[Woodworkers] Copper metal working

chuck.steger at gmail.com chuck.steger at gmail.com
Wed Mar 31 01:36:58 PST 2021


   For cutting on the bandsaw, I was thinking about something like you
described. I was thinking I would cut a smidge less than ½ of a 1” hole in 2
boards. I would have to sneak up on the size because I would want the boards
to be almost able to close with the sphere in it. Then, I thought I would
glue and clamp the boards closed on the sphere to use that carrier to cut
the sphere. But, can you do it with a WW bandsaw? Maybe by hand is the way
to go in which case I wouldn’t need a carrier.




From: Woodworkers <woodworkers-bounces at lists.sawdusters.org> On Behalf Of
Jason Beam via Woodworkers
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2021 4:22 PM
To: woodworkers at sawdusters.org
Cc: Jason Beam <beamer at beamerweb.com>
Subject: Re: [Woodworkers] Copper metal working


This sounds like a fun challenge!

Reducing the diameter of the sphere might be doable with care but it's
possible to end up with a lopsided thing pretty easy if you're doing it
completely by hand. It can be done if you're persnickety and "sneak up" on
the shape with fine files. Then you'll need to restore the polish after

As for drilling - copper is really grabby material so you'd want to be sure
you have the sphere clamped very securely to the drill press table. Also,
because it's so grabby, especially with drilling, you'll want to take a lot
of care when presenting the drill to the work. Being prepared for it to dive
into the work can help but if you have a quill lock on your DP, cinch that
down just enough to give you a fair bit of added friction. This will help
your reaction time if it does grab. I'd spin the drill slowly, too.

As for cutting - You can cut many nonferous metals with woodworking cutters.
Since copper is so grabby, I'd be a little more cautious on the bandsaw. I'd
want to clamp the thing into some kind of captured arrangement (like two
pieces of sacrificial wood with a divot in them to really clamp down on the
part. Think tongs made of wood with a screw that pulls the jaws together to
really clamp down on it. Alternatively, it's soft so cutting with a hacksaw
would be a lot lower impact and less risky.

Jason Beam
Beamer's Brands <https://beamerweb.com> 

On 3/30/2021 2:01 PM, chuck.steger--- via Woodworkers wrote:

Hope everyone is safe and healthy!

   I need some advice on working solid copper. I’ll give you some context on
what I’m doing.

   I designing and building a Heritage Box for someone. Everything that goes
into the design and construction will have some elements from their cultural
background. Their mother and grandparents lived and worked in a copper
mining town in Chile and copper was a big part of their lives. To bring
copper into the design, I will attach the legs to the box using copper rods.
Since the legs taper, I will use 1/8”, 3/16”, and ¼” rods and leave a ¼” gap
between the legs and box. But this is subtle and I wanted to add something
else. So I want to add a copper sphere at the top of the box. I drew up the
design full scale and the sphere looks good at ¾”. So, I started researching
copper spheres and what I found are jewelry spheres ½” and less or solid
spheres 1” and greater. I ordered the 1” spheres which are actually used for
plating copper.

   So here are some of my issues/questions/concerns:

*	Is there any way possible to reduce the diameter? I thought about
some kind of holding contraption on a lathe and then using files but that
just sounds like a bad idea.
*	The sphere weights in at 3 oz. Now that may seem light but it’s a
little heftier that I wanted because I don’t want it to tip the box over
when hinged open. The box footprint will be 8”x12” so it may be OK. I will
build a prototype as I always do so I’ll find out. Also with a prototype it
will be easy to see if 1” is too big. A ¾” hollow sphere would be perfect
but I can’t find that.
*	Will solid copper drill OK? I would like to drill a hole for a rod
to anchor the sphere to the box. I will epoxy the sphere to a cradle but a
rod would be so much more secure IMO. And, given the weight, I would feel
*	Here’s another take 
. Is there a way to cut the sphere in ½” I only
have WW bandsaws so even with a metal blade, WW bandsaws run too fast, don’t
they? The thought process here is maybe I take the two half spheres and
attach them to the side of the box as an adornment. The design will be
mostly Asian so spheres might look good. 

   So you can see the design is in total flux. I’ve started building the
prototype out of pine.




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