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Author Topic: Wire prices - through the roof!  (Read 3300 times)
belfert
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« on: March 17, 2011, 04:11:15 PM »

I decided I better order my 8AWG today before Skycraft Surplus decided to raise the price again.  Over $50 for 90 feet of wire!

I knew copper prices are high, but it didn't really strike me until I was looking through my wire supply in my garage.  I found a 100 foot roll of 10 AWG wire that I bought within the last two years from Skycraft Surplus.  It had a $17 price tag on it.  Skycraft Surplus wants $38 for that same roll of wire today.

The price has at least doubled in two years!  I wish my pay had increased any in the last two years let alone doubled!  I know that retailers and manufacturers aren't really making any extra money.  The guy who actually owns the copper coming out of the ground is making all the money.

At least I use a lot less copper than petroleum.  Petroleum is about triple what it was at the lowest point in 2008 or 2009 after the price crashed.
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2011, 04:14:56 PM »

Copper went up 200 % in recent years.  I have been thinking about trading cash from the bank (US dollar down 34 % in two years) and buying bricks of copper, silver and gold and putting it in the gun safe.  If I would have placed all my cash into gold 5 years ago I would be a happy dude today.
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2011, 04:15:59 PM »

The price of most ALL metals is going thru the roof! From what I understand it is because of the economy, investers are putting their money into metals right now and that raises the prices.
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2011, 04:24:11 PM »

At Lowes, a 100 foot roll of 12 stranded went from 59.85 to 75. last week.  Wished I'd bought 2 weeks ago.  jm
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John M.
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2011, 04:38:30 PM »

I remember when copper was rising rapidly in 2007 or 2008.  I bought some wire at Home Depot for a project at home.  The employee helping me said that copper wire bought at retail 6 months previously could have been sold for scrap for more it cost new!  I think copper prices now are much higher than back then.

Everyone is thinking they should precious metals a few years, but would you feel if the prices had fallen 50% instead of doubled.

Those guys on the TV show Gold Rush Alaska thought they would strike it rich mining gold, but they ended up with $14,000 in gold and over $275,000 spent.  I do wonder just how much money they really lost as Discovery must have paid them something to film the show.  That TV show struck it big in the ratings and there will be a second season of mining no doubt probably paid mostly by Discovery.
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2011, 04:56:04 PM »

I have to keep on top of steel prices constantly and have had to for many years. I can honestly say that for a period of some 20 years that the price never changed back in the 80's. Now you never know and I basically check the price weekly on every load. Scrap prices tend to tip me off as to the future and they have risen dramatically lately. Here we go again! I have been making some brackets and such for a local farmer on his new tractor. The price tag on that new John Deere..... $230,000. There are a lot of local guys that may have 4 or more. That doesn't include planters and equipment that you would need or the tractor is basically useless! Then combines and such, trucks, and on and on. It is a boom time in the agricultural industry. Basically the only industry other than weapon manufacturing that the United States does better than anyone else.
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2011, 05:10:27 PM »

Apparently a very smart thing to buy and horde now is - wait for it - rechargeable batteries. Apparently 40% of the world's production capacity was in Sendai.

You'll struggle to buy a new Nissan Leaf or Toyota Prius for a while too.






Jeremy
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2011, 06:04:23 PM »

At Lowes, a 100 foot roll of 12 stranded went from 59.85 to 75. last week.  Wished I'd bought 2 weeks ago.  jm

Single conductor stranded?  Even marine wire in 12 AWG doesn't cost anywhere near $75 for 100 feet.
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2011, 06:25:37 PM »

Sorry,, 500 feet. j
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John M.
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2011, 06:39:47 PM »

A year  ago I read that the standard of living for the "middle" of the middle class had fallen to that of 1976.  Since then  the price of everything I eat or otherwise use has doubled.  I still hear that the number one issue with the Fed reserve is heading off inflation.  Well God bless there little hearts for thinking of me but those same folks keep saying that the inflation is under 5%.  Remember when Greenspan told congress that using a different formula to compute inflation would ease the "burden" of SS?  SS recipients got shorted on cola since then (many years) and that yard stick still measures a measly 12 inches.

