Glad I found this site

Nice to have found this site. I hope to learn and shre ideas on metal art with all of you.

Though I am certainly not an art bigotCool, I have 2 areas on particular interest, patination/rust painting and electroforming/electroplating.

As one of my day jobs is "vinegar specialist", I am particularly interested in techniques that involve vinegar/acetic acid. That partially explains paragraph 2.

Vinarty Metal's picture

Turning coper pipe in to sheets

It has come to my attention that a cheap source of copper sheeting/plates is copper pipe. The idea is to cut the pipe open and flatten it. Cutting can be done with snips etc. It could be hammered flat but, is there a better way?

How about rolling?


Other ideas?

Rich Waugh's picture

Almost any method you choose

Almost any method you choose to use will suffice to flatten split pipe. I use a hand hammer and the corner of my anvil to get it started and then usually finish up with the power hammer - because that's what I'm used to. On smaller tube, I sometimes get it opened up and then run it through my rolling mill. Whichever way you do it is fine, but be sure to anneal it first, particularly with the harder drawn type L plumbing pipe. Refrigeration tubing (the stuff that comes in coils) is generally sold dead soft so it can be easily formed. The straight type L and type M pipe is, however, sent out at half hard or full hard and if you don't anneal it is both harder to open up and likely to crack when being flattened.

BTW, welcome to ArtMetal!

Joe B's picture

Welcome to artmetal. I'm

Welcome to artmetal. I'm curious about what a "vinegar specialist" is, since I use vinegar a lot for removing scale from forged steel.
Your post reminded me that I've got some old "fixer" aka acetic acid left over from my days of black and white film photography. Wonder how that would work on steel? Not sure of the concentration.

Rich Waugh's picture

Joe, Acetic acid for


Acetic acid for photographic use (stop bath) is, as I recall, pretty high-strength. In my darkroom I used glacial acetic (99.9%), though I don't remember the final dilution for the stop bath. I do remember that the glacial acetic would give you a really deep burn in no time flat if you splashed it on your skin. Ouch - still have a couple scars from that.

Since vinegar is usually around 6% acetic, I'd probably use about that same dilution or just a bit stronger if I was to make pickle using glacial acetic.

I'm sure you're already well aware but I'll repeat here for those who may not be: Always add the acid to the water, never add water to acid. If you put water into acid, it will create an exothermic reaction that may well cause a steam explosion.