Used copper piping can be repurposed to make pipe and cable clamps, explains Tony Davies

Part of the art of practical boat ownership is saving costs where they don’t impact on the safety of the vessel, and there are many areas where this can be done – one of which is with clips and brackets.

There is an abundance of used copper plumbing tubing almost everywhere: every garden shed must have some, and most marina dumps have yards of it lying about.

For a long time now we have been using it to make up pipe brackets when marinising engines: it is easy to work with, and of course lasts extremely well in the marine environment.

If it is suitable for fuel piping, then it must be OK for far less important items such as pipes and cable clamps.

There are various tube sizes in common use for domestic plumbing and these provide a ready source of pipe clamp material at almost no cost at all, plus engendering the warm feeling of recycling if you are that way inclined.

Making clamps from copper pipe: step by step

copper pipe being put into the vice to make a clamp

Credit: Tony Davies

1. Begin by flattening the tube in the vice. If a vice is not available it can just as easily be hammered flat

A piece of copper pipe in a vice

Credit: Tony Davies

2. Next, mark off the length of tubing required for the clamp and cut the piece to length using either a pair of snips or a hacksaw.

A hammer being banged on a copper tube while making clamps

Credit: Tony Davies

3. Using a piece of the tube you want to use the bracket on as a former, place it in the vice and lightly hammer the clamp piece to the shape of the tube.

Copper piping being bent while making clamps

Credit: Tony Davies

4. This bracket is to secure two tubes running parallel to each other,so the ends are formed to suit the two tubes and their spacing.

A hole being drilled into copper tubing while making clamps

Credit: Tony Davies

5. With one half of the formed bracket held in the vice, a hole is drilled to accept a central securing bolt.

A hammer being used to create a copper clamp

Credit: Tony Davies

6. The half bracket is then further adjusted to fit between the two tubes. At this stage, the other half of the bracket is made up in exactly the same manner.

A copper clamp on a boat engine

Credit: Tony Davies

7. Once complete, both parts of the bracket are fitted onto the tubes to hold them firmly (and very neatly) in place.

Another type of home-made clamp

A clamp holding a pipe in the bilges of a boat

Credit: Tony Davies

This clip was formed to support two toilet hoses running through the bilge.

The shape was achieved by placing the flattened tube in the vice and tightening a large adjustable spanner onto it to twist each end to shape.

A homemade clip

Credit: Tony Davies

It was then formed into a curve.

It was sprayed with quick-dry car paint to make it look pretty for the picture!

Enjoyed reading Making clamps from copper pipe: step by step?

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