Beacon Hill: a Garden District Mansion

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I'm starting a new thread for my Beacon Hill, now that I've begun working on it again. As a quick review: it has been about four years since I opened the box and began this adventure. I did a minor bash by straightening out the dog-leg wall in the living room and making the staircase removable. That stalled out when I saw a staircase I liked better; so far the new staircase hasn't passed the inspiration stage. That's slowed down work on the interior. Then I saw a bash that removed the porch. Haven't figured out how to do that yet, so that put a halt on doing the siding or other exterior work on the lower parts. So ... I decided to work on the roof sections.  The mansard roof sections (made of cardboard) were in place for so long that they now have a permanent curve, which made shingling a bit easier. Those are now painted and awaiting installation. I'll make the four windows and do some dry fitting before reaching for the glue.

That brings us to the tower roof. The house informed me that it wants a copper roof on the tower. I got some adhesive-backed copper foil in 12" x 12" sheets. I started the copper cladding today. I got two of the vertical trims covered with foil. The flat sections will be templates covered with foil. I need to figure out how to make the standing seams. Maybe string glued in place? 

Click on my blog link below to see the most recent photos and comments.

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Um, we visited y'all before we moved to Seminole 5 1/2 years ago, and you had started on the BH then...

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Well, I just ordered copper for my Cape May flat roof(s).  I was thinking of gluing strip wood down and carefully folding the copper around each as I work each sheet down on the flat surfaces.  I am anxious to see what others suggest and how you do this!

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8 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

Um, we visited y'all before we moved to Seminole 5 1/2 years ago, and you had started on the BH then...

LOL ... time flies, eh? My blog entries only go back to January 2013. I guess I didn't blog it earlier than that, but the photos in that entry do show a build fairly well under way.

 

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3 minutes ago, madtex1967 said:

Well, I just ordered copper for my Cape May flat roof(s).  I was thinking of gluing strip wood down and carefully folding the copper around each as I work each sheet down on the flat surfaces.  I am anxious to see what others suggest and how you do this!

I don't think I want to mess with the sharp edges of strip wood, and besides, the roof panel is curved. That's why I'm thinking of string hardened with glue. Even the idea of using cooked spaghetti crossed my mind. With some glue to hold it down, once it dries hard again ... maybe?  :D 

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I love the idea of the removable staircases! I can't believe it's been 5 years already! 

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3 minutes ago, Minis On The Edge said:

I love the idea of the removable staircases! I can't believe it's been 5 years already! 

It's probably more than 5, Tracy. We had the great flood of 2012 that caused everything to be moved out of the condo, and the BH was already a sturdy shell at that time. 

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49 minutes ago, KathieB said:

I don't think I want to mess with the sharp edges of strip wood, and besides, the roof panel is curved. That's why I'm thinking of string hardened with glue. Even the idea of using cooked spaghetti crossed my mind. With some glue to hold it down, once it dries hard again ... maybe?  :D 

Ahh, I wasn't thinking about the curve in the roof! :crazyeyes: Yes, I can see the issue there.  It will be a bit more of a challenge. 

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Living where we do I wouldn't use pasta, cooked or otherwise.  What about 1/16" dowels?

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33 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

Living where we do I wouldn't use pasta, cooked or otherwise.  What about 1/16" dowels?

The pasta would be encased in copper. Any critter who can chew through the copper is welcome to lunch. :) 

Dowels don't bend without the hassle of steaming, jigs, etc. 

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As a cake decorator, my first inclination would be to use cold porcelain thru my extruder gun...and then paint with a copper paint.

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6 hours ago, jbnmini said:

As a cake decorator, my first inclination would be to use cold porcelain thru my extruder gun...and then paint with a copper paint.

Now there's a thought!

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So ... keeping it simple. Plain old white kitchen string looks to be about the right diameter. Have glued some on templates. Waiting for glue to dry before applying the copper sheeting. Photos to follow.

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I'm liking the way this is turning out. Photos in my blog -- click here.

Next ... how to age the copper. It can't stay this shiny ... no way!

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What gauge/ denier string are you using?  It appears to be in perfect scale.  Doesn't a salt & white vinegar solution turn copper verdigris?

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How can you tarnish copper?
Let the copper soak in a mixture of white vinegar and salt, or bury it in sawdust or even crushed potato chips, then soak the mixture with vinegar. Place in a sealed container for 2–8 hours, checking on the color regularly, then remove and air dry. Use a soft brush to gently remove solid materials.

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If you are looking for round, what about copper wire used for training bonsai? It's flexible and comes in different gauges. And it has the added benefit of being Copper so your aging technique should work on it too. 

