Picture of Copper Rain Chain
This is a copper rain chain I made for my wife, she convinced me to enter it into the Etsy Sewuseful contest. And here's the link to it on Etsy copper rain chain

I guess I should mention what a rain chain is, it's an alternate to a downspout, it guides the water and breaks up the flow, they originated in Asia.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: You will need

Picture of You will need
1/4" soft copper tubing 3.5 times as long as you'd like the finished chain
2" pvc pipe
diagonal cutters
lead free solder
blow torch
heavy leather gloves

Step 2: Coiling the copper

Picture of Coiling the copper
In this first step you'll only need the copper tubing and the pvc. Grip the end of the copper tubing and the pvc tightly in one hand, now start wrapping the copper around the pvc while pulling on the copper to prevent kinking. You should end up witha nice coil that looks like it belongs on a still ;-)

Step 3: Separating the rings

Picture of Separating  the rings
Take the pair of diagonal cutters and snip the coil into rings. That was easy.

Step 4: Making the chain

Picture of Making the chain
First we need to adjust the rings. Carefully adjust them unto the two end line up, if your snipping was consistent you're ready to solder, if not, then pliers can be used for less delicate adjusting.

Step 5: But don't solder yet!!

Picture of But don't solder yet!!
You need to link the rings before soldering. Now that they're linked brush each joint with a little soldering flux, heat it in the torch and flow in some lead free solder.

PS this is where you need the gloves, copper in an excellent conductor of heat.

Step 6: Hanging

Picture of Hanging
Hanging is simplicity itself, remove old down spout, feed the topmost copper ring up through the hole and insert a spare piece of straight copper to span the downspout through the topmost ring. Now wait for rain, with our drought I simulated it with the hose. ;-)

cmoorecole7 years ago
I love this and have needed to fix my downspouts. This actually seems easier to me than actually fixing the downspout - maybe because I make jewelry and this just looks like a set of huge copper rings - oh yeah - it is. I make tiny chains of silver and/or copper rings, so I think I can do this. . The hardest part is finding a ladder or a neighbor to loan me a ladder, so I can put it up. What I wonder - must the rings be that size? I'd like to make them larger, because I have a big heavy-duty cardboard tube that measures 3" across. Would this make any difference in how the ring chain functions? I'm assuming that your 25 rings in the picture gave you a chain that's about 4 ft. long, so I'd make 16 of the larger ones. Do you think this would be just as good?
Tool Using Animal (author)  cmoorecole7 years ago
I don't think size matters ;-) I was in down town Sanford Fl last month and some of the artsy shows had chains made with 1" rings.