The John & Jennifer Boll Turret Cap
Jellico, Tennessee  (5-04)

Photos and Description Page

Updated 9-20-2004

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Fabrication of a 30" wide, 12/12 to 32/12 pitch, octagonal copper turret cap,
 with weather vane support pipe

Homeowners John and Jennifer Boll in Jellico, Tennessee contacted us on Saturday March 27, 2004 in regards to re-fabricating the steel roof cap for this turret on their charming classic house.  The steel cap they had was so rusty, it had literally fallen apart.  They did not know how to calculate the roof pitch, since it varied in pitch all the way up.

The owner followed our instructions on this web site and made a cardboard model out of cereal boxes taped together with duct tape from the old cap (as you see below).  They mailed the cardboard model to us, so we had a template  to work from.

The original turret roof cap was designed to have a sloping curve to a peak and had an ornamentation at the top. We asked if they wanted it to have this same sort of design, and discussed the cost differences.  They opted for a more simple fabrication, with only one seam, instead of 8 seams to seal.

Below shows the roof the new cap will go on with the new roofing installed.  Hence the walkboards you see there over the roofing. 
To the right is the weather vane
the owners bought to use with the new cap.

Here is the bottom two sections we made for this turret roof cap.  We made them in these different sections to alter the angle of the cap to gradually spiral to a peak.

The upper lip of the lower-section has been bent outward and down to drill the rivets into.  Without having to rivet through the inside of the cap, so there is nothing to seal with caulk.

Here it the cap with the mid-section set on the lower section cap for fitting (as shown).  The tip in the upper section is cut open for the copper pipe used to support the weather vane mast.

This is a center mast support to go inside the mid-section. The tabs are bent at a 90 degree angle upwards to allow the wood block to fit in.  We then bent the tabs inwards by hand.  Even though it should not be getting wet, we sealed the wood on all surfaces. 

The holes in the copper plate are to screw up into the wood block, as you see here.  The holes drilled in the tabs (shown above) are to rivet this into the mid-section cap. 
Here to the right is the copper pipe in the wood block.  We have brass nails driven down beside the copper pipe and this stainless steel pipe clamps over the brass nails sticking up.  This will help give resistance to the pipe from any chance of twisting.  It is important that the directional part of the weather vane stay in place, once set in the right directions.

Here is the cap with the bottom brace riveted in, and the copper pipe going up through the center.  We then solder the copper pipe to the center tabs.

This stainless steel pipe clamp was then added over the tabs to insure it would hold steady.  We then covered it with the same caulk that we use to seal gutters.

We sent the clients these digital photos each night to get their feedback of what they thought of the progress, and allow them to address any ideas or concerns.

Below left is the mid-section copper cap showing the base support for the mast fastened in place. 
While below right is the mid-section riveted onto the lower-section cap.  We ran a bead of caulk where they meet and covered the caulk with cloth gaffer's tape. This is more to seal out insects and to resist any movements, more than to seal the rain water out

Here is the side view with all 3 sections together and sealed

It took about 10 square feet of copper sheet metal to make all this, not including the cut off waste.

Fabrication price was only: $250 plus the $100 for the sealed weather vane support.  That included all of the wood crate and shipping costs.

This shows the comparison of the finished cap and the model of the old turret cap the client made.

Below is an example of the letter of instructions we send after shipping off the order:

At 08:14 AM 5/19/2004, you wrote:
>It is beautiful!!  Wow!<

Hey John,
That is music to my eyes. <LOL>

I have some more good news:

We got it finalized and shipped off today, and dropped it off at the shipper this afternoon.  The Airborne Express tracking number is 56405XXXX.  You can go to their web site to see about it's progress.  They will call 423 784-XXXX if they run into any problems delivering it.

It was funny, It was 1" less wide than their door of 32" to fit through. They also insist that I make an inspection access hatch to open the crate in order to make sure there is no person hiding in it, or some sort of contraband inside. They say it is a new mandate, so I
brought a hand stapler to seal it up just before they take it.

The whole thing weighed 42lb. Most of the weight is the 2x2 and 2x4 wood frame. They charged me about $89 for their ground shipping. I insured it for $300 value.

To open the crate and safely remove the cap, all you should
need is
a box cutter, a large garbage bag, and a #2 Phillips tip in a drill/driver for the wood crate, and a new #3 Phillips tip for the stainless screws to fasten it to the roof.

