Introduction: HomeMade Modern DIY Copper Coffee Maker

This is the first episode of our “CoffeeScapes” series that will feature different ways to make the things that make our coffee. The copper pipe pour over device is held together with epoxy, so soldiering equipment and skills are not required. Because copper pipe can be cut with a tube cutter, this project can be made without a single powertool. I've included links to the filters and funnel that I used down in the supply list. This is a really easy project and makes a great gift.

Step 1: Supplies + Tools

1/2" Type M Copper Pipe (5’ length)
Type M copper pipe is thinner and easier to cut than the heavy duty types like type L and is perfect for applications like this. You only need about 2 feet but a 5 foot length was what I found at Home Depot.

1/2" Copper Fittings
Make sure that the fittings are the right size for the copper pipe you select. You'll need:
2 T-Fittings
3 Elbows
2 End Caps

Glass Funnel
I used a 100mm glass funnel to hold the coffee filters.

Steel Wool
I use #0 grade steel wool to clean the copper pipe and fittings.

2 Part Epoxy
I used a 2 part epoxy to fasten the copper pieces. Soldering it with a torch would be better, but is more difficult and requires additional tools.

Chemex Coffee Filters
Chemex coffee filters work well. If you get ones that are too big, it's easy to cut them down with scissors.

Rigid Tube Cutter

Step 2: Cut the Copper Pipe

Copper pipe is really easy to cut and doesn’t require powertools. I used a tube cutter to score a line and then simply snapped off the pieces by hand. A pair of pliers can be used to help get a better grip, but make sure you don’t scratch the copper too much with the jaws of the piers. You can wrap the copper with a rag to protect it before gripping it with the pliers. The length of the pieces depends on how tall of a cup you plan on using, so be sure to measure your cup height and the height of your funnel before cutting the pieces.

Step 3: Clean the Copper

Once you have the pieces cut, clean them with steel wool.

Step 4: Scratch

In order for the epoxy to get a good grip on the smooth copper, I scratched the ends of the pipes with 80 grit sandpaper. I check the fit of the fittings first so that I would only scratch the part of the pipe that would be hidden inside the fittings.

Step 5: Mix + Glue

Mix the 2 part epoxy together per the manufactuer's recommendations and apply to the ends of the pipe. Assemble the coffee maker and use blocks of wood to hold it in the right position while the epoxy sets.

Step 6: Wipe Away Excess Epoxy

Use a rag to remove epoxy that may have squeezed out during assembly.

Step 7: Wait Then Clean

Once the epoxy has set, you can do a final cleaning and polishing with steel wool.

Step 8: Add the Funnel + Make a Cup!

Insert the glass funnel into the top T-fitting and you're ready to add a filter, coffee grounds, and hot water! I used Chemex filters but accidentally bought the large ones, so I had to use scissors to cut them down to size.

Good luck making your own copper coffee maker and please email or tweet photos to @benuyeda or ben@homemade-modern.com. For more DIY ideas and projects, visit us at HomeMade Modern.

Comments

author
AvedisM (author)2017-08-21

Love this, will have to put it on my list of things to do.

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asphalt made it! (author)2016-05-03

My take on the design. I love how wood (in this case oak) and copper look together. I have enough hardware for a second. I think I will go with walnut next time.

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FFalaschi (author)asphalt2017-01-18

Your design looks beautiful :o! I will try it too!

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asphalt (author)FFalaschi2017-01-18

Thanks, I need to get the second I did back from my cousin and take a picture of it.

author
bullardteen made it! (author)2016-10-16

Fun project! First time cutting pipe, so was nice to have an excuse to get the hang of that.

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the_yellow_ardvark made it! (author)2016-05-12

Made one, just need a glass funnel

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ArizonaSRMC (author)2016-02-17

beautiful, but where do you find the glass funnel?

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einnor12 (author)2015-10-17

is it not dangerous to use copper? the coffee as food comes directly in contact to the copper tubings...no health risk issue here about heavy metals?

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jayoteda (author)einnor122016-02-01

copper pipe has been used in the UK and Ireland as water pipe for centuries man. there is absolutely no dangers

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DavidP256 (author)jayoteda2016-02-06

Accept coffee is acidic and leeches copper from the pipe. However, coffee never touches the pipe.

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cinemarshall (author)einnor122016-02-02

nope if you look closely the glass funnel extends a few inches below the copper. this is more a nice holder for a simple pour over coffee.

I would be more concerned about the epoxy since most pipes in your home are coper. now there would be a concern since you may be changing the acid levels and with and heat that may be in issue but not a big deal since this one you are only coming into contact with glass and paper.

