Education


Specialty Tool Industry Update

Specialty Tool Industry Update

What To Expect Moving Forward If you’ve been making a living over the last two years in the construction industry, you know what to expect. Longer lead times, higher prices, and labor issues. When you shop with us, we do our best to keep the items you need in...
5 Roll Bending Features

5 Roll Bending Features

Roll Bending Tools The roll bending portable brake has many positive features that make it desirable. Owning and using these types of tools will separate the roofer from the craftsmen because the devil is in the details. Let’s look at 5 positive features of roll...
Survey Results: You Answered, We Listened

Survey Results: You Answered, We Listened

We were curious to understand our customers better and you did not disappoint. We had over 80 responses to our questions and it helps us better understand who we supply. Let’s dive into some finer details of what was discovered. What type of roofer are you?...
Stelwagon Meets Penn Big Bed

Stelwagon Meets Penn Big Bed

Written by Tim Underhill of Delta Slate Photo Credits by Joseph E. B. Elliott of Josephelliottphotography.com In 2002, Linda Hill, a business- woman/entrepreneur of Philadelphia, bought the Stelwagon Roofing Supply company. Established in 1853, this building and...
Long Life Tips

Long Life Tips

Perfect Soldering Why? What? How? Long life tips have a ZINNLUX coating on their surface that enables them to be worked for 5-6 times that of a standard copper tip without “pitting” or losing shape. The special coating protects the copper core from...
Metal Roofing Outlook 2022

Metal Roofing Outlook 2022

What Happened in 2022? The residential re-roofing sector for metal specifically rose from 12% to 15% in 2020. Homeowners are increasingly choosing to replace their old roofs (often asphalt shingle) with metal. Steel remains the most popular choice for metal roof...
3 Reasons to Own a Drill Seamer

3 Reasons to Own a Drill Seamer

The Latest in Seaming Products Stortz Tools specializes in getting you the right seamer for your architectural (1″ or 1.5″) panels. Our store has a wide variety of seaming options from manufacturers around the globe. We can help you pick the seamer that...
Double Seamed Valley – Pt. 5

Double Seamed Valley – Pt. 5

In parts 3 & 4, Craig demonstrated how he installed the field panels that intersect with the valley and prepped them to fit the formed valley piece. Next is the actual double seaming that will make the ridge and valley watertight. There is alot of seaming to be...
New Alpine Hybrid Snow Guards

New Alpine Hybrid Snow Guards

Alpine Snow Guards has introduced 2 new “hybrid” guards to their product offering. Complementing their popular products, the new guards aim to ease the disruptive supply chain that is the snow guard industry. If you are struggling to find your Berger...
Double Seamed Valley – Pts 3 & 4

Double Seamed Valley – Pts 3 & 4

In parts 1 & 2, Craig showed how to fabricated the valley piece from coil stock and connect the two pieces together at the cross-section. In parts 3 & 4, Craig shows how to prepare the intersecting field panels to seam into the valley. Notice how the panels...
Double Seamed Valley  – Pts 1 & 2

Double Seamed Valley – Pts 1 & 2

With so many standing seam panel systems available today from various manufacturers, traditional standing seam folding techniques are often substituted for simpler, less skill-based installation methods. In the videos below, Craig Hardin (Hardin Construction)...
Climbing Life’s Ladder

Climbing Life’s Ladder

Roofing is considered the 4th most dangerous job in the United States (Western States Roofing Contractors Association). No one wants to roof forever but when does a roofer decide they’ve worked long enough? When they can no longer climb a ladder? When their...
Let’s Get to the Point of Soldering Iron Tips

Let’s Get to the Point of Soldering Iron Tips

Unless you have ever personally performed a soldering operation – which might be done for a variety of different purposes, might it be added – then you might have fallen prey to the erroneous belief that all soldering iron tips were created equal. This...
How to Identify Quality in a Brick Hammer

How to Identify Quality in a Brick Hammer

Brick hammers, which are also sometimes known as mason’s or stonemason’s hammers, are only one of the many tools we sell here at John Stortz & Son. Like many of the tools we sell, they are tools that, though highly specialized, can really serve a huge range of...
Stubai Tools

Stubai Tools

Stubai manufacturing is located in Fulpmes, Austria. The facilities boast the highest quality of forging, hardening, and machining processes. Their tools cover a variety of industries ranging from Roofing, Forestry, Woodworking, Climbing, Cutlery, Automotive and...
Power Seamer Product Review

Power Seamer Product Review

When To Use a Power Seamer Power seaming mechanically locked panels is preferred on longer runs (20+ ft) when a uniform look is desired. Most seamers will seam the first and second stage in one pass which will reduce time of the project when compared to alternative...
Top 10 Soldering Questions Answered

