Recycled Copper Sprinklers
Sprinklers can water the lawn and entertain the kids. Who doesn't want to run giggling through the cool spray of water on a hot summer day? In general, sprinklers are not all that attractive, so why not try to spruce them up? You can make a recycled copper sprinkler that will be the talk of the neighborhood.
A quick flip through a few home improvement books or a few clicks around the Internet and you'll see that copper sprinklers can range from simple to sublime. Some companies or artists have created copper sprinklers shaped like trees, spinners and even animals [sources: Raintree Sprinklers, Water Ballet Copper Sprinklers, Yardiac]. These water features highlight both form and function. Working with copper for the first time on this kind of project can be very challenging. So if you're a beginner, something like this is probably best left to the pros.
The basic premise of a recycled copper sprinkler is that a hose is attached to a copper structure. The copper structure has holes cut into it where water is released. How you create the copper structure ultimately depends on your skill and comfort level and the plan or instructions you decide to follow. Be prepared, this type of project requires quite a few supplies and tools. Some basic materials you will need include copper tubing and pipe, a hose, hose connectors, T connectors, flux, solder along with a variety of metal-working tools including a small propane torch [source: DIY Network, Black & Decker].
Once you've created your copper sprinkler, it will require a little maintenance. Copper will turn green if it's exposed to the elements for a prolonged period of time. The copper oxidizes and turns to patina, which is the thin, green layer of material on certain copper statues (including the Statue of Liberty). To prevent patina from forming, you can clean your copper creations with metal cleaner [source: CDA]. Or, if you like it that way, you can leave the copper to do its natural thing.
If you don't want to bother with the water, try your hand at creating something for your home. Read on to learn about recycled copper sculptures.