The surprisingly gorgeous reason this guy pours salt into vinegar

The surprisingly gorgeous reason this guy pours salt into vinegar
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This fun project is a homage to my adoptive state of Arizona, also known as the Copper State. One of our most recognizable symbols is the mighty saguaro cactus. I created this decorative project with soldered copper plumbing parts and and made it patina overnight into beautiful turquoise and brown shades

Time: 1 Hours Cost: $40 Difficulty: Moderate

 

easy patina copper cactus with kitchen ingredients, crafts, gardening, home decor, kitchen design, painting, thanksgiving decorations

 

I started by cutting and dry-fitting copper tubing into the various T fittings and elbows I’d need to create the cactus. One was 1/2″ pipe, the other was 3/4″. I cleaned the joints with a wire brush and applied a thin layer of plumbers flux on the mating surfaces.

 

easy patina copper cactus with kitchen ingredients, crafts, gardening, home decor, kitchen design, painting, thanksgiving decorations

 

I carefully heated the fittings until the flux began to sizzle.

 

easy patina copper cactus with kitchen ingredients, crafts, gardening, home decor, kitchen design, painting, thanksgiving decorations

 

Touching the seams with an extended piece of solder at the right heat melts the silvery metal and draws it into the joint.

 

easy patina copper cactus with kitchen ingredients, crafts, gardening, home decor, kitchen design, painting, thanksgiving decorations

 

After a few back-to-back soldered joints, I’d cool and clean the piece with a damp rag. I continued the process with the larger, 3/4″ cactus.

 

easy patina copper cactus with kitchen ingredients, crafts, gardening, home decor, kitchen design, painting, thanksgiving decorations

 

Now it’s magic time. I made a concoction of vinegar and salt, close to a 50 / 50 mix.

 

easy patina copper cactus with kitchen ingredients, crafts, gardening, home decor, kitchen design, painting, thanksgiving decorations

 

That delightful potion got poured over the work pieces and soaked into a good wrapping of damp paper towels.

 

easy patina copper cactus with kitchen ingredients, crafts, gardening, home decor, kitchen design, painting, thanksgiving decorations

 

While the soaking pieces sat outside for a while, I cut and toasted a scrap piece of butcher block with my torch to make a base.

 

easy patina copper cactus with kitchen ingredients, crafts, gardening, home decor, kitchen design, painting, thanksgiving decorations

 

I drilled some planting holes and gave the wood a coat of spray lacquer.

 

easy patina copper cactus with kitchen ingredients, crafts, gardening, home decor, kitchen design, painting, thanksgiving decorations

 

With the based masked off, I painted the surface with wood glue and dumped on some desert dirt, from our obliging front yard,

 

easy patina copper cactus with kitchen ingredients, crafts, gardening, home decor, kitchen design, painting, thanksgiving decorations

 

After the copper had soaked for a while, it started to gray a little. While it was still wet I gave it a coating of salt before leaving it overnight in the garage.

 

easy patina copper cactus with kitchen ingredients, crafts, gardening, home decor, kitchen design, painting, thanksgiving decorations

 

The next morning was magical. The colors continued to deepen throughout the day.
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