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Old 07-27-2009, 11:52 AM   #1
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing


Please let me know if I am about to do (or have done ) something wrong:

I have been working on my first piece of flashing on the fireplace chimney. Being able to solder this flashing "easily" was my motivation for buying copper for the project.

I made a paper template and checked it in place, then I duplicated the template in copper. I soldered in a piece by tinning the surfaces first and then trying to press and melt the solder together. I think it would have taken me less time to bend some hems by hand, tap them flat, and solder, but in the end it does not look TOO horrible. The sharp-eyed reader will note I tinned on the wrong side, it took me a while to realize I should solder the patch in from the BACK not the front.

The little wing on the side is to keep water from getting in right at the seam between the chimney bricks and the wood.

My plan is to drill some holes in the brick for plastic anchors that I will epoxy in. These will be positioned right at the top (highest most point) of the flashing. I found some nice flat head phillips brass screws to avoid galvanic corrosion. I also plan to put a vertical bead of sealant on the back of the long narrow vertical leg of the flashing where it will not be visible after assembly. The copper will not be in contact with the aluminium drip edge, nor will it contact electro-galvanized roofing nails.

This was the first time I have used a bar of sal ammoniac, to clean an iron and I was amazed by how well that works.

I got the iron second hand from someone who had never bothered to clean or tin it so it had never worked very well before, but now that it is clean and tinned it is like a completely different machine.

The last picture is a copper protector I put on the hip of the chimney years ago to prevent perpetual leaks.

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Last edited by buzzymalone; 07-27-2009 at 11:54 AM. Reason: where did my pictures go ?
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:03 PM   #2
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing


gonna try pics again.. just a few at a time
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing-img_3262.jpg   Soldering Copper chimney flashing-img_3265.jpg  

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Old 07-27-2009, 12:06 PM   #3
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing


heres some more
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing-img_3266.jpg   Soldering Copper chimney flashing-img_3267.jpg  
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:09 PM   #4
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing


another few
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing-img_3268.jpg   Soldering Copper chimney flashing-img_3269.jpg  
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:12 PM   #5
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing


nasty little spot
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing-img_3270.jpg   Soldering Copper chimney flashing-img_3271.jpg  
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:14 PM   #6
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing


Worked better than it had any right to
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing


So anyone who was reading while I was redoing what I messed up the first time might want to scroll up.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:27 PM   #8
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing


I cut out the shape with a plasma cutter.. That is what causes the color change at the edges. I did that because I figure my step flashings will each need the same dogleg the first flashing did, and I did not want to waste a lot of copper between parts.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:49 PM   #9
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing


When I was 14-15 years old (a long time ago) I had an uncle who had his own roofing company in N. FL. and I had to go work for him for two summers. It liked to have killed me and my cousin, but boy what I did learn from my uncle as far as sheet metal in roofing. He would probably look at those pictures and say--nice job, new boy. How many of those old "cooper heads" he owned, I don't know but I'm sure I used every darn one of them. I have not seen one like that one though. The roll of solder you are using is eye catching to me also, we used the bars of solder and a lot of "cut acid" made from muriatic acid that had pieces of galvanized tin put into it until Uncle Carl could look at it and say "just right". OH Yeah, we had those old heaters that used charcoal to heat the copper heads too. Try taking one of those up on a roof and using it without causing any damage. Keep up the good work, David
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:05 AM   #10
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing


Looks good. Nice job.
I've never bothered to solder a chimney flashing though. Too worried about 1 nail causing a stress point somewhere and having it break loose after a few years.

I cut the first step into a Tinner's wing, then do something similar with the back pan.

This is how most Ole-TImer's do it. This is before they even had caulk and had to know hot to make it work anyway. A dab of caulk before the flashing slides into place is my 'back-up'. Water never sees either corner, which is the weak spot.
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing-frt-corner-step1.jpg   Soldering Copper chimney flashing-chimney-job-8-.jpg   Soldering Copper chimney flashing-chimney-job-12-.jpg  
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:28 AM   #11
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Soldering Copper chimney flashing


Hello Thurman,

That is very interesting, and thanks for the kind words. That iron is originally sold for soldering up pipe organ pipes which some people will roll up from flat sheet when restoring pipe organs (like in a church). Some people will even cast the lead sheet for the pipes by pouring molten lead into a drag box and sliding it over a sheet of canvas that has lots of talcum? powder on it. The drag box has a slot in the bottom to let the lead out evenly, the sheet is about 2 foot wide. There are fixed rails to guide the drag box and space it up off the canvas.

tinner666, Thank you. I am having trouble in my mind getting oriented in those photos. Is that up-slope piece of vertical copper in the second photo like a dam that goes up-slope the chimney? Would you happen to have a photo of it that is from a little further back, not so zoomed in?

Thanks,
buzzy

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