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!!!Caution!!! Melting pennies will release Zinc Oxide fumes which cause flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, nausea, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pains, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough. Use a well ventilated area with power assisted ventilation to avoid breathing these fumes.



That being said, this is ring made from pennies. You can smelt the copper coating off leaving you with zinc. Pennies minted after 1983 are all made like this.



You don’t have to have a lathe to do this. You could always hammer the ingot flat and follow the nickel ring instructions. A surprising thing is how lite it is. My wedding ring is the same size weighing 8 grams. This ring weighs in at 3.





Step 1: Smelt

smelt 1 (sm lt). v. smelt·ed, smelt·ing, smelts. v.tr. To melt or fuse (ores) in order to separate the metallic constituents.

I placed 10 pennies on a spoon and heated them with a propane torch. The spoon was held with locking pliers, which was held by a wooded clamp. Once the zinc liquefied I removed the copper with a metal probe (I used a light tester I had near by).

I then poured it into a section of ½” pipe and let it cool off.

Step 2: Cut a ring blank

Here I machined the ends off the blank then drilled a hole through it. I chucked the same drill bit into the lathe. Next I wedged the blank on by placing a plastic bag over the bit. Finally the outside was machined.

Step 3: Size the ring

To expand the blank I hammered it over a pry bar. I started out with a small bar then moved up sizes as the ring expanded. To get to my ring size I eventually had to hammer over a ½ socket bit.

Of course to get your size simply stop hammering once it fits.

Step 4: Polish

I evened out the ring with a file. I then spun it on a ½” socket bit and sanded it with 1000 grit then 200 grit sandpaper.

Lastly I buffed it on a buffing wheel.