They are blaming China for this inflation of raw materials prices.  Those corrupt Asian people must be at it again(sarcasm).  The price of fuel went up over 100% the past year due to demand.  That earthquake in Japan has caused a glut in the oil market and that $100+/brl oil,m has dropped considerably on the world market.  4 Days after the announcement my front page headlines said that gas had gone up 20 cents a gallon.  No matter what happens those oil companies just keep gouge'n and hike'n.  AND EXXON Mobile STILL pays no taxes in the USA and is the richest corp on planet Earth with never ending record profits year after year.  Or so I read in that same paper and it is owned by the most conservative family in all of Orygun.  Me?  I love fuel. Tongue

The price of copper doubled nearly over night when Anaconda shut down the copper mines in Montana(?) and started operations in Chile's newly acquired mine's after the revolution that installed the Military regime and ousted that "socialist" that went ahead and got himself elected in spite of warnings by the minority(military).  After the junta locked him in his house he blew his brains out and they have eye witnesses from the army that will swear to it.

Nothing will dissuade these price advances as long as the Robber Barons have control and go untaxed.  The conditions we are facing now are called "Trickle Down Economics".  How are you doing with that?

John
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2011, 07:08:43 PM »

So-called "core inflation" doesn't include food or fuel.  That is probably why they claim inflation isn't up that much.

I haven't seen the food I buy go up anywhere near double recently.  This doesn't mean prices aren't up.  I haven't had a pay raise in 4 years, but overall my total cost of living is pretty much flat over that time.  It would probably be down if it wasn't for the recent increases in fuel costs.

I don't use much medical care or my costs would be way up.  My medical insurance has gone from no deductible to a sizeable one plus I pay 20% of my care over the past 4 or 5 years.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2011, 07:13:50 PM »

Did you miss the little bit about the American dollar has dropped in value?

Of course everything tied to world prices is way up, your dollar is worth way less.....

Inflation is a calculated number... based on steady values...

The US dollar is far from steady in value...

The two, they shall not meet.

happy coaching!
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belfert
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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2011, 07:24:14 PM »

I was inspired to buy my wire today instead of waiting after I read that copper prices are increasing due to the disaster in Japan.  Investors are bidding up copper because they believe demand will go up due to the anticipated rebuilding.  The Japanese probably won't need wire for several months as it takes a while to get that point in the rebuilding process.

I didn't think the price was going to up right away, but I figured a month or two down the road it might be up.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2011, 09:27:05 AM »

Think I'll get busy on my smelting furnace build so I can make some bricks of copper, I'm sure it's gonna hit $4.00 very soon.
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wal1809
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2011, 12:41:33 PM »

I remember when copper was rising rapidly in 2007 or 2008.  I bought some wire at Home Depot for a project at home.  The employee helping me said that copper wire bought at retail 6 months previously could have been sold for scrap for more it cost new!  I think copper prices now are much higher than back then.Everyone is thinking they should precious metals a few years, but would you feel if the prices had fallen 50% instead of doubled.
Those guys on the TV show Gold Rush Alaska thought they would strike it rich mining gold, but they ended up with $14,000 in gold and over $275,000 spent.  I do wonder just how much money they really lost as Discovery must have paid them something to film the show.  That TV show struck it big in the ratings and there will be a second season of mining no doubt probably paid mostly by Discovery.

Financially they would have done a lot better if they would have bought $250,000 in gold and waited 10 years.  I can see where you can't put a price on an adventure like that though.  I wouldn't go into hock hoping to strike gold.  I would go up there and dig for it though.  That would be a lot of work but an adventure of a lifetime.  What I was talking about doing was selling everything I am not using and turning it into silver and gold.
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2011, 08:24:45 PM »

Not sure how it's distributed but I think shows like that pay $60,000 an episode. Still a ton cheaper than paying actors in a sitcom.
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« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2011, 03:57:38 AM »

Yeah, I suppose its worth 60 grand a year to make a complete fool of yourself on national television... Grin
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« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2011, 06:26:51 AM »

If they truly spent $275,000 and they got paid $60,000 an episode then they came out way ahead without mining any gold.  The TV contract may have specified they only got paid if the show was actually put on TV.  A lot of new series on Discovery get pulled after a few episodes due to ratings.

The origianl premise of the show was that Todd and Jack Hoffman invested $250,000 to go mining for gold.  The others were unemployed or underemployed so they agreed to help out for a share of the profits.

TLC paid the family $58,000 for each half hour episode of Jon and Kate plus 8 so $60,000 for an hour show wouldn't be out of question.

I was just reading some posts over at the Discovery forums about Gold Rush Alaska.  Some of the posters noted that in the wrapup show back home that one of the guys was driving a brand new Tahoe instead of the junker he had in the show.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2011, 06:40:36 AM »

even though they may not hit it big in the gold mining they did with the show, the thing is though they had to invest their own money to get started, film some teasers, and hope the concept gets picked up. So they had a big risk factor getting started.
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belfert
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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2011, 08:19:20 AM »

The topic is getting off track, but it illustrates my original thoughts about commodity metals prices going through the roof.  If gold prices hadn't skyrocketed would these guys have gone gold mining?

