How hard can it be to build something like this:
as a DIY project!? (I'm not talking about achieving the look and
My plan is take 1/2 copper tubing (the smaller the diameter the
better, I assume) and weave it back and forth with 90 degree elbows.
Then I will buy a sheet of copper and attach (somehow) to my mesh of
Is this idea doomed from the beginning?
If NOT, I would like to get some ideas on:
1. What to make the overall frame out of? I presume it needs to be
quite strong. Perhaps steel welded together?
2. How to attach tubing to the sheet of copper? I can think of copper
brackets with copper bolts. But maybe there is a better way, like some
kind of heat transfer plates and heat conducting glue.
That's good for starters...
Is this a hot water or steam system?
Yes, it is doable.
but your first assumption is (imo) incorrect and will send oyu in the
you need to know how much heat you need out of the unit.....
undersize, it wont be able to deliver enough heat
oversize, (you can always throttle the water flow) you waste money on
materials & fabrication..
I wouldn't bolt it together...too clunky. I'd sweat (torch) the plate
onto the pipes or have the assembly furnace brazed
do you want the flat plat look or is the ladder look ok? If the
ladder look is ok...I'd do 1" or 3/4" uprights with 1/2" (5/8 od) or
since oyu're probably going to make a couple mods to your prototype
before it works (I assume you cant do heat transfer calcs?)
...I suggest you keep it simple & build the easiest way for your
skills & experience and build with the thought that you;re going to
Give a try & then modify as needed.
You are assuming facts not yet in evidence.
We don't know yet whether he intends to heat or cool with this
Granted, heating is more usual, but they are used both ways, and cold
plates are becoming more common.
Nice looking heaters.
I have a couple of thoughts. Copper is a good heat conductor. Take a look
at some of the systems used for radiant floor heat. They are a serpentine of
plastic tubing backed up by foam insulation. Take a look at the panels on
You run the tubing in the panels, then adhere the panel to the back of the
copper sheet for good transfer and radiation. Pex requires a lower
temperature than many hot water systems run, about 140 or so.
With a good backing, you don't need much of a frame to support the copper
sheet as this will give it a lot of rigidity. Sort of like a moncoque
construction. You do want to have a frame about 1/4" or more just to avoid
sharp edges. You could also have a metal shop bend a return on the edges to
make it appear thick and add rigidity also.
I saw a couple of negative posts. They are incorrect. The temperature of
the panel will not reach high enough temperatures to burn anyone. The water
may be 140 in the tube, but it is going to be distributed over a large
surface, thus lowering the overall temperature. As for heating the ceiling,
that would only occur if the panel was insulating and you had an updraft
moving the heat. With this design, the heat is radiated outward
horizontally, line of sight.
Once plumbed in place, it will be a rather good looking way to heat the
area. I hope you post some photos of it once completed, and perhaps some of
the progression of how it was done.
I was thinking something involving the front six inches of a '32 Ford...
the good news is that repro grille shells are available :)
(there's probably a reason why there's a standing rule in my house about
all design ideas having to go through final review before implementation...)
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Use soft copper tubing and get a bender, Each elbow causes friction in the
line costing you more to pump.
You might consider a pair of aluminum plates to sandwitch the copper tubing
between. Aluminum is a whole lot cheaper than copper and paint will change
the color to what ever you want.
I would use some sort of stand offs to hold the assembly away from the wall
an inch or two.
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
Thanks Roger (and everyone else who responded).
So I really like your ideas. The one thing that I am not quite imagining
is how to make the whole structure stiff? Seems like copper sandwiched
between aluminum sheets is not very stiff.
Also, what kind of shop would carry sheets of aluminum and something
that can act as stand offs? What should I look for, a metal shop?
What makes you think it is electric? Surely, not the fact that they give
watts as a means of expressing power. Check out International System of
Look at their other hydronic products
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