Copper sinks

eleenaMarch 22, 2012

I have noticed that more and more people are getting those.

Is it only b/c you like the looks or are there any other advantages over SS sinks?


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It depends......

Most copper sinks on the market are high maintenance because you have to maintain the finish.

If you like the look of copper sinks, Rachiele Sinks is the ONE cs manufacturer that has a lifetime warranty on the finish and also maintains the anti-microbial characteristics of copper.

Besides the different look, the main advantage of copper over SS sinks is that antimicrobial quality. Our family is heavily into healthy, sustainable living practices and when I did some research on sinks, I was surprised that this one manufacturer of a certain type of sink material was the only one that offered a health benefit compared to SS, porcelain, other copper sinks, etc.

Rachiele has been at the forefront in producing quality sinks. They are the only ones with an EPA certification for the antimicrobial qualities mentioned.

For this reason, we have several in our home and I always recommend that folks consider them. They are not cheap, but are very much on par with comparable offerings in the market place.

Sorry to go on like a commercial on this, but this issue really hits home with me. (no pun intended :))

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 4:36PM
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I purchased a copper sink for my new kitchen. I have never liked the look of stainless sinks so I would never consider one. The few times I have had SS sinks, I found them a pain to keep looking clean.

I'd always wanted a copper sink but didn't want to put up with the maintenance of a copper sink with an applied patina. The reason I went with a copper sink this time is because I found one through this forum that doesn't have an applied patina and is very easy to care for. My sink will change with time and use. It is a very different look than SS. The finish won't be uniform most of the time. Acidic things will instantly take it back down to shiny copper. I love that but is isn't for everyone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rachiele copper sinks

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 4:41PM
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SS sinks vs Rachiele copper sink

SS shows water spots.

SS scratches. If the interior scratches on Rachiele it will patina over. Same if you get the standard finish on the apron front.

Then there is the antimicrobial advantage. That is why pipes in homes have traditional been done with copper.

Then there is the corner drain which allows you to wash something like a cookie sheet without stopping the drain of water and allows you to put the garbage disposal in the corner of the sink cabinet instead of the middle which makes it rather useless for anything but storing a few bottles of cleansers and cleaners.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 4:57PM
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Circus Peanut

Not to be a party pooper, but any raw copper has that same antimicrobial quality. The only thing Rachiele is doing is making a clever marketing virtue out of the fact that they don't lacquer the insides of their sinks. Just fyi and nothing against the company; I think their sinks are gorgeous and folks on this forum have spoken well of their customer service.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 4:59PM
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You're not being a party pooper, circuspeanut, but you are mischaracterizing what the Rachiele process does.

There is significant benefit in a self-healing finish that maintains the antimocrobial qualities. You are correct that all cooper has these qualities, but...

All copper sinks do not have the same copper purity

Any finish (lacquer, etc) puts a film between those wonderful qualities and your food/utensils. Rachiele's does not film over the copper and is self-healing. Without a finish, you are constantly polishing your sink - which you will do with any other copper sink when the lacquer wears off.

So it is NOT just a clever marketing ploy. Unlike many other manufacturers out there, this is a product that not only does what it says, but does it better than any other.

Again, this is not a commercial, but my "emotions" do reflect the care and priority I place on my family's health.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:10PM
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So, rosegarden1, what I hear you saying is that those of us who use stainless steel sinks do not care about and do not place a priority on our family's health. I do hope that that is not how you intended your comments to come across as sounding.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:23PM
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When a copper sink has an applied patina, it loses its antimicrobial quality because the raw copper is covered. It isn't a marketing ploy. The reason I never had a copper sink before purchasing a Rachiele is because of the finish applied to most copper sinks. A finish that requires maintenance and can be damaged.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:24PM
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blfenton - Wow! That was a leap! rosegarden never said people who have SS sinks don't care about their family's health. She said the antimicrobial quality was one added benefit that she liked about having a copper sink. That's it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:30PM
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LOL!!! :)

Sorry you feel that way, blf, as that was certainly not my intention.

It is very eye-opening when you research what we have in our kitchens and why. I was merely sharing some very heart-felt lessons-learned in the hope that some good might come of it.

