How to Make a Copper Bowl

To make a copper bowl, such as is shown in the illustration, secure a piece of No. 21 gauge sheet copper of a size sufficient to make a circular disk 6-1/2 in. in diameter.

Cut the copper to the circular form and size just mentioned, and file the edge so that it will be smooth and free from sharp places. With a pencil compass put on a series of concentric rings about 1/2 in. apart. These are to aid the eye in beating the bowl to form.

The tools are simple and can be made easily. First make a round-nosed mallet of some hard wood, which should have a diameter of about 1-1/4 in, across the head. If nothing better is at hand, saw off a section of a broom handle, round one end and insert a handle into a hole bored in its middle. Next take a block of wood, about 3 by 3 by 6 in., and make in one end a hollow, about 2 in. across and 1/2 in. deep. Fasten the block solidly, as in a vise, and while holding the copper on the hollowed end of the block, beat with the mallet along the concentric rings.

Begin at the center and work along the rings—giving the copper a circular movement as the beating proceeds—out toward the rim. Continue the circular movement and work from the rim back toward the center. This operation is to be continued until the bowl has the shape desired, when the bottom is flattened by placing the bowl, bottom side up, on a flat surface and beating the raised part flat. Beating copper tends to harden it and, if continued too long without proper treatment, will cause the metal to break. To overcome this hardness, heat the copper over a bed of coals or a Bunsen burner to a good heat. This process is called annealing, as it softens the metal.

The appearance of a bowl is greatly enhanced by the addition of a border. In the illustration the border design shown was laid out in pencil, a small hole was drilled with a band drill in each space and a small-bladed metal saw inserted and the part sawed out.

To produce color effects on copper, cover the copper with turpentine and hold over a Bunsen burner until all parts are well heated.

Shaping the Bowl and Sawing the Lace

Excerpt from the book:
THE BOY MECHANIC
VOLUME I
700 THINGS FOR BOYS TO DO
WITH 800 ILLUSTRATIONS
1913, BY H. H. WINDSOR CHICAGO
POPULAR MECHANICS CO. PUBLISHERS