Make a Ring by Melting Pennies.

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Introduction: Make a Ring by Melting Pennies.

About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.
!!!Caution!!! Melting pennies will release Zinc Oxide fumes which cause flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, nausea, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pains, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough. Use a well ventilated area with power assisted ventilation to avoid breathing these fumes.



That being said, this is ring made from pennies. You can smelt the copper coating off leaving you with zinc. Pennies minted after 1983 are all made like this.



You don’t have to have a lathe to do this. You could always hammer the ingot flat and follow the nickel ring instructions. A surprising thing is how lite it is. My wedding ring is the same size weighing 8 grams. This ring weighs in at 3.





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Step 1: Smelt

smelt 1 (sm lt). v. smelt·ed, smelt·ing, smelts. v.tr. To melt or fuse (ores) in order to separate the metallic constituents.

I placed 10 pennies on a spoon and heated them with a propane torch. The spoon was held with locking pliers, which was held by a wooded clamp. Once the zinc liquefied I removed the copper with a metal probe (I used a light tester I had near by).

I then poured it into a section of ½” pipe and let it cool off.

Step 2: Cut a Ring Blank

Here I machined the ends off the blank then drilled a hole through it. I chucked the same drill bit into the lathe. Next I wedged the blank on by placing a plastic bag over the bit. Finally the outside was machined.

Step 3: Size the Ring

To expand the blank I hammered it over a pry bar. I started out with a small bar then moved up sizes as the ring expanded. To get to my ring size I eventually had to hammer over a ½ socket bit.

Of course to get your size simply stop hammering once it fits.

Step 4: Polish

I evened out the ring with a file. I then spun it on a ½” socket bit and sanded it with 1000 grit then 200 grit sandpaper.

Lastly I buffed it on a buffing wheel.

Thanks for reading.

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341 Discussions

1
20-Below
20-Below

8 months ago

I guess most people here don't realise that most white baby nappy / diaper rash creams are made almost entirely of grease and zinc oxide ? I think one generic brand is called 'zinc oxide cream'...

0
Frotescue
Frotescue

Reply 2 months ago

There is a difference between getting a substance in your lungs and rubbing it on your bum. When you go to a sandy beach, you can roll around in all the lovely white silica there, but chronic exposure to silica dust in your lungs will set you up for silicosis, COPD and a number of other unfortunate conditions.

6
yrralguthrie
yrralguthrie

8 months ago

Melting pennies is not smart. The fumes from zinc are quite harmful.
However, it is NOT illegal. People are quoting this law. \
82.1 Prohibitions.
Except as specifically authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury (or designee) or as otherwise provided in this part, no person shall export, melt, or treat:
(a) Any 5-cent coin of the United States; or
(b) Any one-cent coin of the United States.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 31, Subtitle B, Chapter 1, Part 82, Section 82.1

HOWEVER!!!!

They don't bother reading the complete law.

Section 82.2 of that law lists the exceptions. Here’s the one of interest:

(b) The prohibition contained in § 82.1 against the treatment of 5-cent coins and one-cent coins shall not apply to the treatment of these coins for educational, amusement, novelty, jewelry, and similar purposes as long as the volumes treated and the nature of the treatment makes it clear that such treatment is not intended as a means by which to profit solely from the value of the metal content of the coins.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 31, Subtitle B, Chapter 1, Part 82, Section 82.2

0
MOCMaster
MOCMaster

Reply 7 months ago

Actually, it IS illegal based on that regulation. 82.2 lists -exceptions- that provide criteria for situations that is is legal. Remember, exceptions arent the norm. They're called exceptions for a reason.

0
sswift
sswift

Reply 2 months ago

Actually, it's not. This instructable falls under numerous exceptions to the illegality the opposite of illegal is Legal.
The law gives the provision for the uses in education, amusement and jewelry. It pretty much only bans Scrapping the coins (which is appealing to some because they cost more in metal than they are actually worth, this can be skirted by scrapping the new item which is no longer a coin but it's not worth it.

These exceptions state when it would be legal even without permission of the Secretary of Treasury, any other time you need their permission. It's not exactly something they would like but it most certainly is legal to do this as it was mildly educational and for jewelry

2
charger38rt
charger38rt

8 months ago on Step 4

1000 then 200, dont you mean 200 then 1000?

0
F4tboy77
F4tboy77

Reply 8 months ago

i think he mean 1000 then 2000 grits

0
vbanaszak
vbanaszak

Reply 8 months ago

Yet you can go to National parks and for a fee get your pennies squished into a souvinere. Since money has no actual value other than perceived, I don't think it is a problem. They will print more.

0
Irritable_Badger
Irritable_Badger

Reply 8 months ago

Nothing has value beyond what it’s perceived to have (perception). In the case of currency or something you are using as trade the item has to have equal perceived value on both sides of the trade. I don’t trade Bitcoin because I perceive it as having no value, therefore it’s worthless to me, regardless of what the other person says it’s worth. Government currency simply tells the user how much value the government ascribes to it.

4
aking14
aking14

Reply 8 months ago

'It is against the law in the United States to damage coins.' Key word in the law is fraudulently. If your purpose isn't to commit fraud with the coin, you're fine.

1
maxman
maxman

8 months ago

If you destroy money, doesn't it make all the existing money that much more valuable?

0
charger38rt
charger38rt

8 months ago

You get f a zinc oxide off melting a penny, were not welding it!!!

0
yrralguthrie
yrralguthrie

Reply 8 months ago

Say what? You want to try that again?

Beautiful ring, but just so you know it's illegal to melt pennies.

0
AnthonyM335
AnthonyM335

Reply 1 year ago

No it isnt. It is illegal to "deface" money. That means putting another 0 on a 10 and trying to pass it off for a hundred dollar bill. That kind of stuff. You can melt and mangle coins all you want. Look it up.

1
JohnN3
JohnN3

2 years ago

Apparently you didn't realize that melting coins is illegal us the U.S.