Q: What type of substrate should be used for the surface?
A: We recommend using cabinet grade particle wood for your substrate since it is a smooth surface and does not soak up the contact cement like plywood can. Second to that would be MDF from Home Depot or Lowes. Be certain to scuff the surface and back of your copper sheet with sandpaper.
Q: What do you use to adhere the copper to the substrate?
A:Use DAP/Weldwood contact cement (click here for a photo of the can) to adhere your copper.
This can be purchased at any Home Depot, Lowe's, or Walmart. The back of the can will say, "DO NOT USE ON COPPER"; however, we have been using this for nearly 20 years without a problem, so just disregard that as it only applies to copper plumbing.
Q: What is the depth of the epoxy coating?
A: The epoxy self-levels to 1/8 inch. One gallon of epoxy covers 16 sq.ft.
Q: Should I put my bar rail on before pouring the epoxy?
A: Yes, we recommend that you install the bar rail before pouring they epoxy coating in order to seal the bar from drinks that may be spilled. It is a good idea to put a bead of clear silicone around the bar rail to seal any cracks where air can get into the epoxy. This will help eliminate unwanted bubbles from forming in the epoxy coating.
Q: How do you do the corners and sides of a bar top that is not going to have a bar rail?
A: Since the light 36 gauge copper is thin, you easily fold it by hand over the front and sides of your bar top. Next, cut your corners using scissor, then take a laminate roller and apply pressure to the front and sides of the bar top to adhere the copper to those areas. After that, spray a base coat of our COPPERLAC lacquer on the bar top, then pour your epoxy over the surface. The epoxy will do all of the work for you as it self-levels to 1/8". Since the epoxy is thick in consistency, it will remain on the surface of the counter, and only a small amount will drip over the front and side edge, thus coating them. Just make sure to pour enough over the edge so that it gets completely covered. It is also important to order enough epoxy to account for the edges. Watch our new video that will show you this procedure.
Q: How do you handle a seam?
A: All material (wood, granite, marble, copper) will have a seam, so it is not unusual.
The best way to do a seam is to wrap the copper completely around the substrate and then just push the sheets together (put a thin line of clear silicone in the join). Once you have the lacquer and epoxy on, it will look fine.
1) The most important part of the project is making sure the epoxy is mixed thoroughly in order for it to cure. You can put the container of Resin in a sink with warm water for about 10 minutes to warm it up. This will allow it to blend more easily while you are stirring. Please note that you will need to pour the epoxy immediately after you finish stirring since it will cure more quickly after warming up.
2) Make sure to use a new container and stir stick for each batch of epoxy.
3) Never premix batches as they will cure quickly in the small container. Mix one batch and pour it and then come back and mix your next batch. If you have a helper, they can start mixing the next batch while you are pouring.
4) Use a heat gun or a plumber's torch to pop air bubbles in the epoxy. Hair dryers will blow too much air. We recommend using a plumbers torch ($20 at Home Depot) since it works faster at popping air bubbles.