Thanks for reading.
Holly crud had to scroll down for a min to see the related instructables at the bottom is it right or wrong to fill someone's instructable that was done nicely by the way with unrelated comments ??
I can see other possibilities for melting pennies. Great Instructable!
1. Get 1982 or before pennies because they are pure copper. <br>2. One pennies weight in copper is worth $0.025 <br>3. Smelt Into Ingots <br>4. Sell for 2.5x the worth of pennies <br>5. Go to bank with money and get rolls of pennies <br>6. Repeat <br> <br>??? <br> <br>7. Infinite Money?
In the U.S it is illegal to make money off of the smelting of currency :{
It's ok if you don't get caught~...
no. It's not. Not getting caught doesn't make a wrong thing ok.
It dosent make it ok. But if ur not caught, that means no one knows. And if no one knows, u dont have too care!<br>And does anyone else think its weird its illegal to make money off of money? Or that its only nickels and pennies that are illegal to smelt?
This is a crisis in modern ethics and the cause for a lot of the problems we face as a society. I know it seems like making a mountain out of molehill kinda stuff here, but if you do something wrong and you know and you don't care because you didn't get caught... it's a problem. This is why we have banking scandles and political corruption and countless other situations where not having a foundation in ethical behavior causes the wider group of society to suffer for the practices of the few. So, yes, it does matter. Even if you're not caught, even if nobody other than you knows, even if you can't see the downside to everybody melting down pennies and selling them for copper and zinc weight. <br> <br>Ethics needs to be a required subject in high school.
I agreed with you 100% until you hit the last sentence. Starting to teach ethics/morality in high school is way to late - the habits that underline your personality have already been set. Reading, writing, arithmetic, and ethics/morality should start in grade 1/kindergarten. <br> <br>And yes, it is possible to teach basic morality without getting bogged down in the religious edicts - the core morality of all religions is pretty much the same - treat others the way you want them to treat you.
@underground carpenter <br>The core morality might be the same to some extent, but the fundamental reason for holding to it can be different. There's a great of difference between treating humans alike, holding all creatures equal, and doing what the god you believe in says you should do. Some religions would probably argue that you should treat others better than just how you want to be treated. Religion is <br>in some ways an extension of our beliefs and it is our beliefs that give rise to &quot;morals&quot;. <br> <br>You can't teach beliefs, well you can, but they don't really stick unless a person actually believes them and lots of beliefs don't hold up well when tested. <br> <br>I would argue that some of those habits reflect influence of personality which is not really going to change. One thing that is important is that parents, who can have the most significant influence on their children, teach them the right behavior (if you want to think about it that way), by example (i.e. by doing things the right way themselves). The same goes for teachers and other people. The reality is that nobody can be that way all the time, it's against human nature and is an uphill battle where you never reach the top. <br> <br>@gmyers211 <br>There's nothing particular unethical about melting coins down, it's not like you're trying to pass of lead as gold or anything. By your suggestion <br> <br>Is there really a crisis in modern ethics or simply an abundance of irrational and unreasonable laws. I'm pretty sure if they banned printed text on paper or use of the internet you'd complain, especially if they were trying to tell you what your morals should be or for &quot;National Security&quot; purposes. <br> <br>Apparent wanton disregard for rules is concerning, but hardly the measure of a person. A foundation in ethical behavior doesn't prevent you from not caring about ethics at all or in reality your ethics/morals hold the value of wealth higher than other people's lives. At best you might be better educated. <br> <br>Honestly, I think we should stop tacking more and more stuff onto high school and go back to teaching people the things they need to know to survive real life if college doesn't end up suiting them.
I'm quite aware of various religious traditions, having studied them out of an interest in understanding them better. I was deliberately simplistic, since I didn't want to bog this down in a religion discussion - not the right place or time.
I suppose, I just think you oversimplify.
We'll have to agree to disagree, since I think you are either over complicating the concept (for the venue of the conversation). Discussion of the nuances of religious faiths don't belong in the comments of an Instructable, unless the Instructable happens to be about how to fabricate a new religion. <br><br>If your real issue is that I used the Christian phrasing for the concept, don't worry. I'm hardly a Christian. I just think they worded the concept the best - one simple sentence that gets to the heart of it without pages of explanations or interpretation from clergy and scholars that feel the need to tweeze out the meaning of each and every letter of the sentence.
<p>Can we do that? Because a religion based on facts would be infinitely preferable to what we have now.</p>
Since I'm the guy that started this particular turd rolling down the hill, I wanted to point out to the few that this was not about the pennies. As some more recent posts have not mentioned the pennies at all, I am mostly speaking to the earlier posters. The statement by REA that it's ok if you don't get caught (and perhaps REA was making that statement in jest), was, at least for me, indicative of something I've seen a great deal of as a soccer coach, boy scout leader and teacher. Namely that most kids and now a great many adults feel that without enforcement, rules don't matter. If nobody sees it, it isn't a foul, or a crime or you haven't done anything wrong. I'm not wanting to get into a semantic conversation about wrong versus legal. I think we can all agree that there are things that are illegal for good reasons. One of those things would be screwing with the currency. Basic mountain militia types would argue that it's their money and they can do want they want. Purists would argue that the money is a concept symbolized by the coin or the paper and owned and backed by the government for us to use. The point of course is that it is, with noted exceptions (pennies and nickels are exempt from this in small quantities), illegal to destroy. Taking that point as given we move on to the idea of doing something illegal while knowing that it is illegal is the ethical crisis that faces society. <br> <br>For the record, I've squashed a few pennies on the railroad tracks and nobody died and world economies didn't collapse. I was 12. Now, I'm 51 and I can understand conceptually that if everybody took a handful of pennies to the railroad track to make flattened pennies it would be a problem. Just like if everybody who goes to the Petrified Forest National Park decided to pick of a fossil to take home. Sooner or later, no more fossils at the park. Everybody knows it's not ok, but people still do it. Ethical crisis. <br> <br>So while I agree that there is much to discuss, including the difference between morals and ethics and the semantic distinction of right, wrong, legal and illegal, the basic premise still exists in that people continue to do things that they know are wrong. <br> <br>When I&rsquo;m talking to scouts about ethics I usually wrap the discussion with, &ldquo;Ask yourself if you could tell your mom about what you did and not feel even a little bad. If you can do that, it&rsquo;s probably ok.&rdquo; Extending that a little, if you can do something in front of a cop and not feel like you had to hide it from him or her, then you&rsquo;re probably ok. <br>
i think that most of us can agree that this discussion has gon on much 2 far, and that it should end. Now.
Agreed
My answer be 2 quotes down
<p>I so agree with you. </p>
It all goes back to, if a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it. Does it make a noise? Who cares it still freaking fell!
