At John Stortz & Son, we provide a wide range of useful tools of immeasurable quality. While a lot of the focus of the tools we sell may appear as though it’s on sheet metal roofing, we actually sell a wide range of other tools, some of which are designated for slate roofers, some of which have no vested focus on roofing at all.
Here are some of the unique tools we sell here on our website in addition to our sheet metal roofing tools, along with how they can be used effectively and what makes them so valuable in their spheres of influence.
Let’s jump right into it. What’s a floor scraper? Well, the name is straightforward enough, but you won’t see them listed on our menu as such. Our floor scrapers, which you can find at that link, are also called wall scrapers. Taking that into account, why would one want to scrape a wall, or a floor, for that matter?
These unique tools are designed to provide distinct value, particularly to masons and bricklayers, for removing excess mortar from floors and walls. These tools can be used to remove excess mortar before it sets and are something akin to large putty knives designed for bricklaying.
By the way, the generally utilitarian nature of their design makes them useful for more than just removing excess mortar. Then can also be used to remove caulk, gum, putty or other residue from floors and walls prior to resurfacing, refinishing or tiling.
They’re also good at removing paint and scraping ceilings, and they can be used as a wedge to pry up old tiles or stones if you’re planning on laying new ones.
Furthering the “general utilitarianism” of the tool, if you ever break or misplace a handle, you can easily replace it. We sell replacement handles here on our site, but most broomsticks will do the trick just fine.
One more thing – generally utilitarian or not, these tools are made from uncommonly high quality materials. The beveled blade (which can be resharpened with a file, should you ever need to) is made from hardened spring steel and tempered to a high degree of flexibility.
Masons who shop on our site will also find a lot of different choices in brick hammers (also called a masons’ hammer). This is a unique tool that is specially designed for bricklayers and masons to manipulate their media before laying them.
Bricks, and stone such as slate, are not malleable and cannot be stretched, formed or bent in the same manner as steel. This makes the function of a bricklayer’s hammer somewhat different from the basic function of most engineers’ and blacksmiths’ hammers.
You will note that the brick hammers on our website have both a flat face and a chiseled end. The chiseled end is used for scoring stone and bricks. Once the stone has been marked or scored, a sharp, short blow is delivered to the stone in order to break off the piece along the boundary. In this manner, bricklayers and skilled masons are able to make impressively precise alterations to stone and brick.
We provide a variety of brick hammers here, some with synthetic, shock absorbing handles and others with wooden handles. For those of you who would like to know if there are any advantages wood handles have over synthetics, consider that it is easier to replace a broken wooden handle than a synthetic one.
In addition to the brick hammers and floor scrapers that we sell here at John Stortz & Son, we also provide a range of masonry and brick chisels for cutting and shaping stone, which can even be done once the stone has been laid.
Don’t be fooled by the generally apparent relationship between stone chisels (sometimes also called cold chisels) and wood chisels. They’re both cutting tools, but they vary in their function and composition.
Cold chisels and masonry chisels are made from tempered tool steel with a high carbon content that enables the steel to take a very, very hard heat treatment. This is necessary to enable the chisel to break, chip and form stone (and sometimes metals). The reason for this high level of hardness is because it is very difficult to make steel hard enough to work with most stones, which are generally harder.
The high level of hardness also enables these chisels to deliver additional impulse when they are struck with a maul. Softer steel would absorb some of the force before transferring it, lightening the impulse. This impulse is necessary for making precise marks and cuts in stone.
By contrast, there is more of an emphasis on sharpness and bevel angle with wood chisels. Masonry chisels are dull by comparison, but they excel in breaking, marking and shaping stone.
Like many of the tools we sell here on our website, our slate hammers provide a lot of utility that might not be apparent from the first glance. What they appear to be is a hammer with a flattened face on one end and a sharpened, pick like point at the other. That general observation being made, they have a lot more value hidden in their other features.
Because of the suite of features most slate hammers contain, they can be used to cut and trim slate panels, punch holes through slate for driving nails, and then driving the nails themselves. More enterprising slate roofers probably have a few tricks up their sleeves in addition to these, depending on their dexterity and ingenuity with the tool.
