If you are interested in this see the page with the discussion on the copper aging over time.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Glue (I used TC-20)
Wood for clamping (I used 2 2x4's)
Small piece of flat wood for bending.
Tools you'll need:
Clamps (at least 4)
Sheet metal brake
Sandpaper for metal
Ink/glue roller (optional)
Some people use a common adhesive like Liquid Nails but I used TC-20, a copper adhesive from www.veneersupplies.com. It's more expensive (~$25 w/ shipping) but compared to the cost of the copper it's not much.
Step 2: Choose a Table
1) Flat top. It's ok if there are scratches but you don't want any peeling veneer or warped wood.
2) Square corners and edges. You can put copper on a table with rounded or beveled edges but it will probably get dented over time. If you don't have a sheet metal brake it will be difficult to get sharp edges with the copper.
3) Good size. My table is 46"x30", small enough to cover with one sheet of copper.
Step 3: Copper Sheet
The thickness of my copper was 16 oz (which means the copper weighs 16 oz per square foot), which is 0.023 inches thick (also known as 23 gauge copper). 16 oz copper is the thinnest of recommended gauges for table/counter tops. Thinner copper is easier to work with (and cheaper!) but it will more susceptible to dents. Since my table had sharp edges and a flat top I wasn't concerned about dents.
Wipe down the copper to remove dust.
Step 4: Cut the Copper to Fit the Table.
46" + .66 x 2 + 1 x 2 = ~50".
Which meant I had to cut off ~46". The cut was too long to use the brake so I had to cut it using the snips, which left a jagged edge. To straighten it out, put the jagged edge into the brake and cut it using the razor blade(s). Score the copper along the edge of the brake with the razor then use the brake to bend and snap off the copper. This will result in a nice clean edge. Using the brake is a two-person job so my photographer couldn't take a picture of the brake in action.
If necessary, do the same thing to the long edge so that you have a sheet of copper that overlaps your table by a few inches on all sides.
Step 5: Bend the Sides.
Put the copper on the table so the bend is up against the edge. Get under the table and mark the copper where the next bend should go. Put the copper back in the brake and put in the next bend. For this second bend it is important that you have the copper aligned correctly. The best way to do this is to mark both ends of the copper where it will be bent and make sure they line up with the brake.
When you're done you should have the copper bent into a shallow, square U that fits snugly on the table. To bend the ends you'll have to first cut out 4 squares of copper. Then insert the ends into the brake and bend them. You should end up with edges that look like the last picture.
Step 6: Glue the Copper Top to the Table.
The TC-20 glue has no odor and cleans up in water. Very nice.
Step 7: Bend Lower Edges.
Use the snips to cut a slight angle into the edge that hasn't been bent yet, then fold and hammer the last edges.
Step 8: Fill in the Corners.
Cut a small piece of epoxy and mix the two ingredients together. Stuff it into the gaps at each corner and let it dry for an hour. Take a file and some sandpaper and smooth it down until it blends in with the copper.