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Old 09-07-2012, 10:18 AM
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edwardn edwardn is offline
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Default Working with copper

I have wanted to use copper for some time now so I finally gave it a go... and these are the first things I made with it, the leaves are all cnc plasma cut 16 ounce copper and the stems/branches/trunk are rg45 welding rods coated in braze. The copper foilage for the tree was made from the left over material around the leaf cut outs... the largest leaf spray is 3'hx2'w, the other 2 are about 12"x12" and the tree is 3'hx2'w.

Cheers
EDD
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2012, 10:43 AM
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Cutting the thin copper with a cnc plasma isnt as easy as it sounds, I used 40 amp fine cut nozzle with the amps set at 25 which is the lowest I can go and I ran the ipm at 160... The first attempt I tried cutting the copper ontop of a sheet of 24 gauge S Steel but hat didnt work out so I took the stainless off the table and cut just the copper sheet alone... being so thin it wants to burn through quickly then the torch dives into the sheet so it took awhile to get the setting right and once I had that it went pretty good and the cuts were clean, I had a few s steel leaves that i was going to add in but decided against using them for now, I dabbed some braze on the end ot the stems and then welded brazed the stems to the leaves.
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  #3  
Old 09-07-2012, 10:54 AM
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Part of the learning curve, the copper burns through really easy and fortunatley this was the only one ruined so I used it for a experiment in acid cleaning... the copper turns black from heating and annealing so I cleaned them all with the wirewheel on my grinder and then as an after thought used the ruined leaf in acid... and it worked really well, so from now on they will all get cleaned in acid first to save time on the wirewheel. The last 2 picture are straight out of the acid and rinsed so you can see how clean and how well the acid works as compared to the fist 2 pics.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:03 AM
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I thought that by coating the rg45 rods with bronze would look better so thats what these picture show, it didnt take that long to do and I think the textured look is better...
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  #5  
Old 09-07-2012, 11:05 AM
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Nice work Ed. Working with soft materials like this will do one of two things....teach you to have more patience or let you know you'd rather work with steel.

Well done.

Doing 'fancy' trim pieces for a friends cabinet shop has never had me using the Plasma's, but I guess I could do so.

I prefer to cut by hand, or use the jig/cope saws I have as it gives me down time to relax doing something sitting down and getting over the week of stress. But that's just me.

As of now I have a little side job for weekends where I've got 12 windows to cover, 16" X 24", for a pair of kitchen pie cabinets/hutches. All of the panes to be done in copper sheeting, with a specific design done with nails(nail holes) and burnishing tooling for the rest of the work. They have a specific design in mind, but I am allowed my own artistic license as to what it/they end up with.

I will say that to the everyday joe buying copper sheeting, do not gag on the cost of the sheets. It is expensive.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
it didnt take that long to do and I think the textured look is better...
Personally, I think that look makes it 'kick' for the eye. Nice.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:15 AM
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The tree was an after thought once the leaf sprays were done, I had alot of copper left over from around the leaves that I wanted to use up because copper is so expensive... next time I will nest the leaves better to reduce the waste... trying to place and fit random peices to create the look took awhile so I laid it all out on my table first.
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  #8  
Old 09-07-2012, 11:40 AM
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Thanks LW

Patience is the key doing this type of work and something I am still trying to learn and aquire... I understand the stress factor and my shop is like a decompression chamber to me... the copper can be cut by hand tools easy enough, I even seen a guy on utube use his O/A torch with a welding tip and high heat burn them out from a pattern he drew... they looked ok with the melted edges and would be my preference over tin snips... I used my cnc plasma only because I have it and looking for other thing to use it for. By the way I did gag at the price of copper but in the end I think it is worth it as the copper seems to have a life of it own, give it alittle heat and it transforms itself into all different colors.
Be sure to post some pics of your up coming copper work.

Cheers
EDD
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  #9  
Old 09-07-2012, 12:09 PM
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Very pretty, Ed.

While the leaf work itself is impressive and I don't mean to downplay the intricacy & skill of the cutting process, what really makes it all work for my eyes is your work with the stems.
You make them arc and flow so naturally and that's pretty unusual.

Really nice.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:12 PM
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Nice work. The final colors are real nice.
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