It is also scary when you consider the various construction materials that have been used in homes over the years. My dearest has disabling respiratory issues, so I try very hard to understand our home environment and surroundings.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 6:06PM
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One of the reasons I chose copper countertop over stainless was it's antibacterial qualities.
Sure, studies somewhere says ecoli lives for four hrs on copper. 34 days on stainless.
That's great if you're the kind of person that doesn't wipe off your counters, AND...sets the timer at 5 or 6hrs after leaving your kitchen until you can re-enter.
(5 or 6hrs? They say 4hrs, but, better safe than sorry).

Truth is, most people wipe their counters, and I doubt the material of the countertop or the sink causes many illnesses in a residential environment.

Patina does not affect coppers properties.
Locking in a patina with a clearcoat of some sort of sealant does.

You should choose copper, or whatever, for other reasons. Mostly personal preference due to looks I'd think?
Every material has it's pros and cons. Very seldom does a material get chosen because it's INDESTRUCTIBLE. And even then, appearance will still be a deciding factor.

BTW: Those of you with "thin" metal sinks. Find large, rubber, bungy cords. Wrap them around the bowls, hidden inside the cabinets. They need to be the right length to be tight when finished.
It'll make your sink FEEL much more solid.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 7:29PM
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Circuspeanut said "any raw copper sink" (emphasis added). Hence, there was no need to correct her.

Sighhh, I wish I could have found the dosh for a Rachielle sink. I even thought long and hard about trying to make my own copper sink. I decided I could live with soldered seams (rather than welded). However, I figured that it would probably LOOK like I made it! (Not a Good Thing.)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:14PM
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Circus Peanut

There is significant benefit in a self-healing finish that maintains the antimocrobial qualities. You are correct that all cooper has these qualities, but...
All copper sinks do not have the same copper purity
Any finish (lacquer, etc) puts a film between those wonderful qualities and your food/utensils. Rachiele's does not film over the copper and is self-healing. Without a finish, you are constantly polishing your sink - which you will do with any other copper sink when the lacquer wears off.
So it is NOT just a clever marketing ploy. Unlike many other manufacturers out there, this is a product that not only does what it says, but does it better than any other.

I understand that that's the marketing language used by Rachiele, but honest to betsy, Rosegarden1, the touted "self-healing finish" is just raw copper that's been allowed to patinate.

Copper is by definition "self-healing" in that oxidation of its surface never stops, and any scratches on it will begin to patinate immediately and darken like the rest of the piece. My raw copper countertops have the exact same "self-healing finish" as the interior of your sink. It's just what copper does if it's not sealed. It's not some special trade secret. :-)

From what metallurgists tell me, the 'purity' of copper (i.e., how much lead or other admixture is in it) actually does not affect its antimicrobial properties. Whatever antimicrobiality it has, it has regardless of its exact formulation. And as Dando says, it doesn't lose this quality by acquiring a patina, either (I remember looking that one up when I was trying to figure out whether to keep my counters shiny-raw or not).

Rosegarden1, believe me, I have no desire to denigrate anybody's sink, much less the use of raw copper itself! I probably have more of it in my kitchen than anyone else here. But I just wanted to set the record straight on what exactly is meant by the sometimes misleading terms that are used in the industry.

Rachiele sinks are lovely and very well-crafted and that's certainly reason enough on its own to consider them for a kitchen remodel.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:14PM
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My message came in moments after Circus's. Now it looks weird!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Circus Peanut

Oh I don't know, Angie. I thought the same thing about my counters, but they seem to have turned out OK.

My partner is making noises about making and installing our own copper gutters this summer. !! Wanna come visit..? ;-)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:19PM
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I have not been to the great state of Maine in soooo long that your "offer" is actually tempting! Alas, I fear it is not to be. I am this close to finishing my kitchen, but will be taking a work-related 2-month hiatus (again). Thus, I think I already know what I will be doing with my summer :^)

Actually, the self-made copper sink is not entirely out of the question. I will put in a nice stainless one, but I could always make one just a bit bigger than that one in the future; if it turns out well, I could cut the opening in my soapstone counter a little bigger!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:49PM
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Perhaps I could have used a better choice of words. By saying "applied patina" I'm meaning the sinks that have that beautiful, dark, uniform color that is then sealed. Those sinks require polishing and can scratch through the sealed finish. Sealing the finish means this sink loses its antimicrobial quality. I know what I meant but it wasn't clear.

