Monday, September 15, 2014


 I love copper a lot! It is one of those materials like leather, that becomes more beautiful with age.. it develops a mottled green patina in places, while in other places the rich copper tones become deeper and more varied - it truly has a mind of it's own.  So when my husband and I began building our house we knew that copper would feature there somewhere..  

This coat / hat / bag rack DIY is my very first test run with the blow torch and copper pipe - practising my joins!  For those interested, I chose to silver stick solder with MAPGAS as it sounds easier and more durable than the soft solder. I didn't use flux this first time - hence the black discolouring - next project I will try it. 

If you are a little scared of the whole blow torch thing - your local hardware store will have pipe connectors that just click into place, or copper bond glue. Easy as.

What you need
  • timber (I've pinched a length of hardwood from my Mum's delapidated retaining wall!)
  • 3/4 inch copper pipe
  • copper joining pieces: 1x cap and 1x elbow for each hook (alternatively purchase pushfit connectors from your local hardware store OR copper bond glue if you don't want to solder)
  • pipe cutter
  • timber saw
  • drill and 3/4inch bit (or same diameter as chosen pipe)
  • sanding tools (for pipe cleaning and timber finishing)
  • heavy duty picture hanging hardware (choose depending of the weight of your timber and desired end use - keys are not so heavy but a full schoolbag is..)
  • timber finish (I left my timber raw, but it could look lovely waxed or oiled depending on your timber)

How to
  1. cut your timber to length depending on how many hooks you would like
  2. drill pipe sized holes through timber to fit the hook ends into (I spaced mine 80mm from edge of timber and 50mm from bottom edge) 
  3. sand timber until desired surface quality is established (I sanded my timber quite lightly to retain the silver patina of aged hardwood)
  4. cut your pipe to length - the horizontal pieces double the length of the verticals + the thickness of timber (I used a hacksaw and it was difficult to achieve straight cuts so I'd recommend a pipe cutter)
  5. sand copper pipe ends to clean thoroughly before soldering
  6. piece copper pipe together in hook formation and solder to join OR click connect copper pieces together OR glue in place
  7. while copper is cooling, attach hanging hardware to the back side of your timber piece
  8. fit assembled hooks into your pre-drilled holes - it should be quite a squeeze that will hold copper hooks in place (if copper is a bit loose simply apply glue to hook ends before inserting into timber piece)
  9. install wall hanging hardware near your front door
  10. hang your copper pipe rack and place your everyday necessities there - ready to go!

Post by Nicole


Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em