Tip - Watch out for steel that has been chromed or yellow-coated die cast - both of these items can resemble brass. Grinding the surface of a questionable piece will let you know what you have.
The two most common types of Brass are Yellow Brass and Red Brass. Yellow Brass is the most common and is used in items like plumbing, buckles, jewelry and musical instruments.
Red Brass is usually used in a more industrial setting for heavier applications.
Tip Copper has a reddish appearance but can add a green tarnish as it ages. Copper does not have a spark.
#1 copper (clean copper)
This is copper with no foreign materials like paint, solder or attachments. Wire should be as thin as pencil lead or thicker.
Copper tubing with solder, wire with shellac, hair wire and borings.
Light Copper (sheet copper)
Copper roofing, flashing, kettles, pots and gutters are an example of light copper.
Insulated Copper Wire
This can be identified by cutting back the material on jacketed electrical wire to expose the copper.
Magnetic and non-magnetic
Tip - Old radiators are great to scrap. Be sure they are cleaned of steel.
Most auto radiators are made of copper, lead and tin. They can be found in cars and trucks.
Aluminum and Copper Radiators
Found in air conditioning units. These units usually have large aluminum fins with copper tubing running through them. There is also a steel divider that should be removed.
Found in cars and air conditioning units
Found in cars. They weigh several pounds and are mostly Yellow Brass.
Tip A grayish color, this metal does not sparkle or rust and it is lightweight.
The siding can be found on houses. Aluminum gutters can also be scrapped with siding. Be sure to remove any steel pieces like screws or rivets.
This can be identified by the rough texture found when broken from the mold in which it was created.
This aluminum is used in electrical applications. It is soft and pliable. Busbar and wire are two examples.
Roughly, 18 cans make a pound
Tip A sharp knife can cut into lead and carve off a nice curl. Lead will also leave a mark on white paper.
Tip prepare this type of metal by cutting it into 2 by 3 foot pieces
This metal is at least a ¼ inch thick. Demolished buildings, truck frames and heavy duty springs are some examples.
Tip also known as major appliances, white goods or common shred
Washing Machines, clothes dryers, water heaters, dehumidifiers, conventional ovens, microwave ovens, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and residential furnaces are some examples of appliance tin.
Tip The older the computer the more likely it is to have more gold plating inside.
Computer towers, computer cables and cell phones have gold plating on the boards and connectors.
Magnetic (yes, the metal under the plating is)
Tip Like the gold plated pieces, you realize your best price selling silver plated items online.
Dinnerware, serving trays, pitchers and knick-knack decorations are a few common items that have been silver-plated.