In the last post, I showed some “standing lock” roofs that I had constructed about 15 years ago. The process I used was essentially the same one that carpenters used 100 years ago and the tools I used were from that time as well.
Making a standing seam roof is very labour intensive. 100 years ago, the average house would take about six weeks to finish – and that with a team of two carpenters. Those houses were a lot smaller and the roof line a lot simpler than those of today!!
Apart from a hammer, simple bending pliers and snips, the carpenter essentially had two main tools: the roofing iron and the hand benders (like a little metal break.
The roofing iron was a simple yet highly specific tool with two sides of different heights. The metal was formed using a hammer and the iron. Here are a few views:
The hand benders were like a gigantic set of pliers with large flat surfaces:
The jaws have marks to align the metal so as to bend it at the correct setting.
I will do a little demo in the next post so you can see a simple joint and get an idea of how this technique works.
Although the standing lock roof was very labour intensive, it is also a long-lived roof that will essential last forever with a bit of maintenance and paint. You can still see ancient ones all around the Chateauguay Valley – keep your eyes peeled!