Instructables
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Picture of Copper Rain Chain
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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.

 
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Step 1: You will need

Picture of You will need
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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
flux
pliers


Step 2: Coiling the copper

Picture of Coiling the copper
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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
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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
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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!!
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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. ;-)


Since it's copper, won't it get a patina? I ask because I can only imagine that will be BEAUTIFUL in a garden... I hope you'll share photos in the future. :)
awesome. I've seen this done with steel chain,(looks good) but this adds just that little bit extra. nice work!
ysabet6 years ago
One thing you can do with a rain-chain is stake it into the ground at a slight slant away from where the water would normally plummet down to; most of the water will follow the chain, so you can stake it a little sideways to a garden plot and use it for watering a space that your eves keep from catching enough rain. Works pretty well, actually.

Nice instructable! And these suckers cost a freaking *fortune* if you buy 'em, so I think I'll make one. Thanks!
smj566 years ago
Thanks for this idea. I have been looking for an idea for a small copper fountain for my back yard. thanks
The rain chain looks awesome. Great instructable. I'm going to make these for my house.