Is there a better way to cut copper wire?

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Slowmovangogh

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So I managed to score a bunch of copper wire while dumpster diving. It's definately not as much as I need but it will get me started. Does anyone know of an efficient, quick way of cutting it up into little bits? I've been doing it with wire cutters (good ones) and it seems like it is going to take a ridiculusly long time to do it. There's got to be a better way.
 

Mjbottle

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I found that doing it manualy my best bet was cable cutters, they have rounded cutting edges so you can cut more at a time..meaning if you have a single conductor copper wire you can fold it over several times instead of snipping off one little bit at a time, hopefuly this helps,
 

westKYdigger

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This was posted on a thread about 7 years ago.
cutting copper wire.jpg
cutting copper wire 2.jpg
I use something similar. Its basically a hole in a block of metal. Use a large drill for longer cuts.
 

Slowmovangogh

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I think it would probably take longer for me to figure out how to rig something comparable but I do appreciate the input. I'll fish around and see if I can come up with anything... thanks.
 

Vinewood

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Here is another photo from the archives, but I did it a different way using a drill press. Referencing the photo will help with my explanation.
Find a piece of mild steel plate at least 3/8" of an inch thick. (or some angle iron, you just need a flat spot to drill a hole)
Drill a 1/4" to 3/8" hole through the plate about 1/4" from the edge.
Drill another hole, just big enough to fit your wire in, through the edge of the steel plate, so that the holes intersect.
Insert the larger bit back into your drill press.
With the drill press OFF, set the press table as high as it will go, and/or crank the drill down so that goes through the larger hole in your steel plate. I had to reverse my depth stop to hold the press in the down position.
Clamp the steel plate to your drill press table.
Hand turn the drill before turning on the drill press and make sure you are in alignment.
With the press running, feed your wire through the small hole and into the side of the bit, and the chops will fly.
I split open one side of a large trash bag and draped it around and under the drill press to catch everything.

NOTE1: run a strong magnet over your cut copper to get out the bits of steel that WILL get mixed in.
NOTE2: Tumble just your copper with oxide to clean it before tumbling good bottles with it.
NOTE3: When your larger hole in the steel wears to the point your bit wobbles and your copper jams up, DRILL ANOTHER HOLE and start again.
NOTE4: Be ready to turn off your drill press promptly when, not if, it jams.
NOTE5: DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!!

In the 1990's I cut about 40 pounds of copper this way, mostly #14 and #16, that I still use today.
I have another 50 pounds of #12 short cut that came with a used machine, and I bougnt another 50 pounds from the Jar Doctor of #14 short cut. If you are buying copper, which I highly suggest, BUY ONLY THE #14 SHORT CUT. It cleans better around the embossing and other "tight" spots.
Also, I use only a 1/30th inch size mesh strainer when rinsing my copper. I only lose pieces the size of pepper through the strainer.
As your copper wears down, the little bits of copper are exactly what you need for cleaning around intricate embossing or other details.
 

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