Volume 39, Issue 7, July  2004

Tools of the Trade
Professional Glaziers Open Their Toolbags to USGlass

In many professions, a worker is only as effective as the tools at his disposal—few people would go under the knife of a surgeon who lacked the necessary equipment. Similarly, without the proper supplies, contract glaziers cannot complete their projects in a timely and efficient manner. Although such basics as drills, racks and lasers are found in many toolboxes, each glazier has his own personal favorites, and USGlass asked a few of its readers about theirs.

Richard “Gator” Izzo of Minneapolis-based Brin Northwest-ern Glass praised the DeWalt Cordless Drill as his most-used power tool. 

“I use my DeWalt for all drilling and screwing tasks on the jobsite.” Izzo is also fond of Woods’ Powr-Grip Suction Cups for setting glass because “glass is easier and safer to lift with handles.” The Pacific Laser SystemX PLS5 Level Laser, which Izzo said was “easier, faster and more versatile than ordinary levels,” was another favorite.

Occasionally, a favorite tool is of the glazier’s own making. For example, Ryan Fletcher of Horsham, Pa.-based National Glass & Metal constructed custom-made glass racks for boom lifts. 

“By mounting a piece of glass on the front of a high reach basket, I can use the lift to move lites into place.” Fletcher also likes the Hilti Auto Level Tripod. “It’s simple to set up and cuts down layout time. Fletcher added that the Autodesk AutoCAD 2004 LT is inexpensive and easy to use. “With this product, you don’t have to wait three weeks to get a simple sketch from the drafting department.” 

Rick Shenberger, Fletcher’s colleague at National Glass & Metal, was fond of the “fast, easy to use” Pacific Laser PLS 5 Beam Pocket Laser because it’s “easy to assign as a personnel tool.” In addition, Shenberger recommended HEK mast climbing scaffold systems because they’re “safe and have a large capacity.”
According to Chris Douglas of Dallas-based Tepco Contract Glazing Inc., the basic tools of the trade are also the most essential. 

“A jimmy bar is the most diverse tool you can have,” Douglas said. “It’s hard to do any job without it.” The caulking gun was also near the top of Douglas’ list. “It helps cover up mistakes, such as cutting metal short.”

Charlie Condit of Thomas Glass Co. in Columbus, Ohio, listed the Protecta JRG Self-Retracting Fall Arrestor as a must-have, noting that the product eliminates the need for “ropes or lanyards that may cause a tripping hazard while carrying glass.” In addition, Condit said the Hilti PD25 Laser Range Meter was valuable because it provides “accurate measurements up to 300 feet.” Another of Condit’s favorites was Woods’ Powr-Grip Vacuum Lifters, which allow the user to “position glass with a crane” and accommodates “weights of up to 1,400 pounds of glass.”

Jerry Walters of Toledo Mirror & Glass Co. of Toledo, Ohio, gushed about the Red Mountain Research PartnerPak, a Windows-based estimating tool for the computer.

“The PartnerPak is very accurate and user friendly, and creates CAD shop drawings and cutting lists of material for computer-controlled metal cutting.” Walters also found the Metabo 6-Inch Hand Grinder a handy tool. “Although the lightweight grinder has a small motor, it can efficiently cut break metal and flashing riglets.” Another of Walters’ favorites was the Hydraulic Punch Tool, which “can be used for aluminum fabrication of extrusions and offers fast drilling speeds and high accuracy.”


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