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SlateSpacer
New member
Username: Alden

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Monday, January 05, 2009 - 08:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

SlateAffair

Iím releasing it now. Cost works out to about 2-6% of the installed roof, depending on the size of the slate and local wage rates. The current price per box of 1000 standard stainless steel spacers is $405, depending on exchange rates (the part is made in the UK) and exclusive of any taxes and shipping charges (which do not markedly change the price).

The spacer has been ready for some time. But, development, testing and manufacturing were just the beginning. Setting up to sell to customers in Europe is what has taken a remarkable amount of time. This is in part because we do not intend to be marginalized by a big company, to sell-out or to get copied. This has meant a lot of patent and other work in several countries.

We are now ready, operating from a base near London (though I run the effort from the US).

Why the interest in Europe? Simple: It accounts for some 90+% of the Westís slate activity.

I see from your site that you are also interested in whatís going on in Europe. I see too that you would like to install a roof abroad. And I see your German-style designs -- which are impressive. (If they were done from a photo, theyíre even more impressive.)

To keep this posting from getting too long, I am attaching a Word file that may be of interest. Itís a simple page of facts about slate as itís used in Europe that might be of interest to American slaters.

If you and the others have been to Europe, and seen their slate schools and examples of their workmanship, the attachment may be old hat, but perhaps some out there havenít. I think youíll find some interesting information.

If you (or anyone else) would like to exchange more thoughts about the European slate market, or about SlateSpacer, I am happy to do so here. But, if youíd prefer to free this space for other topics, please feel free to drop me a note at alden@slatespacer.com.

Regards

 document posted for slateaffair.doc,application/mswordInformation about Europe
Jenkins (40.4 k)


Alden

alden@slatespacer.com
NSA charter member
aging longtime slate evangelist
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Slate Affair Inc.
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 334
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2009 - 03:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How long has slate spacer been around? What is the costed for they per square (18 x 10 slates and/or per 100pcs).
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SlateSpacer
New member
Username: Alden

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2009 - 02:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Understandable concerns.

Excessive gapping is an invitation for breakage, but minimal gapping is not. After all, it is already present on virtually every slate roof.

But the question should not be left to surmise. It should be subjected to real world testing.

Walk tests show that SlateSpacer does not break slates (in fact, it reduces breakage -- more on that in a moment). 200 pounders walked on thin (4 mm, less than 3/16") slate (as well as on thicker slates), on both low and steep pitches, low being the more severe loading test.

When it comes to gaps, it is often a question not of if, but of how much. Gaps are inherent.

Consider: It is common for 6 mm (1/4") slate, for example, to lie next to 8 mm or 9 mm (3/8") slate. Half the overlying slate, then, is cantilevered (spaced and unsupported) over the thinner slate.

In many active slating regions, for example in the UK, France and Germany, slaters are urged to sort slates, to limit the difference in thickness between neighboring slates to 2 mm. Some roofers in the US do this as well. SlateSpacer is about half this.

Note too, that spacers do not create unsupported ends. To the contrary, they are placed squarely under the ends where they provide maximum support. (Roof walkers, by the way, were told to concentrate their weight, to stand on one foot and to do this on each area of the exposed slate -- still, no breakage.)

At 1.2 mm, spacers have been expressly designed to be less than the spaces that are inherent to and common on virtually all slate roofs.

As for the benefits of spacing slates, consider:

Breakage: Spacing slates reduces breakage from proud nails. The slim space creates in effect an enhanced countersink. It gives the installer a bigger margin for error and reduces the urge to over-drive the nails. Spacers provide 30X the support of nail heads. While nail heads can break slates, spacers do not.

Wind: There was a seminal event in the world of slating in 1987. A vicious storm struck the UK causing massive damage to slate (and other) roofs. The devastation, with respect to slate roofs, was far larger than the effects, for example, of Hugo on Charleston or Katrina on New Orleans. The storm provided an unmatched forensic "opportunity" to assess the effects of strong winds on slate.

The UK's leading standards and testing body, BRE, analyzed the storm's effects. It was found (more accurately, I should say confirmed, because it was already known) that much of the damage occurred on the downwind side (as well as the perimeters) of the roof. This is due to very large suction loads that are created as wind passes over the ridge and then tumbles, creating turbulence with large and powerful eddies.

It was further found that the spaces between slates (and some tiles), inherent on such roofs, actually reduce uplift forces. The larger the spaces, the greater the effect. The air passes through the slates, somewhat as air can pass through a comb.

Testing by BRE shows that the spaces that SlateSpacer creates add to this effect and further reduce uplift loads.

Spacers are a tool that give installers and specifiers control, at least some control, over the forces that act on their slate roofs -- just as headlaps give control over water infiltration from capillary action.