Many slate hammers have checkered faces which improves the traction during a strike and diminishes the frequency of complete and partial misses. The pointed ends of slate hammers can be used either to score or mark slate for shaping, but they are primarily used for punching fairly precise holes in slate slabs.
Some of them also have claws at the top of the head of the hammer, which can be used for removing old nails. In addition, many slate hammers have beveled shanks between the head and the handle, which can be used for trimming pieces of slate or other stone.
Much like a bricklayers’ hammer, a slate hammer is an invaluable tool for those who work in slate roofing and masonry.
Slate Cutters and Rippers
In addition to the slate hammers that we sell, we also provide a number of other helpful and beneficial tools for slate roofers and others who work with stone. Among these are our slate rippers and cutters.
Our slate rippers are unique tools that are designed to make it easier for roofers to remove old slate shingles and even cedar and other wooden shakes. The unique design enables a slate ripper to be slid underneath of a shingle; slots along the side of it engage the nail that secures the shingle to the roof. By hitting the handle with a hammer, the nail can be removed, whereby the slate shingle can as well.
The unique design of our slate rippers enables them to remove shingles without damaging the shingle itself or any adjoining shingles. In addition to the rippers themselves, we also sell replacement blades and handles.
Slate cutters provide an additional layer of utility to slate roofing professionals. We sell a large variety of slate cutters here, each with its own unique features; however, many of them performance similar functions despite their evident aesthetic differences.
Slate cutters are used, generally, for cutting and forming slate pieces and shingles. They can be used to make straight cuts, and some of them can be used to make convex or concave cuts as well. Some can be used to leave a chamfered edge for a refined, professional look.
In addition, some of our slate cutters can be used to shape smaller pieces to better conform to the irregularities of the rooftop, such as at the intersection of the chimney. Some of them even accept replacement blades and can be mounted to a sturdy surface via the aid of angle irons.
Craftsmen from all walks of life will be called to remove the paint from some surface or other at some point throughout their careers. The issue is that, though it isn’t particularly difficult to remove paint from metal, wood and other surfaces, it is difficult to do so without damaging the surface or finish of the material under the paint.
That is, unless you use a specially designed paint scraper like one of those we offer here at Stortz.com. Sanding and other abrasive methods of paint removal will damage finishes and can release harmful particulate matter into the air. Chemical strippers can do the same while also damaging the finish underneath the paint.
Stortz paint scrapers, by contrast, enable efficient paint removal from a variety of surfaces without undue risk of damage to the surface underneath, and can be resharpened. They’ll even leave a minimum of dust and other waste that needs to be cleaned up and cleared away.
While snow guards are not tools in the same vein as the others featured in this article, they do constitute a very valuable component of our online catalog and are vital to public safety in some settings.
In short, snow guards are metal retaining devices that are staggered along sheet metal and stone roofs that prevent snow from sliding off in large sheets. In areas of the country where roofs receive a large annual snow load, these fixtures will “grip” onto the snow and prevent it from sliding off the roof in large aggregate pieces, which can jeopardize life, limb and property.
Hoop Drivers and other Cooperage Tools
In addition to our roofing tools, we also sell a number of cooperage tools on our website, including hoop drivers, bung pullers, draw knives and hammers. The manufacturing of casks and barrels, especially in the old way, still requires a specialized set of skills and tools.
For example, draw knives are often required for creating barrel staves in precise sizes and thicknesses before they can be used to create a complete barrel or cask. Hoop drivers are another vital component of a cooper’s arsenal, used to drive, tighten, loosen and remove barrel hoops. Ours are even given a slight radius to better accommodate hoops for better energy transfer and higher efficiency.
Contact Us with Questions!
If you have any questions about the origin, quality or use of any of the high-quality tools we sell here at Stortz.com, we’re never more than a phone call away. We believe in producing quality the first time around; you’re ultimately in for a dollar when you go in for a dime the first time, so you might as well make your investment count.
Get in touch with us at 888-847-3456 anytime you need any help or have any questions and we’ll be glad to assist.