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Thread: My first try hammering copper

  1. #1
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    My first try hammering copper

    Out of curiosity I picked up a small sheet of copper. Wanted to try covering something with it but the wife couldn't think of anything she wanted done.
    So, I grabbed an old wooden bowl I never finished and just started hammering.
    Ain't much but I enjoyed making this sort of square bowl. ~5".

    Not sure this qualifies as metal working so I put it here.
    (EDIT: moved to metalworking, as per Bill's note. JKJ)
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    Last edited by John K Jordan; 02-08-2019 at 12:39 PM.

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    My son does a lot of repoussť. The technique can go nicely with woodworking. This is a weekend project my son and I made a couple of years back:

    Last edited by Steve Demuth; 02-07-2019 at 3:37 PM.

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    Always fun to try something new, especially if it doesn’t take a whole lot of start up cost. I think it turned out really well. Nice job!

  4. #4
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    Nice look. I tried that with soft zinc and then some mild steel, hammering into a depression formed on the end of a log.

    I think it is metalworking. Do you want it moved? Some people who follow the metals might be interested. Or it could be in Turning since you turned the "form".

    A round disk hammered like this can fit nicely into a turned recess as a lid or as an accent in a lid.

    JKJ

  5. #5
    I tried it years ago with a canvas bag of sand as my form. Worked ok. Frankly I don't even remember what I made other than a small spoon and an ashtray.

  6. #6
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    I love the look of hammered copper. It does work-harden quickly though & needs to have the torch put to it regularly to soften it.

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    That would be nice, JKJ.
    If you consider it metalworking then I would like it moved, thank you.
    Yes, it does harden quickly, so I torched it many times as I was forming it.
    Today I cut a 9" round sheet and still pushing it up.
    Steve, incredible looking piece. Do I understand correctly that it is copper clad wood or is it a hollow made with soldered pieces?
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    Is the bottom flat?

    For some reason running the bottom over a belt sander keeps popping into my head.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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    Hard to see with flash.
    I struck the bottom from the top with about a 2" turned piece of wood with beveled edges.
    It's not working well for me.
    I need to create an obvious flat bottom.
    That is, if you are talking about the round piece.
    The smaller piece I sanded with 220 on my orbital sander.
    Once I get the bottom to my liking I think I will spray it with flat or satin. lacquer.
    Am I doing anything that others obtain from doing?
    Am I doing anything right?
    Not being smart. Just trying to get am idea whether or not this is something that I show any promise.
    In short....should I abandon this craft after looking at my first 2 pieces.
    I appreciate honest opinions regardless of how much my mind has fooled me into false expectations.

  10. #10
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    It's a bandsawn box made from hard maple. The lid is also maple with a hammered copper top sheet. The knobbly surface of the wood was done with a gouge. Finished, I think, with boiled linseed oil and carnauba.

  11. #11
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    Bill,

    Most metal working like that I've seen and done has been with metal tools against a steel or wooden form. There are hammers and other tools made just for that but I don't have any myself.

    Are you annealing the copper as you go? Copper and brass get work-hardened and must be annealed to keep soft and pliable. They are annealed differently from steel. (lots of google help). I once watched a metal-spinning demonstration and the guy took the piece off the lathe and annealed a copper disk several times. (You might look into metal spinning. If not familiar with it the process involves forming a disk of metal around a turned wooden or other form. It can be done easily on the wood lathe with the right tools.)

    The time-honored method of forming metal by hand has a lot of promise! I've dabbled but have always been interested. I'm signed up for a course this summer and if I don't know more by then I'll have wasted my money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Jobe View Post
    Hard to see with flash.
    I struck the bottom from the top with about a 2" turned piece of wood with beveled edges.
    It's not working well for me.
    I need to create an obvious flat bottom.
    That is, if you are talking about the round piece.
    The smaller piece I sanded with 220 on my orbital sander.
    Once I get the bottom to my liking I think I will spray it with flat or satin. lacquer.
    Am I doing anything that others obtain from doing?
    Am I doing anything right?
    Not being smart. Just trying to get am idea whether or not this is something that I show any promise.
    In short....should I abandon this craft after looking at my first 2 pieces.
    I appreciate honest opinions regardless of how much my mind has fooled me into false expectations.
    JKJ

  12. #12
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    I dabbled in silversmithing as a hobby for a time. The art of making a 3 deminsioned item from flat sheet is called "raising". It has a steep learning curve. I once visited a shop in a small English town and they had hundreds of different hammers and stakes for shaping. All highly polished. It was amazing to watch them work.
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    Yes, John, I heat it up as soon as I can hear it getting hard.
    Been using a MAP torch and that gets it to about 600F.
    Is it necessary to quickly cool it with water or does letting it cool (>2 or 3 minutes).

    Steve, just how big is that piece?
    I'm not understanding exactly what I'm looking at. I don't see any wood.
    What is a bandsaw box?
    It's beautiful.

  14. #14
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    I didn't explain my question about letting it cool by itselt. Does it require being squelched to stay soft.

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    Thanks for moving my thread, John
    Hopefully I'll get more feedback here.

    A couple of members have mentioned using a sandbag .
    Didn't have one on hand so I am using a bag of lead shot from back when my oldest Granddaughter and I used to bench shoot.
    It took just one trip to the range to realize she was a far better shot than me so I reloaded and she shot the gun.
    Sadly she can no longer participate in target shooting.
    Since it's lead, I wrapped it in an old pillowcase. Don't want to kick up and lead dust.

    Members of metalworking, am I doing anything dumb?

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