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10 Cool Things to Make and Do With Leftover Copper Pipe

Updated on December 15, 2012

10 Uses for Copper Tubing (and other tubing)

Copper is going for about $4 dollars a pound right now, and if you happen to have a little left over from a plumbing job, then recycling it might sound like a good idea, but when you factor in the fact that gas alone is roughly $4 a gallon as well, you can see that recycling only a small amount of copper at one time isn't as lucrative as it might seem. So what can you do with the leftover copper without throwing that money into the trash? This list will give you ideas on cool things to do with your leftover copper (although some can be used for any type of plumbing pipe) so that it doesn't see the inside of a landfill. Just remember, that with any home improvement job, if and when it gets beyond your skill level, its always a good idea to consult or hire a local plumbing professional.

1. Toilet Paper Roll Holder

Using a little bit of creativity, toilet roll holders are one of the easiest things you can make with some leftover tubing. To keep its glossy sheen, spray the final product with lacquer. Use the image to the right as a reference to build, although any design can be made.

2. Plant Protection

Take a 16” long tube, and solder or caulk a cap to one end, and drive into the ground at the edge of your garden to keep garden hoses from dragging over your flowers.

3. Wind Chime

Use the leftover pieces of copper and trim them to various lengths, drill a hole in one end, and hang. The longer the tube, the deeper the sound will be. Use fishing line to hang the chimes, and a small wooden ball hanging from the center of a wooden disc will allow the chimes to ring in the wind all day. You can use any number of pipes, and any length. High quality wind chimes purchased from various vendor's of this nature are labelled as "tuned" wind chimes, meaning that the tune the pipe plays when struck is an actual music note.

4. Simple Shims

Pipe scraps that can be pounded flat make for great shims, and depending on tube gauge, can create shims ranging from 1/16” to 3/32” thick. These shims can be used for a wide variety of home improvement projects, and is a great way to recycle the small scraps from cutting pipes to fit that can't really be used for anything else.

5. Stair Balusters

Use leftover 1” thick diameter pipe instead of wood to create your staircase balusters. Left outside in the elements, the copper will develop a verdigis patina. Make sure to check with your local building codes to make sure that this application is allowed.

6. Clean Gutters

Using a long piece of tubing, and pounding flat about 6” on one end, then bend the tip by 90° to create a rake that will reach hard to access muck in your gutters.

7. Plant Watering Wand

Use the various adaptors and elbows to make a watering wand for your high up plants. Take a length of 1/2 “ tubing, and attach a a showerhead to one end, and a connection for your hose from the other, and presto, an instant watering wand.

8. Move Heavy objects

Ancient Egyptians moved heavy boulders to build the pryamids by rolling the large stones over a bed of round tubes, and the same principal can be done at your house for heavy objects that need to be moved, such as large non-wheeled garbage cans. Lay out a layer of tubes, and roll your object across them.

9. Rot Proof Trellis/Vine Ladder

Using a handful of tubes and fitings can be the basis for a modern ladder that vine plants will love to climb. Mount or anchor tubing and fitings to the wall, and the plant will attach itself and climb naturally.

10. Vacuum Cleaner Extension Tube

This ones very helpful, and pretty cool. Take a narrow section of tubing, and duct tape it to the end of your vacuums hose to create a long, narrow extension, great for sucking spiders and cobwebs from rafters and hard to reach places (such as the under and behind furniture). Don’t use the vacuum for more than a few minutes with this attachement on, as the increased back pressure created by the narrow extension will cause extra strain on the motor.

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