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Thread: Cheap copper bling for building Mods.

  1. #1
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    Cheap copper bling for building Mods.

    This is aimed at the one or two people who want to build their own mods. Some of the best looking works are blinged up with copper and brass. After my last attempt with the Vamo (Thanks Dalmas) I started another, with one eye on my Mk1 Provari, but that will be a work in progress, due to cowardice, and the lack of suitable tools to make an accurate cut in the stainless steel.

    Anyway I went walkabout today looking for copper and brass stock. Nada, at least at a price I wanted to pay, which is around three dollars. Local model shop has designer brass strips in blister packs starting at eighteen dollars for a couple of 100mm strips. Way out of my price range for bling. I had a look at the possibility of stripping the copper flashing from the roof of the local church, but it was way too high for easy access.

    Ok, back home and had a look around the shed and garage. I came across an off cut of copper tube. Really handy stuff if you want to plumb in a garden tap but not a lot of use otherwise.

    Went in for a whiskey, and cheese toasty, as rational thinking is easier on a full stomach. There was something lurking in the back of my mind telling me not to dismiss the tube.

    Now from a past project I had purchased a cheap sheet metal “Nibbler” that attaches to the drill and cuts thin sheet metal. Perfect. The images tell the story. This is a good time to dig out all the cheap screwdrivers that are f@ked, but have been hidden away as they may come in usefull. The handles can be used to progressively open the cut until a point is reached where it can be flattened. I have a selection of rubber mallets which are handy to avoid bruising the material.

    I will finish it tomorrow as I just hit my finger and I cant see much due to the tears!!
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  2. #2
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    When working with copper you can anneal it (heat it to a dull red) and it will soften up, copper also "work hardens" so as you bend and shape it it will get less and less malleable. Just be sure not to anneal it too often as you may find that the finished product is too soft.

    Door jams are also great for marking straight lines on tubes.

  3. #3
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    Door jams are also great for marking straight lines on tubes.

    I got lots of straight stuff for marking the straight lines. My big challenge is CUTTING a straight line!!
    MrGruffy likes this.
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  4. #4
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    Your post got me remembering about one of my long dead uncles, who was an old-school plumber. He used to make us kids little animals etc out of copper tubes and other bits and bobs when we were younger.

    Would sit there heating it up, cutting it with tiny little cutters, and shaping it. And he was a heavy smoker. If he was still alive I imagine he would be into this with a vengeance.

    Best thing he ever made was a giraffe around an inch and a half high out of a piece of copper tube. So it's valuable stuff right there Robray. And the stuff is everywhere (thinking salvage) and it's cheap enough to buy new too, for small projects.
    mrsgruffy likes this.

  5. #5
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    And the stuff is everywhere (thinking salvage) and it's cheap enough to buy new too, for small projects.

    I couldn't agree more. Like your uncle, the only reason I play around like this is occupational therapy. The value of this stuff is zero, but it taxes the old brain, so some value there. It also keeps me out of the kitchen, for which the wife is eternally grateful!!!
    mrsgruffy likes this.
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  6. #6
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    Loving your thinking Robray. Just this morning I was in the shed rustling through some copper gas tubing looking for inspiration for the next project.
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  7. #7
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    I have a photo of my uncle somewhere sitting in front of a raised coil of copper tube, with flute in hand and a towel wrapped around his head like a turban, looking for all the world like a snake charmer. Was a funny bugger. And now my cousin, his grandson, plays with metal etc, and makes some awesome designs.

  8. #8
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    I just wish I had an artistic side to me. I am all for practical, but looking around the web, there are some superbly talented amateurs around. Some of the copper jewelery is exquisite. I might investigate further as copper and brass are well within my capabilities. (I think)
    Because I trust no-one Who tells me FACTS with no proof

 

 

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