I bought my sink because it is beautiful, pretty indestructible, easy to care for and very functional. I love the right rear drain and that I won't get a backache because it is too deep.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 10:12PM
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It's true that there are cheap copper sinks that are lacquered and made out of adulterated copper. However, it's equally true that Rachiele isn't the only company making high quality copper sinks, despite what they would have you believe. Their sinks are nice, but before I decided against copper altogether I had decided I didn't like Rachiele's zero radius corners and had found other companies, including Circle City Copperworks or CopperWorks in Petaluma that seem to make good sinks. Definitely what you want with any good quality copper sink is a natural patina (which will all be "self healing").

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 12:07AM
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You were fine, PooPup. I think we stumbled upon the Garden Web Copper Guild and weren't supposed to voice any opinions on copper sinks, good intentions or not.

Obviously I struck a chord here.... but don't seem to have read a bunch of usable recommendations for eleena's question.

Dando - copper, stainless, whatever. If there was nothing to copper, why are hospitals looking more closely at it for sinks, etc? I really wasn't following you very well other than you seem to advocate frequent cleaning of countertops. Good on ya, dude!

Angie - you are obviously just following the crowd. Keep up the good work.! America and your colleagues need you.

Fiddle dee dee, Jena (Circuspeanut). Thank you for the treatise on self-healing copper. I think we all get that. I guess I would ask why all copper doesn't maintain the steady coloration of a Rachiele product? - and PLEASE don't insist that it does. Methinks you are almost protesting too much in poopooing proponents of a specific unique brand with which you have NO experience.

And you are offering nothing as a viable consumer alternative, "metallurgical consultations" not withstanding.

You would think you had taught our nation's children to read vice putting together a nice (in your words OK, but I'll certainly give you "nice") albeit not to everyone's tastes, copper countertop section. Roll out a couple of sinks with curved radii and then you're talking! ☺

And I had to go back to figure out the parsing of discussions by you and Dando to attempt to comprehend some of the arguments you were foisting. I had made some pretty concise statements that had varied relations to your subsequent posts. VERY confusing... until one realizes you are not offering discussion as much as pushing your own talking points for some strange reason.

We could have these same conversations about Dacor, Wolf, Electrolux, Miele or Gaggenau and would truly be splitting hairs because of the standards and specifications, some of which are self governing, covering appliance production. Even stainless steel has manufacturing standards where the consumer can usually determine what they are buying. Not so with copper sinks beyond gauge measurement (14, 20, etc).

I do think copper purity is a viable factor because of the potential presence of lead (health) or iron (rust) deposits and their potential undesired effects, not for any impact on microbial bias. I never took a position either way in any earlier posts.

I am not a copper expert. I am a homemaker with a brain and reasonable access to a variety of fabricators in different media. Since I do not have the inclination to install copper countertops or improve upon copper sinks at this time, Rachiele remains, in my mind, "best in class" for consumers that save and are willing to invest their "dosh" in a quality copper product.

For this reason, I offered it as a recommendation to the original poster whom, I suspect, does not run a metal breaking operation in her spare time or have metallurgists on retainer. There are so many unsatisfactory copper sink options on the market. It was most proper to recommend consideration of that which was a sound and wise investment.

Best of luck with the guttering project, Jena! I am sure you and your partner will enjoy their progression in "patina" to that lovely aged verde. And save your "dosh," Angie, 'cause airline tickets are going to run you WAY more than a Rachiele sink.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 12:11AM
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Shut up, rosegarden. You have prated on long enough.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 12:22AM
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Let me know if you need help placing your red enveloped penny, Marcolo!!! :)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:08AM
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As far as finishes it's really simple. Copper tarnishes over time to the color of an old copper penny. If you start out with a sink that has a different color finish it won't stay even, because any acid or scratch will strip off the finish, and the copper will eventually return to the old copper penny color. If instead the manufacturer simply speeds up the natural process so that the sink starts with that color then any blemishes will over time return to that color and match. In testing whether I wanted a copper sink I just got a sample of pure copper and did it myself.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 10:35AM
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"and the copper will eventually return to the old copper penny color. "

Given enough time, but since sinks get used it is likely to get another dose of acid (lemon juice, vinegar) or salt (nice green colors) long before it is uniform in 'patina.'

If you want a nice uniform looking sink copper is NOT a good choice.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 10:44AM
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"If you want a nice uniform looking sink copper is NOT a good choice."

