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Copper Hood

I just love the look of a copper cooking hood, so  I played with scraps of paper, folding every which way, till I came up with a design that could be executed fairly easily.

I made mine from a piece of copper (approx. 26-28 gauge) which is pretty rigid.  The science store where I purchased my copper used a metal chopper to cut it, but I knew that at home I could cut it with a sturdy scissor or a pair of tin snips.  Be sure to wear cotton gloves, as the edges tend to be sharp …  and don’t forget the eye protection!)

1.  Copy the pattern below.  You can “right click” on the image and save it to a disk or “paste” it into your paint program.  YOU WILL HAVE TO ENLARGE THE PATTERN TO THE PROPER SIZE.  The best bet would be to enlarge until the widest horizontal measurement across the bottom of your pattern is approximately 2-3/4″ as shown.  The remaining measurements will fall into place — it’s probably best to do a percentage increase and then the entire pattern will enlarge proportionally.  The dark solid lines around the outside are the cutting lines; dotted lines indicate edges that are folded.

2.  Place pattern on the metal, trace around edges with a marking pen and cut on the solid lines.  The dotted lines can be connected point-to-point with a ruler.  If you wish,  you can gently score the folding lines with one or two passes of a burnishing instrument (like old ball point pen point without ink or a plastic ruler) — something that won’t scar the metal.

3.  Fold on the “dotted lines”.  As easy as this part sounds, here’s some helpful hints:  For the three long sides, lay the edge to be folded along a piece of wood or the edge of a table that has a crisp, square edge.  Apply even pressure downward and gently bend.  I lined up the edges of mine in a vise and then bent it into shape.  For the short edge at the top, you can repeat this method or use a pliers (push the flat, straight edge up to the line) and bend.   The “A” shaped leg section will become the underside of the hood.

4.  Seal the edges closed.  If you’re experienced with a soldering gun, that’s the best way to go.  Otherwise, glue with a fast-setting 2-part epoxy.  Tape the seams closed to hold the joint while the bond sets (give it a couple of hours.)  Voila … you’re done.

In the event that you can’t get the proper gauge of copper or want to use a thinner piece, this pattern can be made from thin basswood or heavy poster board and covered in copper (two-sided carpet tape works best to attach metal to wood).  You could even use aluminum flashing or heavy weight foil for a “stainless steel” look, although foils will tend to wrinkle more.

One last word:  If you’re the adventurous type, you can experiment with some decorative designs on the metal (stamping, embossing, etc.) but try it on a scrap piece first and do the design part before you begin folding.  I did the “hammered copper” look for mine.  Use a lightweight hammer and a nail set (nail punch) or any metal tool that isn’t sharp, so it won’t go thru the copper.  An awl would be fine, if you blunt it a little.  Good luck!