“Rube Goldberg Goes To A ‘Saw’ Movie” – Roofing on Dash Landing

wpid1445-DSF1271.jpgBusy week.

Plumbers, electricians, ductwork, exterior trim — you name it.  But one of the biggest developments was the arrival of the C.O. Beck roofers and their crazy metal bending machine.

You have to see this thing to believe it.  Fifteen feet of Rube Goldberg meets “Saw.”  Tin boxes, old pencil sharpeners, giant blades, buttons, whirring motors — you name it.  All bolted together and run with remarkable precision by our new friend, Lars.

The process starts with a 1000′ roll of metal.  (At 2 lb. per foot, we’re talking an even ton.)  Lars will take a measurement off the roof, make a few snips with a pair of monster scissors, push it into the machine, hit a button and — shazam! — it comes out as a perfectly formed section of roofing at the other end.

That sheet is then brought up to the roof and clipped to the deck.  The next panel overlaps  on the seam and another crazy machine crawls up the roof and crimps both together.

And despite all the contraptions, it’s been the level of detail that has amazed us.  Crisp bends.  Thoughtful rain diverters.  Meticulous flashing that borders on elegant.

We’ve had a metal roof on the plan since the beginning.  And after watching these guys for a few days — it might go down as one our better decisions.


Raw metal. Each linear foot of this material is about two pounds.


Dew beading up. Officially, this is called “Pewter.” We like to think of it as “beer can.”


A pipe sleeve. One piece is welded into the roof and this sleeve fits over the top.


Business end of the bending machine.


Roof clip. This gets covered by the next panel.


Lars making a cut.


This is the machine that crimps the two panels together along the seam.


Almost finished roof at the back of the house. They’ll crimp the very top of the sheets with the panels on the other side to create the ridge.


Rube Goldberg meets Saw


Because you never know when you might need a pencil sharpened.


Haven’t seen the guys use the mechanical shears once. Everything that we’ve watched has been cut by hand.

2 Comments on ““Rube Goldberg Goes To A ‘Saw’ Movie” – Roofing on Dash Landing

  1. Very cool blog post – believe it’s a first for us, dating all the way back to 1920, go figure!
    Thank you.

    Steve Hildreth
    C.O. Beck & Sons Roofing and Sheet Metal

  2. Pingback: Remind me again – who did that? | A House In A Field

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