True enough, brick! However, my particular tastes would lead me to say "If you want a nice uniform looking sink, copper is NOT a good choice." :^)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Circus Peanut


I fear that your crass incivility is doing more to harm Rachiele's reputation than the reverse, which is a shame. You do realize that these GardenWeb posts are among the most accessed on the web when consumers do product searches?

I'm a DIYer who's been posting about copper for the past four years on this forum and have never advocated nor denigrated any specific brand or manufacturer. If Rachiele is paying you, you are targeting the wrong poster. Who is Jena? That's not my name, in real life or on the web. You are carrying on some bizarre emotional battle with a total stranger here. (!)

Please take it elsewhere. This is a friendly forum and whatever your good intentions, you are insulting our members and acting like a troll.
Just the facts for anyone truly looking for information, like the OP Eleena:

- Copper is a marvelous metal and you can get gorgeous copper kitchen sinks and/or countertops made by reputable manufacturers, including Rachiele, Circle City, Frigo, CopperWorks, Signature Hardware, Kohler, Brooks Custom, etc etc. You can also buy unbranded copper sinks of unknown manufacture via many online sink outlets and big box stores. If you have a specific sink in mind, post your question on this forum and perhaps another member will have experience with it.

- Copper has been suggested to have antimicrobial qualities when it is left raw and uncoated. There are numerous recent studies on this available online and it's been written up in some major newspapers. Many copper sink and countertop manufacturers lacquer the surface of the copper, which cancels out this quality.

- There are many gradations of copper metal quality. I'm always a fan of made in USA products (buy local!) but there are sinks to be had from Mexico, India, China. Always check the origin of your prospective sink to be sure you are comfortable with its makeup & mode of manufacture.

- Unlike stainless steel, the surface of copper oxidates when exposed to the air. This is called "patina". It doesn't affect the antimicrobial quality of the metal. Because patina can vary immensely depending on what substances touch the copper, commercial sink manufacturers can customize the patina they offer, from darkest brown to bright verdant green. It's all gorgeous!

- Patination on copper is a living process. The metal will go from brown to green to black and everywhere in between. Patina can be achieved naturally, over time (think of green/brown copper cupolas on old buildings), or artificially, using various weathering techniques (chemicals, fumes). The result is the same.

- The older/thicker the patina, the harder it is to scratch or etch through it, but it will still scratch under hard use in most kitchens. My raw copper countertops are almost 4 years old and a nice dark brown; I rarely scratch through them anymore, but it still happens on occasion. Try scratching an old brown copper penny to see what I mean.

- When patina scratches, the raw copper exposed in the scratch will begin the oxidation process all over again. Whether you call this "self-healing" or anything else, it is a natural quality of copper metal.

- Acidic substances will also etch through patina, no matter how thick or old, and leave the shiny raw salmon copper color. This is why some manufacturers protect their products with many coats of lacquer. (Rachiele, for example, says on their web site that they use 8 coats to protect the exterior of their carefully patinated apron sinks.)

- Some copper sink makers lacquer the interior of their sinks, which means that they will stay looking exactly the same UNTIL that layer of lacquer wears off or it gets scratched through (inevitable over time). This is I think what PoohPup was talking about, above. If you have such a sink and are quite unhappy with its uneven discoloration, you can use lacquer remover to get the coating off entirely; use steel wool and acetate to clean the metal down to its raw state, then either use a commercial copper patination substance to darken it immediately or just let it begin to darken on its own. (I strongly recommend the latter, because some of the patination chemicals are not user-friendly or safe in their liquid form.) Over time it will become a lovely mottled dark brown.

If you like your surfaces to stay exactly the same as the day you bought them, copper is not for you. If you like a living finish that changes with use, check it out.

Lovin' my copper counters as much as the day I made 'em!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 11:02AM
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Great roundup, circus. I also strongly suspect that the troll is on Rachiele's payroll, along with perhaps another poster.

Rachiele makes a lot of arguments about their sinks' unique qualities. As far as I can discern, they may actually have a few. For example, they have a pretty neat design for an apron-front sink that fits into a regular sink base. They may or may not have "purer" copper than some/all of their competitors. That may or may not be important.

But their process for finishing the sink interiors is far from magic. They take raw copper and put vinegar on it. It's not the vinegar treatment that's important for antimicrobial properties, it's the fact that the copper is raw, meaning unlacquered. And they are not the only manufacturers of unlacquered copper sinks. Period. I really don't see how it matters in the long run how the interior of the sink looks like on the day it arrives, and how nicely and organically it has been patinated with a bottle of Heinz, because it will develop its own old penny patina over time. What matters is the lack of a coating on the copper, and you can get that from a number of manufacturers.

