Section of copper pipe
Sand paper, various grits
Soldering torch optional
Step 1: Make a Copper Sheet
Cut a section of copper pipe. If you don’t have a pipe cutter use a hack saw or other safe means.
Cut the section open with a pair of metal shears.
Use pliers to open it up and then a hammer to flatten it out.
Cut it in half.
Step 2: Make the Relief Indentation
Cut a section of coat hanger and wrap it around a circular shape. I used a 36mm socket. Bend the coat hanger in the center with a pair of plies. Bend the open ends of the hanger inward to finish the bottom. Cut off the excess.
Tape the wire frame onto the copper sheet. I used aluminum tape but only because that is what I had on hand. Other heavy tape should work fine. Place the assembly, wire side up, on a piece of wood or small loop carpet. Hammer the wire into the copper sheet evenly and all the way around.
You should now be able to see the shape of the wire frame showing through on the other side. Now lay the assembly wire side down. Use a small ball peen hammer struck by a larger hammer to make a relief indentation of the wire frame. See the pictures. Keep on hammering until the indentation is fairly smooth.
During this step the rocket will bow. To counter this, place the assembly on a flat surface and use a punch to gently hammer the wire frame. Do this until the rocket is flat again.
Step 3: Make the Fins
Cut the corners off of the upper portion of the copper sheet. Use one of the corners and shape a fin. Place the fin on both sides of the rocket and outline it.
Cut the rough shape out with metal shears. Leave a tang at the bottom of the rocket. Use pliers to bend the tang back.
Step 4: Make the Bubble Cockpit
Use progressively larger drill bits to enlarge the cockpit window. Use a cutting bit to further the expand the hole.
Cut a old CD in half and use tape to remove the silvering. Place a piece of the CD over the back side of the rocket. Use a heat gun to soften the CD so that forms in and through the window.
Use a cutting bur to shape the CD window down to size.
Step 5: Make the Back Side and Flame
Trace the rocket on the other half sheet of copper. Cut the shape out with metal shears. Use a cutting bit to cut a slot that corresponds with the tang on the other half of the rocket. Use rough sand paper to texture the flame in a downward design.
Make the flame concave with the head of a carriage bolt and a hammer against a scrap piece of wood. Bevel the edges of the flame with a file or sand paper.
Step 6: Add Accents
Solder on the third fin.
Use a socket to form a circle in copper wire. The wire I’m using came from my wife’s scrap booking supplies. It can be found at any craft store. Solder the wire circle over the widow. Sand off any excess solder.
Use super glue to set the CD bubble window in the cockpit.
Now the back side. Use a paper clip to form a picture holder as seen in the picture. Solder the clip in place. While you have the torch handy, discolor the flame of the rocket with heat.
Step 7: Polish and Assemble
Sand out tool marks with 400 grit sand paper. Go on to 1000 grit and then polishing compound and a polish wheel. I think leaving some tool marks adds character.
Use the back side of the rocket for a template. Cut out your picture and place it in the clip. Set the tang in the back side. Use a paper clip to make a jump ring. Drill a hole at the top of the rocket and connect it together with the jump ring.
If you want you can drill an additional hole in the tang and use a ring to secure it closed.
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