Introduction: Copper Pipe Candlesticks

About: I am Hazel's Dad - this is an account where I chronicle her making. It will be handed over to her when she is old enough to run it herself.

We saw some candle holders made from copper pipe in a shop. They were very pretty but they were expensive. My Dad said we could easily make them ourselves and he would show us how to. So we went and bought some copper plumbing and we made some! That is what I like about being a maker. Instead of paying a lot of money for things you can do it cheaper and it is better because you can make them just the way you like them. I like these a lot and will be making them for people as gifts as everyone likes them.

Step 1: Gather Materials

There is very little that you need for this project - it is mostly plumbing supplies.

You will need:

  • 15mm Copper pipe
  • 15mm Copper end-feed style elbows and connectors
  • Copper pipe ends, if your design needs them - these are a lot more expensive in relation to the other parts, so you may choose to create a design that doesn't need them.
  • 22-15mm Pipe reducing couplers, one for each candle you wish to use
  • Superglue

You will also require a pipe cutter. The pipe cutter is very important as without it everything is much more difficult to do, and more dangerous. I can use a pipe cutter myself but if we had to cut the pipe with a saw I would have to ask an adult to do it for me. We had a pipe deburrer but you can easily get by without one.

Step 2: How to Cut Pipe

Cutting pipe using a pipe cutter is really easy. You just wrap the pipe cutter around the pipe and twist it round and round until the pipe is cut! The edges are not sharp and it is not dangerous. You can use a saw but it is a lot more difficult and the edges will be sharp.

When you measure out to cut in a specific place, it is important to make sure that the blade of the cutter is on the cutting line, and not the edge of the cutter! Line up the edge of the blade with your cutting line, then close the cutter and twist to cut as before.

Step 3: If You Need to Deburr

You probably won't need to deburr your pipe. That is more for if you are doing proper plumbing! But if you do end up with a rough edge a deburrer will smooth it out for you. To use the deburrer, you just put the end of the pipe in and twist it round.

Step 4: Connectors

We used two types of connectors to build our candlesticks. We used right-angle connectors that connect two pieces of pipe at 90 degrees, and T-connectors, which connect two pieces straight and then another at a right-angle. There are lots of other connectors but these were the ones we used.

The pipe reducing coupler will hold the candles so they go at the top of the candlestick.

Step 5: Plan Your Design

Your candlestick design is like a jigsaw. You will need to plan the shape and size of your design so that you can make sure that you have enough connectors and so that you know what length to cut your copper pipe to. There are all sorts of designs you can make, it is fun to plan them out! You need to make sure that the candle holder is always pointing upwards though! It can be easy to get carried away and forget.

It is also easy to forget when you are measuring that the connectors take up some of the room. So if you have one length of pipe that needs to measure the same as two lengths of pipe and connector, you need to know how much room the connector takes up.

Step 6: Gluing It Together

Once you have planned your design you can cut your pipe and glue everything together. We used superglue and it worked fine. If you were going to do plumbing, you would need to solder it which is very hard. I can solder wires on electronics but my dad says it isn't the same and is a lot more difficult. So we used superglue and it worked fine.

You have to make sure that the bits that sit on the table are perfectly flat otherwise your candlestick will wobble and that is a safety risk. It is important to fix the connectors at the correct angle, the glue dries quickly so you have to be quick!

Step 7: Finished Candlesticks!

Once you have done that, your candlestick is finished! You can polish it with lemon juice to make it shiny or you can leave it to change colour over time. The colour change is called a patina. I like the patina but I like it shiny too. My dad says you can add chemicals that will make it go other colours as well. I haven't decided what to do with mine yet so they are just their normal colour for now.

If your candles are a little bit small for the holder you can melt a little bit of wax to fix them into place. I will do that before we burn our candles but for now we just put them in to take photographs.

I hope you like my candlesticks!

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