Solid Copper Whale

Introduction: Solid Copper Whale

About: relaxed pic

I've had these pieces of solid copper for quite awhile and always thought that they resembled the outline of a whale. So I decided to make a whale with a spray coming out of his blowhole.

The whale shaped piece of copper is from a hundred year old industrial electrical controller (more on that later), the spray is telephone landline hook up wire.


Copper contactor part, a few inches of land line telephone hook up wire, butane torch, 1/8" drill bit, cordless drill, electronic solder, bronze wire brush.

Step 1: The Pieces of the Whale

As you will see in the pictures the dimensions of the copper contactor piece, I forgot to show a height measurement, it is about one inch. Its weight is about 3 ounces or 85 grams.

I stripped the copper wire to about 1.5 inches.

Step 2: Construction

I drilled a 1/8" diameter hole about the spot where I would think the whale's blowhole would be, it's about 1/4" deep.

I placed 3 of the stripped wires in the hole and soldered them in place using a butane torch and electronic solder.

After it cooled I then cleaned the soldered area with a brass brush.

Then I cut the wires to length and slightly curved them using a wooden dowel.

Step 3: Finished Whale

I used a couple of face cloths to give the pictures an "At Sea" look.

Next step is about where the "whale" piece came from.

Step 4: A Bit of History

Way back in the early 1900's Electrical controllers were robustly built and made to take hard use and abuse.

In the first picture is a controller similar to where I got the "whale piece" from.

The second picture shows the inside of the controller, in the center of it there is a shaft that holds these contactor pieces. The handle at the top is to control the speed and direction of the motor it is controlling.

The third picture shows the schematic of the circuit of the controller.

The fourth picture is the book that I got these pictures from for this step, it was published in 1921. I knew this book would come in useful sometime.

The controller that I salvaged for the parts was once used to control a lift bridge ( saved it from the scrap bin), it had a cast iron case, several contacts and was quite heavy, about 55 to 65 pounds.

You may have seen similar controllers if you have ridden in an older style street car. Newer street cars have solid state controls.

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