Instructables

*unless you include installation of a new boiler

I just had my boiler replaced with a fantastic new one. The first thing the plumber did was to put the old boiler outside our house on the curb. It was quickly taken by a scrap collector. This got me thinking about all the scrap copper pipe that was slowly filling up a bag in my kitchen. It's my copper, I should use the scrap!

I use copper for jewelry, printing, decoration, props, robots, and design projects. For some inspiration on what you can do with copper, just search for “steam punk” on this website! Sheet copper is relatively inexpensive, there are lots of suppliers on-line, but free copper sheet is... well... free! Also, if you only need small sheets (the 7/8inch pipe makes a sheet 2 ½ inches wide) why pay for the shipping? This project can be done in the time it takes a cup of tea (or coffee) to cool.

 
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Step 1: Gather Your Tools:

Picture of Gather Your Tools:

For this instructable you will need:

Copper tube (larger diameters are easier to work)
Mallet
Marker
Saw (hack saw or jewelers saws work well)
Something to pry open the tube (chopsticks, metal sheets, screwdriver)
Paper

Not shown:
   Metal file or deburring tool
   Bench vise
   Tape
   A chunk of metal to flatten the sheet with (often included with vise)
   10 to 20 minutes
   A nice cup of tea (or coffee)

_Scratch_3 years ago
Haha, Ive been doing this for the past few weeks, made a small 2 inch copper box that im likely going to use in my computer water cooling project. Its a pretty nifty method if you get the technique down so you can do it fast.
For my steps, I cut a section of the tube, then hacksaw a line down the middle
Then i take some pliers and fold out the 2 edges i made from cutting it.
I then hammer it flat on an aluminum block with a 8lb mallet, makes it nice and flat.
Proceed in sanding the edges, then i have a smooth, flat copper plate.
Cool 'ible though.
crankyjew3 years ago
perhaps helpful things to add: you can harden copper by heating it until i turns a red color, then quenching in cold water. it can be hardened by heating until red and then allowing to cool slowly.
can you clarify? hardening it is done by both heating until red then quenching in cold water and heating until red and cooling slowly...?
ah, my mistake. never caught that typo.

1) copper, if heated to red hot and quenched, is annealed to dead soft.
2) if left to cool slowly, it will be harder than dead soft......
3) however not as hard as work-hardened copper. (beat on it for a while)
i am trying to make myself an armor for a costume you could make copper plates and link them together with copper wire i guess. anyway nice instructables!!
foobear3 years ago
smart idea! copper pipe isn't cheap here where I live, nevertheless, great reuse
Nerdz3 years ago
The Alternative would be to semi-flatten the pipe and then stick it in a vice to flatten it.