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Art of Coppersmithing: A Practical Treatise on Working Sheet Copper into All Forms
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Top Customer Reviews
Although, dealing exclusively with copper, most of the techniques shown can be applied to other common sheet metals.
This book doesn't deal with raising from the whole, as in silversmithing, but with piecing something together, and using dovetail joints along with soldering to make a whole.
Lots of woodcut illustrations and concise text. There is some obscure and obsolete terminology; such as 'spelter'. Do you know what that is?
Spinning, dies, power presses and such are not delt with in this book. Neither are the common sheet metal gadgets and tools, such as slip rolls, brakes, shears, roll crimps, and such. Hand hammering, stakes, charcoal firepots; that is what you will find in here. This is like blacksmithing for copper.
If you are interested in working with copper sheet, or brass,I have not seen another book out there as good as this one. Especially if you want to make utilitarian objects. The book is packed with information.
If you are interested in artistic copper forming you will still find the basic techniques in here as to how to work the copper. But there isn't much in the way of artistic design, like how to make a copper rooster weather vane.
In the authors day copper was the metal of choice for making the Glue Pots and Tea kettles, the Stock Pots, Frying Pans, Tallow Coppers and Brewing Coppers to name just a small aray of items listed in this book. Today the vast bulk of these would be manufactured from either Stainless Steel or may Aluminium.
So the author desribes with words and some outstanding drawings how these items could have been constructed during this period. Pattern Development of some of the items is also covered. The universal subjects of Soldering and Brazing do get good coverage as does the subject of Tinning a copper to be used for cooking purposes. He has included formula for working out some of the blanks required to start from and some good descriptions of the hand tools and stakes etc. to form the work with and on.
A previous reviewer has said that this book is mainly a historical text and of little practical worth today. This is valid only up to a point. It is my belief that this book does have a practical worth and anyone who is looking at this book will be looking precisely for what this book delivers on. That is that this book is about crafting and the art of working metal. The skill to plastically deform a metal to a desired shape is very well covered here and I think that there is a movement, even if a small one, to relearn some of the skills lost in the last few decades with the march of technology.Read more ›
The second reader that might benefit is the one working large - like a sculpture I once saw, saw, a deep-relief figure maybe a meter by two or a bit more, raised from heavy-gauge copper. Beautiful, but way beyond the dinner-plate sizes most modern authors address. This book divides work loosely into three scales: kitchen-sized, up to ten liter capacity (very roughly); ten to a hundred, for stills, dyeing, and such; and a thousand liters or more, for big industrial applications. I know I left a gap there - that's where steam locomotive and similar works fit in. My own interests lie in the size range you can hold easily in your hands, so the others interest me only academically.
But the third reader - perhaps also one of the other kinds - reads the history of technology. Native copper gave the most primitive metal-workers their start, and metalworkers have advanced every other technology since the start of the Bronze Age. This book reveals some of the trade secrets of the time, and shows how these master artisans developed the craft that enabled industry, transportation, and the advancing days of the Machine Age.Read more ›
If you've taken just a bit of sheet metal instruction, say in high school, then this book is useful as a guide and enabler to teach yourself more. But if you're just starting out and want, say, a list of cools and a demonstration of basic skills in the order you should learn them, this is not that book (I'm still looking for that book.)
I bought this as one of 4 other books on metal working to give me a small library as I start to learn coppersmithing as a hobby. It fills a useful niche in that library and I expect that if I get more into coppersmithing I will go back to this book more and more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
what a waste of a book. Archaic. Drab. Save your money really. History? Yes. That's it.Published 6 months ago by Billy D
Book was priced well but I felt the book is over sold on the contents. I received it in good condition and quickly.Published 16 months ago by NB Getzinger
This book was written by a master copper smith. He was apprenticed as a child and grew up with his trade in the traditional manner. Read morePublished on December 17, 2013 by invisible
This is a great book if you are interested in coppersmithing or metal work. However, if you have little metalworking experience and are wishing to learn how to make nice shapes... Read morePublished on November 17, 2013 by Nab
well i got the book and it is a hard read. as others have stated it is written a by an old timer that tells a lot about certain usages and things they made and had to do but.... Read morePublished on April 19, 2013 by Lakay
The text of this book is also legally and freely available online through Google Books: [...]
You can even opt to download a PDF and either print it at home or at your... Read more
he was disappointed in the book. He thought it would teach how to press seams together to make different things.Published on March 13, 2013 by pooh