If anyone is planning on major electrical projects this summer it might pay to buy copper wire now.  I doubt copper is going to get any cheaper any time soon.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2011, 08:26:23 AM »

Belfert, if you want to use a soldered terminal they have a pastes to keep the wire from wicking I have it and use when making battery cables then I shrink wrap the terminal that is the way I do it





good luck
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2011, 08:45:14 AM »

How about using aluminum wire? I'm seeing a lot more of it when I'm scrapping stuff.
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belfert
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2011, 09:24:33 AM »

I rather pay the extra for copper than risk issues with aluminum wire.  The 90 feet of 8 AWG marine wire ended up costing me $62 with shipping.  I am using the marine wire for DC so it shouldn't be an issue with code compliance.

Do they even sell aluminum wire in 8 AWG these days?  I know that aluminum is still used for the main feed in houses, but it is really big wire.  Nobody would dare run branch circuits in a house with aluminum today.  I don't know if code would allow aluminum for that in new installs.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2011, 10:32:27 AM »

Brian,

I thank you for starting this most interesting thread.  I am not all that sure that it has gotten all that much off track as everything I have read, by others at least, has had a bearing on commodity price in some way. (I think Tongue)

I never researched it beyond the "Topic of the Day" and the raft of info in the periodicals.  Copper, it seems is an almost complete monopoly owned by Anaconda or subs.  At least they control, or seriously influence, the international price as far as I read at the time.  The forming and support of the monopoly came from the Fed and we are living with the results.  It was never in the interest of the "common" man or the Nation in general, to support that monopoly.  The impetus came from "big copper" and it's big bucks and the decisions were at the expense of the "American People" as some have taken to calling the common good.  The grip these people/corps have on the pricing is proven in the disassociation the price has to inflation and real costs.  Still not the glaring example of greed that the med industry demonstrates.

Yesterday I heard on the news a quote from the Saudi oil minister concerning the price of oil.  He said that his country would most likely have to increase prices "because" the increases in fuel efficiency would eventually decrease demand and consumption.  That he said would lead to reduced Gross Profits for the "Kingdom" and that to maintain their cash flow they would have to artificially raise prices to compensate.  Now that seems a complete farce on our system but I recall distinctly that San Diego Gas and Electric raised prices(1980's) for that EXACT same reason and offered the EXACT same arguments.  Guv Pete Wilson had his regulator commission accommodate SDG&E.  Of the People, By the People and For the People and corps are people with deep pockets.

I think your idea of investing in commodities is a very good one.  Don't let it stop with copper wire.  Food is a good one and a garden is making more sense.  Ammunition and arms are really good ones, as well.  Reloading?  Yup!  Clothing purchased at "off season" has been one of my favorites for years.  Rivets, insulation flooring and on and on....nothing is going down except the standard of living, life expectancy(USA) and earnings (adjusted).  Can any argue with any of this?  I think not and this, by the way is a socio/economic rant....not political.

John
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« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2011, 05:42:55 PM »

John, so basically we are screwed! We cant win, they will get our pocketbooks one way or another.

This brings up another question, is there a problem with reusing 30 year old wire that is in good shape? I will be doing my house part (one of these days, argh) and I am going to be removing tonz of wire out of my bus that I wont be using for factory stuff that wont exist in the conversion...... just wondering if I can reuse the wire or why not.
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« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2011, 06:38:05 PM »


...... just wondering if I can reuse the wire or why not.

Well that's a good question. Since it'll take a while for the regulatory aspect to appear; and I, being  no expert in used wire (outside of pulling all the fat copper wires out of the bin at Boeing Surplus a week before it closed  Angry), will answer your question.

It all depends on how, and for what, the wire was used. Vibration, chemical, and UV exposure can damage conductors or insulation.

What would probably be most important in using used wire would be knowledge of good wiring technique. Such as crimping on good copper.

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« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2011, 05:26:11 AM »

This brings up another question, is there a problem with reusing 30 year old wire that is in good shape? I will be doing my house part (one of these days, argh) and I am going to be removing tonz of wire out of my bus that I wont be using for factory stuff that wont exist in the conversion...... just wondering if I can reuse the wire or why not.

Theresa,
   If the wire is in good condition, you could probably use it for low voltage wiring (12/24 volt) as long as it is the proper gauge for the load. I doubt if the insulation is rated for high voltage use (120/240 volt).  Jack
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« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2011, 09:02:00 AM »

Thanks guys! and yes it is 12 and 24 volt stuff, although I do have "some" 120 that I scavanged from my motorhome too.
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