I recently tore the toilet out of the half bath in my condo so I could replace the rotted subfloor below it. After rebuilding the subfloor, I felt like I needed to replace all of the hardware in the toilet before I reset the toilet so that I could be sure to never have to do it again. Trust me, working in a 30 inch by 5 foot room is not fun!
After all was said and done, I had these two seriously oxidized 3 inch solid copper screws. How could I let them go to waste. I decided to take a screw from the toilet and put it on my finger.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- rotary tool and bits
- hack saw
- screw driver
- needle nose pliers
- soldering iron or torch
- toilet bowl screw
- metal polish
- lead free solder
- clear lacquer to coat the inside of the ring
Step 2: Cut the Screw in Half
I set the screw in a vice and use a rotary tool with a cut off disc to start the cut. Then I used a hack saw to finish the cut.
Step 3: Split the Halves
Very gently, use a screwdriver to start dividing the two halves. Slowly bend each side down flat.
Step 4: Solder the Split
You will want to solder the split halves to the head of the screw at this point because, odds are, they will be a bit fragile and close to breaking off.
To solder, a torch would be the best way because, for the solder to adhere to the copper, the copper needs to be heated up.
Or, if you're like me and inexperienced with a torch, use a soldering iron to put solder where it needs to be and then heat the whole ring in the oven at about 450 degrees for a few minutes. This will fuse the solder to the copper.
Step 5: Bend the Halves
Very carefully, bend the two halves around into ring shape with two sets of needle nose pliers. Use one hand to hold and one to bend.
Step 6: Size and Solder Joint
Once you have a ring like shape, put the ring on the finger you will be decorating and mark where it needs to be cut. I used a cut off disc. Refit to your finger to check the size. Cut more as needed, or stretch to fit; you can fill the gap with solder.
Step 7: Grind Down and Shape Solder
I used my rotory tool with a wood shaping bit to grind down and shape the solder to my liking.
Step 8: Polish
It's difficult to see the difference in these two pictures, but I used a metal polish from my Dremel kit to remove all of the tiny surface scratches and bring it to a silky smooth, mirror-like finish. Just a rag, the polish and a lot of rubbing, easy!
Now just spray the ring with clear lacquer so it won't turn your finger green. :)
Second Prize in the
Guerilla Design Contest
First Prize in the
Participated in the
Burn It! Contest