For cutting zinc sheets specific metal tools are available to make the job easy and fast. To cut long pieces straight, the straight cutting snips and Pelikan snips are used. For cutting curves, figures and hard to reach places universal tin snips, punch snips with curved blades of genuine shape cutting snips are used. These snips are available in left- and right version. This doesn’t mean left- or right-handedness, but the way the figures are cut so the work piece is not distorted.

Filing, scraping and sawing

To remove burrs a tin file is used. When old zinc is soldered first the surface must be thoroughly cleaned and a restored to a bright metal surface. This can best be done by scraping and/or sandpapering. One can use a scraper, a triangular blade which tapers to a point. Sawing is often down by a hack saw frame to cut a mitre and cut it to the desired length. The zinc worker often uses a wooden box to install a roof gutter, so a set of woodworking tools have to be a present too.

Bending and folding

For bending zinc sheet with small dimensions one uses seaming pliers, ranging from 40 mm to 1000 mm. Pliers wider than 200 mm are primarily used for bending bays at the ridge and eaves abutments. To adjust the sides a bossing stick or wooden/pvc hammer is used. Never use a steel hammer, because this will stretch the sheet material. Pr-profiling can mainly be done in the workshop with the proper machines.

Metal forming, drafting and stretching

These techniques are used to manufacture ornaments, accessories and various consumer items. Special hammers are used to shape the zinc on a steel surface, starting slowly and built up step by step with patience and skill.

Round shapes

Suspended gutters and rainwater downpipes are easily manufactured by machines. Bending tools and machines can shape the zinc sheet to the desired round form.

Measuring tools required:

  • wooden, folding rule, length 1 meter
  • angle tool
  • steel sliding square
  • compass
  • scribing iron
  • spirit level
  • marking tool