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Trying to make Round Gutters  RSS feed

 
Ben Tyler
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Hi, I have a lot of questions about putting gutters on a round roof... I figure this is the forum to ask, since we natural builders probably encounter round roofs more than most builders!

My problem is this: I live in New York state where there are very snowy and cold winters, and ice damming/gutter problems are a big issue. I was thinking it would be best to go with integrated gutters with stainless steel mesh "guttergloves" over them, with heated wires inside.

But then things get complicated, because my roof edge has a curved section, radius of 10ft! So if I was to go the prefab route I'd need radius gutters - and I'd have to build my own guttergloves because I don't think they make them curved.

However, I'm considering going all-out and sculpting my gutters out of fiberglass, over a plywood base. Since I have such a strangely shaped roof edge, it seems this is the only way I can get a seamless gutter. The downside of this is that it's gonna be a lot of work, pretty expensive (but not so bad compared to the price of prefab gutters), and also not so environmentally friendly...

Has anyone come up with a better, cheaper, easier solution for putting gutters on a curved roof? I'm not really into the idea of cutting a pipe in half and tacking it to the side of the fascia, I think that's really ugly and not going to last long with the weight of the snow. Hence the integrated gutters....

Okay I present the issue to the group!
 
Matthew Fallon
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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hm that does sound tricky.

not sure how good a solution this is.only off top of my head. not particularly eco-friendly either but probably easier to fabricate.

a friend makes didjeridoos out of PVC pipe and molds them to look like wood by filling with sand,heating spots with heat-gun and squeezing with an oven mit...

you could maybe get a 6-8"dia.pvc pipe, fill with sand, heat sections at a time and bend this along a fixture (plywood form or sheet with screws along a radius)
then cut it in half lengthways ? maybe on the bandsaw with a metal cutting blade in. and a splitter behind blade so it doesnt melt back together.

just a thought! wish i could think of a more natural material to do this in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ4U7XdTIFQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qs-PILTCbw

interesting method using steam from a kettle!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxKs1VfvgKI
 
C. Letellier
Posts: 227
Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
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I went looking for pictures of a gutter/gutter guard system that would work and didn't find it. But I did trip over this while I was hunting. If there is one commercial site on the web for this then there are probably hundreds.

curved gutters.
 
Matthew Fallon
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Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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C. Letellier wrote:I went looking for pictures of a gutter/gutter guard system that would work and didn't find it. But I did trip over this while I was hunting. If there is one commercial site on the web for this then there are probably hundreds.

curved gutters.



copper gutters can run you $20 per foot ! i'm just gonna guess that ain't an option on this project!
 
Ben Tyler
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Hmm thanks everyone for contributing some brainpower on this!

The custom fiberglass gutter idea is looking more and more appealing: apart from the usual options like vinyl and pvc, there's the expensive custom-made aluminum or copper radius gutters and maybe not a whole lot else. Does anyone here have experience working with fiberglass? I've sculpted waterproof layers on showers before, which is basically how I imagine to do it for the gutter. I hear fiberglass is very good with UV and the elements so I don't see much at risk here.... I am a little apprehensive about why there's no stories of other people trying this in the past though!
 
Mike Cantrell
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Location: Mid-Michigan
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Ben Tyler wrote:I am a little apprehensive about why there's no stories of other people trying this in the past though!


Mighty few curved eaves out there, that's my guess.

As few round houses as there are, I'd bet that even a good fraction of those make the roof into an octagon or similar, leaving the remainder with curved eaves to be very, very few indeed.

Good luck! Post pictures!
 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Well, the old answer was WOOD. Hand carved in a rot resistant wood.

Might make copper look cheap in the end, though...
 
Matthew Fallon
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again.not as natural as I'd like.but what about plastic corugated drain tubing. easier than my idea to reform pvc for sure.it's flexible enoungh for that radius and stiff enough to hold its form to maybe affix with brackets.strapping and or gutter nails ?. cut in half or just a kerf big enough for water to enter and not leaves...half is probably less problematic.
make a bent lamination inner and outter ridge of wood.like a railing.to fit over the cutline and attatch to the eave.that would class it up a lot.
or rather than just a rail.make it 6" wide to completely shroudthe front view.think thatd look pretty slick!
 
C. Letellier
Posts: 227
Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
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I have built fan shrouds and rebuilt snowmobile hoods and other projects with fiber glass. I have a friend who built a cedar strip kayak and then covered the entire outside with 2 layers of woven glass fiber and total of 3 layers of epoxy. That is clear enough that unless you look close it looks like it was simply varnished. The cedar grain shows through the fiber glass.

From those things some lessons learned. Air pockets and separated layers of fabric are the biggest threats when making complicate shapes. in 3 dimensions. Factory work solves this by pulling a bag around the fabric to vacuum and literally sucking the resin in. There are some really neat online videos on this process doing everything from huge one piece boat hulls to smaller things. I would also go look at some of the carbon fiber things in the same line because they teach some other neat skills and the process itself it basically identical.

Now if you don't want to set up to manufacture segments of gutter my second suggestion would be fiber glass over wood like how the kayak was made. I would try starting with a good water resistant 1/4" plywood.(think maybe floor underlayment plywood or marine plywood. Then I would cut long strips to be the sides of my box and arcs to be the bottom of the box for the gutter. The corners I would radius with the resin and glass bead filler. The reason for this is getting the cloth laid in smoothly is going to be difficult unless you have a fairly smooth radius. Then probably at least 3 layers of woven fiber and 4 layers of resin. This would all be done in place on the building. For filling vertical surfaces you need the resin thickened with the glass bead filler intended for that operation otherwise it will drain down to the bottom leaving the vertical cloth improperly filled and sealed.

As for PVC that one would be fairly easily. You can bend PVC by heating it. I have bent 2" schedule 40 with just the heat from a car exhaust. With a little insulation I think it would be readily possible to bend 4" PVC with the heat from that same exhaust. So bend an arch to match your roof perimeter and then spilt the pipe in half to form 2 gutter arches from each segment of pipe. If a car exhaust wasn't enough a bigger motor certainly should be. Another possible here would be can you get heavy wall black poly pipe to split in half to to this with? It would already be curved coming off the roll. It would need more support not being as rigid. They use a lot of poly pipe this size in coal bed methane operations.

As for corrugated pipe I would avoid it for reasons of collecting debris and being likely hard to clean.

 
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