Saturday, May 23, 2009

Making a copper rain chain......


I decided to replace one of our downspouts with a copper rain chain. After shopping for them, I decided they were much too expensive to buy, so me being me, I decided to make one. I priced several of the style that I ended up making and they ranged from about 13-16 dollars a linear foot. My chain is about 18 feet long so it would have been at least 234 dollars. I ended up spending 50 on copper and I had a soldering iron and solder on hand. I purchased 1/4 inch copper tubing (the same stuff used to run a water line to your ice maker) in 5 packages of 20 feet. I carefully uncoiled it into a straight line....be careful not to make any kinks in the copper. I used a spray paint can to coil the tubing to my desired ring size. I just held one end and rolled the can along the tubing until it is all tightly coiled around the can.


Slide the coil off of the can and cut the coil in to chain lengths. Make sure you make your cuts parallel with each other and it will make soldering easy later. Snip down the length of the whole coil.
Solder the links together. I found it easier to use the soldering iron over a torch and made my chain in an alternating double and single link pattern. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity......the electrical conductivity hopefully will not be a problem, but its ability to conduct heat certainly will....wear thick gloves! Add links until you reach your desired length. I removed my downspout and pushed the top link up through the hole where the downspout attached to the gutter. I had a one foot piece of 1/2 inch copper pipe (it was scrap and just about anything will work) that I used to anchor the chain. I slid the pipe in the gutter and through the top link of the chain to hang it in place.
I purchased a copper pot used to coil a garden hose. I picked this because it has a hole for the hose to exit the pot. I pointed the hole away from the house and filled it with landscape rock.
Done....it has already started to patina to the traditional green but I am experimenting with some leftover copper to try some different acids to see what color of patina I can get. Now I am just waiting for the next rain to see how it sounds.....

5 comments:

Kim said...

Another awesome project, babe. Great job.

Marcony said...

Its feature are amazing and gives an amazing look. thanks for sharing.
http://www.rainchainsworld.com/

Cherie said...

Posted this on Pinterest! Awesome idea!

Vinay said...

You can add extra punch to your yard if you have two or more chains, especially if they reach into a small copper basin. http://www.monarchrainchains.com

KayzKreationz said...

Thanks so much for this. I have wanted one of these for so long and they are so expensive. But I work with copper for jewelry and make stained glass, so this will be great to do with either my soldering iron or my torch. Can't wait to try it.