Introduction: How to Make a Miniature Plane From a Coin

Picture of How to Make a Miniature Plane From a Coin

This is an instructible on how to make a coin into a tiny plane. it doesnt really have a purpose, but its quite a cool thing to make.
i originaly made it because a guy from college said he had one is grandad had made. i couldnt find one on here, or on the internet after having a quick look, so i just went for it and this is a step by step on how i made mine. if you make one, then please post your pictures!
(the back left fin has broken of mine so thats why its missing in the photos)

Step 1: Heat and Hammer Your Coin, Then Bend It in Half

Picture of Heat and Hammer Your Coin, Then Bend It in Half

this first step is to choose your coin, i used a 10p piece for mine, (about the same size as a quarter) i choose a 10p because its silver in colour as opposed to the coppery colour of a 2p, this was purely for aesthetics, you could use any coin, but id recomend about this size.
i used a blowtorch to heat it up and hammer it out so it was flatter, slightly larger and didnt have the pictures on either size. the unheated coin is abit too thick, but be careful not to hammer it too thin. (in the picture is a 50p aswell because i hadnt decided what coin i was going to use)

once its hammered out, get the coin in a vise and bend it in half. it needs to be bent equaly so both the sides meet level at the top. once its bent, heat and hammer it again so its flat along the fold. you want to have no gap between the sides at the folded side, but it needs to have a gap at the sides that meet at the top. i forgot to take a picture of that bit and its hard to explain but it should make sense in the next step.

Step 2: Cut the Basic Shape and Unfold

Picture of Cut the Basic Shape and Unfold

now youve got your folded coin, you need to cut out the basic shape of the wings and tail.
i put mine in a vise and used a jewellers saw (very very fine hacksaw) and cut down into the rounded side. you need to cut down like i have in the picture to mark out where you want the wings and the tail fins to be. you also need to cut out a wedge on the spine to make the upright tail fin.

once youve done this, you need to 'unfold' the wings and fins. this is where the whole thing about having the gap when there sides meet comes in. i put mine so it was in a vise held by the spine, then used a chisel to bend out the wings, the picture may help here. you want to bend it out so that it looks roughly like a plane blank.

Step 3: Final Shaping and Mounting

Picture of Final Shaping and Mounting

this is the last stage, all thats left to do is to shape the blank into your desired plane shape. mine is based roughly on a spitfire.
i used the smallest files i could find to shape and polish it up abit.
i also hammered out the wings abit more on mine so they were longer and thinner.
you could spend forever doing this part using sandpaper, files, everything.
so if you finish one, post a picture!

i mounted mine on a coin i had that has a cool design, i just cut a triangle shape and bent it up, then super glued the plane to it.

good luck and thanks for reading


ReubenG1 made it! (author)2015-10-23

Thanks a lot for the instructable!

I made two, for mine I used US pennies from 1980 and 1981, they're made of copper. I found the copper really nice to work with, it didn't require any heating. They each took a few hours to make, and I'm really pleased with the way they turned out.

I look forward to hearing from you,


TinkeringTyger (author)2015-04-15

cool i like it

TinkeringTyger (author)2015-04-15

cool i like it

Planestorm (author)2013-12-06

These would also make fine tokens for board games like Monopoly.

Yobonoc (author)Planestorm2013-12-08

Yeah that's a great idea!

blueangelical (author)2013-10-08

Now that was loads of fun, much better than sitting at my desk at home working. This was 2nd attempt, 1st one I hammered it out and did it but it was too thin and broke in half, this one I just bent and cut it etc. did it cold, no heating. Worked fine on old coin. Excellent ible, cheers.

Yobonoc (author)blueangelical2013-10-11

Sweet, looks really good! I found it easy to do it without hearing as I went because it was abit of a slower process, meaning I could take more time on it.
Your welcome, and thank you for making one!

blueangelical (author)2013-10-07

Hiya, fantastic. Question please, after you've bent out the wings and fins, what do you do with the excess on the bit in front of the wings, under the cockpit place or do you just leave it and shape it, cheers.

