Path Lights – Making the Roof

The roof is the most complex part of the light. The roof panels are curved and flared towards the bottom. This means the curves are not a simple arc but have a changing curve radius along their length with the shorter radius towards the bottom. If this is not done, then the top won’t come to a nice point or the curvature is very flat.

Based on the paper prototypes, a master pattern was made by drawing it out as before, but then folding in half prior to cutting. The goal was to be sure that both of the sides were symmetrical. This pattern was then attached to the thin copper sheet (0.06″) with photo mount spray adhesive. The copper was then carefully cut out and the edges cleaned up a bit. Now I have the template to use to trace the patterns for the rest of the roof panels.

The copper that is used is 12oz copper roll flashing. I bought it in a 20 inch by 10 foot roll. 12 oz copper has a nominal thickness of 0.0162″ (0.411 mm). Note that when cutting the copper with shears, the sides of the cut will have a small bend and burr on them. To minimize the curving (potato chipping), adjacent cuts need to be made in opposite directions. This way there is basically only one direction of warping rather than two. The 3.5″ wide strips are cut of the end of the roll of flashing,

Roof panels traced and ready to cut out

The video below shows the detail of cutting and fitting the roof together, then soldering and clean up.

This covers the process of making the roof pieces