How to Make Jewelry From Copper Pipe

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Copper jewelry is prized for its burnished "red" color and for the belief among holistic healers that it can relieve arthritis pain. Many believe copper also has other healing properties.

Things You'll Need

  • Pipe-cutting tool
  • Various diameters of copper pipe, 1/2-inch to 4 inches
  • Cutting torch
  • Heavy leather work gloves
  • Wrap-around eye protection
  • Hammer and strike plate or anvil
  • Half-round, round and flat jewelers' files
  • Fine, 00 fine and 000 fine steel wool
  • Jewelers' rouge
  • Polishing cloth
  • Acetone or nail polish remover
  • Clear spray lacquer

Don wrap-around eye protection and heavy leather work gloves. Use a pipe-cutting tool to make 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch wide rings from 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch and 1-inch diameter copper pipe. Make 1/8-inch through 4-inch wide rings from 2-inch through 4-inch copper pipe as well.

Light the cutting torch and cut across the width of each 2-inch through 4-inch diameter ring once, so that they can be pulled partially open.

Use half-round, round and flat jewelers' files to remove and smooth all burrs and sharp edges.

Pull the large-diameter rings open until they are nearly flat strips of copper. Lay the strips on a strike plate or anvil and hammer the entire strip until it has a beaten look. Repeat burr and sharp edge removal using half-round, round and flat jewelers' files. Bend all large-diameter beaten-copper strips back into open rings.

Use fine, 00 fine and 000 fine steel wool, in that order, to polish each large-diameter and small-diameter copper ring or bangle.

Use jewelers' rouge on a polishing cloth to finish-polish each piece. Clean polished rings with acetone or nail polish remover, and a paper towel or clean, soft cloth to remove any remaining dirt and buffing compound.

Spray each piece with clear lacquer to prevent oxidation. Allow to dry completely before packaging or wearing your new copper jewelry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a large, fully-charged ABC fire extinguisher and a 5-gallon bucket of water within fingertip reach at all times when using a cutting torch.

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