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Art of Coppersmithing: A Practical Treatise on Working Sheet Copper into All Forms

3.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1879335370
ISBN-10: 1879335379
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A classic, practical and east to follow book on coppersmithingIone of the best practical books for the aspiring tinsmith as well. -- Blacksmith's Gazette

About the Author

John Fuller is a Professor in the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, and Department of Medicine, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London Health Sciences Centre, and St Joseph's Health Care, London, Ontario, Canada. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Astragal Pr (June 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879335379
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879335370
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,236,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book shows how to make every kind of pot, pan, still, kettle, teakettle or brewry gadget that you would want to make out of copper. Big and small. Household and industrial.

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.
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Format: Paperback
This book I believe deserves much praise. The Astragal Press have here reprinted a book written in 1893 which highlights skills that in my part of the world have essentially disappeared. With the technological progress that has sweep across the western world since this book was written you would I suspect have to travel to India, Iran or maybe Eygpt to see this sort of hand skill in use today.
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a technical manual for a 21st century student, don't get your hopes up. Where you or I might reach for any of several torches, Fuller relies on coal fires - but I never imagined how many ways you could build a furnace for, or in, or around a workpiece. I admire these guys (yes, all guys) so much more for the blunt instruments they made such fine work with. Forging, moving metal, hasn't changed since metallurgy hasn't changed, and the student looking for technique might find some novel approaches. Well, not 'novel' exactly, but ready for resurgence.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As another reviewer has noted, this is not a DIY guide. What it is is a reprint of a late 1800's book on how to make things in copper that were in demand back then. It has a plethora of old ink drawings, including a good number of patterns for things to be made. It also includes arithmatic formulas used for figuring certain proportions, long before the days of pocket calculators or computers.

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.
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