Working Copper Sheet Goods for a Top Insert
Advice on cutting and adhering copper for a vanity top. August 3, 2009
We have a vanity to make with a copper insert surrounded by wood. The lead time from my top supplier is too long. I have found the raw materials elsewhere and have a couple of questions before I order it. Can contact be used to glue the sheet down to MDF substrate? If so is there any special prep? Water-base, or regular flammable adhesive which I prefer? If not other adhesive?
Cutting the material - the sheet good is .086 inches. How would you cut this material to a clean edge? Can we get a special blade for the table saw? Should it be cut first then line up with substrate or is there a blade where you can glue this up over size and cut copper and MDF at the same time? This is just a small rectangular blank that needs one surface only. No wrap or edging needed. Would balance sheet with standard backer on underside work?
(Laminate and Solid Surfacing Forum)
From contributor J:
I think I would go with flammable contact leaving an oversized edge, similar to a laminate install. To cut something that thin cleanly, the best approach would be to score it, deeply if necessary, with a utility knife and straight edge and break the edge free. You might want to make a small piece up to test the technique.
From contributor J:
My can of contact cement says not to use on copper.
From contributor D:
How large is this insert? My local liquor purveyor installed copper counter tops at the check-out, with scanner windows set flush. They looked great for a week or so. I normally step right up and say "I can solve this problem for you, but am reluctant in this case since I don't know how to bond the copper to a substrate to prevent movement. And should it be backed with equal copper? Heavier gauge used throughout? Lighter gauge? So, as you now know, I can't help you, but I'm curious as the solution. I'd try some tests with marine epoxy. If your panel is small enough and set within a wood frame, you may not see the expansion, but I wonder.
From contributor T:
Copper and contact don't play nice together. For a small job I would roll out polyurethane (gorilla glue) and vacuum bag with a platen to smooth out the face. Clamps and cauls or a J roller may leave impressions on this gauge that can telegraph through. I have had good luck doing this on S.S.pcs.to 3/4 ply that I lay up for custom hood liners.
From the original questioner:
This is a small piece roughly 21x24 so cold press with the correct adhesive will work fine.