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TimF10 (author)cinemarshall2016-02-02

The water lines in your home are most likely copper. Do you worry about drinking water that comes from the faucet?

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DavidP256 (author)TimF102016-02-06

Water is not acidic, coffee is. The copper leached is unhealthy, but its not touching the coffee so meh.

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Samec2002 (author)einnor122015-10-17

You drink water from copper pipes

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samurai1200 (author)Samec20022015-10-17

This.

Also, at no point is there anything you are consuming coming in contact with the copper....

author
holotropic (author)2016-02-03

It's well known there are 2 foods that can be safely cooked on copper: chocolate and coffee.

author
sonuvadunham (author)2016-02-02

Just use the tubing cutters to cut the pipe, no need to use pliers. Tubing cutters cut pipe.

author
Coffeinated (author)2015-02-10

Isn't that rather a coffee filter holding device than an actual coffee maker? I mean... it does not make coffee, right? So one could argue that it could be easier to put the funnel right into a coffee jug where it belongs.

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Makmullin (author)Coffeinated2015-02-13

Yeah, why bother with filtering the coffee, or even putting water in it? Just eat the grounds and drink some hot water. :)

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Sierra Alpha (author)Makmullin2016-02-02

Eat the raw beans! It'll be nore time efficient and will make you tougher...

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Sierra Alpha (author)Makmullin2016-02-02

Why even grind it?

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Samec2002 (author)Makmullin2015-10-17

:)

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tpirt (author)2016-02-02

to all the health nuts complaining about this being dangerous or toxic. Let me just say how do you think water is delivered to your house? By Copper or cast iron pipes and if for some reason you are paranoid still about copper well then make it out of plastic or some other tubing. Wow its not that hard this is a great project I'm definitely making one out of copper.

author
wingnut86 (author)2015-10-17

Keep in mind that there are great foam insulation options made for copper pipe to insulate it in ceilings or crawl spaces. The stuff is similar to the Pool Noodles found at Wally World, etc. Cut a few short pieces to insert the standing or supporting copper pipes into, and Voila, now it takes a coffee filter enclosure, pasta colander or other accessories. AND, it will keep them from slipping all over the place as well. Popular colors are gray and black:-)

author
NightHawkInLight (author)2015-02-13

Bummer, I was considering something similar as my next video. Oh well. Nice job!

author

Now you have to figure out how to make one out of grass and tree bark. :D

(Love your youtube channel, congrats on 1M.)

author
feathergwyn (author)2015-10-16

Very creative! I might even try used copper to have another finish! or even torching on another patina! (not sure the reaction the epoxy would have) but maybe torching would be better for a soldered one. ) there are other ways to give metal a patina, tho, to speed up a "natural" type aged one, without just leaving it outside all winter, you can get a pail of sawdust, and use one part ammonia, and one part vinegar. and submerge in the mixture with sawdust, for as long as it appears to be necessary 24 hrs? or longer? I learned that from a bronze sculpture teacher!

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Kate Popoff (author)2015-10-15

Why not use compression fittings or the push fit ones then you don't need solder or epoxy

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Kate Popoff (author)Kate Popoff2015-10-15

Love it though, looks very cool

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DarrinM1 (author)2015-08-06

For those who want to try their hand at soldering the joints. It is pretty easy to do and just a few practice joints and you will have it. Watch some tutorials on youtube and understand what the flux is for and you will be fine. The heat can alter the copper color, one thing to keep in mind. But you don't have to worry about water leaking. Alternately you could use the copper glue they sell for piping.

author
whopoder (author)2015-03-11

Very useful!

Thanks!

author
CharlesD2 (author)2015-02-25

what are the test tubes for? I plan on making one of these but instead I am going to use PCV pipe or electrical conduit. How much would you charge at a craft show for one of these?

author
GeekTinker made it! (author)2015-02-16

I modified the design a bit in order to make it into a multi-tasker. It was a gift to my lady. She loves it. It is very sturdy and she keeps coming up with more uses for it.

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Exocetid (author)2015-02-11

You have discovered how nice HD/Lowe's/ACE copper pipes can be when they are shined up...but I am wanting a bit more. Sort of like Amanda Freitag on Chopped when she says, "I was looking for a bit more sauce, or a crunch element." What I would like to see is a smoothing of the joints to elevate or minimize that plumbing look. This is a cute Instructable, but take it up a notch and knock it out of the park.

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The Green Gentleman (author)2015-02-11

I think some folks aren't reading carefully, and thing that the water goes through the copper pipes. This is about as chemically innocuous as it gets. And it looks purty.

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uncle frogy (author)2015-02-11

I can see that using glue carefully means that there is nothing visible just the copper pipe even so the joints do not have to hold water under pressure so they would be much more forgiving..

