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» Trap Line Community Bulletin Board » Trap Line Archives » Traps & Equipment Archives » Using Copper or Brass Trap Tags?

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Author Topic: Using Copper or Brass Trap Tags?
homer79
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Copper or brass trap tags. What are the pro's and con's of the two. Is there a personal preference? What are some of the experences with useing the two?

(Edit: Title edited to reflect subject. -- Hal)

[ 05-21-2007, 08:52 AM: Message edited by: Hal ]

Posts: 44 | From: Clark county Illinois | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
45/70
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Brass will stand-up better to cleaning agents such as lye over time. Copper oxidizes to a darker color. Copper is easier to roll, and this is the way I attach most of my tags.
It's personal preference.
Later,
45/70,
RKBA !!!

Posts: 832 | From: South Georgia, usA | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hal
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I use copper. Both brass and copper are impervious to lye and other cleaning agents. I do like the fact that copper turns dark over time -- I don't like shiny tags. When I get a new batch of tags, I hang them outdoors immediately so they will dull and darken.

The question of copper being susceptible to cleaning agents came up a while ago. I know for a fact that lye does not attack copper. Has anybody ever experienced disintegration of a copper trap tag, through any means? I've been using copper tags for 40 years, and never had a problem with any of them.

Again, I'd like to know of anybody has witnessed disintegration of a copper tag -- not aluminum, not zinc -- copper.

[question] -- Hal

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henry fitzgerald
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Hal, the only disintegation of copper tags I ever saw was when a coon chewed on the chain and tag. I like to wrap the tags tight around the chain link as I think this helps prevent loss or excessive damage from chewing.
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Hal
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Yes, I get the occassional chewed tag too. Is brass less prone to this?

[question] -- Hal

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Newt
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IF this helps ?
BELOW THE WATER LINE
A boat in salt water will not last long at all, if it is built useing Brass screws.
Copper or bronze on the other hand will last indefently .IF zinks are used proply to counter act Electrolysis.
Even Galvanized iron nails or screws will out last brass nails or screws.Galvanized fastners are good for at last 20 years.
you MIGHT get 5 years out of brass

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henry fitzgerald
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Hal: I agree that copper tags by far are the best to use. Some of my muskrat traps have the same tag from 40 years ago. Being a machinist I would say you could use brass but the thickness will make the difference. If too thick they won't wrap around chain. If too thin, they may not hold up well.
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Hal
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Hold on. I didn't say copper was "by far" the best to use. I've never really heard anybody complain about brass trap tags. And I think a lot of this boils down to personal preference, like Bill said.

I'm just trying to sort out whether copper is any less durable than brass, because I've heard that mentioned a couple of times. I believe that's myth, and that's why I conducted an experiment with a copper tag and a concentrated soultion of lye a few months ago. The lye had no effect on th tag. So it there something else that makes one of these items really more durable than the other?

[Smile] -- Hal

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trapn1
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After reading this post I put a copper tag in a 50/50 mix of water and muriatic acid for 24 hrs no damage in fact it didn't even darken it. I agree that it is probably a myth that the cleaning agents will harm copper tags. Trapn1
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redsnow
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This may be taking things to the extreme, but I'll give observations about the copper and brass junk I've dug with my metal detector. It seems to me, something in our soil, the ph or minerals?, does cause both to deteriorate, but some of this stuff had been buried 100 years, and it seems to vary in different places. Some of the pennies I've dug are trash, while others nearly the same age, may be in good condition. I have a brass tag dated 1904 (not sure what it was), that was "readable" when it came from the ground. You older guys will remember the paper-hulled shotgun shells, I've dug gobs of them, the brass base will usually crumble in my fingers. Yet I've dug 25-20, 30-40 Krag, etc., rifle brass, that looks good enough to reload. I really believe it comes down to the thickness of the CU or brass. The sheets of metal tags are cut from are rolled, almost like putting a penny on the railroad track, the thinner it is, the more fragile it becomes. The brass trap tags I have are a lot thicker than my copper tags, without putting a micrometer on the them, not sure how much, but you can tell a big difference side by side. The brass ones will take more abuse, like chewing, seems to me. I'd say brass has a higher tensile strength? [Smile]
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45/70
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You cannot avoid all the abuse or theft a trap tag will go thru, but you can stop a lot of it by the means in which you attach the tag to the trap.

I roll almost all of my tags. There are a few places I cannot, but for the most part I roll them. I have a small pair of needle nose pliers I use for this purpose (I have been told that they are piano tuners pliers, but do not know if this is correct.

Rolling a tag does not mean wrapping it around a link of chain, as I see so many folks do. I bend a little crimp across one end of the tag, and run it thru a chain link. I get hold of it again, and roll the tag around one side of the chain. You can do this on both twin-loop chain or straight machine chain.

One of my favorite places to put a tag, when using double coils is to roll one around one of the coil spring shanks between where they have the U-pin fitted thru them, and where the end rests on the cross frame. A copper tag rolled in this area, takes on a patina that pretty well, matches a dyed and waxed trap... , i.e. it looks like a part of the trap, not a tag, especially to an anti that doesn't know trap design and nomenclature. Sometimes even experienced trappers have overlooked my tags.

I usually put more than one tag on a trap. I might roll a tag on each of the coil spring shanks. I might roll another one around one edge of the trap chain. I have rolled tags around one edge of a universal swivel or stake swivel.

On snares, I'll roll a tag around one side of the conventional "arrowhead-style" swivel. I'll usually back-up a little, and roll another one on the extension cable.

I have rolled tags around one end of a drowning device.

On snares and drowning devices, I'll usually "lock" one tag in place by crimping a small hog ring around it.

If I have more than one tag on a trap chain, I also use the hog rings to lock at least one tag in place. With a tightly rolled trap tag, you can get a pretty good idea if someone is looking at your traps. They cannot roll the tag back exactly as you left it.

One last tip. Use a brass trap tag in the most obvious place, and maybe attached in a manner that allows it's easy removel. Use copper tags in other locations, and lock them down. A thief, for instance, or an anti wanting to set you up with DNR may see and remove the obvious tag, and not notice the rest. When he shows up with the Warden, "See he hasn't ID-ed his traps! Arrest him!". You can smile and show another tag.

I have twice located my stolen traps in flea markets, and once in a pawn shop, and gotten them back. The vendor? Oh yes, thee were charged with possessing and attempting to sell stolen property.

Adios,
45/70,
RKBA !!!

[ 05-21-2007, 02:03 PM: Message edited by: 45/70 ]

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Hal
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Excellent advice. I usually attach a tag by wrapping it around a swivel body. I own very few traps (a few #110's) that don't have a swivel in the chain. And over time, they become just about invisible, unless you know what you're looking for.

I use the oval body snare swivels, and you can roll a tag around the long side of the swivel. Since I reuse my snare swivels, the new snare is automatically tagged when I put the used swivel on it.

[Smile] -- Hal

Posts: 8938 | From: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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