List of Coppersmithing Project Ideas for Beginners 2021 [Updated]
Coppersmithing turns sheets of metal into functional and beautiful works of art. Thanks to copper’s workability, it only takes a few tools to begin mastering the craft.
Copper pieces are sought after by those looking to purchase hand crafted kitchen items, jewelry, and other metal accessories. Whether you are selling in person at local craft fairs, on online through social media and digital marketplaces, the following projects are sure to sell!
The ideas discussed below are ideal for beginner coppersmiths who possess the basic tools of the trade and who want to turn their hobby into a side business.
What Tools are Needed for Coppersmithing Projects?
To complete these coppersmithing projects, you will need store-bought copper sheets or scrap copper piping, a torch and fuel, solder, a vise or vise grips, hammers (ball peen and any others you like to work with), pliers, jeweler’s saw or another cutting tool, and a file or sandpaper.
Other tools and equipment may be necessary to complete a few of the projects listed, and specifics are discussed below.
Due to the beginner-friendly nature of these tutorials, any tools you do not have can be substituted for the basics you likely own already. Feel free to get creative and make use of what you already have.
Coppersmithing Project Ideas That Sell
The following are a few beginner-friendly coppersmithing projects that can be sold. Each of these projects can be modified to fit your skill level and design preferences.
1) Moscow Mule Cup
These beginner-friendly Moscow mule cups are sure to sell! They are made from inexpensive material and require very basic tools and assembly techniques.
If you are brand new to coppersmithing, then you will be able to relate to the guy in the tutorial, who uses humor and creative problem solving when faced with some beginner coppersmith woes.
The first step in making these cups is to cut a length of copper pipe down to the size you prefer. Then, split one side of the pipe down the middle and pry the pipe open with pliers. Pound the pipe into a flat sheet using a hammer.
Once you have a nice, smooth copper sheet, begin to roll it around a form that is the shape of a cup. You can use a hose clamp to speed up the process. Hammer the bottom edge of the cup inwards and solder the edges of the rounded sheet together.
Remove the form and follow the previous steps again to make the bottom of your cup. Seam the bottom to the cup.
To make your handle, flatten a 3 inch piece of copper with your hammer and fold it into a rounded shape. Attach this to your cup with a bit of solder, polish up the cup as needed, and you’re done!
2) Copper Bowl made from Scrap Pipes
Copper serving ware is all the rage in interior design, so this hammered bowl made from recycled plumbing will be great project to sell in person or online.
Begin by sawing your copper pipe down to size in a vise and cut one side in half. Heat the inside of the pipe with your torch and quench to clean it. Hammer your pipe into a flat sheet and trace a circle on the sheet in the size you would like your bowl to be.
Cut out the circle by hand or with any equipment you may have. Grind the edges smooth and begin hammering the sides and the bottom of the circular sheet to create a concave, bowl shape.
Finish your bowl by polishing and applying a layer of beeswax finish, if desired.
3) Copper Penannular Brooch
Penannular brooches are used on kilts, hats, cloaks, and other clothing. They are great little accessories to sell at cultural and historical fairs and events.
This project allows you to practice a range of beginner-friendly coppersmithing techniques with only small amounts of metal.
To begin, heat a thin copper rod and grasp it with a set of vise grips. Begin to roll the rod in on itself around a ratchet to form a circle. Cut the remaining straight end of the rod off so you are left with just the circular part.
Hammer the circle into a uniform shape, making sure to anneal often throughout this process to avoid splitting. Hammer the ends of the rod where the circle opens until those ends are flattened and widened. File down any rough edges.
Bend these widened ends in using your pilers and hammer the entire surface of the piece using a ball peen hammer. Heat and hammer a straight piece of copper rod, trim it down to size, grind the end, and file the end smooth.
Use pliers to bend the flattened end of the straight piece and attach this to the main body of the pin. Cut any extra length off the straight piece, grind the end smooth, and polish the entire pin.
4) Copper Bracelet
A copper bracelet is a super fast and simple project that is perfect for both male and female customers. The design possibilities are endless, but feel free to take inspiration from this tutorial.
Begin with a length of copper pipe and hammer it flat. Heat the piece on both sides with your torch and quench. Hammer even flatter and quench it again.
Trace and score two lines along both sides of the bracelet. These lines mark where the metal will be folded to create a simple design. Clamp the bracelet piece and fold in along the lines. Heat and quench again.
Hammer the entire bracelet with a ball peen hammer for a textured look. File down the ends of the bracelet, rounding off the corners.
The final step is to bend in the ends of the bracelet to form the shape of a cuff.
5) Copper Ring
This copper ring can be customized to your personal design preferences and uses really basic tools and techniques.
Begin by sawing down an appropriate piece of copper from a sheet using a jeweler’s saw or other cutting tool. Heat the length of copper and quench.
Wrap the piece around a small cylinder to form the shape of a ring and hammer the ends closed. Solder the ends together.
Next, clean your ring in a pickle solution and sand the surface down with sandpaper. Hammer the ring with a ball peen hammer for a textured look, or leave the surface smooth. Sand any rough edges around the ring and file them down. After a final polish, your ring is complete!
5) Copper Pendant
Another highly sellable, completely customizable coppersmithing project idea is a pendant! Pendants can be made in endless shapes and sizes and the finished look is really artistic and unique. Follow along with the steps laid out in the video, or improvise to create pieces that match your style.
The first step is to heat and quench a copper sheet in a forge (or with a torch) and quench in water. Hammer the sheet with different types of hammers to achieve various textures and designs on the surface of the metal.
Place the sheet in a vise and file down the edges. Trace out the desired shape and size of the pendants onto the metal sheet. You will be able to make many pendants from just one sheet.
Punch holes near the top of each pendant and file the edges of the holes smooth.
Cut out each pendant piece and hammer and file into the final shape. Then fire and quench the pendants one last time and attach the pendants to a length of cord or chain.