Capillary action: It is a fact. And it has consequences beyond water infiltration. It occurs anytime slate (or other) surfaces touch. It matters because it traps water, and it causes slates to remain wet long after the rain has ended. The effects of this are evident on many old slates, as the covered surfaces (about 60% of the slate) are often considerably more degraded than the exposed surfaces. (As you have seen in your respective careers, slates can exhibit various aging patterns. The particular pattern depends on the type of slate. This is its own subject, best left for another time.)

If you doubt the correlation between length of exposure to water and slate aging, consider Petra and other ancient (2000+ year old) monuments of the desert. (Petra was made famous in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade".) These structures are made of soft sandstone -- far less durable than most slate. Most remarkably, their delicate reliefs remain extraordinarily sharp (there are pictures on our site: www.slatespacer.com/aging). How can this be, when the same structures relocated to our climate would have succumbed long ago?

And please bear this in mind: Deserts are harsh. Freezing at night, baking during the day. And they are often acidic. The parts of the world where these monuments are found are often among the most polluted. But it is no accident that so many of the best preserved monuments are in the desert, because what they don't have is water.

All of the processes that age building stone of any kind, including slate, require water (and free, chemically unbound, oxygen). Without water, freeze-thaw cycling has little effect; "pyrites" don't oxidize; calcite grains do not become gypsum (which swells and undermines the stone's substrate) and acids do not attack.

Fortunately, capillary action is very sensitive to the distance between surfaces. 1.2 mm (SlateSpacer's thickness) has been found to break capillary action and release trapped water. Spaced slates dry 8X faster than unspaced slates.

There are other benefits to spacing slates, but this has gotten very long.

I wish everybody a Happy New Year.

Alden

alden@slatespacer.com
NSA charter member
aging longtime slate evangelist
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Kurtis Hord
Senior Member
Username: Kwhord

Post Number: 128
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 02:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's what I'm thinking too.
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Walter Musson
Senior Member
Username: Walter_musson

Post Number: 117
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 02:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The benefits mentioned have no merit from my point of view.
I like the butts to lay flat on the underlying slates and tight to one another side to side, both eliminated with this product.
I can see no need for their use , perhaps even causing more breakage than they eliminate.
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Kurtis Hord
Senior Member
Username: Kwhord

Post Number: 127
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 01:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm skeptical.
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SlateSpacer
New member
Username: Alden

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 11:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello

This is to address recent posts from Slate Affair, Eric and Jeffrey re SlateSpacer.

First: Nice to meet you.

Next: I think you'll find that SlateSpacer adds little to installation time. Just insert and twist. Very quick. It's best to do several at a time: nail several slates, then insert several spacers . . .

If you missed it, check out the video: www.slatespacer.com/description (above "Benefits").

(Will be adding photos, Eric!)

Regards

Alden

alden@slatespacer.com
NSA charter member
aging longtime slate evangelist
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Jeffrey C Stone
Junior Member
Username: Shrllc

Post Number: 20
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - 07:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Liam, I have never seen this device before your post, I can only imagine that it must add lots of time to any slate project, I say, use a good quality slate and let the stone to do its work!

Eric, many of the copper flashings we encounter can best be reproduced by the example left by the previous mechanic. Although if you see a mistake, alter the design. There are patterns you can make which will aid you in achieving the proper pitch when producing waste pipe flanges.

Walter, I would also have great interest in seeing pictures of your vintage tool collection as well!! I have always appreciated your use of authentic vintage hammers and slate tools!

Hope everyone enjoys New Years! Be safe!
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Walter Musson
Senior Member
Username: Walter_musson

Post Number: 115
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - 04:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Eric,
I'm glad if you find them helpful in some way.
Practice is the way to improve and build your skills.
I haven't forgotten that you asked about my slate tool collection. Sometime soon I'll gather up my stuff and photograph them and post some pictures here.
Happy New Years.
Please call me Walter Even though I'm way older<g>
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Eric Braymer
Advanced Member
Username: Braymer

Post Number: 45
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - 03:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mr Musson, these photos are great. I need way more practice with copper and these closeups are very helpful. Thanks much.
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Walter Musson
Senior Member
Username: Walter_musson

Post Number: 114
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - 11:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

eric,
Heres one you might like to look at.
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8cbsmrhq11A
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Slate Affair Inc.
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 333
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - 05:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Eric I do have more photo to upload, just wait for some more bad weather. Thanks too.
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Eric Braymer
Advanced Member
Username: Braymer

Post Number: 44
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 12:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think this is the correct link here >> http://www.slatespacer.com/
These are interesting, but I dont see enough photos / examples. Not sure if they would lay well, any other opinions ?

Liam , do you have more flashing photos or other custom flashing examples that you have made?
Great article in the Trad. Roofing #7 -
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Slate Affair Inc.
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 330
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, December 26, 2008 - 06:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

www.slatespace.com

I just saw this in the new Traditional Roofing Mag and wanted to know if any one out there had used this produced.

They do have alot of great links on there web-site.

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