Introduction: Simple Custom Copper Drawer and Door Pulls

Picture of Simple Custom Copper Drawer and Door Pulls

We recently remolded our kitchen, and in doing so, replaced the cabinets. When we went to the local hardware store, and started pricing pulls, all we got was sticker shock! Unless you want just a plain round knob you are going to pay for it. The ones we liked started around $2.50 and went on up from there, some as high as $10.00 a piece! More than our budget would allow, so, I started scrounging. What I found was some 1/2" copper pipe that had been in the weather for 3 years and had a beautiful green patina on it. All I had to do was figure out how to turn this beautiful copper pipe into a pull. This is what I came up with...

Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need

Copper Pipe
90 degree elbows (2 for each pull)
Wooden Dowel (slightly larger than the diameter of the elbow)
Epoxy
Pipe Cutter or Hacksaw
Disk or Belt Sander
Hammer
Screws
Drill and Drill Bits

Step 2: Prepairing the Parts

Picture of Prepairing the Parts
Start by cutting the pipe to the length you want your pulls. When figuring the total length, remember to account for the inch or so that the elbows will add. Once cut, debur and bevel the edge. Next cut the dowel into 1 1/2" pieces and taper one end to fit inside the small end of the elbow. You want the wood to be visible from the opposite end. The last step is to roughen up the inside of the large end of the elbow. We will later use epoxy to fix the dowels and this will help it adhere to the copper.

Step 3: Prepairing the Elbows

Picture of Prepairing the Elbows

Next, to be able to attach the pulls to the cabinets, fill the small end of the elbows with the wooden dowels. Start by mixing a small amount of epoxy and spreading it evenly on the inside of elbow. Be generous with the epoxy. Put the tapered end of the dowel into the fitting and tap it hard with the hammer. If you cut into the wood it is OK since you will be sanding the end off anyway. Find something to stand the fitting up, dowel end down, so the epoxy can flow around the dowel, and allow to cure overnight. Once the epoxy has cured cut the dowel off close to the end of the fitting. Then, using a disk or belt sander, sand the dowel flush with the fitting. You are now ready to start assembling the pulls. Simply slide an elbow on each end of the piece of pipe.

Step 4: Attaching to the Cabinets

Picture of Attaching to the Cabinets

Start by drilling the holes for the pulls. Measure from center to center of the dowels and use this to space your holes. They don't have to be perfect but must be as accurate as possible. Because of the way the pulls attach you have a little leeway with this. Just try to keep them even and straight. Since all the pulls are the same length, or very close to it,  I made a paper template to position my holes.  Next put the screws into the hole until it just barely sticks through. Position your handle on the door, using a level to keep it straight, then while holding it in place, tap the screws to mark the dowel. Using that mark as a guide drill a small pilot hole for the screw. Then simply put the pull in place and screw in the screws. Do one pull at a time to make sure your holes will line up. After attaching the first pull use a level to keep them all at the same height.  Then sit back and enjoy your new custom pulls!

Step 5: Cleaning Up

Picture of Cleaning Up

Don't limit yourself to copper. Any kind of rod or tube could be used between the fittings. How about a plexiglass tube filled with colored water. Or maybe you are a wood turner and want to make your pulls from some exotic wood. The possibilities are endless. Come on show me what you can come up with!

Thanks for reading my Instructable! 

Comments

GeorgianBay Scott (author)2016-01-26

Great job. Love copper. A suggestion, once you are finished with the copper handle, clean it well with a vinegar and salt solution, completely dry and then apply 2 or 3 coats of an exterior lacquer (spray). 20 years later and no oxidation,

LifeWarrior (author)2013-10-24

Great idea, I love the Idea of using copper pipe, they have a dozen or so different angles and shapes in this kind of tubing that could make a lot of interesting styles!

Thanks LW. I think this has lots of possibilities. I love your stuff, can't wait to see what you come up with.

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Bio: I love to build things. My love affair with destructing, constructing and reconstructing stuff began when I was very young. When I got a new ... More »
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