Top 10 Soldering Questions Answered

1. Why do some soldering tips wear out faster than others? Lead free solder (pure tin) will wear out your copper tips about twice as fast as 50/50 solder.  Tin has a higher melting temperature than lead, so you need to use higher heat when soldering with lead free...
Ridge Detail – Answering YouTube Comments

Ridge Detail – Answering YouTube Comments

A video we shot of a metal roofing project by Hardin Construction attracted over 200,000 views. This clip shows how a roofer completes a double lock folded ridge in 26ga painted steel. The technique is seen in historical architecture and is not uncommon to last over...
Soldering Solutions by Sievert

Soldering Solutions by Sievert

Soldering is Expensive New irons and tips replace worn out equipment. Bar solder needs are a constant expense. Once you buy a certain brand of iron, it makes sense to stick with it for economical sense. Learn why the Sievert line of irons may be worth your hard earned...
Clips for Standing Seam Roofing

Clips for Standing Seam Roofing

We Have Added Fixed & Expansion Cleats to our Product Line! Clips are an integral part to any roofing system. Incorrect clip selection, installation, or quantity can result in total roof failure. We offer fixed and expansion cleats for both 1″ &...
When Will Slate Fight Back?

When Will Slate Fight Back?

Slate holds about a 1% foothold in the overall roofing material pie chart, maybe less. A simple goal would be to grow it to 2%. If natural slate is going to continue to be installed on exterior and interior projects, the industry is going to have to join together....
Preparing a Panel for the Eaves Edge

Preparing a Panel for the Eaves Edge

Notching Panels Hemming Panels Notching the seams/ribs off is required when preparing standing seam panels for installation. Depending on the seam type and metal thickness, notching can be simple or rather difficult. After the panels are notched appropriately, the...
Choose Your Slate Roof: Natural vs Synthetic

Choose Your Slate Roof: Natural vs Synthetic

Natural Slate vs Synthetic Slate The topic of this post addresses the appropriation of the term slate. Appropriation is the action of taking something for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission. The manufacturers of synthetic slate have...
SOLDERING 101: Essentials for Roof Soldering

SOLDERING 101: Essentials for Roof Soldering

SOLDERING 101: Essentials for Roof Soldering ✅ Solder ✅ Forming Equipment ✅ Abrasives ✅ Flux & Flux Bottle + Brush ✅ Heat Source / Soldering Iron ✅ Sal-Ammoniac Bar & Cleaning Mixture ✅ Fire Safety Equipment Solder Solder is defined as a low melting alloy that...
Seaming Techniques and Details on 26 Gauge Steel

Seaming Techniques and Details on 26 Gauge Steel

The type of metal you are working on has a lot to do with what finishing details you are able to perform. Copper and zinc, being softer materials, are able to form and maneuver easily. When working with 24 gauge painted steel, you are more limited. This series of...
7 Tools Needed for Slate Roof Repair

7 Tools Needed for Slate Roof Repair

Slate Brackets – Qualcraft is the manufacturer of a slate roof bracket which is commonly used for staging a slate roof.  The tongue portion hooks onto a roofing nail (at least a 16 penny nail, 3 1/2″) and then 2 more are then used to secure the bracket.  A...
Snow Guard Country

Snow Guard Country

How do different regions handle snow retention? For practical purposes we can divide the USA land mass into areas of high, medium and light snow precipitation (North to South). Each has its own way of dealing with snow.   Northern USA – Heavy Snow Loads Up...
Making Curved Standing Seam Panels

Making Curved Standing Seam Panels

*note: Special thanks to Kevin Roselli (Metal Solutions LLC) for the photographs of the copper bell tower project in this post “Whatever good things we build, end up building us…” There is something fascinating about architectural copper work. The...
Standing Seam Ridge Detail

Standing Seam Ridge Detail

This is an alternative to a ridge cap which is popular in the snap lock industry. Craig of Hardin Exteriors uses the double lock method to ensure water tightness and to maintain the double locked theme of the roof. There is also no worry of this ridge detail being at...
Stay Up To Date With Slate

Stay Up To Date With Slate

A Slate Story An elder couple walked into Stortz Tools yesterday looking to buy slate tools to repair their 100 year old slate roof in Wilmington, Delaware. The man was physically fit, and the woman had an expensive camera hanging from her neck. We talked a bit about...
Forming a Tapered Rake Panel

