Sunday, 27 February 2011

On the roof

As the lads and I have forged ahead with indoor work this week the roofers have been working on a new covering of lead for one of the flat roofs. I have tried several times in the past to weld lead and it proved to be a skill that will not be included on my resume ( I was useless! ) The roofers however proved expert in this seldom used talent and the new roof should be completed in a day or so. Lead like other commodities has now reached record prices and the roof has cost much more than I anticipated but the building deserves the use of lead over cheaper and more modern alternatives.The finished roof with its rolled expansion joints and welded seams should last a couple of generations, I do wish however given the cost of the roof that I could too!

14 comments:

monkey said...

That is a beautiful thing.

James Higham said...

How does one actually "weld" lead?

Thud said...

James... with a tiny flame and a lot of patience.

Brian said...

This forum describes how tricky and dangerous it is, definitely not for the DIYer. Kudos to Squire Thud and his craftsmen for an excellent job.
Or you could use Polyroof 185 or zinc.

Thud said...

Brian. the finished result will be online later this week. I would go with zinc if the house was not of the type it is. In a town near my Ca home some of the Victorian stick buildings have zinc roofing and it rather suits them.

Scrobs... said...

Excellent workmanship Thudders!

At least two generations methinks!

I just love lead roofs, and agree with you that it would be great to be able to do these day-in and day-out.

A good chum, who had an apprenticeship on leadwork (and other plumbing skills), told me that he had to pass an initiation test by totally covering a milk bottle with 4lb lead without breaking it.

He did it, and has several pissed-up yarns to prove it...

Thud said...

Scrobs....I love the thought of such an initiation, fun but with a point.

Lord Roby said...

If my memory serves me right the 'welding' of lead is called puddling,as if you get the flame just right it creates a lead puddle.Once you have mastered this lead burning is plain sailing.I never could stick weld to save my life but rather enjoyed lead burning.The compulsory bottle of free milk at the end of the job was always most welcome.A bottle of 'sterry' for me everytime!

Thud said...

LR..I'll remember that when we get to the pub.

monkey said...

i was always pretty good at oxy acetylene welding, it also starts with small pool that you move along dabbing your filler rod creating a weld. id love ago at lead welding and a chance of completing the milk bottle task.

Elizabeth said...

Hurray for the expert roofers! I have a piece of advice, though. Since lead is expensive, there’s a possibility for it to get stolen and sold as scrap metal. Be sure it’s been properly secured to the flat roof. Hope you guys get more projects and update us about it!

Elizabeth Hoffnung

Penelope Dingee said...

One great advantage of having an expensive roof is its durability. But, you have to make sure that the roof is from a reputable manufacturer. With that, you won’t have to worry about re-roofing and roof maintenance for that building for a long time, right? Anyway, I think that you made the right decision by choosing lead. I bet the final phase looks terrific!

Penelope Dingee

Penelope Dingee said...

One great advantage of having an expensive roof is its durability. But, you have to make sure that the roof is from a reputable manufacturer. With that, you won’t have to worry about re-roofing and roof maintenance for that building for a long time, right? Anyway, I think that you made the right decision by choosing lead. I bet the final phase looks terrific!

Penelope Dingee

Hugh Dinatale said...

Well, lead coverings have been famous for their extensive lifespan. Another good thing about them is that they can easily be molded into any type of roof. You made the right choice in installing them in spite of the cost. Just think of it as a good investment that raises the value of your home. =)

Regards,
Hugh Dinatale