Copper kitchen table?

craig00March 12, 2008

We're remodeling our kitchen and my wife is interested in getting a copper top table 70x40. The base will probably be wrought iron. I have my doubts about how practical it is and the cost. Am I correct that copper is fairly soft, stains easily and interacts with acids. We'll be using the table many times a day and we're not the type of people who are big on upkeep. In other words, we'll buy good quality, but we just want to use it an not worry.

Any input, recommendations, resources and snide comments are welcome.

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aliceinwonderland_id

Yes, copper is soft, but it will be over a base of wood, so not to worry. Now, you have to think carefully about the type of look you want. Do you want the shiny, new copper look? If so, I would not recommend copper for a table. It will be a lot of work. However, if you love patina, want it to generally look like an old penny, and will enjoy the fact that it will get lighter or darker everywhere liquid touches it, then you will love it. You can see pics in the copper countertop thread below. If you would like, I could take some closeups of typical spots from liquids. My countertop changes everyday, which I love, but it's not for everyone.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 8:44AM
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craig00

Thanks Alice.

I don't see the thread you're referring to. We'd welcome pictures of your counter top. Also any info on where you bought it.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 2:35PM
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aliceinwonderland_id

Here is a pic of the whole countertop.

Although individual places change daily, overall, it pretty much always looks just like this. When it was initially installed, it was bright, shiny copper, looked like an alien ship had landed in the middle of my kitchen. It took about two weeks to look like this and it has stayed this way. I suppose I could wax it to prevent it from changing, but that sounds like work, and I am all about making my life easier when it comes to cleaning.

Acid things spilled on the countertop make it brighter, more coppery. Basic things make it darker, more brown. Oil makes it glow and adds a bit of a purplish cast.

Here is a pic of a new spot from today:

A variety of old spots:

A variety of new spots:

Some unique markings. We cooked chicken wings 2 weeks ago and had the wings set out on a paper towel to dry after we rinsed them. This is in an area of the countertop we don't use daily so the marks are still visible. In a couple more weeks they will blend in better with the rest of the countertop.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 4:13PM
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craig00

Beautiful, Alice! Where was it fabricated?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 5:45PM
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aliceinwonderland_id

I did it on site, out of plywood, copper sheet and copper bar.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 7:10PM
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craig00

Yes, I found the thread. Very impressive. If we were to try it ourselves I would surely end up in hell with all the cursing when I invariably make a mistake and when things don't go smoothly.

We're getting price quotes. One is from Handcraftedmetal.com which appears to be very well made and uses 48 oz. German copper. Judging from your posts 48 oz. (16 gauge) is far thicker than needed.

You've had your counters for over a year. We like the idea of the copper changing color over time and when my wife talks to people about getting a copper table she tells them your chicken wing story. More importantly, are there any issues with dents, scratches, knife cuts? I.e., how practical is it for daily use?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:46AM
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aliceinwonderland_id

The commercial tops you find will generally be formed with 48 oz copper so that all of the edges can be welded an smooth. They are then set on a plywood base just for some extra support, rather than glued like mine. If money had been no object, I would have gone that route, but my budget did not allow nearly that much $$$ for countertops.

As to scratches and dents. I have no dents because of the wood underneath, but I suppose I could dent it if I beat on it with a hammer. It does get light scratches from sliding things across it, but they just become part of the patina. I deeper scratch could be sanded out with regular sandpaper and an orbital sander. The shiny spot would soon patina and match the rest of the countertop. I do not cut on the copper, always use a cutting board. Copper is soft enough that you can use standard wood-cutting tools so it would show marks if you cut directly on it (not to mention, it would cause your knives to dull faster). My copper island is my main work surface in my kitchen so it gets heavy use and I have yet to damage it at all. But, you do have to love the daily changes or it would drive you insane.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 3:05PM
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