Confessions of a Sheetmetal Technician
It’s no secret that gutters are essential to keeping your home and the foundation around it protected during rainfall. And if you are looking for the best quality half round gutters that you can find look no further than Ornametals Manufacturing, LLC. We ensure that our half round copper gutter (also available in VMZinc®) is not only high quality, extremely functional and aesthetically pleasing.
We have been receiving a lot of calls lately regarding the installation of our EuroGutterUSA™ products as well as what tools we recommend when doing so. I asked one of the best Sheetmetal Technicians that I know what tools he prefers when installing half round copper gutters and here is what he shared with me:
Q: What tools do you typically need for installing half round gutter?
A: The basic tools you should have on hand when installing a half round gutter system are: Metal Cutting Snips, Flat Nose Pliers, Brick Mason/Gutter String, Gutter Clamps, Impactor/Drill, Gutter Bracket Bender, Soldering Equipment, Hammer Drill, Rivet Gun and a Downspout Expander/Pipe Spreader.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about what each tool is used for?
Metal Cutting Snips are important because no matter how much premeasuring is done you will always need to custom cut some part of the metal. Having a good quality pair of metal snips is essential, I recommend having both a right and a left set.
Flat Nose Pliers are used for installing end caps and hemming the ends of the downspout to the inside of the gutter. They are also great for screwing in the wingnut screws that go into the downspout brackets.
Brick Mason/Gutter String is essential for lining up gutter brackets and making sure everything is straight and accurate. Teflon is recommended to avoid breakage.
Gutter Clamps hold the gutter tight together, so you can easily rivet without leaving huge gaps.
I use the Impactor/Drill for my screws. Screws mostly come into play with installing the brackets. Make sure that you invest in a drill with a good battery life.
A gutter bracket bender is only used when installing roof mount brackets.
Soldering equipment is pretty much self-explanatory but I will say that I recommend using a 50/50 lead to tin mix when soldering. Lead free can be substituted if necessary as both work on copper and zinc. I would also like to add that anytime you are working with solder it is important to clean the metal areas first with solder flux. I prefer the liquid form of this product over the paste. I find the paste to be extremely irritating to use on a metal roof.
A hammer drill is needed for drilling holes in brick and stone walls for the downspout brackets. If you are only drilling into wood siding than a regular drill can be used.
And finally, a rivet gun is used for riveting joints into the gutter. I do not recommend placing rivets on the downspout due to the natural expansion that occurs with the material.
Q: Thank you for that. Do you have any specific brands that you recommend?
A: I studied for many years in Germany, so I tend to be a little partial to brands such as Stubai, Freund and Bosch for most of my tools. I like Perkeo for Soldering Irons and M.A.S.C. for my downspout expander/pipe spreaders. Different Installers all have different opinions on what brand they prefer but it really is up to the individual person to make that decision.
Q: Is there any other advice you would like to offer to someone who is thinking about installing their own gutter system or may be installing a half round gutter for the first time?
A: If I could offer any words I would tell them not to under estimate the amount of work that is required. Installing a half round gutter system is a lot more time consuming than the typical K style gutter, about four times as long for the same size house. I would also recommend having at least two people installing the gutter system due to the size and length of the gutter pieces.
Trust me, the extra time and man power will be worth it. Half round copper gutters when installed properly can last a lifetime, add value to the home and look quite beautiful.
If you are interested in learning more about installing our half round gutter systems, you can watch our installation videos. We also offer printable installation and specification guides.