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Re: Hammering Out a Copper Still

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  • Harry
    ... Hi Thom, I m pleased to see you re making progress. It s a tad bigger project than you first imagined, I ll wager. ;-) But think of the rewards! The
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 30, 2005
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      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, mr done <marshal7002@y...>
      > Hi, wanted to share some info and maybe get some? I'm
      > restoring a 80 gal still from the early 1800's and
      > have to build the top also.
      > I've made a lot of contacts and heard a lot of
      > advice....(?) but after several months, and some false
      > starts, we're moving on...
      > I found a man who does aircraft restoration,
      > (shaped body parts) and he has agreed to help -using
      > his planthing hammer, and english wheel...
      > The top (after much research), is to be a ball
      > approx twenty inches that fits into a 15inch neck and
      > will have an eight inch outlet, to receive a swan
      > neck/elephant truck about three feet long.
      > Just got the copper in today...040. ga, SOFT
      > copper. and hope to get it to him tommorrow. the
      > three x 8 foot sheet was $275.00
      > I plan on using a 6" plastic trap, cutting it
      > length wise and mounting it in plaster to get the
      > rough shape of the top neck turn...
      > as far as the rest of the diminishing tube I think
      > we can just wing it...can't imagine the oldsters had
      > much more to work with.
      > One guy suggested using a kids ball from Wally
      > world, and making a plaster/or concrete mould (Lined
      > with Leather?) to hammer out the rough shape for the
      > ball...it would still be in three pieces
      > -riveted...-and soldered...
      > OK I've babbled on, but thought you'd like some
      > input...
      > guess I might build a cardboard mock up to see how
      > pleasant the dimensions look before jumping it too
      > hard...
      > Wishing you well and good luck, hope you ENJOY the
      > travel on this one...I certainly have.... Please let
      > me know how your making out, as I will be happy to do
      > the same....
      > Thom....western Pa, as marshal7002@y...

      Hi Thom,
      I'm pleased to see you're making progress. It's a tad bigger
      project than you first imagined, I'll wager. ;-)
      But think of the rewards! The restoration story itself should be
      worth reading (can I have 1st dibs on that?). ;-)

      I said once before you'd need to engage someone skilled it
      coppercraft or similar, hence the English Wheel suggestion. If you
      want to stay with authenticity, you really need to look at this
      project from a period perspective. You'll need the tools and
      techniques of the era, otherwise the project becomes somewhat less
      in value. What you're striving for is authentic replication. There
      is a book available from several sources called "The Art of
      Coppersmithing", by John Fuller, Sr.. 327 Pages. The blurb...

      ...Softbound. Now largely abandoned in favor of other materials,
      copper was widely used in the last century for everything from the
      making of kitchen utensils to roofing to plumbing materials.
      Originally published in 1893, this work by John Fuller, Sr., who was
      then one of the leading authorities in the copper industry,
      addresses every aspect of this important metal. Beginning with an
      historical overview of the use of copper, the author proceeds to a
      review of ancient and modern methods of mining. Subsequent chapters
      trace the development of copper working by smiths from the earliest
      times to the then-modern era. In addition to the voluminous
      information about hand work (including a thorough review of the
      tools of the trade), there is a detailed overview of the use of
      copper in every industry from brewing to ship building. Nearly 500
      superb Victorian engravings accent this classic work. Whether you
      are a modern metallurgist or a latter-day smith, this book will
      surely enlighten and entertain. All ASTRAGAL PRESS Books Now 20% Off
      Retail!...Now Just $22.00 (Regular Price: $27.50) (BK-0118)...

      That one is available here... http://mjdtools.com/books/125383.htm

      There is a version available on CD with 13 other metalworking titles
      from The Sheetmetalworking Shop for a similar price...

      Just to give you an idea what's in the book, I have Chapter 2

      NOTICE: I have no affiliation with any book vendor nor do I receive
      any monetary or "in kind" reward. I recommend this material purely
      on the assumption that it may be suitable for the task at hand. At
      the very least it will be a nice read over a glass or two.

      regards Harry
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