Working with copper pipe

ChurchStreetGardner's picture

This past weekend I built an arbor out of 1/2 inch copper pipe. I found a product called Copper Bond made by the makers of Super Glue that works wonders. However it is a little messy and sets quickly so you have to work fast. I have also spotted a different copper glue product that may work better for us slower workers at the local Tractor Supply. I would like to try my hand at different designs but seem constrained by the limited type of connectors, reducers, elbows, and t's. Anybody got any good ideas for different connectors?

the country gardener's picture

(post #11540, reply #1 of 12)

How exactly do you want them to be different? You've mentioned tees, ells and reducers, is there something else you're looking for, different angles perhaps?

Marty


"The plants have been good to us."  Lester Hawkins

Marty

"The plants have been good to us."  Lester Hawkins

Dagwood's picture

(post #11540, reply #2 of 12)

You can buy crosses (4-legged connector) at a specialty supply.


Also, I would suggest that you learn the art of soldering. Its actually quite easy once you have the knack, you can change things, and you can lay everything out first and then solder all the joints.


It would be cool for you to make a design you have envisioned, but are lacking parts for and see if folks can help. Just draw it on paper and take a photo.


Dagwood Bumstead


If it can die, I can kill it.
Certified Brown Thumb, 4th degree

If it can die, I can kill it.
Certified Brown Thumb, 4th degree

ChurchStreetGardner's picture

(post #11540, reply #3 of 12)

I searched through one or two supply houses on the web but did not see a four legged connector. That would be great. I'll search again and maybe go by the local plumbing supply house and see what they have. Mostly I just looked in the big box stores. Since I really do not need water tight joints I used the glue rather than solder. However if I do much more in the long run solder would probably more cost effective the glue was $7 a bottle. On the other hand glued fingers are better than burnt ones. I was looking for a connector that resembled a top corner tent connector - two legs at right angles and a third going straight down. Thanks for the info.

the country gardener's picture

(post #11540, reply #4 of 12)

That last one is called a "side-out ell." I haven't seen one in copper, but that doesn't mean someone doesn't make one. They make 'em in PVC though. 


Marty


"The plants have been good to us."  Lester Hawkins


Edited 10/30/2009 1:21 pm by the country gardener

Marty

"The plants have been good to us."  Lester Hawkins

BeeJay's picture

(post #11540, reply #5 of 12)

I would prefere solder over glue because it is so much quicker and easier.  I'll admit that burned fingers can be a hazard.


BJ


Gardening, cooking and woodworking in South'n Murlyn'
Gardening, cooking and woodworking in South'n Murlyn'
the country gardener's picture

(post #11540, reply #6 of 12)

I;m with you on that one. A well-soldered joint would look a lot better too.

Marty


"The plants have been good to us."  Lester Hawkins

Marty

"The plants have been good to us."  Lester Hawkins

Dagwood's picture

(post #11540, reply #7 of 12)

And a solder is un-do-able if it looks wrongs, just heat and remove.

Dagwood Bumstead


If it can die, I can kill it.
Certified Brown Thumb, 4th degree

If it can die, I can kill it.
Certified Brown Thumb, 4th degree

DuHamel's picture

Are you looking for something (post #11540, reply #8 of 12)

mcbrowne85's picture

I have done a lot with copper (post #11540, reply #10 of 12)

I have done a lot with copper pipe to build shrub cages and trellises. I have been limited by the standard connections as you have but I have found that I can use flexible copper tubing to make the design more interesting. It does have limitations on how much you can bend it before it creases, but it will really enhance your ability to be creative. And it does need the rigid copper pipe in the design for stability. I have made a nine foot tall tree in a garden with rigid pipe for the trunk and flexible tubing for the branches. (That solved my problem for wanting a tree where I couldn't put one!) I have also used copper flashing to cut out leaf shapes and epoxied them to a copper shrub cage with small flexible tubing wrapped around it to look like a vine. And I have made tables for the patio with copper legs and bluestone tops. The sky is the limit!

I have found that soldering the connections works the best for the long term. Some of the metal epoxies that I have used have let go after a year or two. Soldering is really quite easy to do once you get the hang of it but you have to have an indoor space to do it in.

Hope you have as much fun as I do!

garden65's picture

I would love to see some of (post #11540, reply #11 of 12)

I would love to see some of your copper work. Could you post some pictures? Thanks

Noel-in-England's picture

The good thing about copper (post #11540, reply #12 of 12)

The good thing about copper pipe ( the stuff used in Central Heating Systems in the U.K. is - that it IS - malleable.

i.e. one can gently bend it - either a bit just carefully by hand - or more-tha-a-bit by utilising some kinda blow-torch. (Please take care by using good heat-prufe gloves ( the stuff will get HOT ) & goggles, too. The one trouble with using a torch is that it can discolor the pipe in that local area. Wire-wool could get rid of PART of that problem - but not completely.

If you wish to make 'numerous' all-identical-radius bends - you can get those flexible "pipe-benders" - which fit inside the pipe & support the wall of the pipe without it kinking/buckling.