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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:12 pm 

Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 10:07 pm
Posts: 3
What is considered the "correct" or "best way" to depopulate a board? I realize that a lot of the criteria is simply what you feel comfortable working with. (i.e. acids, heat, etc.) What I am curious about is what will damage the components the least.

I am not looking to grind the boards at least as of now. I have done quite a bit of research already and know of most of the ways to do this. My end goal would be to depopulate each board and separate out each piece into a separate storage area and go from there. Any comments would be a great help, even if it is don't do it!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:37 am 

Joined: Fri May 02, 2014 7:21 pm
Posts: 30
I have been looking at and toying with this same question for an advanced hobyist's point of view.

I would say forget about acids for depopulating and leave that for proffesional refiners.

I have tried heat. It works fairly fast but causes problems for sorting in that there are lots of odd sized and odd shaped bits of solder in the mix.

I am thinking shaving is the way to go. This leaves the bulk of the solder on the board ( which can be ground up and refined for silver later ) making the sorting of bits and peices much faster.

Next question is how to build an inexpensive shaver. The hammer & chisil method is clean but very, very slow.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:19 pm 

Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 10:07 pm
Posts: 3
I have been toying with the hammer and chisel method as well. I know it will take some time but I would basically like to get a nice process down that me and two of my friends can do. We all work in IT and have a decent amount of old hardware laying around.

The next part of the question really is what is the cost advantage of depopulation. I have no problem sorting out separate pieces and spending the time doing it. I actually find it quite enjoyable. I also have a place or two that I can bring stuff in town here but only want to bring them low grade boards as those go for cheap. My theory was to depopulate the boards with a large amount of items that Boardsort takes and separate them out. Bring my then low grade boards to my e-scrap place in town and then ship the higher quality items to Boardsort. The reason for this is simply that I know Boardsort actually does something with theirs. It sounds like he is just sitting on them right now.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:31 pm
Posts: 13
You are wasting a bunch of time for not much more money when you do this. In many cases you are loosing money, as the components are very lightweight compared to the weight of the board.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:29 pm
Posts: 1
I've been very successful using a heat gun. It's great when trying to preserve the legs on certain hard to find older components that can be reused. I've done the hammer/ chisel (tore apart hands), torch (toxic fumes very dangerous). You can pick up heat gun fairly inexpensive at a store like Harbour Freight. Also a table mounted vise to hold board while heating. I do it over sheet or big shallow bin to collect all the components. This has been the quickest and safest way for me at least.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:36 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:53 pm
Posts: 436
If you have close access to boardsort then this idea is giant waste of time and effort for almost nothing extra in return... not to mention the time you spend doing it.

Also, Boardsort doesn't generally buy individual components such as resistors/capacitors/transformers... its not what they do. In addition, stripping boards of components will devalue the rest of the board. The money you gain from striping items off the board, you loose from the board being devalued. (Low and mid grade boards can be an exception to this as they often have heavy transformers/inductors that have a substantial amount of copper or other metals)

you can always try to take apart a motherboard and weigh out how much of each component you get and see what the final value is verse the value before... by the time you factor in your time, you will be working for pennies.

I tried what you are thinking about very early on and came to the realization that my time was better spent focusing on trying to find more e-scrap than to try to break boards down further.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:59 pm
Posts: 29
Every Recycler have diferent scenario. in my case I only sell by Air (Puerto Rico Island). Expensiv for custom boxes. that let me only with flat rate usps. I tryed diferent methods for depopulating and ended up with the shaving method mentioned above. with diferent very sharped spatulas and a small hammer or something comfortable for me to hit the spatulas.everything small that stil have enough value to ship in flat rate boxes and end up with a decent profit. Also on the way save tantalum caps, monolithic ceramics and good pins for later desitions. my favorites are the north and south bridges removing the green fiber and keeping the pack with the good stuf only. I`m sure that in a near future boardsort wil make offers for that kind of colected stuff like they do with the pins, sending for analyze.For Some others it is a monumental easte of time bot for the ones who love scrapping it is a hobbie and in the way make some money. following other scrappers videos like (Ewaste ben) enjoy scrapping and make some money Regards Luis...


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:43 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 3578
Location: Low DOS
There's no "correct" way. Personally I strip anything midgrade or lower BARE. Some times I'll strip better stuff too, like many high grade gold flash server boards. but I have buyers for every component in bulk recycling, equipment to test a lot of things to sell working components, and enough trial and error to make a decision on sell vs strip.
As far as boardsort is concerned there is very VERY little you can remove from any class without tanking the value.
As for the individual.. I am the first to agree i can strip a gayloard of telco boards and make 2x-3x the buy rate. But i have no intention of sitting at my bench for 6 months with a micro grinder to do so.

I strip lowgrade.
Midgrade.
Some specific peripheral boards.
Metal socket mobo.
Gold cap boards.
Some specific dual sided or thick flashed boards.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:53 pm
Posts: 436
Luis wrote:
Every Recycler have different scenario. in my case I only sell by Air (Puerto Rico Island). Expensive for custom boxes. that let me only with flat rate usps. I tried different methods for depopulating and ended up with the shaving method mentioned above.


You are absolutely right Luis... I should have made it clear that I happen to live near Boardsort, so I do not have to consider shipping costs... Since I am close, it stripping the boards hurts me more than it helps.

It is important to take shipping into consideration when doing calculations when deciding what to send in. As a general rule it seems to be a loosing proposition to depopulate anything above peripheral.

Luis, are you a member over on the goldrefiningforum.com? I feel like I have asked you this before...


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:17 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:59 pm
Posts: 29
Yes i`m a member of thr GRF but only a reader been reading for allmost a year when i have the time but i dont dare to speak yet. to speak in the forum is experience is needed. Im a good student and researcher not a chemical guy. And like most scrappers waiting for the right and safe formula to experiment some safer refining. i ordered Pathnor`s guide and dowloaded hoke`s book. I sell only a part of my chips and cards and cpus to finance my experiments but save a good part .write now im filling four boxes for boardsort, will be ship tomorrow. and in other side i finish to fill my second 5gal bucket of onlo flatpacks surface mount square chips thick and thin. and another 5gal bucket of only N&S bridges without the green fiber. that`s part of what i stock. Saving E waste for 4 years i started only 3 month ago to depopulate part of my storage. if i were lucky to drive to boardsort yust for start i have only in small socket motherboards almost 2,000 Lbs. After checked with diferent trucking companies they still prizing too high. thats why i depopulate as part time bussines. and sel the copper, aluminum etc produced from pcs and disarmed equipment im lucky for have a cousin that help me every as part time while i attend pic up calls. oh! the rest of the partialy depopulate board i sell them at low grade in local yard to get rid of them.


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