How to Make a Rain Chain

What You'll Need
1/4 " Copper tubing that is soft
2 PVC pipe
Diagonal cutters or bandsaw, pliers
Flux and solder that is lead free
Blow torch
Heavy gloves

If you are looking to create a rain chain, it is fairly easy to do and also serves a great purpose. In Japan they were used to capture water for the purpose of collecting rain water for cooking and for laundry. Today, however, they are used for decoration or to have free flowing water into a pond or garden. There are many different options that you can have with your new chain. You only need a few items to create your very own.

1. Getting Started

The first in creating your rain chain is to wrap your copper tubing very tight around the PVC pipe. Be sure to hold tight so that you do not have any kinking in the tubing. For each foot of rain chain that you have, you are going to need three feet of the copper tubing.

2. Creating Rings

Now that your coil is complete, you will need to slide this off of your PVC pipe and then cut it into rings. This is done using your diagonal cutters or the bandsaw. You can also pinch it at the seam and then break it off as an alternative.

3. Making Adjustments

Using a pair of pliers, you will want to make adjustments to your rings for any bends or off-center cuts that you may have.

4. Linking Rings Together

You will now link the rings together. During this process, be sure to wear your heavy gloves, as the copper can get very hot since it conducts heat. After they are linked, use the soldering flux to brush the cuts and then solder your rings shut together. Let them cool before handling without the gloves.

5. Final Step

Now that your chain is complete, you can remove the original spout and replace with your new chain. You may need help reaching and getting it into place, so you may need a partner for this last step.

If this is your first time making one of these, make sure that you take your time. You do not want to have kinks and bends in the copper, otherwise it may not hold correctly, and your project will not have a smooth finish. It is also important to have the proper tools and work space in order to avoid injury to yourself or damage to the surrounding area. If you do not have the proper work space to start off with, then create one so that you will be able to work properly.

If this is the first time that you have worked with something like this, you may want to seek the advice of someone that has worked with copper and PVC so that you can get a better idea on just what to do. Remember, your gloves are going to be very important in order to be able to handle the materials and prevent injury to yourself in the process.