I stapled cardboard over the wood frame to appease the shipper and keep the cap clean. Even though it has a 'top side' designation on the cardboard, it should be safe to turn it over in all direction, as the cap should be securely suspended in the crate. I just wrote "top" on the outside so it is upright while in transit and bouncing around on the road.

There should be a couple extra stainless steel screws in the bag
in case some of the screws get dropped or the Phillips slot gets worn or stripped out.

1. Cut open the cardboard cover just on the inside of the corner line of staples, and tear it off the wood frame. Don't worry about getting all the cardboard off or removing all the staples.
2. Get the cardboard and
Styrofoam out of the way and stuff it in the garbage bag.
3. You will find the zip-lock bag of screws and a partial tube of the special caulk we use taped inside the the cap. Go ahead and remove them and set them aside.
4. When you are ready to do the cap installation, you should be able to lift the cap out of the wood frame in the upside down position. It is recommended to wear clean gloves when handling the copper cap, so you do not leave finger prints on the copper, that will tarnish first.
5. There are only screws in the corners. Unscrew the wood frame apart if you want and set the boards aside.
7. As in the photos, the bottom scalloped edge should not be straight. I bent them in a soft curve out to match with what the roof angle should be. You may need to make some minor adjustments when fitting it in place. You can bend it with your hands easily
8. When finished, dispose of the cardboard and wood as you see fit.

Detailed Installation Instructions:

You will have to decide if you want to do step (b) before step (a). At least play with step (b) first to work out some of those details in advance, like a dry run.

(a) The Cap
You should place the seam of the cap more toward the back, or what ever side is less seen. 
The cap will go on the roof using the dome head #3 Phillips stainless screws.  Insert a 3/4" wood dowel or the weather vane shaft it's self to check the vertical level of the shaft in all 4 direction before setting any screws. Mark the holes for the screws with a fine tip magic marker or ice pick. You may even do well to draw the bottom edge of the cap on the roofing with the marker.  I recommend you pre-drill the holes with an 1/8" drill bit.  It would be best to add a line of caulk on the roofing, just above the line your drew on the roofing, over the screw holes.  Do not use all the caulk for this.  You will need to start with 2 opposing holes and start the screws in and re-check the level to make sure it did not shift, and repeat with 2 cross opposing screws. From there it should be set in place for the rest of the screw placements.

(b) The Weather Vane Placement
Set it in the hole at the top of course, with or without the ornamentation, as you choose, but it might make it hard to drive in the copper wedge (supplied in the zip-lock bag). Be sure to have a compass with you to set the directions. Experiment with different shaft depths if you may need the longer shaft extension you have.  I set it with a 10" long pipe in the cap.  Once you figure out the depth, mark on the shaft where it is at the top of the pipe in the cap. Lift it up about 3" and smear the clear caulk about 2" on the shaft a good inch under the line you drew. Mark the copper wedge (that was in the baggy) at 1", 2", and 3" increments to get and idea how deep you manage to drive the edge in the pipe beside the weather vane shaft. Lower the shaft into the pipe to the line and drive the copper wedge down at least 2" to 3" in the side of the shaft, inside the pipe to lock the weather vane shaft in place so it will not rotate.  The more the better so it is nice and tight.  You should be able tap it in with a small hammer. The caulk when dry should also help hold the shaft in place from rotating. Cut or break off the remaining wedge as close to the top of the pipe as you can. If you score the outside of the wedge at the top of the pipe with a box cutter or hack saw it should break off easily.

If you run into any questions, you can try to reach me by phone at 1-503-351-7082, and I will be happy to help out where I can.

>We sent the check yesterday.  You should receive it in a few days.<

Yes, we got it yesterday. Thanks.

>I look forward to seeing the cap on our roof.<

If you don't mind, we would love to see pictures of it installed. Even in steps as you install it, as long as it does not compromise your safety of course. If you do not want them used on the web site for any reason, just say so, and we will honor your desire.

>Great Job!!<

Thanks. It was good working with you. Below are more pics of its development. Enjoy:

Here is the final product of our hard work, and the installation by the owner. We try to work a good balance of strong, changeable, and easy to install with clear instructions as shown above.


Click this photo to go back to the
Custom Copper Roof Cap main page.




Click here to go back to the Custom Copper Roof Cap main page to see more of the different caps we have created over the years. 



Below is a photo of our
Better Business Bureau's
NW Business Integrity Award
for the year 1998

1999 Better Business Award

We were also a 1997 finalist for this same award. See our referral web page to see how we managed to be honored with this special award



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