How to Make Balusters with Copper Pipe
Copper pipe can be used as a wonderful material to make balusters for your decks. Balusters are quite simply the bars in between the railings. Making these out of copper pipes gives your deck a unique look and feel. Copper will corrode and go green over time which makes it look very attractive.
Making balusters with copper pipe is actually very easy. With the right tools and materials there shouldn't be any problem to complete this project as quickly as possible.
Step 1 - Measuring Up
Measure the dimensions of your deck so that you can work out exactly how much railing you will need to make to finish the project. It's important that you work out how many lengths you need. It will also be much easier if you buy the copper pipe cut to length rather than cutting it yourself, though this might not be possible from everywhere.
Step 2 - Making the Frame
The copper pipes will be held vertically in a frame which has to be made out of wood. This is a very simple frame to make. Measure the size of your deck and cut lengths of 2x4 lumber to fit. Whether you miter the joints or just butt the pieces of wood up against one another doesn't really matter.
Step 3 - Marking Holes
Mark the position of everywhere you are fitting a copper pipe on the wood. Try to be accurate and stick to marking the center of each hole.
Step 4 - Drilling Holes
Now use the spade drill bit to cut out a hole which is roughly the same size as the pipe you are fitting. You can drill right through this bottom piece of wood if you like. Once this is fixed to the decking the copper pipes won't be able to slip through.
Step 5 - Fixing the Frame
Now the frame can be fixed around the deck. Start by fitting the wood with holes on to the base of the decking, then you can start work on the sides of the decking. Now is a good time to stain the frame to protect it from the elements.
Step 6 - Adding the Copper Pipes
Once you've drilled the holes you can then put the copper pipes into the holes. Try to ensure that all of the pieces of copper are level and secure. This will make it much easier to fit the top rail on and create a good looking copper pipe baluster. After some time the copper should even go green which will help to add to the character of your home.
Step 7 - Top Rail
Choose what material you want to use for the top rail. The easiest will be a piece of wood which simply needs to be marked up and cut in the same way as the bottom piece. Alternatively you could use another piece of copper and fix it to the right place on top of the balusters. Connecting two pieces of copper together will require more skill as they must be welded together.
Step 8 - Finishing Touches
Apply a coat of stain or paint to protect the lumber from the elements, ensuring that your balusters will last for as long as possible.