How to bend copper tubing

Written by elizabeth balarini
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Copper tubing is used for several things in and around the home, including air conditioners and refrigerator water supply. If you embark on a project that requires you to bend a piece of copper tubing, there are a few things that you need to do before bending the tubing, to maintain the integrity of the copper and avoid kinks in the tubing.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Copper tubing
  • Sand or salt
  • Propane torch
  • Clamp that attaches to a table

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Purchase the copper tubing in the length you require for your project. Copper tubing can be cut to specifications at most hardware stores.

  2. 2

    Use a pencil or marker to mark off the areas of the copper tubing that you want to bend. For each bend, mark a beginning, centre and end of the bend.

  3. 3

    Attach the copper tubing to the edge of a table using the clamp. If the table is wooden, mount the clamp as far from the surface of the table as possible, to prevent fire.

  4. 4

    Heat the copper tubing with the propane torch until the copper is red-hot. Super heating the copper in this way will alter the molecular structure of the copper, which will allow it to bend.

  5. 5

    Allow the copper tubing to cool back down to a temperature that you can safely touch. Bend the tube to your specifications, using your hands and fingers to coax it into the curve that you want.

  6. 6

    For very tight bends in the copper tubing, you can avoid kinks in the copper tubing by tightly packing the tube with sand or salt after allowing it to cool down. After filling the tube with the sand or salt, you can safely bend the copper tube into a tight curve or bend, without causing the copper tubing to kink.

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