Prior to me wanting large quantities of tubes, I purchased a small tube cutters for under or around $10 at Lowes. These come in various sizes. Today, I am going to show you how simple it is to make your own small tubes with this little tube cutter.
First, a few tips.... I've learned that copper tubing, for the most part, comes with two different wall thicknesses. The thicker (type L) is generally used for plumbing and the one that I have found works best (in my opinion) is type M which weighs less, is easier to cut and works great with enamel.
Here is the 1/4" copper tube that I have. It comes in rolls and you can get quite a few beads out of a roll. This can be purchased at Lowes, Home Depot and online. Prices are very reasonable.
You will also need a ruler and a permanent marker. Please excuse the dirty ruler.... I didn't realize how bad it was until I got up close and personal with these photos!!
Now, you are all set. Just straighten out the portion of tubing that you want to use. This is very pliable and straightens by hand. Sometimes, I lightly tap it with a hammer and block. Simply mark off where you want to make your cuts.
Here is a view from the top. The pipe is about 1/4" in diameter. Insert the tube in the cutter and turn the knob so that it is snug against the tube. Rotate the cutter once around the tube. Once rotated once, tighten again and rotate. Continue that same pattern until the cut is finished. Make sure the blade it is snug against the tube after each rotation, but not too tight. You will get a feel for it with practice.
Here is a view from the side. You can see the blade touching the cutter. Continue to rotate and tighten (not too tight or it will smush!!!)
This is a view of the tube which has almost been cut through. A few more rotations and the tube will fall off.
And... here you have it! Two freshly cut tubes....
And, what can you now do with them? Well, if you are like me, you will enamel them. But, like anything copper, there are so many other options as well......
Note: When working with wire and enameled copper tubes, beads, etc., take great care as the wire/copper friction increases the chances of chipping
As always, thank-you for supporting artists who create handmade with handmade,
PS Don't forget to check out this month's Strut Your Stuff challenge as well as our double giveaway. Information can be found on the sides.