Making A Copper Finial

Home > Education > Articles > Making A Copper Finial - TM Technologies

By Kent White

A local architect came by my shop with some drawings for a copper finial, recently. It was to be made of three different elements joined together and then it was to be placed on the roof peak of a fine new home.

Click on each image for a larger view. See our TM Technologies Air Power Hammers.

The top of the finial was a cone, so I had to lay out the math using the drawings as a guide for the dimensions. 

Copper strips

The copper was cut to size and then rolled into a cone, using a long tapered “candlestick” bench stake

The copper was cut to size Copper rolled into a cone, using a long tapered candlestick bench stake

The next element was the bowl shape in the center of the finial. (Reminded me of Humpty Dumpty’s profile.) This also was a conic shape so I laid it out that way.

Next was the bowl shape in the center of the finial

I rolled up the blank and hammered it on the Angle Post Air Hammer, Model 2500

Hammered the blank on the Angle Post Air Hammer, Model 2500

I checked the contour regularly with one of the Profile Gages, until the bowl had both the contour and the circular diameter.

I checked the contour regularly with one of the Profile Gages

Then I use the Air Power Hammer to turn in the edge of the bowl, a “Flanger Die” operation that also shrunk the edge of the copper just enough so that the finished circle matched a steel template that I had cut just for the job!

Used the Air Power Hammer to turn in the edge of the bowl

The third element needed laying out because it was also a conic shape. 

The third element needed laying out

I used the Reverse Dies to flare the conic after I rolled it up.

I used the Reverse Dies to flare the conic

This made a nice reverse shape, that I could flange the edges on, one in and one out.

A nice reverse shape that I could flange the edges on

Steel patterns check my geometry. 

Steel patterns check my geometry

The Air Hammer easily flanges out the foot of the base conic.

The Air Hammer easily flanges out the foot of the base conic

When fits are good and trimming is complete, then I tin the mating surfaces for soldering.

Tin the mating surfaces for soldering

Clecos hold the parts temporarily, while I rivet and then solder all of the seams.

Clecos hold parts while I rivet and then solder

Final view of finished finial.

This is a “vaastu” element of harmonious construction, similar to Feng Shui; so shape, size, and location are vitally important.

Final view of finished finial