Shiny Copper Gear

Shiny Copper Gear

What’s up guys, it’s Grant here and I’m giving away a Galaxy S9+ smartphone to one of you. There’s a link down the description to get your name on the list to qualify, it’s a little subscriber appreciation for you Love you guys. Appreciate your support, go get your name on the list to get qualified and all the best. Hey guys. Today, we’re gonna be finishing up the gear project that we started in a previous video We managed to make a mold around a piece of foam using some drywall Texturing paste and then we stuck that into some sand and we cast copper down into it We got this great copper gear, but it still looks very messy. So today we’re gonna see what it takes to clean this up We’ve got a bunch of sandpaper. We’ve got files. We’ve got metal brushes We’ve got polishing wheels and we’ve got metal polish and we are just going to hit this thing with everything we’ve got until We can get it nice and clean and just shiny. Like I want to be able to see my reflection and then this bad boy Will it work? I don’t know. This is an experiment and we’re gonna find out. I’ve got a 60 grit belt on our belt sander here We’re gonna see how much of this copper we can smooth down using the belt sander It might be a little bit tricky because I do have quite a bit to get through before it’s nice and smooth But I think that’s gonna be our best tool for this job. If this doesn’t work, we’ll see about moving on to something else All right, that’s just a few seconds on the belt sander You can already see the progress we’re making we can also see that our copper is apparently like swiss cheese full of holes, Not exactly sure what caused that or how deep those bubbles go. I’m just going to keep on going We might be able to sand right through those or maybe one side of our gears can have a really cool Decoration all over it. Think theres only one way to find out. Still getting flatter, you still see those holes. Does look like some of them are pretty shallowing, I think we’ve almost gone all the way through them I bet some of them are deep enough that they’ll still show up in our final service But even just that I really like how the copper is starting to show up there. It looks pretty cool My wheel is also getting nice and hot I’m gonna have to grab some water to cool this off and after a couple minutes of Sanding because it’s gonna get warm doing this, but I’m liking it it’s working I have only been doing this for like less than a minute already and it’s definitely making progress So this sandpaper on the belt sander seems to be the way to go All right and kind of just like that it is getting Too warm to hold on to so I’m just gonna get some cold water that I can cool this off in And dry it off and throw it back on the belt sander Copper does conduct heat better than Most if not all metals, it might not be the very best heat conducting metal, but it’s really high up there This has spread so much sanded copper out on the work bench. Look at this. You can just like Making a pile back to the grind. Literally. And then we’ve made pretty good progress on this side, we’ve definitely flattened it all out You can see that the shiny copper is exposed all the way through a lot of these bubbles on this side But I think that’s actually going to be a pretty cool looking effect We’ll see how I decide to go about cleaning those up time to move on to the other side Which is already quite a bit flatter So I think it’ll go pretty quick and we’ll see if there’s any bubbles on this side, too. I’m not sure yet. We’ve got both sides of our gear partially sanded down and they are looking good. Now I want to try getting into the teeth of this. I’m not gonna be able do that on the belt sander So I’m gonna move over to our bench vise and start using some hand files And see if I can clean up those edges a bit. We may come back to the files in a little bit for some more detail work But for now, we’re gonna move on to using the wire brushes on this rotary tool And we’ve got something that should fit in our regular drill chuck So we’ll try and see if we can clean up some of the edges that are harder to hit with a file This little attachment may not be the sturdiest built thing ever I think 60% of the wires have just torn themselves off polishing that copper right there At the end of the drill I now have what is a wheel made of cotton or maybe muslin disks And then I’ve got some polish which I will apply to the cloth and then I’ll use that to try and really bring out a nice shine on the copper My goal is to make a copper gear so shiny that I could see myself How do you think I did? This method of casting copper is not 100 percent perfect By pouring it in the way We did we ended up with a lot of large bubble marks on the backside and a lot of small ball marks on the front side
but it was still able to be flattened down smoothed out and Polished and like I could use this thing as a copper colored mirror. It’s a little small, but overall it looks really good. Hey, what’s up guys it is Grant here, with a brand new Galaxy S9+ smartphone that I’m giving away to one of you for Subscriber appreciation. I’ve got a link down in the description so you can get your name on the list and qualify to win.


  1. Maybe to remove the bubbles. Have it flow into the mold. If you watch forging videos (factories not backyard people) they almost always flow into molds instead of pour. Try using angle iron as a spout to pour down.


  3. I'm not too awfully smart, but one thing I've held onto from school is that silver has the highest thermal AND electrical conductivity. ALSO, it has the highest light reflectance. I fact checked to be sure. Apparently of ANY element. i knew it was king of metals in those ways but i did not know that.

  4. Maybe the bubbles are forming because of the foam, it has bubbles of air trapped on it and because copper starts to cool very quick the bubbles of the foam don't have enough time to escape from the cast, so it's why's bubbled in the top i think.

  5. can u make another gear with another metal (tho not gallium) and create some kinda mechanism with them (that is y no gallium)? Oh and see if u can still melt that dust

  6. Those bubbles are from evaporating moisture. You can eliminate that by first baking the plaster in an oven just like you thought was not necessary. It may not have been enough to explode the metal but it certainly did bubble.

  7. Great job on the gear, I'm a huge fan of you guys, a big inspiration to do a lot of things!

    it would be so awesome to do a collab with you guys!!!

  8. chemical reactions between the sand, foam and oxygen cause the bubbles, the best way to solve this problem is by using a vacuum cast

  9. The bubbling was because you cast the copper into a material that did not let the outgassing pass through it, the way sand does. That is why you cast metal in sand in the first place.

  10. I wish he was still alive. He could have made a TV series. No, he should have. If only he didn't die. Missing ya bud.

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