Copper Top Bar or Bottle Caps?

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mZnthebend

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I have been refinishing our basement for the past few months, carpet is on order and I am ready to work on the bar. Nothing elaborate for the time being, the Kegerator is in the garage and the "Brewery" is on the other side of the basement. But I am trying to decide what to do for the top of the existing bar.

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I have been saving beer caps for 10+ years and always thought I would use these on a bar top, with glass over them, not the epoxy route. After laying them out loosely the other night I'm not sure it is what I am looking for. I'm toying with the idea of laying down copper sheet on the bar.
Does anyone have any experience in sheeting a bar with Copper? I was thinking of using something like this: Copper Sheet 10 mil 24" X 10' (rolled copper sheet) Craft Copper/ Tooling Copper/ Copper Foil

Does anyone have any experience with what thickness would be required. I would be laminating it over the existing plywood surface, so I can't imagine that it would need to be too thick. Just not sure what yet. If this is too thin, it may become cost prohibitive. Thanks

Edit: Lots of info on their site. Looks like it is possible http://basiccopper.com/thicknessguide.html
 

yellowcolumbia

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baltobrewer had a copper bar in his previous house. Not sure if he is on this forum, but he can easily be found on the morebeer or brewing network forums if you want to hit him up with questions. Here's his take on copper topped bars from the build thread of his current set-up:
baltobrewer said:
Count Zero said:
Is the sheet copper for the bar? That will be sweet if it is.

Well, not really. It's left over from the last time I made a bar. Never again. See pics:

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You can see how it gets ring-spotted and ugly. As soon as you set a beer on it it gets stained and tarnished, and those spots are hell to polish out. In the third pic you can see the wavy reflection from the bead of adhesive I laid down before I set the copper. Bars in pubs have fancy copper tops because they have an army of drones to polish them every night. I'm WAY too lazy for that. IMO, if you can't clear-coat them, dont use copper...

Link to his build thread: Morebeer's Brew Chat • View topic - The Great Basement Brew Room Project (pics) Hope this helps.
 

MoRoToRiUm

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I still love Naked City Taphouse (link to page 3 that shows counter). Really want to visit there and support them; Maybe try flashing? What about a nice lacquer or epoxy if you like the copper look?
 

Dustin_J

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I've never done a bar top, but here's a link to a thread that has some discussion about a pub table I made with a copper top.
Copper Table Top

Here's one on somebody that did a countertop.
Copper Countertop

Here's another thread with a bunch of info on tabletops and counters
More copper countertops & Tables

If you're going to use an adhesive for the top, I strongly suggest good old gorilla glue. I think the third link discusses it in more detail, but apparently a lot of adhesive eat at the copper over time whereas the Gorilla Glue is more inert. Good luck if you choose to go that route, I'm sure it'll look fantastic.
 

bendavanza

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You could also use glass, or maybe plexi over the copper. You would want to seal the sides, though so nothing could weep in between. I imagine bars that use copper tops use a lot of wax to prevent the rings.
 

Gonefishing

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I don't know about how it would "go" in that particular room, but I thought the copper top had the best potential for looking good. After seeing Baltobrew's I think I'd use glass over it though.
 

madewithchicken

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maybe do the caps on the front of the bar and then do a copper top.

I like your setup.

I would install a window so i can see into the brewery. that way it looks like all of those microbrew restaurants.
 

RockfordWhite

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That was a little design my roommate and i did for a table in our college room sophomore year...we wre sigma nus and that snake was one of our symbols (except we made it look like it was drinking a beer)...
 

IrregularPulse

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I personally think the copper top is 1st class. That is what I plan to do with my bar, but was thinking epoxy over it. But maybe glass would be easier. Eaither way you'd want it covered and sealed. I don't want a shiny one though. I want some roughed up looking stuff. Thats my favorite style when walking into brewpubs.
My idea of the bottle cap top is very collegiate. Like above with the table. Not saying it doesn't look nice, but I think of it as a college decoration to show how many beers you drank.
 

RockfordWhite

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I agree with your statement, if you want your bar to look more professional you should look into something else...i have some seen some cool fiberglass bar tops...and me personally, i would love to have a CF bar top (if i had the money that is)
 

Chello

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A local brew pub here has a "copper top" bar. It is the same idea as the bottle cap top, but using pennies and an epoxy coat on top. They are all heads up and is very sleek looking.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I would do the copper top and wash it with lemon juice to petina it. That way it will have rustic look with marks all over and adding to it will just add character. That way you would not have to worry about the maintenance.
 

goose_on_fire

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Woodworking is one of my other hobbies, and when I want to protect brass (example, I have an old WW2 compass made by the Lionel Train Company and stamped by the US Bureau of Ships that I'm building a wood stand for), I lacquer the hell out of it to keep it bright and shiny. I'm about 90% sure that will work for copper, too, if you have the ability and skill to spray several smooth, clean coats of lacquer.

It needs to be refreshed periodically, depending on how heavily you use it, but it looks great.

It's definitely not an easy, maintenance-free idea, but it's another tool in your toolbelt if you choose to use it.

If you want to chemically patina the copper, check out a show (or the website for the show) on DIYNet called "wood works." It's hosted by a real good woodworker who does some very creative chemical patinas on copper, for panels in garden gates, mirror frames, etc. Plenty of examples there and ideas for using exotic, fun, and carcinogenic chemicals.
 

MoRoToRiUm

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My local brewery has a copper top bar- no rings, but I am pretty sure they clean it with something caustic (covered in divets etc). +1 on the patina! I would use a good laquer myself, but if the copper looks how you want it, a thin coat of epoxy is a safe bet (Just make sure your bar is level and frame is sealed around it before you pour! And pour slowly to reduce the number of bubbles you have to pop).
 

DubbelDach

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Thought long and hard about using copper... Settled on butcher block. If I ding it up or stain it, I just sand it out. I coat it with mineral oil every so often to repel liquid spills. I am so glad I took the easy (and good looking!) road.

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