Copper sheet to cover a window sill?

fandlilDecember 30, 2007

The window sill in our kitchen bay window, stained wood, probably plywood, got damaged from water used for plants displayed on the sill. I thought I might cover the sill with sheet copper, which comes in 12 inch widths. Since the sill is 11 inches deep, that leaves one inch to tuck under the plywood for a nice neat look.

Is this a job for an inexperienced DIY guy? What kinds of tools do I need, and what should I look out for? If it's too complicated for me to do, how can I find a craftsperson to do it? Once the copper is installed, how should I care for it?

Thanks for your help.

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I think it's a big mistake to think something like this is impossible. And it's probably best to lean on your own talents for it. The only people I can think of who are experienced with copper forming is roofers who work in a lot of copper. If you know one who isn't working this time of year, he might be willing to do it.

But I think it's great to figure these things out and execute them yourself. I do things all the time that I start out not knowing a thing about. You learn and hone your talents thru DOING. I'd go for it if I were you, and if you find a better way once you've done it, then toss out the first one and make another one. You can take the failure to a recycler and make back the money you spent on it, anyway.

I'd try to find some copper nails to install it with. I wouldn't do a thing to it after that. Let it get tarnished--copper usually looks better that way rather than polished. If you want it polished tho, put a couple coats of polyurethane on it to seal it.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 2:57PM
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Hey, Green-zeus, thanks for your words of encouragement. I think I will give this a try, and I like the idea of fastening the sheeting down with copper nails. It'll be a few weeks before I have time to pursue this. I'll let you know how it turns out, maybe attach a pic.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 8:59PM
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Be sure to drill pilot holes thru the copper that are just SLIGHTLY larger than the shank of the nail, but smaller than the head. If you don't pre-drill the copper, it will dent. Then use a smaller drill size to make a pilot hole thru the sill. If you don't, the nail won't go in straight and the head won't be flush to the copper. Most of the copper nails I've used have a rounded head that will stand above the surface.

If you encounter denting issues you could think about applying dents to the whole surface to give it a hammered copper look. Hmmmm--that might be interesting. You could use the round end of a small ball-pein hammer,along with a large punch. Some random large dings interspersed with many small ones from the punch.

Good luck. I'd like to see pics of this. A project like this reminds me of the old saying,"I didn't know it was impossible, so I went ahead and did it anyway."

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 11:23AM
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This should be very doable for an enterprising person. I'd go with the thickest copper sheet that you can easily bend. The idea of a hammered surface is a great one, but you would want to get some practice on a test piece.

If you needed to join pieces end to end, I'd consider solder to handle the butt joints. Again, a test piece would be crucial here to get the skill down.

Finally, there are patinating agents that you can use to get an aged looking green color quickly if you want it.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 10:36PM
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"sheet copper, which comes in 12 inch widths."

Sounds like copper flashing.
Copper is also available in sheets, often 3 ft x 8 feet, or 3 feet x 10 feet.
A common 'thickness' is 16 oz per square foot.
It is normally very soft and not hard to work.
You should be able to make the sill 'covers' each be one single piece and avoid any joints.
If you bend a small tab on the window edge you can hide the fasteners on that side, and put them underneath the wood sill so they are hidden there.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 3:53PM
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