Making a copper bopper

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Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 06, 2012 2:45 pm

[img][/img]
This is to compliment the copper boppers topic, I have worn through my 22mm bopper and had to replace the cap, this gave the chance to document the process for you chaps and chapesses!
Here are the assembled parts and tools:
A file handle shaped to fit the copper plumbing end cap (two caps shown in photo.)
Two hammers, one ball pien, one to bash!
A stout nail.
Old cooking ladle.
Offcut of roofing lead (responsibly sourced) or lead fishing weights, or old pewter tankard.
Blowtorch.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 06, 2012 2:52 pm

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First off nip the ball pien hammer in a vice or workmate and place the cap over the top.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 06, 2012 3:00 pm

[img][/img]
Hammer the cap to dome it out, aim the blows on the edge and turn it as you go. Don't bother with the middle of the cap as this will rise as you hammer. The middle is allways where the cap wears out so try not to make this area any thinner.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 06, 2012 3:02 pm

[img][/img]Before and after bashing.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 06, 2012 3:08 pm

[img][/img]
Chop up enough lead (or pewter for lightweight version) to nearly fill the cap, some guess work will be needed, if in doubt add more. Plonk in to ladle.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 06, 2012 3:21 pm

[img][/img]Keep the cap level(ish) here I've used one of the holes in the workmate.
Heat the lead with the blowtorch, and keep the ladle in your right hand (if you're right handed!) as you will naturally want to hold the blowtorch in the right hand.
Lead or pewter melts at around 300 degrees which is really low for metal, so it should start to melt almost immediatly, make sure it all melts before pouring into the cap, and try not to get too nervous!

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 06, 2012 3:26 pm

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Leave for a moment to cool a bit, then tap handle into place, and then quench the cap in cold water to make sure the lead is cool enough to handle, other wise it will stay hot for ages.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 06, 2012 3:35 pm

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Then using a hard surface as a brace and the nail (or indeed nail punch), punch the base of the copper cap so it nips on to the wooden handle, some folk epoxy glue the caps on but I find they eventually fall off again (and you have to wait overnight for the glue to go off). This way the cap can be punched back tight if it works loose.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 06, 2012 3:37 pm

[img][/img] Punched at regular intervals around the edge and one finished bopper ready to go!

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 06, 2012 3:40 pm

[img][/img]
BOPP!

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by the barnacle on Sun May 06, 2012 8:23 pm

thats real good, and very good pics, thanks - i might have to make one myself.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by Lumpendoodle on Sun May 06, 2012 9:46 pm

I usually epoxy the heads on, but will be using your method for the next one.

There's something about a weighted copper billet head flying off the end of the handle, which I find a bit disconcerting.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by skalla on Sun May 06, 2012 11:17 pm

thanks for the tutorial, this is high on my to-do list... i may go in search of lead fishing weights tomorrow!

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by Lumpendoodle on Tue May 08, 2012 10:38 pm

Just to say, if you know anyone who is into metal detecting, then ask them if they have any lead.

I use some of the lead I find when I'm out detecting. Fields are usually full of scrap lead. It was sort of the epoxy resin of its day, and used to fix everything.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 13, 2012 4:35 pm

I found loads of lead whilst detecting, and some scrappy pieces did get used to fill boppers untill I was given the roofing lead off-cuts, be really careful though because the white oxide that covers old lead is really poisonous! I ended up sticking the lead in a barreling machine with sand and gravel to remove most of the oxide before melting it.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by the barnacle on Sun May 13, 2012 8:02 pm

i find loads while detecting, the early lead contains more elements i believe and is more of a hazard i am told. i go on a roman area and medieval market that are full of lead splats.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Tue May 22, 2012 9:12 pm

[img][/img]
Just finished recapping two more of my boppers as they where way too bashed and floppy, started to squodge flint rather than flake it! I should have got more photos but essentialy its the same as the one above, but bigger (and more lead) so I've used a bigger hammer as a former.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by Lumpendoodle on Tue May 22, 2012 10:35 pm

My favourite 22mm copper bopper is starting to get that way too.

I was thinking about my next bopper end piece. What if I made a mold which extended the lead out of the cap by about 0.5 to 1cm. Similar to a thick pop rivet. Not only would this give a little bit more weight to the end, but would secure it to the dowel better.

I'm thinking it would be useful for those occations where a good weighty but small headed bopper would give more accuracy.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by grendel on Wed May 23, 2012 1:54 pm

There's a very good vid on youtube where a guy puts no lead in his boppers and makes the handle of hollow plastic to get them as light as possible. He takes off super thin long flakes.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by Lumpendoodle on Wed May 23, 2012 10:30 pm

Yes, I was thinking of that vid when I was writing the post above, and I do have a pretty light 22mm bopper which I use on occations.

I suppose I just like trying out new ideas, if they work, great. if not, well at least I've learned something.study

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by the barnacle on Fri May 25, 2012 8:21 pm

i was thinking if you solder the end cap to a length of copper pipe you could fill it as far up with lead as you wanted, maybe even tape a foam handle on,

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by grendel on Sat May 26, 2012 7:43 am

Sounds good to me, I made one once with a an old piece of antler, where I hollowed the antler out from one end and poured some lead in up to about a quarter full. There's a picture here,

http://uk-knapping.forumotion.co.uk/t11-tools-i-made?highlight=tools

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sat May 26, 2012 12:18 pm

One way of making a bopper heavier is to get an off cut of plumbing copper pipe to extend the length of the cap, and therefore get more lead in, there is a photo of an old one (22mm) of mine in the dicussion on copper boppers extended this way, and it was excellent. I would do this with all my boppers but I don't have any copper pipe to hand at the mo!

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:56 pm

[img][/img]
No, it's not bopper smegma, but glue! I had to sort out the large bopper as the end kept falling off the handle, the nipping of the punch around the bottom of the cap wasn't quite holding on the bopper of this size so I purchaced some polyurathane adhesive ("gatorglue") and It has solved the floppy end problem!
This stuff will stick almost anything and expands slightly when drying, holding the lead firm as well as holding the cap on. It's not as brittle as epoxy either.

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Re: Making a copper bopper

Post by grendel on Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:25 pm

So where did you get the copper caps from, in the last couple of weeks the copper has worn off three of my boppers, they're now lead boppers and i'm learning why lead as a knapping tools has never caught on.

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