Make your father a rustic looking copper buckle for fathers day. This can be done with any design you want it is very easy to adapt to any design you like.
Materials and tools needed:
- Copper pipe 3/4" diameter
- Copper sheet metal ( I used old copper gutter because I had a piece laying around)
- Metal sheers
- Metal files
- Blow torch
- Pliers ( preferably needle nose)
- Vice ( not necessary but definitely useful)
- Copper wire
- Steel Wool
* Make sure your father has a belt that can interchange buckles. Or buy him one.
Step 1: Making the Back Piece
1)Cut a section of copper pipe about 2 " long.
2)Use the metal sheers to cut along the length of the pipe.
3)Use the needle nose pliers with the vice or another pair of pliers to bent the metal so that it is sort of flat.
4) Hammer the metal flat and use a file to remove any sharp edges.
Step 2: Adding Wire to Hold Belt
1) cut out a a U shaped grove in the end of the pipe that is 2" long. Leave a 1/4" of copper on either side. The U shape in mine was about 3/4" deep.
2) Bend a length of copper wire in half so that it touches it self along the entire length.
3) Put the wire on the back plate over the U so that the two "tabs" stick out past the wire a bit.
4) Using the pliers bend the tabs over the wire so that they surround the wire and there is still a bit of the u shaped space left. The wire may be a little loose in the tabs but this will be fixed later.
Step 3: Making the Design
1) Trace out your desired design on the sheet metal. In my case I had the letters D, A, and another D.
2) Next use metal sheers to cut out the design.
3) File the design down to just the right shape and remove any burrs that may be on it. The design may bend and warp. If this happens just use the hammer to gently hammer it flat again.
Step 4: Making the Back
1) Cut a length of wire about 2" long.
2) bend the wire in half just like you did with the first wire.
3) Make a bend in the wire that is less then 90 degrees. The side with the loop should be around a 1/4" long.
4) The part of the wire that doesn't have the loop should be separated so that it makes a V shape.
The back piece is now ready for soldering
Step 5: Soldering the Front of the Buckle Together
1) Place the back piece on a piece of wood with the design placed where it should be on top of the back piece.
2) Use the blow torch to heat up the piece.
3) Turn off the blow torch
4) Use pliers to lift up the parts of the design and then place a bead of solder under them.
5) lay the design back down on the solder and apply pressure with the pliers as the metal cools.
* Please be careful with the blow torch it is very HOT!!*
* Also be careful with the copper as it takes a while to cool down.*
Step 6: Soldering the Back
1) Place the v shaped part on the back of the buckle so that it is centered.
2) Make sire that the folded it of copper wire is in place in the tabs.
3) Heat up the copper with the blow torch.
4) Turn off the torch and apply solder next to the centered wire. The solder should make good contact with the wire and the back plate.
5) Next apply solder to the wire in the tabs. Apply solder down the crack between the folded wire and under the tabs.
6) Try not to move it and let it cool.
* Again please be careful with hot things.*
Step 7: Finishing the Buckle
1) Start with a file to remove any rough edges and excess solder. You may round the corners if you like.
2) Use steel wool on the buckle until you have the look you want.
If you want a really shiny buckle you should use use very fine sand paper and then use a polishing wheel and polishing compound to finish it off.