Anyone who disagrees with me just doesn't care about their family. They probably hang around elementary schools in trench coats, also. ;)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Sarcasm: "Sorry honey, you can't make a sammich yet, It's only been an hour since I cooked chicken, the countertop isn't safe yet"

If you are using the germy killer as a decision maker? Probably not a smart move based solely on that.

Fact is, most folks clean up icky stuff. And that's what makes your kitchen a safe environment. (for those that don't, a bleach countertop wouldn't help much)
So, stainless, copper, zinc, granite, or ????
Buy it because you like it for other reasons. Not because it's touted as sanitary in raw form.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Oh, wow, I did not know it'd end up being such a "hot" topic! (Wink)

Here is why I asked the question. When we bought the house, there was a round copper vanity sink in the powder room, but the vanity was too big for the room (one could barely open the door) and looked really awkward there.

I replaced the vanity with a pedestal sink but kept it the garage till I could decide what to do with it.

Hoenstly, I was sick and tired of polishing that sink as it was shiny only till the next time it was used and then it turned brown again.

Does it mean it was raw copper or that any original finish applied to it is gone?

Personally, I like the patinated look better than the shiny one but I had no idea it was "acceptable" to others, so I kept polishing it every time we had company, LOL.

The sink can be used as a prep sink (we desparately need a second sink) and, most likely, will look great with "projected" green soapstone countertops. That is why I thought of replacing our old and horribly loooking SS main sink with a copper one.

However, I find Rachiele sinks outrageously expensive (no offense to fans) and I don't like their marketing techniques. It is good to know that there are companies that sell them.

BTW, I am totally *in love* with SS (LOL) but I don't like how SS sinks "age". No matter how much BKF is applied, the our old kitchen sink looks sort of "unclean" to me. Copper will look "old" from the get go, so no "aging" issues, right? :-)

BTW, is there Silgranit that looks like copper?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 12:05PM
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I've purchased a Rachiele sink because it's the best and I'll fight enny feller that sez differnt!!

No, really, I just thought they were really beautiful, the look seemed to fit with what I think I'm trying to do design-wise and I found one in their clearance (haha). Price still kinda makes me swallow hard, though but what's done is done.

Good luck in your sink quest!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 12:48PM
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eleena, it's hard to know if your old sink is raw, or if it originally had a finish that failed. What I might do, if it were mine, not that I am a fancy metallurgist consultant or anything (!), is use some lacquer-removal techniques on it to see if there's anything there I can get up. Once it's clean, let it age naturally. Or use vinegar for natural feng shui healing--but only if you love your children.

This thread does raise the question about whether anyone has ever studied the effect of copper sinks on mental health.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 1:29PM
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gregincal wrote: "I didn't like Rachiele's zero radius corners"

FWIW, Rachiele made us a non-zero radius corner sink. It's an upcharge, though. Here's an in-use photo:

"... and had found other companies, including Circle City Copperworks or CopperWorks in Petaluma."

I prefer to do business more locally, especially when I can visit their shops/factories, and, being in California, I actually tried to get a design and quote out of the Copperworks. Petaluma is driving distance (1.5 hours), but I didn't want to go unless we had confirmation that they could do what we wanted and had an appt. After 2 voice messages (no return call), I finally got someone on the phone. She suggested I email my design requirements. I did. No response. I'm pretty forgiving of small company issues (family stuff can get in the way sometimes) but we were juggling lots of decisions at the time and I just didn't get around to continuing trying for a response.

So the far more responsive Rachiele got our business.

We chose copper for looks. If a mass market SS sink had met our design requirements at a much lower price point, we'd likely have SS right now. Since we had to go custom, both copper and SS were options and copper won for it's wonderful coloring and ability to patina in a mottled fashion.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 1:39PM
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Circus Peanut

Is the scary Rachiele lady gone now? I'll creep back into the forum just to say thanks to Marcolo et al; this was a surprisingly unpleasant interaction for me. (Not to mention the creepiness of being called "Jena" on a public forum by some total stranger when that isn't my real name.) And what the heck is a red-enveloped penny?

