Posts Tagged ‘BUR’

History of the Feltlayer

June 22, 2011

Ever wonder how something got started?  Let me tell you about the staple of hot roofing, the Feltlayer.

Hot asphalt had historically been applied by cotton mops.  After World War II, with the construction of larger buildings and wide open spaces, there was a machine developed in the Chicago area for applying asphalt and felt at the same time.  It was known as the Rix feltlayer and it was distributed by Aeroil Products out of Hackensack, NJ.

The only problem is that it really didn’t work.  Along comes Roofmaster’s founder, Deryl Yundt, who was Pacific Coast manager for Aeroil.  He took the original steel design and modified it to make it work.  This was in about 1951.  He manufactured it and sold it back to Aeroil, until his decision to start Roofmaster in 1952.  It became known as the Roofmaster Feltmaster.

It was pulled backward so the operator could see the ply marks on the felt and also observe the asphalt flow from the valve at the bottom so there were no voids in the asphalt between the sheets.  This was the feltlayer of choice for nearly 30 years.

Then along comes Peter van Dijk, who was from Holland.  He had an engineering firm design an aluminum feltlayer with the intention of exporting them to Europe.  Trouble was that the roofers in Europe had too much pride in their work to use a machine.  It was then that Peter hired Greg Clements, a soccer friend, to market his feltlayer in the U.S.

Greg did his job and basically took the market on the feltlayer.  Roofers liked it because it was half the weight of Roofmaster’s Feltmaster and had sealed lids, along with some other features that gave it an advantage.

With the recession of the early 80’s, Greg was let go by van Dijk, and was hired by Roofmaster.  Van Dijk also made the decision to trade his feltlayer rights to Garlock of Minneapolis.

Around 1992, Roofmaster decided to upgrade and re-engineer the aluminum feltlayer.  We went back to its original design engineer and had him update and improve on his original design.  That new design is the modern Universal Feltmaster, manufactured by Roofmaster.  The aluminum comes in as sheet, where it is manufactured in to product for shipment from Monterey Park, California.

It is available with our NonFlatLite tires and insulation.  It will work as a 36″ or metric unit by just changing a plug on the valve end.

All in all, a useful tool for those large flat roofs where you can “blow and go” with the Feltmaster!

What we forget about using “hot” asphalt

November 18, 2010

We are seeing more and more roofers using hot asphalt.  We see mops, mop handles and sleeves almost flying off the shelf.  This means that hot is not dead as has been mentioned in months and years past.

This is a tried and trusted form of roofing that has been around for over 2000 years.  Today we see T.P.O. roofs that are prone to punctures and / or poor workmanship. There is a difference between a single sheet and two or three plies with a generous layer of hot in between.

All of the equipment manufacturers in the roofing industry had their start in the built up / hot asphalt arena.  Some of the original manufacturers such as Aeroil Products, from 1917, and Blackwell Burner Company from about the same time, are now gone.  But there are other companies, such as Roofmaster, that have continued to offer equipment for the hot roofer.

Now, we do not see the kettles flying off the shelf, but we do repair kettles that are well over 40 years old.  They don’t seem to wear out like lite wall tubing or mops.

Since some roofers have not used hot in a while, there are a couple of things they want to remember before starting.  Safety is the first item.  Remember gloves, long sleeved shirts and safety goggles.  You are dealing with 450 degree material.  In case of burns, there is the Roofmaster Burn Kit .  This is stocked with all the items that will help address the unfortunate burn. Remember, asphalt will continue to burn until it is cooled.  Be sure to keep an ice chest or water cooler on the job site and plunge or soak a towel, shirt or other item with cold water to cool the affected area.

Next, remember that hot pipe and rubber or metal flex hose for the transition on the roof.  Know what kind of unions you have been using.  A Stockham union requires a pipe wrench to tighten.  A tri-lug knock or two-lug knock just requires a hammer, but you cannot mix as the interior threads (where the two halves come together) are different on the three different types.

Then you will need mops, adapters and handles, mop carts, hot carriers and feltlayers, depending on the size of the job.  Knives, hook blades and maybe some knife holders will help keep your tools at hand, and Dissolve to keep your hands and tools clean.

Remember what it was like before single ply roofing…Ah, the good old days.


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