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What is a lead working stick?

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A lead dressing stick is a hand tool used to shape and form sheet lead. Lead working sticks are hand tools used to shape and form a number of different sheet metals including copper and aluminium. However, as their name suggests, they are usually used with sheet lead, the softest and most malleable of the common metals.
Sheet copper and sheet lead Because of this, lead is the material we will be focusing on, although the instructions given about how to use these tools could also be applied to other types of sheet metal.
Setting-in stick, bossing stick, bending dresser, dressing stick Lead working is carried out using a range of differently shaped lead working sticks, such as lead dressers (also known as dressing sticks) and bossing sticks. Although these tools are quite similar in appearance, their faces are shaped differently which makes them suitable for various sheet metal working tasks. For more information, see What are the different types of lead working stick?
Lead working, bossing, dressing, roofing There are a number of different lead working techniques including lead bossing and lead dressing. Dressing usually involves flattening the lead and smoothing any imperfections, whilst bossing is the traditional method of forming shapes and details in the sheet metal.
Wonkee Donkee says: 'As you would expect, a dressing stick is used to dress lead and a bossing stick is used to boss it.'
Wooden and plastic lead working tools, including dressers, bossing sticks and setting in sticks. These methods are most commonly employed by roofers who shape lead for roofing applications such as the installation of chimney flashing.
Lead flashing around chimney Flashing is installed around chimneys to prevent water from penetrating the joints between the roof of a building and the bottom of the chimney. Flashings are usually out of sheet metals such as lead or zinc.
Comparison between lead working sticks and chase wedge Other tools, like a chase wedge may also be used to fit weathering into position. However, the larger working surface of dressing and bossing sticks mean that they can be used for a larger variety of tasks as they can shape and move lead more effectively.
Wooden lead dressers and plastic bossing sticks Lead working tools can be made out of either plastic or wood. For more information see: What are lead working sticks made of?