How to glue copper to wood?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Chordophonic, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Chordophonic

    Chordophonic Tele-Meister

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    Can anyone suggest what to use to glue Copper about 1/32 - 1/16 thick to wood, I'd like to do a headstock veneer or similar with copper sheet....considered epoxy resin, thoughts?

    Paul
     
  2. dman

    dman Tele-Afflicted

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    Probably contact adhesive...what countertop makers use to adhere Formica to the plywood substrate. You have to be precise, though....you only get one chance to get it on right.
     
  3. orangedrop

    orangedrop Friend of Leo's

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    Unless you are planning to inlay the copper, the edge of the headstock is going to be very sharp.

    Of course you can shape the edge of the laminate with a file and abrasives to radius it.

    An option that looks beautiful, but might not be what you are going for is copper guilding foil.

    This is applied with a sizing adhesive and you lacquer right over the stuff as normal.

    One of Clapton's gold Strats was 12 or 14 karat gold guilt and looks very beautiful.

    These foils come in a plethora of finishes and patinas from shiny bright, to crazy flame burnt patterns.

    I hope whatever you are doing, you will post photos so I can see what you are up to.

    I will be doing a copper guilt body in the near future and the inspiration would be great.
     
  4. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Solder it.

    Just be sure to use the wood flux...
     
  5. Chordophonic

    Chordophonic Tele-Meister

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    Like that ^^!

    I guess I'll get form the Unobtanium superstore!


    Looks like I've chosen a difficult metal to work with, worst case screws or small pins........

    Paul
     
  6. roffe

    roffe Tele-Meister

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    Epoxy, and be sure to REALLY scratch up the copper first for good adhesion.
     
  7. Chordophonic

    Chordophonic Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the suggestions, I ontend to do a bit of copper electroplating too, I'll post the work in progress when it happens.....

    Paul
     
  8. Luthier Atlanta

    Luthier Atlanta Tele-Afflicted

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    X 2
     
  9. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

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    This was my thought as well. I think whatever you decide on, you should run some tests on scrap.
     
  10. Chordophonic

    Chordophonic Tele-Meister

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  11. bob1234

    bob1234 Tele-Afflicted

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    Honestly, epoxy is really the only choice for this.

    That stuff is industrial grade. Its fast setting and will not be as strong as slow set epoxy. Will it work? Most likely... but there's really no need to reinvent the wheel here. I can't imagine it being cheaper then epoxy either.
     
  12. Chordophonic

    Chordophonic Tele-Meister

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    Fair point and I already have some West System Epoxy.....
     
  13. bob1234

    bob1234 Tele-Afflicted

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    GET BUSY THEN! haha
     
  14. Chordophonic

    Chordophonic Tele-Meister

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    haha indeed, I'm wating for a neck to arrive......
     
  15. orangedrop

    orangedrop Friend of Leo's

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    According to an epoxy coatings expert, you want to de-gloss the surface to what he has termed a "water break free state".

    I always scored up fishing rod blanks with 120 grit sand paper before epoxying reel seats and grips.

    He explained that this was not the strongest condition for adhesion.

    I was told to use a Scotch Brite pad to de-gloss the rod, and check that a drop of water would not bead up but would rather "break free" and wet the surface.

    This gives the epoxy millions of little keys for its molecules to lock into rather than a hacked up surface with far fewer scratches.

    Be sure to clean the copper with acetone before and after prepping the gluing surface, and you might want to seal the wood with a thin coat of epoxy before you do your glueup.

    This will keep you from having any starved areas in the glue joint.

    Sand the wood with 320 to open it up and get it smooth, squeegee your West Systems onto a heated surface if you can (a room heated to 80 deg F is good) and then use a large metal card to scrape as much excess off the surface as you can.

    Get the surface as smooth as possible, any epoxy ridges can be rubbed in with a piece of old Denim.

    Once the seal coat cures, sand with 220 and 320 to remove all gloss.

    You will now have a surface that your epoxy will grab tenaciously, and not soak in.

    You can use a sponge roller to apply a thin even coat of adhesive, and be assured of a smooth substrate with nothing to telegraph into your copper cladding.

    A good synthetic wax like Klasse All In One will go a very long way to slowing the oxidizing process.

    As long as a few coats are applied every few months, the finish should look very nice for years to come.

    I know that you know, remember to remind them of what a bad thing a top coat would be.

    They keep things looking great for a while, but once they are compromised, the amount of work to remove them and the damage to be repaired make them a real bummer.:)

    Wow, i was awake...:lol:
    There was/is a thread I had read about some one doing a large outside bar counter top.

    IIRC, the customer wanted it copper clad.

    The water break free thing goes for all the epoxy stuff when gluing up previously shiny surfaces.

    How do you like working with West Systems?

    Do your pumps weep product during the hot months at all?

    Always found myself making sure to put the spout over the top of the can so they would not drip on the floor.

    Ended up moving them to their own little box with a bag to cover it and keep the dust bunnies out.

    When my friend helped me move some things around after the hurricane last year, he saw a box with a dusty bag over it and flung it out into the bushes.:eek:

    Oops!
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
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