish tint to them--very obvious when I got them home and compared them to some brass I had. Hopefully they are more brass/bronze than just copper.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: What to do with copper rods?

Seems like solid copper in 1" round and 12" in length would be worth quite a bit of money.

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Old 08-03-2010, 07:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: What to do with copper rods?

Bronze would be worth more
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: What to do with copper rods?

Copper used in spot welding electrodes machines quite well, at least it's what I see at a friends machine shop. They make all kinds of electrodes for the auto industry.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: What to do with copper rods?

Most copper does not machine well at all. It's usually quite miserable to make a nice finish. Like
trying to turn chewing gum. That doesn't mean it can't be done, since it's accomplished every day
in industry. We used to get a job turning copper now and then in a shop where I worked. I've forgotten
tool geometry now, but remember we used whole milk as a lube.

Hopefully, what you got was some kind of bronze, like Marv says. You could actually use that for
something in regular model making chores. Copper has kind of a limited use for most of us. Rivets,
boiler stays, and stuff like that, but I wouldn't want to make a piston or cylinder from it.

If what you got was copper, trade it to someone for some nice brass.

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Old 08-03-2010, 08:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: What to do with copper rods?

The cutting properties of copper can be improved significantly by creating an alloy with half a percent of tellurium. This produces only a slight alteration in the electrical and thermal conductivity and ductility of the free machining copper. Copper telluride precipitations in the microstructure break up the turnings into chips and enable a much higher machining speed than is possible with pure copper. On a machinability rating scale with 100 being for free cutting brass and 20 for copper, tellurium copper is rated at 90.

Alloy 145


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Old 08-03-2010, 08:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: What to do with copper rods?

So, how do you add tellurium to your copper rods? Just rub a little in, like lotion?


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