Instructables
Picture of Put a copper top on a table
This will show you how to cover an old table with copper sheeting.  I used a sheet metal brake (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_%28sheet_metal_bending%29) and while it helps make nice corners it's not necessary.  These instructions assume that you can cover the table with one sheet of copper; i.e. there are no seams.

If you are interested in this see the page with the discussion on the copper aging over time.

Step 1: Tools and materials

Materials:
Table (duh)
Copper
Glue (I used TC-20)
Just-for-Copper epoxy
Wood for clamping (I used 2 2x4's)
Short tacks
Small piece of flat wood for bending.

Tools you'll need:
Metal snips
Clamps (at least 4)
Square
Safety razors
Work gloves
Sheet metal brake
File
Sandpaper for metal
Light hammer
Ink/glue roller (optional)

Notes:
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

I bought a cheap table on Craig's List for $5.  The important things to look for in a table (besides your own tastes) are:
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.
 
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JohnCokeLover9 months ago

If it does have dents, you could give it a hammered texture for a different look, this could also hide impurfections if say someone dropped a heavy object on the table.

Neat idea, wish I had the time and tools to build something similar. Would love to see how the table looks today!

Deeg (author)  JohnCokeLover9 months ago

Hmm, I guess I never did come back and post pictures. For reasons I won't bore you with I can't take pictures of the table right now but the following are various pictures from my Instructables that have the table in it. Not great but they'll give you an idea of what the finish looks like now. I'll try to remember to post better pictures when I have them.

2013-08-19 19.46.40.jpg2013-08-09 20.52.53.jpgIMG_20120223_184801.jpg
sconner12 years ago
Nice revamp of an ordinary table!
One could use lead-free solder on the corners if so inclined.
Copper cleans easily with vinegar and salt solution and a soft cloth.
Don't use scrubbers unless you want the scraches and swirl marks.
If one wanted too keep it bright they could use clear spray paint in gloss or satin, varnish it with lacquer, urethane or even just automotive wax to slow down the tarnishing.
Acid etch a design with masking or screen print methods and then clear-coat.
So many possibilities!
grannyideas2 years ago
I've seen it done without using glue. They used the fancy upholstery nails (the ones that have a pattern on top) to nail it on with the nails being spaced close together.
Doctor What4 years ago
 This is very pretty!  It would look awesome in a steampunk environment.
Your table is beautiful.  I think I might glue copper pennies on to mine since I don't have your clever  skills.