Tips and Techniques for Soldering Copper - February 2020
Joe Jenkins, Traditional Roofing Magazine
Make Your Seams Tight and Clean
Clean and tight seams are essential; solder much prefers bright copper with a very close fit. Lap seams should have a minimum one-inch overlap and no gaps larger than 1/16-inch. Install only as much copper as can be soldered by the end of the day. Sloppy or dirty seams take much longer to solder; the extra time spent making a clean seam will pay dividends when soldering. Figure 1 shows what a good lap seam looks like, Figure 2 shows a good flat-lock seam.
Riveting Made Easier
Carry self-drilling, metal lath, pan-head screws, size 8, about 1/2-inch long in pouches or rivet boxes. These will hold the sheet or panel in place, can be easily removed, drill exactly the correct size hole for standard rivets and can be reused indefinitely. Install the screws along the entire length of a lap seam working from the bottom to the top, then remove each one and replace with a rivet. You won’t get copper shavings stuck between the sheets since they’re held tightly together. Read more.