Hammered Copper Bell
Work done using the TM Tech Air Power Hammer
Joe Helming, of Helming Brothers, Inc. in Jasper, Indiana, asked me to help him and his assistant John make a large copper bell-shaped topper for a barbeque for a nearby country club. The copper was shaped by hammering and then fit onto a fabricated steel framework.
24 oz. copper sheet was selected for the job.
Each flat copper blanks was cut to the correct size and deburred before hammering the shape into them.
Luckily Joe already owned a TM Technologies Air Power Hammer, which was the ideal tool to hammer up all of the skins.
The Air Power Hammer was set up with Large Reverse Dies to make the reversed shapes needed for the Bell.
Working out the curves
Each panel or skin was carefully hammered to fit the steel frame.
Tweaking with the bag and spoon
When you get a little frisky with the stretching you have to get the bag and spoon and shrink it back down (or put a set of Lancaster jaws in the press brake).
Joe and John check the fit of every panel to make sure they fit the frame and also all of the adjoining panels.
Working out the contours
Each course of the three courses was made, and curved templates (not shown) were used to confirm the contours.
The second course was made in turn.
More shaping and fitting
And the courses were checked against each other.
Cleco spring fasteners and big clamps were used to hold the skins until rivets were used permanently.
Offsetting the skins
The edges of the skins were offset or joggled so the skins fit very closely, as the whole Bell was carefully shaped to look as one piece from a distance.
Joe’s big smile means we are home free: on budget, great fits, and wonderful contours. This entire reverse shape was made with the TM Technologies Air Power Hammer.
Here is the completed job after installation.