Category Archives

    For Your Information

  • All
  • The Tale of a Journeyman

    Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 9.10.10 PM

    In medieval times, the apprentice was bound to his master for a number of years. He lived with the master as a member of the household, receiving most or all of his compensation in the form of food and lodging. An apprentice could not charge a fee for his day’s work; in Germany, it was normal that the apprentice had to pay a fee for his apprenticeship. After the years of apprenticeship, the apprentice was absolved from his obligations. The guilds, however, would not allow a young craftsman without experience to be promoted to master and thus qualify to set up his own business. To gain experience, the craftsman could choose to work for someone else or to independently roam about looking for work as a “journeyman”.

    Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 9.49.56 PM

    Journeymen can be easily recognised on the street by their clothing. The carpenter’s black hat has a broad brim; some professions use a black stovepipe hat or a cocked hat. The carpenters wear black bell-bottoms and a waistcoat and carry the Stenz, which is a traditional curled hiking pole. Because many professions have converted to the uniform of the carpenters, many people in Germany believe that only carpenters go journeying, which is untrue–since the carpenter’s uniform is best known and well received, it simply eases the journey.

     /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 9.27.20 PM

    The journeyman carries his belongings in a leather backpack called the Felleisen. Some medieval towns banned the Felleisen (due to the fleas in them) so that many journeymen used a coarse cloth to wrap their belongings in.

    The uniform is completed with a golden earring and golden bracelets, which could be sold in hard times and in the Middle Ages could be used to pay the gravedigger if the journeyman should die on his journey.

    Only after the journeyman had completed half of the required journeyman years could he register with a guild for the right to be an apprentice master. After fully completing the journeyman years, the craftsman would settle in a workshop of the guild, and after some more years he would be allowed to make his masterpiece and present it to the guild. With their consent, he would be promoted to guild master and be allowed to open his own guild workshop in town.

  • FHB Work Book 2017

     

    WHAT I STAND FOR

    The new 2017 FHB Catalogue has so much new to offer you. A new spin on old classics, new colours in our selection of work apparel, and a whole host of new products. You can find a simple overview on pages 1 and 2 of the catalogue.

    Get a closer look at our catalogue 2016/2017 called WORK BOOK.

    You can download the catalogue also as a file

    FHB Work Book 2017

  • “Zunft” History – Clothing and Workwear

    For the highest demands

    The Bielefeld Originals have been the “Zunft” specialists since 1894. Of course they want to uphold this long tradition, which is why their products offer a combination of tradition, quality and functionality. For many years they have been combining traditional materials with modern, technical textiles. After all, no carpenter would simply purchase “Zunft” trousers because of some tradition. Rather, the trousers must meet the current modern-day requirements.

    Made in Germany

    At FHB, it is very important to them that their products are robust and hard-wearing – meeting even the highest demands. They can promise you that because they are the only industrial company that still produces its “Zunft” workwear in Germany. Furthermore, a large part of the materials they process are also made in Germany. And they are proud of this fact. Of course, the price also plays a role, especially nowadays. However, it need not always be the cheapest. The products should be worth their price. And you can rely on this with the Bielefeld Originals. As you could always.

    The “Schächte”

    This brotherhood broke away from the “Zünfte” and developed into the various “Schächte“. The journeymen wore a special knitted tie to indicate their affiliation. This could be quite important, as the various affiliations often got into brawls with each other. Since their foundation, they focused on upkeeping the tradition and, nowadays especially, on making journeyman travelling more popular once again with young artisans.

  • Steetz’s visit Stuttgart Trade Fair

    Peter and Dagmar Steetz of Steetz Copper Craft in Calgary travelled to Stuttgart, Germany in January to attend Europe’s most popular construction trade fair. The biannual event “Dach + Holz International”
    (Roof + Timber), ran from January 31 through February 3, attracting manufacturers and tradespeople from all over Europe, representing all aspects of roofing and carpentry.

    “We had the opportunity to meet most of our suppliers there, like Schröder, WUKO, Stubai, Perkeo, Grömo and MASC,” said Dagmar Steetz, “and we didn’t have to travel all over Germany and Austria.”
    This gave us a chance to talk in person with them and see all their
    new products,” she added. Steetz said that most companies
    represented at the show featured product demonstrations and materials for roofing and carpentry, but “they had an extra hall for architectural sheet metal work, where they focused more on tools and machinery.”

    Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The city has adopted its own tag line, “Standort

    Zukunft” which translates as “Where business meets the future”. That term could well be applied to the Steetz’s, who take pride in providing their customers with a combination of top-notch service and Europe’s most modern, best engineered tools and machinery.
    Steetz Copper Craft has recently expanded its business relationship with WUKO Maschinenbau of Austria (Maschinenbau is German for ‘Machine Engineering’). “WUKO products are known for their superior quality and toughness,” says Steetz. “They are produced in small series and are only made of high-quality materials.” In addition, she says, “Each WUKO product is individually checked before it is delivered.”
    Steetz Copper Craft supplied the RCABC with a full line of tools and machinery for its Architectural Sheet Metal facility, which opened in Fall of 2010.

  • Master craftsman blends innovation with tradition

     

    RCABC ASM facility has trusted ally

    Canadian company sources European hand tools and machinery

    by Paddy Tennant

    The grand opening of RCABC’s Architectural Sheet Metal Training Centre was a memorable event – complete with a catered lunch, photographers, speeches by local VIPs; and attended by the who’s- who of Canada’s roofing industry.

    But, as with most such occasions, there were important people behind the scenes who didn’t “make the headlines.” ASM instructor Connor Hofler, who developed the RCABC version of the program, did not get up to the podium. Instead he spoke privately but enthusiastically about the people who supplied the top- quality shop equipment.

    Conner related his experience: “When doing research for the tools that the new ASM program requires, it became apparent that many of them would have to be imported from European sources. In particular, the WUKO bending tools, which are manufactured in Austria, were at the top of the list of tools to acquire; however, there were few distributers in North America that these tools could be purchased through, and only one name appeared as an authorized retailer in Canada – Steetz Copper Craft Ltd. After looking through the immense selection of tools and machinery that this company could provide, from Stubai hand tools to Schroder brakes, it was clear that Steetz would be essential in acquiring all of the equipment necessary to make this training facility one of the best in North America.”

    RCABC EVP Brian Hofler contacted Peter and Dagmar Steetz, the owners of Steetz Copper Craft, who were enthusiastic to help in any way they could and eager to meet the people who spoke of a “new” Architectural Sheet Metal program that would train apprentices in modern technologies, while honouring traditional techniques.

    Peter Steetz arranged to visit the RCABC Training Facility, driving with his family from Alberta on his own accord, and demonstrated tools and seaming techniques for the ASM Level 2 apprentices. Steetz “captured their attention with his skill and charisma”, says Connor, and after a meeting with Brian it was agreed that Steetz Copper Craft would act as RCABC’s broker in all of its tool and machinery transactions.

    The Steetz’s normally offer a discount for schools, but they even surpassed Connor’s expectations. Working diligently and explaining RCABC’s cause to various companies across Europe, Peter and Dagmar managed to get educational discounts on all of the tools and equipment RCABC purchased through them – a testament to their good nature and work ethic.

    Furthermore, says Connor,

    “the Steetz’s even came out and helped set up all of the machinery they helped RCABC acquire without being asked to.” Their willingness to go that extra mile has forged a solid relationship between Steetz Copper Craft and the RCABC.

    Today, the fully-equipped ASM shop boasts a range of hand tools and machinery that Connor says “most journeypersons in the ASM trade have never seen, let alone used for their intended purposes.”

    These include several Schroder- Fasti machines, each with different uses; two hand operated folding machines (model 102), commonly called ‘slip-joint rollers’, which are used for making curved or cylindrical objects; and four box- and-pan brakes, also referred to as ‘finger brakes’. These have removable fingers which allow for small, detailed folds to be made, Connor explains.

    “There are also two rotary machines for flanging and swaging. These make small creases and folds for joints and seams.

    “We also have one 3-metre brake, used for general forming operations; and one 3-metre shear for cutting sheets of material lengthwise.” he says.

    The new ASM facility will provide invaluable training for BC’s ASM apprentices, and raise the bar for ASM standards in Canada.

    Connor is grateful for the Steetz’s involvement. “It has been a pleasure getting to know Peter and Dagmar”, he says. “They are dedicated, honest, and more than helpful. Hopefully this relationship will continue well into the future and, if we are lucky, Peter will be able to come and teach traditional copper working techniques to the ASM apprentices in the future.”

    RBC-Winter2010-p15.pdf