Since this thread, I've been unable to get one phrase out of my mind:

Here is a link that might be useful: Soft Corinthian Leather

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 11:32AM
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CP, you were the voice of reason here and my hat's off to you. I simply cannot think what Rachielle was thinking to employ such a shrill and unpleasant shill. They have a decent product, and there is no need to resort to the hyperbole and outright untruths in order to sell it. It's a boutique product, not a mass market one, and if they aren't charging enough for it to keep the business afloat, then they can certainly charge more and take it out of Rosegarden1's paycheck!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 11:38AM
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I watched it, ROFL.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 11:54AM
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That was, indeed, bizarre. I had typed up a counterpoint, but decided not to feed the trolls.

Circus: You are a class act with a capital C. I think I may have stumbled on the source of the "Jena," and it is pretty harmless, if misguided (I think). I pulled up the old, old thread where you kindly detailed your countertop installation. (I had saved due to my interest in DIY copper panels, sinks, and range hood.) True to form, it wasn't a thread that CP started, but rather she modestly tacked on to an older thread about DIY countertops. That thread was started by "Jenathegreat." I infer that rose was accusing CP of having two logins, or something like that.

Personally, I don't think she or he is a Rachielle shill. I think it is the psychological phenomenon we have touched on before: if you just spent $3000 on kitchen sink (fer cryin' out loud), you are very vested in its being la creme de la creme. You bought it, so you buy the story, too.

I, too, wonder what a red-enveloped penny is! ;-) Guess, I will never know. But, circus, what does good ol' Ricardo Montalban have to do with anything? I do remember that commercial from my youth. As a callow teen, it was kind of a catchphrase to say "with reeech Coreeenthian leather."

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Circus Peanut

Angie -- Corinthian leather doesn't exist; it's a sheerly bogus descriptor made up by the Chrysler marketing department. ;-)

(And thanks so much for figuring out the Jena thing, that had me a little spooked. Work calls here , too, but the invitation to Maine always stands, if only to come admire my tops in all their mottled glory, as it were.)

PS: deedles: LOL!

Here is a link that might be useful: Corinthian leather

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 12:26PM
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As far as the red-enveloped penny, I know that the Chinese give money for Chinese New Year and other occasions in a red envelope (red signifies luck). For young children, a shiny penny is usually in the red envelope for Chinese New Year.

I don't get the reference here, though.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 1:27PM
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"use steel wool and acetate to clean the metal down to its raw state"

If you use steel wool on cooper you can leave enough steel smear behind on the softer copper surface to create surface rust and even galvanic corrosion.

Use a non-woven abrasive (Scotch Brite is a common brand).

You can purchase it in a number of 'grits' from suppliers.
Some have actual abrasive bonded to the material (coarser grades), others are just the base material itself (finer grades).
A mild acid (even lemon juice) can be used for major striping of oxidation on the copper.

Make sure you rinse thoroughly after use to remove all the acid.

lacquer thinner is VERY flammable, with explosive vapors and a fast evaporation rate.
It can also do major damage to plastic drain pipes and even the gaskets in the sink drain basket.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 1:57PM
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Corinthian leather doesn't exist; it's a sheerly bogus descriptor
Ahh, I see the connection. Well, I had fun seeing the old commercial and saying "reeech Coreeenthian leather" again. (Interesting that the actual commercial says "soft Corinthian leather" -- kinda like "Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn" or "Play it again, Sam.")

Thanks again for the kind invite. I doubt it is in the cards, but I can dream, can't I?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 6:49PM
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That corinthian leather thing certainly stuck in the collective consciousness, didn't it.

De Plane, de plane Boss!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 10:33PM
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What a fun thread. I'll just bump it mostly for the opportunity to laud and thank CP. Wow. I must certainly be caring for my family's health because I am contemplating buying a copper sink. As if the price tag weren't discouragement enough, I will stay very, very far away from el creeeeeepy Rachieeele now. I, too vaguely remember that ad from my youth. It was as creeeeepy then as it is now. Geesh.

So yeah -- copper is copper. It's pretty, it's relatively good in the cleanliness department when not gunked up with a sealer (no doubt precisely due to its oxidating patinating qualities -- btw, I don't know about the cleanliness properties of copper but I do know some about ss having worked once for a company that manufactured a product marketed to hospitals and other industrial purposes for cleaning the ss. The take-home message was, no one's ss is clean; to get an operating room clean-enough requires unbelievably scary-strong chemicals and this only lasts very briefly. Your kitchen sink is absolutely certainly scary-gross (as in unhealthily so, regardless of how much you love your children). And your countertop is too, regardless of whether you smear the microbes around immediately after deposition. Them's the breaks. Bugs happen and btw, they're winning...)

