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I Forge Iron

Wanted - Help with Leaded Copper

jeremy k

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I have on a couple occasions been asked if I do and or work with leaded copper - as in roofing flashing or repairs.
Do any of you work with this and have or know of a supplier I could possibly buy the materials from? Is there a special solder to use with this application? The projects are more custom things than what a normal roofing shop would get into - as in the one request was very artistic and not your normal standing seam application on a curved roof. The pieces would have to be hand formed by the way of chasing/reprouse'/ hand hammering. Any help in this area would be helpful. Thank You - Jeremy K

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Ask a local roofer to *buy* his scrap, explaining what you need it for---you might end up with more commissions!

I have a friend in OH who is a roofer and does a lot of copper work in the million dollar house area there including repousse and bird feeders as well as roofs.

I'll ask him if you can contact him.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I have never heard it called leaded copper, but if you mean the copper they put on roofs then, yeah, I have a great deal of experience with it. Take a look at my gallery for some of the stuff I've made.

You can buy it at any roofing store far cheaper than at any of the home improvement box stores (ie. Lowes). As far as I know it is pure coppper (at least it melts like it). It comes in various size sheets. I think my current sheet is 3' x 8'. It's probably around 20 or 22 guage, which is just a bit thicker than the stuff you buy as flashing at Lowes.

It doesn't come dead soft, but it's easy enough to work without annealing. It works cold very easily, and I rarely bother annealing unless it's something that I have to stretch or hammer a lot. If you're worried it hasn't work hadened enough, you can toss the piece in your car and ride around with it for a couple of days. The vibration will work harden it. ;)

I've only soldered with it, but it's suppose to braze fairly easily. I've used a bunch of different solders with it, but I like silver solder best. I also like a liquid flux made for the silver solder. It seems easier to clean up. You can then buy a patina from a stained glass supply that will turn it to a copper color, thus hiding the solder joint.

I want to try brazing it with a phos-copper rod. The color is suppose to be a great match. Brazing will also make a much stronger joint.

You should be able to get plenty of scraps for free or very cheaply by calling around to the roofing supply and fabrication places in your area.

What else do you want to know?


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I used to know a guy that did work with leaded copper on roofing jobs but that was before I had had some inquiries about "me" working with it and I have no idea where he is now. So mostly I was wondering about the difference of leaded copper as "he" said it was, compared to regular roof flashing.
I have welded copper with the Tig welder and have had a very successfull time of it. Although the flashing might be a bit to thin for Tig welding as the warping may be beyond what's acceptable. So I'm assuming soldering of it would be the best. Thanks - JK

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lead coated copper is used for roof flashing but has veryu little call for it around here any more . thecopper sheet is covered in very thin layer of lead on both sides of the sheet.when the sheet is cut it sort of looks like a quarter but much thinner.i have never tried to tig lead but i am sure soldering would work better as the lead is so thin i think it would melt away from the copper.regular roof flashing can be made from about any thin sheet metal 16ga or thinner. copper roof flashing is measured by ounces per sqare foot.16 or 20oz is the most common and has no coating. good luck jeremy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Roof coatings included lead, 60/40 all the way up to pure tin.
You need an agressive flux and you then have to "kill" it too.

You could take a large iron and coat your own copper with solder. Although it won't have the same patina.

Consider having the customer sign some sort of document that they are aware of the lead on their roof, that you are fixing it not putting the lead on the roof. The plater that I just visited mentioned that Lead is more like the black plaque. Keep yourself out of the law suits.
Just a thought.

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  • 5 months later...

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