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How to use a lead dressing stick?

How to use a lead dressing stick

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Lead dresser, dressing stick Lead dressing sticks can be used to work lead in a number of ways.

They are primarily used to flatten sheet lead, but can also be used to set in folds in sheet metal before it is used for roof flashing.

How to use a lead dressing stick to flatten sheet lead

How to hold lead dresser

Step 1 – Hold lead dresser

Hold the dresser with both hands, one at either end.

You should start working the lead from the edge that is furthest away from you.

Smooth lead with dressing stick from top to bottom.

Step 2 – Flatten lead

With some force, start to smooth the lead from the top to the bottom. To do this, apply force to the dresser and slide it down the sheet metal.

As you work your way down the material, bringing the dresser towards you, any creases or bumps should be gradually removed.

Continue moving the lead dresser across the lead until it is smooth

Step 3 – Continue until lead is smooth

Repeat this action until the surface of the lead is smooth and free of any imperfections.

How to use a lead dresser to create the upstands of chimney flashing

Chimney flashing, lead flashing, upstand The upstands of flashing are the parts of the sheet metal that are bent upwards and sit against a chimney or other structure.

Although the steps below explain how to create the upstands on chimney flashing, they can be followed to make folds in sheet metal for any purpose.

Dressing stick, marker pen, piece of timber To set in a fold in a piece of sheet lead you will need:

  • A marker,
  • A lead dressing stick,
  • A piece of timber (approximately 600mm (24″)  x 100mm (4″) x 50mm (2″) in size).
Layout for flashing upstand

Step 1 – Set out corner

Using a marker pen and either the piece of timber or a straight edge, set out the corner.

The distance between the edge of the sheet lead and the intended fold lines should be no less than 150mm (6 inches).

Using lead dresser, timber, sheet lead, upstand

Step 2 – Set in angles with dresser

Position the piece of timber against the inside of one of the fold lines.

Gently bend up the upstand around the timber and strike sharply with your lead dressing stick to form a 90° angle.

You will need to strike the lead along the edge of the timber continuously until the angle is formed.

Step 3 – Repeat process on opposite edge

Repeat step 3, this time on the other edge of the lead to turn up the other side of the upstand.

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