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Step 1: Tubing

25 ft. of copper tubing will make (33) 2-inch diameter links.



Step 2: Wrap

Begin making your links by coiling the tubing around the PVC pipe. As you begin to wrap the tubing be sure you work with the curve of how the spool is wound. Working against it will cause the copper tubing to kink. Make the coil tight around the pipe.



Step 3: Cut

After you have all your tubing coiled begin to cut the links. Start at the place the tubing begins and cut down the middle with a rotary tool that has a wire wheel. If you don't have a rotary tool you can also use a pair of tin snips for this.

Step 4: Connect Links

Slip the links off the pipe and link them together. Link them together by moving them side-by-side. Do not pull them apart at the middle as this can distort their shape. Tighten them together. Make your chain as long as needed. You can solder your rings closed, if you choose.



Step 5: Install

To install the rain chain, take a wire pipe hook and bend the edges back to fit into the gutter where the downspout comes down. Have the wire hanging from the hole in the gutter to form a channel to direct the water down the chain. Hang the rain chain from an S-hook and clamp shut.



Step 6: Catch Basin

You will still need to divert the water away from your home or structure as it falls so that there isn't any sort of soil erosion, so be sure that as the water runs down your chain it is going into a catch basin of some sort that then flows into maybe a rain garden or into a shallow pond or is getting infiltrated back into the earth. Oversized decorative pots or a bed of rocks or even a rain barrel can be worked into the design and flow. Rain chains are simple to make and they are a beautiful alternative to traditional plastic or metal downspouts here and there. TIP -- weight down the end with a fishing weight to prevent it from flying around during gusty rainstorms.




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