I use vinegar to age it and either paint or wipe it on. Sometimes I've mixed it with salt to pack areas and keep the vinegar on the Copper. It gives a nice patina. I made the mistake of wetting a paper towel with Copper and laying it on one roof, and the pattern from the paper towel was picked up in areas in the patina...kind of a happy accident :D

 

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Your copper roof looks fantastic Kathie! Using the string to create the vertical seams was inspired! Great technique too... I'm filing this away for a future build. :D

 

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It looks marvelous so far!  :clap:

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9 hours ago, havanaholly said:

What gauge/ denier string are you using?  It appears to be in perfect scale.  Doesn't a salt & white vinegar solution turn copper verdigris?

Derned if I know, Holly. <ducking and running> It's the ball of string lurking in a kitchen drawer, good for trussing turkeys, wrapping packages, tying up droopy plants, etc. Just about the diameter of a piece of spaghetti. 

7 hours ago, Cyn-AK said:
Let the copper soak in a mixture of white vinegar and salt, or bury it in sawdust or even crushed potato chips, then soak the mixture with vinegar. Place in a sealed container for 2–8 hours, checking on the color regularly, then remove and air dry. Use a soft brush to gently remove solid materials.

Interesting approaches, Cyn! Problem is, the copper foil now has a paper backing. I'm leaning more toward something to brush on.

7 hours ago, Dalesq said:

If you are looking for round, what about copper wire used for training bonsai? It's flexible and comes in different gauges. And it has the added benefit of being Copper so your aging technique should work on it too. 

I use vinegar to age it and either paint or wipe it on. Sometimes I've mixed it with salt to pack areas and keep the vinegar on the Copper. It gives a nice patina. I made the mistake of wetting a paper towel with Copper and laying it on one roof, and the pattern from the paper towel was picked up in areas in the patina...kind of a happy accident :D

Whatever I used, the copper foil would cover it, so no need to be copper. That's funny about the pattern transferring. Could make an interesting room divider or wall treatment.

5 hours ago, Samusa said:

Your copper roof looks fantastic Kathie! Using the string to create the vertical seams was inspired! Great technique too... I'm filing this away for a future build. :D

Thanks, Sam. 

Many of the sources I've found say to add some ammonia to the mix. One said to wipe down with an ammonia-based window cleaner before applying the mix.  Most said to clean the surface of oil from fingerprints & other stuff or risk the mix not adhering. I've made up a mix of 1/2 salt, 1/2 white vinegar and will do some test patches today. If I'm not satisfied with the result, will get a bottle of non-sudsing ammonia when I'm out later.

I am also thinking that the panels need to be installed before the aging begins. The back and sides go in easily, but the front one needs to be wiggled and jiggled and bent a bit to get it around the windowsill. All will need to be smoothed down when in place, Am afraid the smoothing may disturb the patina.

Once the right patina is achieved, I'll dry brush some paint in spots and also add some crumbly green turf stuff I got from a model train site for moss. Love that stuff. Covers a multitude of sins. :D 

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It's looking great Kathie. Running experiments can be a lot of fun. Often you end up with additional ideas for other projects. 

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The salt/vinegar mix has been on the test piece for more than an hour. It dried, so I refreshed it. So far, little or no change in the color. One of the websites said that humidity helps. I'm going to put a piece of damp paper toweling beside it and cover both with a piece of plastic and see what happens.

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Maybe dampen the paper towel with the salt & vinegar and let it sit on the copper for a while.  I am most interested in how this turns out, in case I succumb & try it on the Lily's mansard roof.  Kitchen twine, eh? (filing that one away for future reference).

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I might be backwards here, but I thought using salt and vinegar cleaned up copper to make it look nice and shiny.

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1 hour ago, havanaholly said:

Maybe dampen the paper towel with the salt & vinegar and let it sit on the copper for a while.  I am most interested in how this turns out, in case I succumb & try it on the Lily's mansard roof.  Kitchen twine, eh? (filing that one away for future reference).

I soaked a little pad of towel in the mixture and applied it to the other end of the test strip and tented it with a piece of plastic bag. The initial test piece is showing a teensy bit of green in a couple of spots. Mainly it has turned dull and pinkish. Not pretty. I'll exercise all the patience I can muster and not peek until morning.

41 minutes ago, rodentraiser said:

I might be backwards here, but I thought using salt and vinegar cleaned up copper to make it look nice and shiny.

Me, too, Kelly. I've used a vinegar soaked rag dipped in salt to scrub copper and brass to remove. Maybe it's just that the combo affects the surface of the copper enough to polish it if rubbed, turn green if left for a long time. ?? 

I'm going to do a Google search for "create verdigris on copper", not just "how to age copper" and see what turns up. Now that the panels are ready to install, I'm eager to get them aged properly!

BTW, the cotton ball on the end of the cue tip that I'm using to apply the mix has turned a pale green. Go figure.

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