Reflective, colourful and malleable, copper and its alloys have been prized by architects and blacksmiths since time immemorial. Today, however, copper sheeting backed with wood (as opposed to full-thickness metal) is the preferred medium for most craftsmen.
Whether the copper sheet is flat or embossed, the gluing procedure is basically the same: etching the metal's undersurface, applying liquid epoxy and clamping with a batten (i.e., long, flat piece of wood) to set overnight.
Load the disk sander with a 60-grit disk.
Lay the copper sheet face down on a sturdy surface.
Turn the sander on and apply it to the sheet, creating a pattern of circular etch marks across the entire back surface.
Turn off the sander.
Soak a rag in lacquer thinner and thoroughly polish the newly-etched surface with it. Give the surface 30 minutes to air dry.
Pour 3M Fastbond 30NF liquid adhesive into an empty 1-quart paint can until the container is two-thirds full.
Dip the paintbrush into the liquid adhesive and paint a thin layer onto the area of the wood where you plan to attach the copper sheet.
Paint a thin layer of adhesive onto the entire etched surface of the copper sheet.
Lay the copper sheet on top of the wood so that the two adhesive-coated surfaces meet.
Lay a sheet of 4 Mil. plastic sheeting over the entire copper sheet.
Lay a sheet of 1/8"-thick cork on top of the plastic sheeting.
Lay the batten over the centre of the cork sheet.
Attach a G-clamp around the top of the batten and bottom of the wood every 8 inches.
Tighten each G-clamp snugly.
Remove excess adhesive from around the edge of the copper sheet.
Allow the assembly to dry for at least 12 hours.
Things you need
- Batten (a long, flat strip of wood at least 1.5" thick)
- Disk sander
- 60-grit sander disk
- 4 Mil. plastic sheeting
- 1/8" cork sheets
- 3M Fastbond 30NF liquid adhesive
- Lacquer thinner
- Three to eight G-clamps
- Empty 1-quart paint can
- Paint Brush