Hey, this is a follow-up to the discussion back in August on this topic. We started working on our zinc countertop and backsplashes yesterday. The backsplash material was 39″ by 10′ and came from a different source than the 3′ by 7′ thicker stuff for the island countertop. We cut it to approximate size by scoring with a Stanley knife and folding back and forth. Then applied to MDF using Weldwood contact cement. Finally trimmed after cement set up using router and laminate trim bit. Exposed 90s can be bent over (may need to clamp) or little strips glued on and the seam soldered. Soldering can be kind of a pain. You need a really big soldering iron, heavy-duty, and good luck on filling the seam but not grinding it right off later! The solder is actually zinc wire so what we are talking about is welding. Even a buttjoint is strong, strong, strong. Finally I sanded through progressive grits with an electric orbital sander and finished off with hand strokes of a Scotchbrite buffing pad. Small pieces can be snipped to order with metal snips and flattened out using the same big J roller you use to press down the zinc sheet as you would do with laminate. I finished most of the glue-up, as well as the soldering and buffing of the two backsplashes, in one day. Will keep you posted. So far looks very nice. I think I will try to seal the backsplashes with a clear Minwax acrylic – will do a test panel first.
Carpenter Kerri Gaffett reflects on tackling tradework independently and learning how to work with the physics of your body.
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