Copper Pipe LED Lamp

Copper Pipe LED Lamp

Make a modern industrial DIY copper pipe LED lamp with glowing acrylic rods following these simple steps.

Making the lamp involves a few different aspects - building the base out of wood, making the copper pipe structures and soldering them and then wiring and attaching the LED lights and acrylic rods.

Steps

Part 1 - The Base

Build a hexagon base. The process for this is similar to that of building a hexagon shelf.
Make a hexagon

  • Cut 1x3 boards with miter saw set to 30-degrees bevel. Cut the short sides to 7".
  • Lay them with short side down and add masking tape across the backs.
  • Turn it over and add glue to all the joints and fold it up to make the hexagon.
  • Add a couple of brad nails to hold it all together and let it dry overnight.

Top and bottom of base

  • Trace and cut out a hexagon for the top (to overlap sides) and the bottom (to inset) from a 1x10 using a jigsaw
  • Attach the top with wood glue and brad nails.
  • Use a 1” forstner bit to make the holes for the pipe adapters.
  • Torch the base with the BZ4500HS torch for a charred look.
  • Sand, wipe off and seal it with clear spray sealer.
  • Once it has dried, add adapters to the wood base.

Part 2 - Copper pipes

  • Using a pipe cutter, cut up the copper pipes to desired lengths.  
  • Assemble the structures using the copper elbow couplings.

I didn't have a concrete idea of what I wanted the structure to look like. So, I cut a few random lengths and played with the combinations of couplings and pipes till I was happy with the final styles.

Soldering Copper

It's time to solder the copper pipes.

  • First, clean the outside of the copper pipes (using sandpaper) and the inside of the copper coupling (using wire brush) to prepare it for soldering.
  • Next, apply flux (from the Bernzomatic Solder and Flux Kit) to the outside of the copper pipe and the inside of the coupling.  
  • Heat the joint with the BZ4500HS torch.
  • Once the copper is hot, remove the flame and touch the soldering wire. If the copper is hot enough, the solder will melt and seep into the space between the pipe and coupling. and make the joint. Tip: A wet rag at hand is good to clean the joints when hot to wipe off any extra solder and flux.
  • Remove the heat discoloration by buffing it with 0000 steel wool.

Part 3 - Lights

  • Snake the extra wires through the copper pipes from the bottom to the top.
  • Solder the top ends to the wires on the LED lights to make them longer. I used the Bernzomatic ST2200 Detail Torch. It comes with a soldering tip and heats up pretty fast.
  • Added heat shrink tubing to each of the joints so they don’t short out with each other or the copper pipes. The Bernzomatic detail torch can work as a heat gun too! Just remove the tip and use it.
    Detail torch
  • Put the copper pipes with LEDs into the pipe adapters in the hexagon base.
    Running wire

Install power and switch

  • For the external connection, drill a hole on one of the sides and insert the adapter with the screw connector. You might need to use an adhesive to keep it in place.
  • Make a hole and insert the switch.

Final connections

  • Collect together and connect all the positive wires from the LEDs to the positing of the switch. Use solder and heat shrink tubing.
  • Collect together and connect all the negative wires from the LEDs and connect an extra wire to extend it. Use solder and heat shrink tubing.
  • Connect the negative from the switch to the positive terminal of the screw adapter and the negative from the LEDs to the negative terminal of the screw adapter.

Close-up base

  • Insert the hexagon inset into the bottom of the base. It was snug enough that I didn’t need to use any nails, but you can use some if needed.

Acrylic Rods

  • Cut acrylic rods using a miter box and handsaw.
  • "Frost" the acrylic rods by sanding them with 400 grit sandpaper under flowing water.
  • Attach the rods in the copper pipes using a small dab of hot glue.

That is it!!!

What You'll Need


ST2200T
ST2200T

Detail Torch for Hobby and Household Use

Learn More

BZ4500HS
BZ4500HS

Heat Shrink Torch for Large Surface Areas

Learn More

BF55
BF55

5.5 oz. Butane Cylinder

Learn More

TX9
TX9

14.1 oz. Propane Hand Torch Cylinder

Learn More

Base

  • 1x3x8 board
  • 1x10x4 board
  • Miter Saw
  • Brad Nailer and 1-1/4″ finish nails
  • Wood Glue
  • Sandpaper (220 grit)
  • Clear spray paint

Copper Pipes

  • 3/4" copper pipes
  • 45-degree elbows
  • 90-degree elbows
  • Pipe fitting adapter
  • Bench Vice
  • Copper solder kit
  • Heat Resistant Gloves
  • 0000 steel wool
  • 1" Forstner bit
  • Pipe cutter

Lights

  • LED bullet lights
  • switch
  • power adapter
  • extra wire
  • solder wire
  • heat shrink tubing
  • Acrylic rod
  • miter box and hand saw
  • 400 grit sandpaper
  • hot glue gun
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