Today’s blog will take a simplified look at custom copper dome construction. Copper domes are typically constructed with the surface consisting of some variety of either copper tile or copper panels. For this example we will be using copper tile for our custom copper dome roof. Copper roof tile can be purchased from a manufacturer and in this particular case we will be using hand-made copper tile, hand-cut from copper sheets. Diamond shaped hand made, hand cut, interlocking copper tile are shown below – there are approximately 136 per square (100 sq ft).
For the framework we will be using aluminum tubing, plywood sheathing and waterproof membrane. We begin by precisely cutting square aluminum tubing to size and bending the tubes using a roll forming machine to form the base and the many vertical support cross members. A partially completed aluminum frame is shown below.
After all the aluminum framing tubes have been fully welded together, we then cut plywood sheathing panels to size, to fit precisely between the aluminum cross members and stretch from base to top. We affix them to the aluminum vertical support framework. See partially completed plywood sheathing work below.
After all the plywood sheathing panels have been securely fastened in place with self-tapping screws, we then apply to the partially completed dome a self-sealing waterproof membrane, taking care to completely seal the dome. After the membrane is in place, we draw guidelines and begin carefully attaching the hand-cut copper tile to the dome and to each other. The copper tile have been designed to interlock securely with each other and we use copper ring shank nails to fasten them to the plywood.
Copper Tile Dome with Copper Ball Finial
Although this project may have been over simplified here, it was actually extremely labor intensive, benefiting from knowledgeable construction and metal fabrication expertise. Copper dome construction is very precise work and it can be very exacting just keeping each copper tile perfectly lined up straight and in perfect alignment with each other. All pictures provided herein and this copper dome project very beautifully accomplished by the skilled team at Rutland Copper Gutter Supply & Architectural Copper Work
Also check out our How To article on eHow.com “How To Construct a Copper Dome”