Copper Sauna Lamp

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Introduction: Copper Sauna Lamp

About: Life is too short for boring projects!

In this ´ible I will show you how I turned an old copper hearth pad into a unique lamp cover for our sauna using a technique called copper hammering.

"Hearth pads are sections of fireproof material that can be used underneath wood, pellet and gas stoves to protect floors from sparks and embers and on the back walls behind heating appliances to protect the walls from intense heat."*

This build requires very few tools and can be completed in 1-2 hours. A bonus is that you can also recycle.

The light is so dim on purpose. Saunas here are traditionally very poorly lit - sometimes not lit at all. Nowadays most of the new saunas built are very bright and spacious. I personally find a dark sauna quite a bit more pleasing as it leaves more room for inner sensations and to truly enjoy the experience.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

The only one and only material used for this build was an old copper hearth pad. I am sure any large enough sheet of copper with around 1.5mm (16 gauge) of thickness could work for this project.

Tools used were:

  • Angle grinder with a cut-off wheel, sanding wheel and a wire wheel
  • Cordless drill with metal bits
  • Hammers
  • A block of wood
  • A round stone
  • Needle-nose plyers
  • Personal protection

Step 2: Clean the Pad

The pad was originally glued to the floor using silicone. I tried removing the silicone mechanically by scraping it with different tools but I did not have any luck. That is when I decided to just burn it off in the fireplace. It worked really well. Do not burn yourself with the hot pad!

Step 3: Start Forming

Next, I cut the largest circle possible from the sheet using a cut off wheel. Looking back I reckon tin snips would have been a quieter and safer tool for cuting it. This circle does not have to be perfect as the final shape will be cut later.

I also sanded a pit into a piece of wood using coarse sandpaper on an angle grinder.

Then it was time to start hammering! I placed the sheet on top of the woodblock and gently hammered it with a round-headed hammer. It is important to go slow as copper this thin can crack when worked on too aggressively. The key is to gently form it!

I switched between the woodblock and a round stone to get the shape required

Step 4: Coming Togehter

As the shade was starting to take its dome shape I trimmed off some of the excess material. From there on it was just a matter of finishing touches.

To make it a bit shinier I cleaned it with a wire wheel.

Step 5: The Stars

Finally, I used different sized metal bits to drill holes in the dome. I tried to be as random as possible with the hole locations.

To attach the shade on the wall I bent the edge on two locations with needle-nose players. These would hook onto the screws on the wall. A shade this light does not need a whole lot of fastening and even if it falls it does not matter too much. ;)

Step 6: The End!

This is it! I hope my project has given you some ideas. I would love to hear them as well! If you have any questions do not hesitate to leave them in the comments below.

My initial vision was that the light would emit light rays but I think the lamp behind it is not powerful enough to allow it. It still looks pretty amazing when the sauna is filled with fog.

Thanks for reading

Andu

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