Instructables
Picture of Penny Desk!
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My hubby John and I made this fun penny desk for my office. The pennies are covered in bar top epoxy, and it isn't nearly as heavy as you might think. The process is a little tedious, but not overly difficult except for the wrapped edges, which you can always skip. Keep reading to see the step-by-step instructions.

Also, this is my very first Instructable, so my apologies if I manage to mangle it horribly. ;)


My original post regarding this desk can be found over on my blog Epbot. If you like geeky girly stuff, please drop by to say hello!
 
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Step 1: Material Girl

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First and foremost, you'll need lots of pennies. I think we used about $35 for the desk, which is approximately 40 by 22 inches. Don't have a massive change jar handy? Just swing by your local bank.

I polished half of our pennies with Tarn-X. It's super easy to use: just pour it over the coins and then rinse. Polishing some of the coins gives the end result a pretty mix of shiny and tarnished finishes.

Step 2: Prep & Landing

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John built my desk from scratch to fit the space we needed, but you could use a pre-existing table top or desk no problem. We painted it black before starting to set the pennies.

Start placing your pennies on the front edge, securing them with a small dot of super glue. We clamped a straight edge ruler to guide our first line, and bent our first line of coins to fit around the rounded edge of the desk. You don't have to do this, though: you could place the pennies just on the top, and snip them in a straight line.
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NIce job and good use of the penny. Makes cents.
Pun intended?
:)
midnite171 year ago
How did you bend the coins around the edge after they were super glued? I've been trying to do this project, and ended up using a vice and hammering the coins over, which gave some really unreliable results.
I think they were bent first and then glued onto the rounded front of the table edge. The ring was used as a form and the vicegrips were used to bend the coin to fit the curve of the ring, so they all were an identical radius bend.
JesusGeek1 year ago
Isn't this illegal?
No, it's not illegal. You can do anything you want with coins or paper money as long as your purpose doesn't have anything to do with defrauding anyone or counterfeiting.
bobzjr2 years ago
Thanks for posting this inspiring Instructable. I was thinking of doing one with lego bricks. Do you think that would work, or do you think the Lego "studs" would prove to be problematic? For example, would it require multiple coats of the resin? Would multiple coats of resin work well? (if needed)

Keep up the good work!
Epbot (author)  bobzjr2 years ago
Hmm. Well, the resin is self-leveling, but the LEGO studs are fairly shallow, so I *think* the resin would still cover them. A second layer of resin would certainly do the trick, though, if there are any pokey-parts sticking out.

Another option is to build up the sides of your surface with wooden or metal trim, almost like a tray, so that the resin will pool inside and not drip over the edges. That way you'd get a nice smooth table top in one application.

I hope you'll post a photo if you try this; I'd really love to see it!
simonb3452 years ago
Find a penny, pick it up.....

Hey look, I just found 3500 pennies...
I thought you (the creator AND the viewers) might like to look at this if you enjoy this project. These people did basically what she did here, but with their kitchen floor tile!
http://www.curbly.com/users/diy-maven/posts/6849-tiled-penny-floor
blodefood2 years ago
You might want to do this. The penny will be phased out in Canada in late 2012.
mary candy2 years ago
Beautiful Job !
fridelain2 years ago
Thought you'd like to know. TL;DR: It's against the law.
http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=426715
nerys fridelain2 years ago
Incorrect. it is not against the law. its only against the law to "deface currency" is there is an intent to defraud.

this is why where's george stamps are legal and why penny smashers are legal and why making "coin jewelery" is legal and why this table is perfectly legal.

Please stop propagating that myth.
Epbot (author)  nerys2 years ago
Thanks for pointing this out, nerys. I initially had a paragraph in my intro about the legality of coin craft, but then took it out because I didn't think it'd be an issue here. Guess I was wrong! (It still amazes me how many people think this could be illegal with all the penny smasher machines out there.)
J-Five Epbot2 years ago
Well you don't need to use pennies; you could use buttons, old playing cards or any other small things. They could work.
you wouldnt do thi table because it againt the law?
use in an open space, use a respirator and common sense. use safly.
It's against the "law" to deface currency... and I am SO going to do this for a small table... in Mexico! lol... I think I'd be safe from prosecution here. ;-D
tjesse2 years ago
I voted for you, too bad your going to prison for life! Just kidding! I love when nameless, faceless experts on all things come out of the wood work. I hope the feds don't throw the book at you!. Someone said they are going to make a frame, that seems more practical for me.
ctrejo2 years ago
I hope you looked through the pennies first for old wheat/ Indian head pennies lol
Epbot (author)  ctrejo2 years ago
I did! And then I mixed them in at regular intervals throughout the desk. :D I also planted a Bahamian penny right smack in the middle. (It's the same copper color, but with a pretty starfish design.)
ctrejo Epbot2 years ago
nooooooooo! those are worth money!! :P I hope there werent any rare ones cause imma be sad lol
Me, too, ctrejo! I used to have a HUGE collection of wheat pennies, as well as some 1942 lead pennies. My older sister broke open the container and put them all thru a coin-star machine, and ...poof! ... gone. BROKE MY HEART!! I've forgiven her, though. :o)
lisagems2 years ago
Okay, everybody who's jumping on the OMG This Is Illegal train. Chill.

Have you never dropped 2 quarters and a penny into a little hand cranked machine? It's a rolling mill which imprints an image of some particular attraction onto and squished and elongated penny. These machines are ALL over the country, at various attractions large and small, there's even one on an overpass north of Chicago that prints and image of the skyline. Brookfield Zoo, the San Diego Zoo, most museums, every amusement park in existence, including both US Disneys have these little souvenir makers. Do you actually think Disney would put itself at risk from the Federal Government over a squished penny?

The deal is, you cannot melt them to recycle the metal, so as to extract the value of the metal from the coin. And these days, it really wouldn't be worth trying, anyway. The micro thin copper coating of a zinc blank doesn't melt, it burns. Impressively.
Mar HK lisagems2 years ago
It depends on the country. In Canada, it is actually illegal to deface the coins. Those little machines use blanks instead of pennies.
lisagems Mar HK2 years ago
Okaaaaay...

The blogger lives and writes in the US. And not even one of the US/Canada border states. Not even a US/Mexico border state. So, it's pretty much a given that the laws in question are US laws. I'm saying the the blogger in question is not breaking any US laws. No disrespect to Canada or anything, but totally meaningless to the discussion.

Personally, I think Canada has the right of it. If you allow something small, it's harder to stop something large. But, in the US, what the blogger in question did does not violate any laws, anymore than the rolling mill coin smashers do.
build522 years ago
awesome! got my vote.
FrozenIce2 years ago
ohh look!! a penny!!
where, I can't find it
XD
bmelton12 years ago
I will do this with pennies from the year my Wife and I were born.....1972.
Good luck. JK
Pennies before 1982 were 95% copper and 5% zinc, and are worth approximately 2.5 cents (see www.coinflation.com).
Perhaps I will do a frame for one of our wedding pictures.
A picture frame! That's a great idea! One could also make a frame for a baby shower gift! Love that!
That's a brilliant idea! About how big is the frame?
That's for the pure copper value.

This goes back to the legality of removing the coins from circulation without a permit from the Feds...
Say What?
The older pennies are worth more as copper scrap than they are as currency, but it is illegal to destroy them without a permit from the government.

From what I understand, there is a large community of people that are trying to get permission to legally remove large quantities of 95% copper coins from circulation so they can sell them for the copper value. They actually trade rolled coins for their copper bullion value as if they were ingots...
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