Copper sinks are special additions to every kitchen. If you are looking for something to make a statement in your kitchen, then you should consider having the best copper sink. Do you know why it is a smart choice to have a copper bowl in your home? Because you can get them at a lower price and it is unique compared to other kitchen utensils.
However, you must note that the use of copper bowls is not limited only to the kitchen, they are used as bobeches for candle holders, and also used for metal art design and sculptures.
A lot of people falsely believe that copper sinks cannot be used for heavy work because they think copper sinks are fragile. Well, on the contrary, copper sinks aren’t just pretty and decorative, it can also be used for any type of work because it is durable.
Do you know you can make a copper sink bowl with your bare hands? Copper sink bowl plumbing may require intensive experience but it will surely be worth your while because working with copper sheet metal is fun.
Steps By Step Process On How To Make A Copper Sink Bowl
Before you begin the copper bowl Forming Process, you must have the following materials ready:
- Metal snips
- Ball peen hammer
- Tongs or pliers
- Propane touch and bottle
- Leatherwork gloves
Step 1: Design your copper bowl
The first step is to form a disc blank. You can do this by using a compass to draw a circle pattern on the copper sheet. Use metal snips to cut out the circle, and instead of using the tip of the snips, you can use short strokes to perfect the edges. You should wear gloves at this stage to protect your hands from the sharp edges of the disc. Now that you have a flat copper disc, you can remove irregularities and teeth marks of the snips by filing the edge of the disc with a file.
Step 2: Shape the bowl
The next step is to shape the copper bowl by using a hammer. Keep hammering the perimeter of the disc, and at the same time, use the edge of the depression to form a curved shape until the disc gradually turns to a bowl. The copper will begin to harden as you keep working on it, and the sound will become louder as you keep hammering.
It will be more difficult to shape the copper once it gets “work hardened”, this will make the copper more susceptible to cracking. Once you have hammered around the perimeter about 3 times, the next step will be to anneal the copper.
Step 3: Anneal the Copper
The copper must be soft so that it can properly form into a bowl or any other shape you desire. Annealing includes forming and shaping the metal with hand tools.
Light the propane torch and place the fire over the bowl (inside or outside). Be sure to wear leather work gloves and hold the bowl with the tongs, be careful while using the fire and don’t make a fire in your yard. During the annealing process, you will see the copper heat from bright to dark red to electric blue then finally to dull blue-grey. To anneal the copper properly, it must reach its final blue-grey level. But be careful at this stage because the copper will be very hot now.
The process of annealing makes the copper very soft and once you start using the hammer, the copper will begin to harden. The hammer blow must be deliberate and focused, you should not also hit it too hard on the surface. If you hammer hard on a copper sheet that is hardened, it may cause cracks or tears on the sheet, so you have to be careful while applying the hammer.
Step 4: Planish and Smooth the Copper Bowls
Go back to step 2 and repeat it until you get your desired shape. You must be patient at this stage to get the best result.
Step 5: Descale the shaped Copper Bowls
After hammering and several processes of annealing, a heat scale will cover the copper bowl. This scale is composed of varying quantities of copper (II) oxide and copper (I) oxide. Copper (II) oxide is black and soluble in acids. Durable copper (I) oxide is pink or red. Several solutions can be used to pickle the copper and make it more polished. The two major solutions which can be applied are muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate.
Once the solution is ready, place the bowl directly in the pickling solution and let it remain there for a while. You may leave it there for as long as 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the strength of the solution and your desired brightness of the finish. But don’t be worried about how long it will remain in the solution, it won’t dissolve away.
Rinse the bowl with clean water and scrub it using a plastic brush and a mild abrasive cleaner such as baking soda until it is shiny. Dry properly and make sure the surface is not covered with greasy fingerprints.
A clear plastic spray finish protects the copper from oxidation and retains its natural copper color.
Make sure you are following the spray manufacturer’s instructions and use a lot of light coats, hang the bowl on a bent coat hanger or other stiff wire in a location that is windy but free of dust. You can also take further precautions by using a respirator to make sure you don’t breathe in the spray.
Copper forming techniques
Hollowware like kettles, saucepans, steel dishes has been designed to offer good quality, age, and durability. There are various methods or techniques implemented by the craftsmen, coppersmith in forming copper. The quantity of production has varied in recent years, as a result of this, various techniques and prices to suit the market have been made.
The major copper forming techniques are cutting, deep drawing, raising, welding, brazing, riveting, and spinning.
Forming copper bowls with your bare hands takes a lot of effort and skill, but the process is simple. The quality of the finished work is a direct reflection of the craftsmanship efforts and the craftsmen’s equipment. This process includes several steps to follow when shaping the copper bowl and plate. This is why we have made provision for a detailed guide on how you can make a copper sink bowl without too much stress. The most important thing is to have all the required materials available before you begin the process.