Forming a Tapered Rake Panel

When you get to the rake edge of a roof and the roof is not perfectly square, there is a need to run a slightly tapered panel to connect to the rake trim. In this process, it is necessary to measure and cut the panel to the proper taper and then bend up a leg to...
Crescent Eaves Detail

Crescent Eaves Detail

Every roof is a chance to express yourself.  A chance to show that you care what the future looks like… A lot of the architectural metal roof installations we work with are built to last well through at least one generation.  Hell, if done right, copper can...
ROOFINOX – The Stainless Steel Alternative

ROOFINOX – The Stainless Steel Alternative

Stainless steel is great.  It is corrosion resistant, incredibly durable, has no reaction issues being paired with other dissimilar metals.  The problem is, it is a bitch to work with.  Stainless is so durable that it is difficult to field form, or bend for on site...
Metal Roofing Outlook – 2018

Metal Roofing Outlook – 2018

Where We Are 2017 was a fantastic year for metal roofing!  The metal market currently captures 14% of the entire roofing market in the United States and is trending in the right direction.  In fact, the entire construction industry is booming. As reported by Metal...
Cutting Tapered Slate For a Turret

Cutting Tapered Slate For a Turret

Written by Tim Underhill of Delta Slate Delta Slate Tim Underhill www.deltaslate.com Slating a Turret   There are different methods of slating a turret. The following is a graduated slate roof with slate on the same course having the same width. But to start at...
Acetylene vs. Propane Soldering Irons

Acetylene vs. Propane Soldering Irons

Which gas should I solder roof flashings with? Completely adequate and acceptable soldering of seams can be achieved using a variety of methods.  Hand irons, propane fueled, or acetylene fueled irons are all fully capable of producing long lasting watertight results. ...
Expanding Your Roofing Tools Potential

Expanding Your Roofing Tools Potential

Gasflow Through Your Soldering Iron Your soldering iron is not a complicated unit. Look at it as a gas vessel. Your regulator, you guessed it, regulates gas that travels through your hose and then up through your soldering iron. The “gas nozzle” is what...
Inspiring Instagram Follows For Roofers

Inspiring Instagram Follows For Roofers

Once your grandparents join your social network, it’s immediately “uncool”. Facebook has over 2 billion users and more people are using Instagram with regularity because it’s simpler. You take a picture, think of a caption, and post to...
Curving Metal With A Shrinker

Curving Metal With A Shrinker

All architectural metal roofers should have a working knowledge of shrinking and stretching panels. Being able to work on radius framing will increase your overall effectiveness as a roofer and the jobs you feel comfortable bidding.  The method and tools described...
Will Metal Roofing Replace Shingles?

Will Metal Roofing Replace Shingles?

Karis Roofing is a 90 year old roofing company located here in Philadelphia. It’s fair to say that they have seen a thing or two (cue Farmer’s jingle). Here is a message written by Guy Karis shared in his Trade News about the outlook of Metal Roofing. The...
Soldering Technique – Stitching

Soldering Technique – Stitching

youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G2W2jGzvxg Soldering Step by Step Direction 1) Properly clean all surfaces of dirt, dust or residue that may be built up on the material being soldered. Using a wire brush is sometimes needed to strip any oxidized layers from...
A Guide To Locking Standing Seam Panels

A Guide To Locking Standing Seam Panels

Feature image submitted by Igor Akhmatov of IG Great Exteriors How do I choose the right hand seamer for standing seam metal roofing? Ask These Questions Q. What is my mechanically locked profile height and width? A: Your first stage hand seamer needs to be able to...
Why You Need To Throw Away Your Snips For Good

Why You Need To Throw Away Your Snips For Good

If you enjoy the process of dulling out your cheap snips, then trying to fix their alignment or sharpen them only to have to order a new pair before your job is finished, then stop reading this article now. THERE IS A BETTER WAY. Invest in yourself.  Invest in your...
Locking A Standing Seam Panel

Locking A Standing Seam Panel

Standing seam projects require an understanding of how panels lock together. Snap-Lock panels are a more simplified means of standing seam and this post will focus on mechanically locked panels. We will take a closer look at a few ways to achieve a double lock...
Soldering Tools of the Trade

Soldering Tools of the Trade

Brand New Soldering Tips Available at Stortz Tools Masc Long Life Tips – The Masc Long life soldering tips provide an alternative for any iron that uses a “rodded” tip.  It will fit in the Perkeo, Aero, Sievert ESK1-10, and Express 330 Soldering...
What You Think About Slate

What You Think About Slate

We created a post that explained how companies marketing synthetic material were naming their product “slate” and how this was not accurate and untrue. This post generated some lively responses that will mostly go unnoticed unless dug up from the comment...