Section of copper pipe
Old CD
Coat hanger
Paper Clip
Sand paper, various grits
Soldering torch optional

Step 1: Make a copper sheet

Picture of Make a copper sheet
Cut a section of copper pipe. If you don’t have a pipe cutter use a hack saw or other safe means.
Cut the section open with a pair of metal shears.
Use pliers to open it up and then a hammer to flatten it out.
Cut it in half.
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Dustin Rogers made it!1 year ago

Mother's Day is right around the corner, so I figured this would be the perfect gift for my wife, especially since parting words with our boys is 'Love you to the moon'. Thanks for the idea, inspiration, and the instructable Mrballeng. It was straightforward yet a bit challenging.

I changed up how the back plate stays put by soldering a tab to each wing. Undo the jump ring and slide the back plate up. And I could not get the window formed without it getting a bunch of bubbles in it. Maybe my heat gun gets too hot? Thanks again.


love it!!!

Currently attempting this

Iamashleh1 year ago
What was your method with flattening out the copper tube? I am lacking in arm strength and having trouble using pliers thanks!
Mrballeng (author)  Iamashleh1 year ago
I used pliers to open it up enough so I could use a hammer to flatten it. You may be able to open it up by placing 2 claw hammers against each other and using the claw parts to pry it open. If you try that be careful and wear eye protection just in case.
QueenK2 years ago
This. Is. Amazing!! I love the entire project - you made it incredibly interesting. Awesome!!
This project is incredible! I love the descriptive explanations and the critical thinking behind each step. It is also very helpful to better understand how one would plan and organize his/her creative process.

Thanks so much for sharing. :D
rsmith633 years ago
Chiming in here way late, but here's one tip for dealing with the silvery solder on copper pieces. I use a saturated vinegar and sea salt "pickle" heated in a crockpot to remove oxidation and flux residue from my copper pieces. This solution turns blue as it becomes saturated with copper molecules. Use the blue pickle to copper plate the solder after removing excess solder. Simply remove a small amount of pickle to another container, toss your piece in it and pinch off a little bit of steel wool. Throw the steel wool in the stew on top of your piece and wait a few minutes for the magic to happen. The copper molecules in the pickle will plate onto the piece and cover the solder. The plating will be thin, so polish carefully or you'll remove it. Plating works best when the piece is very well cleaned of oil or fingerprints. I use an alcohol prep pad to wipe it down before I drop it into the plating pickle.

If you need to mix a batch of fresh pickle, simple pour white vinegar into a glass container or small crock pot, throw in a handful of sea salt. There are no particular proportions, so no need to sweat amounts, just dump it in. Heat it until it is very hot using whatever method you choose and toss a copper scrap into the pickle. Let it sit in the heat for a bit and just continue as directed above. Warning: Use pickle in a well ventilated area and do not boil, the fumes, while not very toxic, are not very pleasant. Keep your pickle pot covered while heating.

MrBalleng, you are amazing and I have a request. Would you please do a video describing all the various "improvised" tools you so cleverly use? Sure would be helpful for this broke, metal banging, gal.
rsmith63, thanks very much for explaining this! I've always wondered how to copper plate the unsightly silver solder. Your method sounds very easy and more importantly, cheap!!! And I second the video request! :D

MrBalleng, excellent instructable as always. Keep up the awesome work. You are an inspiration to those of us just getting started with metalworking and feel overwhelmed by all the specialty tools that they say one needs. Thanks for keeping it simple and noob-friendly.

Mrballeng (author)  rsmith633 years ago
Your a genius! I never thought of that. Thanks so much for the advice. I'll make a video. I'm still working on my last video which was "how to solder" but it's not up to par yet. Thanks again.
scoochmaroo4 years ago
So sorry to take so long!
Mrballeng (author)  scoochmaroo4 years ago
Alright!!! Thank you. Now this instructable is complete. =)
phand1244 years ago
i was just thinking as i read through this again.. did you try to run the chain through through the second ring as well as the the jump? i only ask becaus of the angle it would create, making it a more dramatic looking piece ya know?
Mrballeng (author)  phand1244 years ago
Never thought of it. Good thinking.
Nirgal384 years ago
I'm only sorry that I saw this when I was on a break at work. Now I have to wait until I get home to give it a try. This is beautiful work and appeals to the artist as well as the astronomer.
poofrabbit4 years ago
Can you tell me how big the pipe was? I think I got one to thick, lol.
Mrballeng (author)  poofrabbit4 years ago
The pipe I used was 1" in diameter and about the same thickness as the edge of a dime.
Thank you for letting me know! You are a super star!
poofrabbit4 years ago
I love this and I'm going to try it. Thanks for the great idea and great instructable! I voted for you as well, good luck!
Mrballeng (author)  poofrabbit4 years ago
Cool, Thanks!
Asmodeous4 years ago
nice! but you need better directions to go with all your pictures.
mcshawnboy4 years ago
MB, I love UR stuff and gave you 5 stars! Your live out maxim of beauty in simplicity. I can't wait to see what you do next ! What do read or view that inspires you? I've hammered out one nickel and heated it & ready to make my "Bottle-cap" the other nickel flew off the anvil to be lost in the "Hoarders" like clutter of my bedroom. It takes a lot not to destroy the blank while getting to the correct diameter. What did you use to solder it w/o silver showing up on the copper? I love to work with copper & would like to solder my homemade chainmaille rings, but don't want the silver to show.
Mrballeng (author)  mcshawnboy4 years ago
I just keep my eyes open. One this I do is notice other other people's jewelry and figure out how I could make it myself. Another is to ask someone what their favorite shape and the make pedant out of it.

If you look closely at the 7th picture you can still see the silver solder. I filed away the excess to minimize the color contrast. I know you can braze copper to keep a constant color but I don't know how to do it myself.
Might I suggest 'bright copper', a liquid chemical finish that when painted on deposits a layer of copper on the metal. It is meant to coat solder so it would probably work well for this and it can be gotten at stained glass suppliers. Look for it under 'patinas'.
CrimsonCrow4 years ago
Will you marry me?
Mrballeng (author)  CrimsonCrow4 years ago
I'm flattered ;)
Hisart4 years ago
Very impressive!

Did you put any finish on it?

An outstanding instructable!
Mrballeng (author)  Hisart4 years ago
Nope, no finish. I thought it would look better as it oxidizes.
Then I wouldn't wear it as a necklace, unless you like a green spot on your chest! LOL
To avoid the discoloration many folks that enjoy the beauty of copper will apply thin coats of clear nail polish or clear lacquer or polyurethane. I do chainmaille & wire- wrapped jewelry where many suggest these coatings. If you use only copper wire in a design there's special wire that's pre-coated to avoid the green patina.
Dread_Neck4 years ago
How does it take shape if its on something solid?
Mrballeng (author)  Dread_Neck4 years ago
Hammering the copper expands it. By hammering within the wire frame the rocket starts to "inflate".
I cant make that indent!!!!
Mrballeng (author)  Dread_Neck4 years ago
I'll post a video on it if that would help you.
Thanks!!!! I appreciate it!!!
ArtfulAl4 years ago
do you think it would work with thinner copper? I have some copper sheeting, but its pretty thin.
Mrballeng (author)  ArtfulAl4 years ago
Yes, see my two sided heart instructable.
what thickness of copper did you use? about how thick was the end copper sheet?

Congratulations on a job well done, both in concept and in execution. As someone else has already commented, this project embodies the spirit of Instructables.

You have my vote . . . if I can figure out how to cast it.
nanosec124 years ago
Nice !!
Gets a 5 of 5 from me, and my vote.
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