Re: Copper?


Posted by Chris Ray
on September 25, 1999 at 22:09:13:

In Reply to: Copper? posted by spolitte
on September 25, 1999 at 21:14:51:

I'm really interested in working w/copper. I would like to start
small and work on projects as basic as, say a copper box. I would
then like to work my way up to more involved projects. The copper
will incorporate itself well into the various glass work that I
dabble in.

First off I'd like to suggest a visit to my mini workshop series
which is featuring wrought copperwork. Here is the URL:

Most of what is shown relates to forming heavy copper sheets for
sculptural works but you'll find some useful information relating
to what you want to do. Now keep some of this information in mind,
then do another search on the search engines and see what you can
find about tinsmithing and sheet metal forming. The techniques that
apply to lightweighght sheet metal of any kind applies equally well
for forming the copper shapes that you are describing, there's not
that much difference, really.

For joining though you may be employing techniques such as
riveting and soldering rather than welding or brazing but that's
the main difference. For soldering you may use either soft solder
or silver solder rather than bronze brazing rods although you can
use a phos copper brazing rods to join with a propane or air
acetelene torch.

The best feature about copper is that once annealed it's very
soft and quite easy to form even with wooden mallets. You can also
get by with a very inexpensive set of tools to start with including
aircraft type snips, a couple of pieces of angle iron to clamp a
copper sheet with for straight edge bending, ball peen hammers,
wooden mallets that you can reshape with wood rasps and files,
punches (even nails will do here) and chasing tools that can be
ground out of hardened cut nails even. Lightweight copper sheets
(32 oz) can be obtained from roofing suppliers or even a hardware

Chris Ray

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