Pennies minted before 1983 are made of mostly copper. With one of those and a few tools you can make a basketball tie tack. Or I can make it for you.
Step 1: Get Your Materials
I started out by doing an image search on Google. Once I picked out the ball I liked I copied and pasted it to windows paint.
I resized the image a few times and printed it out. The goal here is to print out a ball the same size as a penny.
To find a pre-1983 penny simply pull out the pennies that are the darkest in the bunch. Of the three I pulled out, two were what I wanted.
Also grab 4 paper clips, some socket bits and, a pair of pliers.
Step 2: Paper Clip Seams
Take a socket and wrap a paper clip around it as shown in the picture.
You’ll want to make a series of bends that match the seams of the ball you printed. All I did was use small sockets for the smaller bends and larger sockets for the larger bends.
Use an individual paper clip for each seam. Check the wires against the ball until they match. To help match up the wires to the penny, mark registration lines where they meet the edges of the ball.
Step 3: Emboss
Place the penny on a hard surface. Tape the formed wire over the penny using the registration marks as a helping guide.
Place a striking tool against the penny / wire and hit that with a heavy hammer. The thick metal rod, I’m using as a striking tool, is from a piece of construction equipment. It’s a pivot pin from a loader bucket.
Repeat the process until all the seams are embossed.
Step 4: Drill Press Mounting
Next comes the soldering of a wood nail onto the back of the coin. But, before you do this make the coin convex. Do this by striking the coin with the head of a carriage bolt over a scrap piece of wood.
Apply flux to the coin and nail head. Solder and mount it into a drill press.
Step 5: Polish
Spin the coin round and use progressively finer sand paper to remove the penny’s features.
I started with 100 grit followed by 400, 1000, 2000, and then polishing compound.
Keep the sand paper wet to avoid clogging the paper with copper.
Step 6: Finish Up
Heat the coin up until the solder releases the nail. Apply flux to a pin backing and solder it on where the nail was. These backings are available at any craft store.
Use a black paint pen to fill in the embossed seams, wiping away the excess with a paper napkin.
The tie tack backings are also available at the craft store.
Thanks for reading.
Finalist in the
Dremel Jewelry Contest