So my question is: what's wrong with a Mexican sink if you can be sure it's not got a sealer on it? I'm just talking small vessel here, so it's not like it has to withstand a lot of weight or be made to avoid gaposis . Is this just garden variety xenophoblia that causes people to steer away from Mexican copper? Because it's my impression that there are some pretty fine Mexican copper artisans and my only real regret is not being able to jet down there to interact with one in person.

I may try to check out this place as a consolation prize. Can anyone suggest to me some pitfall I might encounter here or some pointed, probing question I should ask in order to insure adequacy? Maybe, should I ask about the purity? Do I care? What's wrong with using recycled copper? Sounds like a good thing to me?! And for that matter, do I really even care if there's a light brown copper sink finish? Eventually it will fail, then it will be slightly more splotchy than usual for a period of time so short I, in my insensitive glory, will barely notice. I don't know about the rest of you, but a year lasts an eyeblink around here.

So my question is: if I don't care about blotchiness or unevenness in patina, at least temporarily, perhaps I can even live with a "light finish" too, eh?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 4:18AM
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I just wanted to provide for this thread another copper-sink maker, Handcrafted Metal. I bought my custom stainless steel sink from them, and was very happy with how great they were to work with. We designed the sink together, all through phone and email, and they were very responsive, and made good suggestions. I don't have any stake in the company, just wanted to offer an alternative to Rachiele. Handrafted Metal will make anything you want for a sink, in size, shape, drain location, etc. They also have some gorgeous fronts to their apron-front sinks. They're going to be expensive, but I don't think quite as much as Rachiele. I also want to mention that for stainless steel sinks, Rachiele uses 16-gauge stainless steel, while Handcrafted Metal uses the thicker 14-gauge. My experience with Handcrafted Metal was for a ss sink, so I don't have any specific knowledge of their copper sinks, except what I see on the website. But everyone always seems to mention Rachiele and copper sinks in the same post, so I wanted to provide another name.

Here is a link that might be useful: Handcrafted Metal Website

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:29AM
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Deedles re: Corinthian Leather youtube video, ROFL I was going to say the same thing, de plane! de plane! Boss. Man, brings back memories when a car was a floating, swaying houseboat and a sofa on wheels with tufted seats. Ricardo Montalban was too sexy for his shirt and....Tattoo...well ummm...he was a good little plane spotter.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:56AM
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Well, I'm not planning to have any more kids, so I'm thinking of getting one of these:

(BTW, Circus, I always loved you until you put that Ricardo Montalban earworm in my head.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Or will be bad for the grandchildren's health?

This post was edited by kitchendetective on Thu, Jan 31, 13 at 10:23

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:21AM
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KD - at least you know you'll be loving them enough. They can swim in that thing, no? How big is each bowl? Frankly, I'd like it better without the divides, obviously YMMV.

And look at that -- it costs more than Montalban's floating couch!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:33AM
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I wasn't serious about the bronze sink. . .

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:37AM
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whew! (I didn't think so, just teasing)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:52AM
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Aliris, I have two, 14 guage copper sinks from Mexico. They both have an ORB type patina on them but no sealer. I love them.
Copper is non-renewable and is 100% recyclable. I agree with you, why would you not want to use recycled copper?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Can anyone help me determine if this is something I would not want? That is, given that I would like a natural patina to develop and would be happy to skip all the sealing-stuff. If they're selling this with wax, does this imply that there's a sealant on here that they're trying to keep going?

Is 18 gauge too tinny to be elegant?

Thanks for any thoughts you might have, in particular ones pointing out what I'm missing here!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:26PM
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copper stealing is a big business around these parts. Be sure to install in a secure area with appropriate security. If you do not have a big burly man on the premises then you might want to rig some traps.

Dang, I could watch that Cordova commercial all day. Man, those were the days. Back when gas was 35 cents a gallon it almost seemed practical! I think I was in grade school but remember some people actually owned land cruisers.

Life was a lot simpler back then when it was just the big three competing for your car biz and everyone was fiercely loyal. Sort of like the Rachiele lady feels about her sink. Marcolo is right, about the study to what effect copper sinks have on mental health, really they should do more!!!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:11PM
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