I spent some time with master craftsman Andy Livesey today who is working on a project for IBIS Roofing which involves the installation of lead collars to piping. I asked if I could photograph the lead burning process, whereby he burns two sections of lead together to form a watertight seal. It is an extremely difficult art . Andy started off with checking out the oxygen and acetyline (the gases used in the burning process).
Next he cut himself a strip of lead (this strip is melted onto the joint to form the watertight seal) and cleaned each side with a scraper.
Then he lit the torch. Andy spent some time regulating the flow of gas and acetyline to produce the right type of light and heat.
He then started to work on the lead collar (which wraps around a pipe to weatherproof it) by melting the strip into continuous circles - making it look really easy.
Upon completion it looks something like this.
Andy has to produce approximately 40 lead collars for this particular project.
Thanks to Andy Livesey