Yobonoc (author)blueangelical2013-10-11

Yeah you can just shape and make it into the underside of the nose, that's all I've done, but you could cut it out to make a flatter underside

Mr. tony stark (author)2013-04-25

Wow! that is one small plane.

Seagrey (author)2013-04-14

Woot! I am making this for my dad for Father's Day. Thanks very much for this great idea! I was wondering if it could be..soldered to the base coin?

Canadianthunder (author)2012-11-09

is there another way to cut out the wings and tail fins without a jewlers saw

sdfgeoff (author)Canadianthunder2012-12-07

I just used a coping saw with the tiniest fretsaw blade I could find.

Yobonoc (author)Canadianthunder2012-11-09

yeah a jewlers saw is just a tiny hacksaw blade so a hacksaw would be okay i guess, it would just be a bigger cut obviously but you could counter than in your shaping before and after

Canadianthunder (author)Yobonoc2012-11-09

Ok thanks
Nice instructible

Yobonoc (author)Canadianthunder2012-11-09

you're very welcome, and thank you!

GBoss13 (author)2012-11-29

Thank you so much for this project! I've been dying to look for something to make for long time now (although I actually made this about a month ago now). I mde it similar to yours, with my own little touches. I used one US quarter, and it took a couple hours straight to make it, excluding my first failed attempt before this. I'm giving it as a gift to my girlfriend this winter :)

Yobonoc (author)GBoss132012-11-29

aah brilliant thats so cool! i love the curve in the wings!
well done!

mrlunna13 (author)2012-10-28

Nice Instructable, I really like the planes! Probably because I am a coin collector, but looking at those coins getting destroyed like that makes me cringe. I hope one day to have coins fron every country in the world. Those are very beautiful coins.

Yobonoc (author)mrlunna132012-10-29

thank you!
and i see the appeal of coins, i have quite alot myself, i try not to destroy the nicest ones!

OrionTech (author)2012-10-23

You said this doesn't really have a purpose. Sure, it does! Gaming Miniatures! Metal miniatures are ridiculously expensive. This is an awesome alternative! Plus, you can make any type of piece: planes, people, tanks, etc. All it takes is some imagination! Thanks!

Yobonoc (author)OrionTech2012-10-23

yeah i suppose you could paint them if you felt they were good enough! if you made a tank or a person id be very interested to ssee it...

johnny08 (author)2012-10-22

this is really cool!

sdfgeoff (author)2012-10-18

I see no reason to use a gas torch. I'm going to try this cold

sdfgeoff (author)sdfgeoff2012-10-18

Next time I'll shift the wings a little further back, the proportions are slightly off.

Yobonoc (author)sdfgeoff2012-10-18

aah that things brilliant! its finished really nicely! thanks for showing me!!

Yobonoc (author)sdfgeoff2012-10-18

yeah go for it, you just need to hammer it out flat so it doesnt necessarily have to be heated i guess, id be interested to see you results

sdfgeoff (author)Yobonoc2012-10-18

It's come out quite nicely. I didn't have any plane in mind, so it looks a little generic. I've got a wingspan of 17.5mm and is made of nickel. (It was a New Zealand 20 cent coin)

I'll post a pic in a few minutes when the 5min epoxy holding it to the stand is cured.

sdfgeoff (author)2012-10-18

To help splitting the wings apart use a very fine knife or razor blade.
Just push it down till the base of the wings and it will open them up by a mm or so, enough to get something to bend them with in there.

quatch (author)2012-10-17

Neat :)

In my personal experience blowtorching coins, you have to watch out for the zinc based ones. Zinc fumes are quite nasty. However, zinc-plated copper coins can be convinced to alloy to brass, which is very fun (again, fumes.).

Yobonoc (author)quatch2012-10-18

sounds interesting, and ill watch out for the zinc in future, thanks for the comment!

jaypal (author)2012-10-18

Is that a 20$00 Portuguese coin as base?!

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