I'm looking to create something like this: enter image description here

But the problem with solid copper wires is it tends to spring back into it's original shape and this construction will flatten.

I've tried creating a wooden cone and wrap the copper around it; however, after leaving it for 24 hrs, it still flattens when I take it off the wooden cone.

Any help is appreciated, thanks!


1 Answer 1


When you bend copper, it becomes much more "springy" than its original state. The wire will almost certainly have been bent at some stage before you use it, so the first thing you need to do it get it back to its original "soft" state.

You do that by annealing the wire. Heat it with a gas torch till it is red hot, and allow it to cool in air.

After it is annealed, make sure you only bend it once, into its final shape. You can repeat the annealing and bending as many times as you like, but you can only make one bend that will "hold its shape" accurately each time you anneal the wire.

Leaving the wire wrapped around the cone for 24 hours (or even for a year) won't change anything.

Here are a some of videos of annealing copper and bending a spiral which might help. You could try bending a spiral, annealing the wire again, and then "expanding" the spiral to make the cone shape.




You might also get some ideas from websites and videos on bonsai - bent copper wire is used to "train" the tree branches into the desired shapes.

  • $\begingroup$ I plan on annealing the wire when it's in the roll form, then straighten it out with a wire straightener, anneal it again, then wrap it around my wooden cone to get the perfect shape. I'll use a propane torch to anneal, wondering if map-gas is better for this? $\endgroup$
    – sojim2
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ @sojim2 Mapp-gas is usually used as a safer alternative to acetylene. I don't think the higher temperature than propane would be significant for annealing copper, and Mapp is more expensive than propane. The nice thing about annealing copper is that compared with other metals, the heating and cooling required are very non-critical - just get it red hot by any available method and let it cool down naturally in air. You don't have to keep it an accurately controlled constant temperature for several hours, as with some types of steel, for example! $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 20:52

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