LumberJocks

Copper Patinated Crosses

  • Advertise with us
Project by splintergroup posted 10-10-2019 01:45 PM 494 views 5 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are similar in style to those I made before which sold out, the difference is I used copper instead of wood veneer.

The basic cross form is about 9-1/2” high by 7-1/2” wide with a core of 1/2” baltic birch plywood, two strips half lapped together. The border frames are walnut, cherry, and maple.

I used standard FR-4, 2 ounce copper printed circuit board as an overlay for the birch. This was attached with some good double sided tape and then the border material was made to lap over the edges by about 1/16” to hide any gaps and further secure the copper.

You may notice the seams, they indicate I made the copper in 5 sections, one for each arm and one piece for the center.
This stuff cuts fine on the table saw.

The Patina

For the patina, I used two methods.

The first (and far nicer for this application IMO) is with ammonia and salt. The pattern is much more varied and the ammonia tends to produce blues which I think look great:


Ammonia patina

The process involves setting the cleaned copper pieces on top of a layer of paper towels in the bottom of a plastic tray. Ammonia (“ACE” hardware janitorial strength, 10%) is added to saturate the towel and then a very light sprinkling of salt is applied over the copper pieces. Wherever the salt is, the color will start growing. I then carefully place some crumpled up paper towel pieces over everything. The paper will eventually collect ammonia and allow it to contact the copper surfaces producing a large grained pattern.

The entire tray is sealed inside a plastic bag to let the fumes do their work (about 24 hours on this day).

I then remove the copper and let the parts dry, untouched, for at least a day. The patina is very soft until dry!

I’ll rinse the copper under the faucet, carefully rubbing away any excess or until I’ve created a pattern I like.

For the other process, I used vinegar, salt, and that rarest of shop ingredients: sawdust!


Acid patina

Normally I’d use coarse shavings, like those from a plane, but I just grabbed a few handfuls from the dust collector and tossed them into a leftover plastic peanut jug. The vinegar was mixed with salt in a plastic cup, then poured into the jug with the sawdust, capped, and shaked until everything was damp with the solution.

The vinegar will produce greens.

I place the cleaned copper onto the bottom of the tray and sprinkled the damp sawdust over the top until everything was buried. The tray was bagged as before and left for 24 hours.

The fine sawdust that was used left a less random pattern than I had hoped for, but still ok. After rinsing and drying both versions, I gave it all a seal coat of spray shellac.

After taping the copper to the birch, I glued on the border strips and end caps. Everything was given an application of danish oil which was carefully and completely wiped away from the copper. After drying I applied a coat of poly.

The center pieces are dichroic glass I swiped from my wife’s project pile (she knows 8^). Just some decoration to set things apart!

Thanks for looking.





22 comments so far

View MrWolfe's profile

MrWolfe

354 posts in 636 days


#1 posted 10-10-2019 02:06 PM

Beautiful and very creative. I like the taping and trapping of the copper with the borders.
Thanks for sharing your build methods and your patina methods. I’m sure these will sell out very quickly too.
Jon

Your wife better start hiding her glass!

View pottz's profile

pottz

6389 posts in 1497 days


#2 posted 10-10-2019 02:14 PM

splint i love the look of the copper patina i always wanted to try it,ive got the salt and vinegar but were do you get that sawdust stuff-lol.beautiful crosses buddy,nice work.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2931 posts in 1735 days


#3 posted 10-10-2019 02:32 PM

Thanks guys!

I was at first thinking about scuffing up the backs of all the copper and then epoxying it to the wood. Fortunately I snapped to and realized I could finally use some of that thicker DS tape from a previous project that didn’t serve it’s original purpose 8^)

Pottz, I’ll send you some of my saw dust stash. Tell me where/when you want the air drop to occur 8^)

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

328 posts in 60 days


#4 posted 10-10-2019 02:49 PM

Very cool, Splint. Been wanting to try the ammonia method for awhile now.

These are intended to hang on a wall, yes? What type of hangar did you use?

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2931 posts in 1735 days


#5 posted 10-10-2019 02:57 PM

Hi Brian!

Yep, wall hangers. I made the wrap wood extend beyond the back by about 1/8” so with these hangers (Amazon) it could sit flush to a wall

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2171 posts in 2216 days


#6 posted 10-10-2019 03:08 PM

Very interesting with beautiful results. Thanks for taking the time to explain the process.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9315 posts in 2841 days


#7 posted 10-10-2019 03:53 PM

Very cool!

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23387 posts in 3618 days


#8 posted 10-10-2019 04:36 PM

Excellent crosses, Bruce!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

6121 posts in 2779 days


#9 posted 10-10-2019 04:50 PM

A.-O.-A. (All of Above)

Magnificient work and very well written explanation too.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

1178 posts in 2462 days


#10 posted 10-10-2019 06:11 PM

Thanks for the teach on the patina. Nicely done all around.

-- Petey

View TheSawDustWhisperer's profile

TheSawDustWhisperer

131 posts in 634 days


#11 posted 10-10-2019 07:53 PM

Like Wolfie said thanks for sharing your patina process.
Have you ever tried the spray bottle PP method?
I used it on my mailbox. I don’t think the Mailman was very pleased for a few days. I wonder if I could have used ammonia in it. (8~)

-- One of these days I’m going to build a dust collection system. Dusty Lungs

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2931 posts in 1735 days


#12 posted 10-10-2019 09:12 PM



Like Wolfie said thanks for sharing your patina process.
Have you ever tried the spray bottle PP method?
I used it on my mailbox. I don’t think the Mailman was very pleased for a few days. (8~)

- TheSawDustWhisperer

PP?

Purple potatoes? Pickled possum? Personal product?? (what beer did you drink beforehand?)

View TheSawDustWhisperer's profile

TheSawDustWhisperer

131 posts in 634 days


#13 posted 10-11-2019 01:05 AM

Like Wolfie said, thanks for sharing your patina process.
Have you ever tried the spray bottle PP method?
I used it on my mailbox. I don’t think the Mailman was very pleased for a few days. (8~)

- TheSawDustWhisperer

PP?

Purple potatoes? Pickled possum? Personal product?? (what beer did you drink beforehand?)

- splintergroup


Ha ha ha! It was this brew.

Personal product was the correct answer.

-- One of these days I’m going to build a dust collection system. Dusty Lungs

View MrWolfe's profile

MrWolfe

354 posts in 636 days


#14 posted 10-11-2019 01:02 PM

Great job… congrats on the DT3.
Well deserved~! That first pic is extremely cool. I like all the different textures and colors.
jon

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2931 posts in 1735 days


#15 posted 10-11-2019 01:45 PM

Thanks again guys! Makes me want to do more copper 8^)

Sawdust, I get a strange image I’m my head that either you are really tall or you drag out a step stool at night and give the neighbors something to talk about 8^)

I bet you told the postman that you were being “marked” by the neighborhood great dane….

showing 1 through 15 of 22 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com