Well said. Bravo!
And people claim this is a &quot;Christian Nation&quot;...yeah <br>
Someone should do an Instructable for irony. Takers?
In all due respect, making something illegal does not make it wrong. Its the morality of an individual that decides if its wrong for themselves. just because an individual has an opinion does not make everyone else wrong. if the majority of the community has the same opinion does that make it right? The people of the world used to think that the was flat. But that was their opinion because its 'round.' (technically oblong) the point is because a law is passed does not make it wrong. For example, It is legal in more states in the US legal to marry and fornicate with farm animals (either gender) than it is to marry same sex (same race.) but it is up to the individual to decide if that is morally right or not. <br> <br>Don't get me wrong, I understand where you are coming from to not burn it. Because its the national currency and the fact they say if you destroy their money they will arrest you. However its more for control, this law more so than anything else. <br> <br>Basically what i ask of you is to look at is from a morally correct stand point before telling other people their opinions are wrong.
Ok, i dont believe anyone said something illegal must be wrong (however it may have been said or hinted towards) but u are right in that point and that everyone can hae thier own opinion. However i dont beleive that as a national currency, the have any control over it or any right to say what we can or cannot do with it.<br><br>If it was mass destruction of coin, then sure thats a problem. Course they themselves destroy billions of dollars in bills every year too prevent forgeries, but i digress. If it is earned or legally obtained, then it is the right of the owner to do with it as they see fit. *National* currency does not mean that it belongs directly to the country or its goverment.<br><br> It is a label to tell countries where it came from and what it is worth there. That is my opinion and any one can dispute it, agree with it or not give a damn, either way u agree is all up to u.<br><br>........i dont think i answerd the morality part so here goes. Morality is decided by the individual. But the basis of all morals must stem from somewhere. Weither one moral code or another sticks depends on the person and may or may not change with age. I was raised to be kind to others, have patiance and to not start a fight over something stupid.<br><br>Overtime i kept with some, lost a few and slightly changed the rest. I try to be kind, i have very little patiance for what i think may be idiotic, and i cannot start a fight for whatever reason, until they swing first.<br><br>Also that thing about some states allowing animal relations but not same sex marriges......disturbing........yet i am curious to know who thinks its beter to see some guy tongue a cow, rather than tongue another man.
Very Well Said Sir
Oh man, I hope it wasn't my fault for Mrballeng's comment section to look like the comment section of a religious youtube video. XD<br><br>sorry if it was, you had a great instructable and I'm planning on finally going through with an entire instructable but i don't have a lath to smoothen and cut out the metal. Do you have any more caveman like suggestions to do the same task?
No its not ur fault so u dont need to apoligize. Its my fault in part because i like having discussions such as this.<br><br>I als blame the other 2 guys........i didnt say it was their fault, i just said i was going to blame them. =p<br><br>Huh, didnt think the back and forth would take so much space....SORRY!!
Can you teach us how to make a bullet from a Sacajawea dollar?
Love how this went from metallurgy to ethics and morality. =P
Actually in some schools it is. But if u dont have ur morals figured out by highschool and need to be taught them, then both u and ur parents are jackasses and either dont know or dont care. P.s i am not calling u or ur parents jackasses. I meant *u* in a group sense.
Ethics and morals are two different -- albeit related -- things. Someone with a strong set of morals could still act unethically, even if it's without malice or intent. <br> <br>Ethics is a sticky subject ... something that seems OK to a good, well-meaning person may not be ... you have to weigh all the repercussions of your actions. It ain't easy, but it's critical ... ethics in banking (hmm ...), in medicine, in engineering, education, business; the list goes on. It's almost never clear-cut or black and white. Even if the action is totally legal, it may be unethical, and it probably depends, to a degree, on the circumstances. <br> <br>There are college-level courses on ethics ... there's graduate level courses on ethics. Heck, there's entire degree programs on ethics out there. If you have a top-notch ethical compass by high school, then you're a profoundly better person than me or anyone else in this world.
Uv lost me a little. If ethics and morals are related yet different, how do they differ?
<p>A copper penny is worth more than a penny, and a nickel is worth more than five cents in nickel weight, but that's where it stops.</p>
I made a ring from a 1947 &quot;Silver&quot; quarter. I drilled a 1/2&quot; hole to begin and tapped forever with a doming punch inside It. Trying to go too fast will crack the metal. Cool thing was I've big hands, when I finally got It to fit It was a bit over 1/4&quot; wide, and looking inside under the &quot;Ledge&quot; - that was still there after It finally fit, I could still read in God We Trust, and Liberty, on the other side United States Half Dollar I like It and I don't feel like I &quot;Sacraficed a Child&quot; in making It.
Uh, depends on your definition of wrong. Making something illegal does not necessarily make it unethical, immoral, or unfair. <br> <br>Frankly these laws are somewhat silly, if I possess metal in one form that would be more valuable as scrap I really ought to have the right to do whatever I wish with it. <br> <br>In any case, anything less than a commercial operation would be pretty hard to prove if there wasn't any good evidence. Someone who is already doing scrap work could melt a couple pounds of copper worth of pennies and as long as they were careful it would be very difficult to prove the origin of it.
That's like saying it should be ok to take manhole covers, pieces of bridges and streetlights to the scrapyard for profit. <br>The gov't spent lots or our money to put them there and they are meant to be used by all of us. <br>A coin represents value that you own but the coin itself belongs to the federal government (all of us). <br>Once you spend it it passes to someone else and isn't yours anymore.
The coin is mine and I'll do with it as I wish.
Well there you and I disagree, as far as I am concerned the coin belongs to me. Once it passes to someone else it is theirs. It is merely a sanctioned and authorized form of exchange wherein the government assigns a guaranteed value. The only real problem I have with melting such things is ethical, since I feel that it would be wrong to gain more money by selling it for raw metal for it than it's guaranteed value at that point in time. <br> <br>Manhole covers, and bridges don't belong to me. Although, if I find nails or scrap metal fallen loose from a bridge (i.e. no longer part of the whole, period) I'm not going to be over concerned with whether they own it.
The US's currency is not on the gold exchange. The US dollar (and cent) can be comparable to those coins that coal mining townspeople were paid in that are only accepted by the stores in that town. The only difference is that we can exchange our dollar for another country's currency through a currency exchange business, and some people are dumb enough to trade raw metals for coinage and IOU's (dollar bills). I believe you can't exchange money for gold or silver at banks anymore (don't quote me on that though, because I'm not too sure).<br>Also, in the case of melting it down and selling it for it's raw metal value, that is illegal. However, melting them down, creating something different (like what OP did with the ring), and selling it for a price over or under raw metal price is legal.
legal. moral. ethical. aren't the same things.

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