Seams in Zinc & Copper
Due to the dimensions available in zinc and copper sheeting, seams are sometimes required in fabricating bar tops and tabletops.
Zinc is available in widths up to 52 3/4”, which will allow for a tabletop that is up to 46” wide, depending on how much return is required under the top after wrapping the zinc around the edges. Copper sheets are normally 36” wide (48” and 60” are available for extra charge.)
For bar and countertops, seams are usually required for sections over 10 feet in length. Longer sheets are available but shipping and installing the finished bar top sections becomes an issue.
After years of experimentation and experience it is our policy that we do not solder horizontal seams on bar tops and tabletops. We will solder corners and strap boots, but not the horizontal linear seams between two bar top sections in the field.
We offer three solutions for linear seams on bar and countertops: Strapped seams, spline joints and butt seams.
The sections are butted against each other, the gap filled with Sikaflex adhesive/sealer
A folded zinc strap is fixed over the joint, glued in and riveted
The strap is a decorative element and will rise 1/16-1/8 from the tabletop.
This is handy and forgiving in installation, as it allows some wiggle room in setting the sections, and the strap will cover any potential gaps.
The plywood substrate is offset so that the gap between sections is not under the seam in the metal.
A zinc spline is attached to one substrate, and the zinc or copper sheets are adhered on top of the spine. The sections are fabricated with the spline on one section and a tab on the other that mates.
The edges can then be riveted down through the spline for extra structural integrity.
Without rivets, the joint is basically flat to the tabletop, but can be seen and felt as a very slight bump. When added, rivets extend 1/16 above the tabletop.
The small gap between the sheets on top may be filled with epoxy putty or silicon if desired.
In certin cases a butt joint seam is required. It is the most ‘seamless’ from a visible aspect, but also the least reliable for long term integrtity and may have to be maintained on a more frequent schedule.
The sections are installed directly next to each other, with a bead of adhesive between them. Then the small gap at the seam in the metal is filled with epoxy putty or silicon to flatten out the joint and provide as much waterproffing as possible. Epozy putty dries extremely hard, like metal, and can last a very long time.