I do like things that can show a little post apocalyptic / mad inverter design elements

keep up the work

uncle frogy

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yrralguthrie (author)2015-02-10

Now this project I like. Not really a reason for it, since you could just hold the funnel over the cup and pour the water, but kind of neat. But epoxy is messy and hard to clean up. Maybe use locktite? It's actually made to use in the absence of air, so should work fine for those joints. Easy to clean up, strong enough to keep things from just falling apart.

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macgyver71 (author)2015-02-10

Great instructable! I have plenty of pipe laying around, think I'll be doing this very soon. :)

Curious...I can just solder the pipes, cant I? It's lead-free that I use for my still.......uh, "full sized distillation model", so it should be plenty safe (even though the coffee doesn't touch the joints, figure playing on the side of caution can't hurt).

author

It's no more toxic than soldered copper water pipes in most buildings.

author

yep

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valkgurl (author)2015-02-10

RE:::: Silver being a "safe" metal---Well--sorta. Depends on a few things such as the quality and purity of the silver--it's not all equal. And silver is a MIX of metals. For silver PLATE or silver COATED there is a deposit of silver over either a base metal or in a higher priced item it would be a COPPER base. Often you can see the copper showing thru a plated item after years of wear; you can have these re-silvered at a jewelers. Eating from solid copper or silver with a lot of copper showing can be a problem---not if you are eating something like a pastry but anything with tomato or eggs etc. This is also why so many of the older serving pieces had a glass liner---this protected both the silver AND the food.

On newer silver there are risks with NICKLE being a big part of the newer "coatings"==this has a potential to cause serious reactions in allergic people. Some silver and gold items (white "gold" anyone?) will have a RHODIUM coating that can also cause reactions. This is often seen on those blindingly WHITE silver items mass produced. Mexican "silver" is notorious for being impure and causing reactions.

Copper cookware will have a "tin" lining that protects you FROM the copper but allows the lovely look and great heat conduction. If you have older copper pots that have copper showing thru this tin lining you can have them re-tinned--it is worth it. The one item you use in cookery that should be un-lined copper is a mixing bowl used mostly for beating egg whites; even over a double boiler this will only give you tiny trace amounts of copper and helps the egg whites beat better than anything.

Older Revere Ware pots n pans have MUCH thicker copper and much thicker and better quality stainless---well worth seeking out on eBay etc.

author
kakashibatosi (author)2015-02-10

How long did it take for the full cup off coffee to get through the grounds?

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Spokehedz (author)kakashibatosi2015-02-10

I'm going to guess about 5 minutes from first pour to last drop. Look up "Pour over coffee" for times/recipies on youtube.

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tkjtkj (author)2015-02-10

As they say in France: Tres elegante ! but of course they do have those fancy french keyboards with the accent marks ;)

Very nice ..and thoughtful too, using glass spout of funnel to avoid copper contact.. Also epoxy was 'green of you' I imagine, though not knowing the degree of 'greenness' of the making and degradation of epoxy ... The bird in the bush (solder) is enough to avoid it in any kitchenware ..

NICE job: very functional, great improvement over those 'sit on the cup filter holders', simple construction, and elegantly beautiful.

(Some might give it a coat of clear lacquer after the polishing.. will greatly delay the inevitable discoloring of copper). I'd not hesitate to give you the 'PaperClip Award' , were there such a thing ;)

author
Too Many Projects (author)tkjtkj2015-02-10

If you are afraid of soldered copper in your kitchen, stop using the hot and cold water because your house plumbing is most likely soldered copper.

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ArtificerMade (author)tkjtkj2015-02-10

I have to ask... How was using epoxy the 'greener" choice? I don't begrudge his use of epoxy for the reasons he gave (easier for many, fewer tools to buy, etc...) but we're talking about an hazardous combination of petrochemicals and phenols. Solder, on the other hand, is a mixture of tin, silver, and maybe a little bit of antimony and/or bismuth; all things that exist in nature already.

author

Since the glass doesn't make contact with the coffee, can you to about using just plain old PVC?

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johnlax27 (author)2015-02-09

Soldering the copper pipe would be cooler and more traditional

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macgyver71 (author)johnlax272015-02-10

Think that's the route I'll be taking when I make this. 20 years of helping steamfitter father-in-law who is OCD has taught me to make a "pretty solder joint" (like chrwei mentioned) as 2nd nature

author
BladeRunner759 (author)johnlax272015-02-10

And more difficult

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Bio: HomeMade Modern is an online design source that publishes easy-to-follow, DIY recipes for creating modern home furnishings. We provide creative ideas for making affordable alternatives ... More »
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