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Old 09-28-2008, 08:57 PM   #1
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Copper counter tops?!

I know, I know. It sounds expensive but my father gave me three sheets of copper sized at 3' X 8'. So...I am asking a little early but I want to prepare myself for the work. Our plans are to have copper counter tops in the kitchen with with incorporated sink and in the bathroom as well (might make wood/epoxy sink instead). We also want to use some for accents and highlights through out the interior. But obviously I will have to solder some pieces, at least thats how I assume I should connect pieces. I have soldered wires and stuff but never sheet material. Is this dependable? Also should I be buying a sheet metal bender? I could use it for the new skin on the outside I am putting on as well as the copper work inside. If I have to buy this bender then I will start looking for a deal now and hopefully find one by the time I am ready. Also just curious what this stuff is really worth. People just keep saying "A LOT!!!" Am I wasting it? I guess this is what happens when a carpenter ventures into the unknown world of metal. Help!!!
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:12 PM   #2
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Re: Copper counter tops?!

Yeah that copper is worth a lot. Countertops...soft but very cool. The sheet metal guys I know use a liquid solder when working with copper and other sheet stock. I think you should go for it! A real sheet metal brake(break). Now that's real money. Show your project to sheet metal guy. He'll fall in love with idea and you'll be set. Nice looking slide. Can't wait to see more.
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:39 AM   #3
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Re: Copper counter tops?!

cool project and super cool blog/website
Makes me want to start over at about 18, and travel more than I did, but no complaints, life is good.
The construction trades used to use copper for shower pans and other waterproofing before synthetic rubber and plastic products were readily available at a lower cost. Since this is going to be your full time custom home go for the copper countertops and if youre so inclined either hand hammer seamless sinks or bend and solder them to your dimensions. The determining factor in how you use the copper is its thickness, if its thin you will need to build a supporting structure and use it for cladding like formica on a countertop, if its heavy enough to be structural either have a sheetmetal shop break/bend it to your dimensions or try clamping it to the edge of your bench between some stout angle iron and slowly working it with a hammer and block of wood or another angle clamped to the edge you want to bend.

To hammer a sink, I'm thinking round bottom lav type sink, make a round faced wooden mallet and either a wooden form or a box/bag full of sand and start hammering away most metal will start to harden as you wok it you may have to heat anneal it to keep it workable.

Google for information on working sheetmetal / copper and buy a good book on it.

Copper will take on it's own life once it is installed, the finish will turn into a history book of it's own if you leave the everyday stains and marks instead of keeping it polished, either way it's going to look real good.
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:57 PM   #4
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Re: Copper counter tops?!

copper looks great but is not really food friendly prepare for it to change colors nless you clearcoat it we have a copper countertop in our showroom at work we usually have 2 guages and the heavier is about 8 buks a square foot that was last year ill try to remember some pics 3 sheets of 3 by 8 ? pricey.....
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:25 AM   #5
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Re: Copper counter tops?!

Ok cool advice guys thanks. I think we will go for the counter tops and see if I can find someone to bend it for me. (Looked at buying a Bender/break...not worth it for my little job!) We are aware of coppers characteristics of staining and marking easily but really are open to whatever it decides to do. Picked up my water tanks today, 270 gallons of capacity between four 65 gallon tanks phew gotta place those suckers carefully! Four more weeks or so of working then I am taking 6 to 8 months off to go full time on the bus conversion. Hoping to have it ready for summer next year. (knock on wood) Also bought an ass load of LED marker lights for the exterior, at $5.99 each I still managed to spend $158.00. Both fortunately and unfortunately my next few weekends are going to be spent going to see Neil Young in Winnipeg (his home town) and then two weeks later Bob Dylan in Regina so probably nothing happening on the bus until November... hope the weather holds out.
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