Cutting and folding the lead, beating it into shape and knowing how it moves with different temperatures is key to making sure that the lead makes the roof watertight and it will last for many years.
|Andy, Del and me working on a flat roof 7 years ago|
Sometimes you come up against a problem where cutting or folding won't be good enough - here you have to weld it. It was on the roof on a steel frame that the box gutter against the existing wall would require some lead welding. Luckily the guy I'm working for got an old school plumber in, he was trained in the traditional way to do lead work. The guy was 67, so we carried up the lead for him and I ground out all the masonry so it could be fitted (dusty job), but he knew his stuff.
|My first attempt at lead welding (It was raining during this photo!)|
I showed a real interest in what he was doing (and fixed his mallet for him), in return he showed me a little bit of lead welding, how to set up the blow torch to get the flame right and how to join two pieces together. I practised on some offcuts and then let him carry on with the real job of fitting the lead to the gutters we made.
|welding on the roof - a water proof joint|
I hope I get the opportunity to work with him again so I can learn more about lead work and how to weld it together. It seems fewer and fewer people can do this, instead turning to fibreglass, so it would be good to be able to do it myself when I need to. Bit more practise needed yet though!