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Old 05-13-2019, 03:58 PM
Steeveedee Steeveedee is offline
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Default connecting copper pieces together

My wife has asked me to make some ivy out of copper. It's going to be some climbers for the chimney, so lots of leaves.


Edited to add:

TL;DR version- screw it. After looking around at the pain and what it's going to cost, I'm going to use iron and paint it! I'll use the copper for something else.

My question is a recommended method to adhere the leaves to the wire. I can sweat them on, (there would be a flap that I would form around the wire "vine" so that I have enough surface area) but then the solder might show. I have an oxyacetylene rig but have never welded copper. And wouldn't that take some kind of flux? I guess that that would be easy to scrub off.

Any recommendations?

In the interest of not losing the rest of my sanity, I'm going to make the leaves all the same size. I can sandwich the leaf blanks between some aluminum blocks and either cut them on my band saw or have a friend cut the stack in his mill. I have about feet 50 feet of 20 mil by 2" wide and about 70 feet of 10 mil by 1-1/2" wide strap on coils. Either can be easily cut to shape and formed. I'll patinate the thing with ammonia, which I've done before on other projects. Here's an example. I got solder bleeding out of most of the joints, to some degree or another. You might not be able to see that, because my camera skills are shit. I was working at Cape Canaveral on TDY (civilian) and had time to do a little copper work there. This was made with a propane torch, solder and a bunch of spring clips to keep it together, since the copper conducted the heat to every joint during soldering. I only burnt myself a few times. Wow, this got long.
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Last edited by Steeveedee; 05-13-2019 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:05 PM
Steeveedee Steeveedee is offline
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So, I went to Industrial Metal Supply in Sunland this afternoon. They have stamped leaves for 54ยข each. It just got a ton easier, since I wasn't in the mood for fabricating them myself. I'll run the leaf styles by the wife.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:10 PM
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Sounds like a plan to me.
I don't have any suggestions for attaching them with an invisible joint & I guess no one else does either or they would have said something.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:30 PM
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When I don't have access to a tig machine, I have had the best luck with Harris 56 Stay-Silv silver solder 1/16" dia. and Stay-Silv flux. It's a med temp solder (1200F), but it will show against a copper background.

The trick to making an almost invisible joint is to clean and flux your parts only where you want the solder, cut a very small length and nest it into the joint before heating and clamp the parts together with forceps if you have any.

The leaves in the pic are about 1/2" wide from 16 oz (.0216) sheet. The joint on the right is much tighter than the joint on the left.

I'm interested in your procedure for producing verdigri patina.

On edit, use the smallest oxy-fuel tip you have and the flame cone adjusted to about 1/8" max. Then wave it around until you get comfortable get the results you want.
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Last edited by arizonian; 05-14-2019 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:43 AM
Steeveedee Steeveedee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonian View Post
When I don't have access to a tig machine, I have had the best luck with Harris 56 Stay-Silv silver solder 1/16" dia. and Stay-Silv flux. It's a med temp solder (1200F), but it will show against a copper background.

The trick to making an almost invisible joint is to clean and flux your parts only where you want the solder, cut a very small length and nest it into the joint before heating and clamp the parts together with forceps if you have any.

The leaves in the pic are about 1/2" wide from 16 oz (.0216) sheet. The joint on the right is much tighter than the joint on the left.

I'm interested in your procedure for producing verdigri patina.

On edit, use the smallest oxy-fuel tip you have and the flame cone adjusted to about 1/8" max. Then wave it around until you get comfortable get the results you want.
It didn't occur to me that I could simply flatten the copper wire and solder the back of the leaf to it. That would hide most of the join, and masking the remainder of the wire would stop the solder from running down. I'm liking this! The assembly will be fixed flat to our chimney, so the solder wouldn't be visible, much. Believe it or not, my wife is balking at the price for the steel leaves. I guess me machining them doesn't compute as a cost, nor does the fact that they'll be "made out of money" if I use copper. If I do decide to go with steel, I'll just go buy them. I don't need permission, I only wanted her artistic input.

The patina I made on the dodecahedron in the OP was done in a plastic tote. I set it on some rocks so that the vapor only got at the copper, first with chlorine bleach for about a week, then ammonia (rinsed the bleach out first!) overnight. The ammonia vapors attacked the copper pretty strongly, turning it the dark green. I ended up using a green Scotch-Brite pad to remove some of dark green to get the copper chloride visible. I forget what I sealed it with.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:12 PM
kbs2244 kbs2244 is offline
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Epoxy

I have even used it for joining copper pipe when the studs were too close for comfort to use a torch.

It allows a little time for adjustment.
That can be nice.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:22 PM
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Default connecting copper pieces together

Soldering sounds like the best suggestion, unless tig welder is available to weld it that way.

Otherwise, some sort of epoxy might work too.


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