Bending Corrugated Roofing

This post continues the series on building a chicken coop.  The previous post, Finishing the Chicken Coop Structure, shows how the coop looks with tar paper in place. The outside of the coop will be covered in corrugated tin roofing recycled from a friend's house. We picked some of the better pieces (those without holes or serious bends) from the selection. There is a little rust and a few holes, but we reused holes whenever possible and cut out any major blemishes. To work with corrugated tin roofing, you need a circular saw blade designed to cut metal and also need a face shield. Make sure you wear long sleeves (the metal bits are quite hot and will burn you) and gloves are a good idea as well. Unfortunately, all of this equipment won't solve one problem, bending the corrugated tin roofing over corners to provide better coverage.

We tried all sorts of methods to bend the corrugated tin. How anything manages to accidentally bend the stuff (such as a hailstorm) is beyond me. The answer to the problem turns out to be one of leverage and careful weakening of the area targeted for bending. Start with the longest piece of corrugated tin roofing that you can.

To begin the bending process, we created a jig using two 8' 4 X 4 posts that are screwed together with a 2 X 8 support. A combination of a 2 X 6 top piece two heavy C-clamps holds the corrugated tin in place as shown here.

Once the corrugated tin roofing is secured, use a piece of wood with an angled end and a hammer to create a flattened line across the bend. You won't be able to flatten the corrugated tin roofing completely. All you really want is a weak spot in order to control the bend. The reason you're using a stake to perform this task is that metal tends to punch holes in the corrugated tin roofing.

With the weak area in place, one person grabs the long end and gently starts toward the bend, while the other person stands on the 2 X 6 holding the corrugated tin roofing in place.

It's important that the person doing the bending maintain equal tension across the bend and not to move too quickly. Take your time and keep moving toward the other person. Eventually, the bender will meet up with the person standing on the bender and the person standing on the bender can step off.

At this point, you can cut the bent piece to length. Make sure to take the proper safety precautions when cutting the corrugated tin roofing. The saw will definitely buck a little, so use two hands. Bits of metal are going to hit you and they'll be hot when they do. Wear a face mask and long sleeves. If you follow this procedure, you won't have any problem getting the results you want from the corrugated tin roofing, despite a lack of roofer's tools . Let me know if you have any questions at Next week we'll look at how to attach the corrugated roofing material to the chicken coop.


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