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Author Topic: Making and installing Wood Shingles  (Read 28900 times)

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Offline Planman1954

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Making and installing Wood Shingles
« on: February 12, 2010, 12:34:01 PM »
(UPDATE:  Be sure to read the ending posts on this thread as the shingle job was completed on the barn. Many of the entries are clarified with new ideas and procedures I learned during the construction process.)

I thought on this snowy morning, that it would be a good time to set up a thread devoted to making wood shingles for a barn that I'm building. I took this photo of our house an hour ago from the front yard. The barn is built to the right of where I'm standing:
 


It took 4 years to get to this point doing the building myself.

 


Here's the barn photo taken this morning.

On to the barn.....I know that others here have seen some posts I've made on other threads, and instead of continuing to encroach on other topics, I thought it best to start one exclusively about wood shingles. When I complete the shingles on the barn, I'll start another thread on the building of the whole structure from start to finish. I thought it might interest others like me who enjoy doing things themselves. since the entire structure is made of pine cut locally and sawn totally on a Norwood lumbermate 2000.

First, some background. My friend Jimmy, who lives a few miles down the road from me here in north Louisiana, has a Norwood lumbermate. I loved it the first time I saw him using it. I've done woodworking all my life...built furniture, and probably 10 or so houses in the past. I've designed houses for a living for over 30 years now, and so seeing the lumber he was making from discarded trees was fantastic. After using his mill for many months, I think he was happy to help me go to south Louisiana to pick up a used lumbermate! Anyway, much of the lumber for the barn was cut on his mill, and since I just got my mill a few months back, I've only used it to cut some rafters and now SHINGLES.
 


My new mill...Well, new to me.

OK...to the shingles. It seemed to me not too hard to design and build something to hold shingle cants on the bed of the lumbermate. I wanted different widths since I wanted a random pattern effect on the finished product. So I built in about 2 hours four wooden jigs to hold 3 cants. Here's a few photos of the jigs (They're stacked on top of each other):

 


Here's the jigs I use to make shingles.

 


This is a closeup of the recess in the bottom of the jig for a little stick to flip up and down to make a shingle taper. (That screw should not be there. lt's on the wrong end of the cant.) I left an opening on opposite sides of each set of 2 jigs so that the sticks can stick out on both sides since the jigs are up against one another on the mill bed.

 


Each jig holds 3 cants. So, with 4 jigs at the time, I can make 12 shingles on a pass. I flip all the sticks down and then take a cut. I slip all the sticks up to make the next cut. Each cant has one nail in the rear bottom to hold it from tipping over as the blade cuts. There are no nails at the front so that the cant can be lifted up and down by the sticks.



A finished shingle resting on cants.

I used 1"x3" stripping @ 8"oc to nail the shingles to. With a 24" long shingle, that gives an 8" exposure.
 


Here's the first few courses going on the barn. As you can see, there is a starter board...lap siding on the ends.

 


Here's a view from underneath. No water ....hallelujah! Also, I did not use any felt so that air can circulate to prevent rot and mold.

I plan on more photos later. God bless.
Norwood Lumbermate 2000 / Solar Dry Kiln /1943 Ford 9n tractor

Offline ARKANSAWYER

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2010, 01:54:10 PM »

  I have never seen pine shingles used before.
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Offline Planman1954

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2010, 02:09:21 PM »
Trust me, I went round and round about that. Every older man around here will tell you that's all they used around here when they were growing up. Many of the old roofs lasted 50 years. Cypress would have been my first choice, but there were no available old growth heart that i could get easily. Ive also heard the arguments about old growth vs. new growth. However, using a preservative such as diesel will extend the life of wood for years. I heard a story from someone about a fellow that constantly had diesel dropped on his wooden truck bed. It never rotted. Also, a shed built by my friend Jimmy has pine that is untreated and unpainted here locally that is 6 years old...no rot. I decided to go for it. Also remember: It's a barn, not a house. :)
Norwood Lumbermate 2000 / Solar Dry Kiln /1943 Ford 9n tractor

Offline ARKANSAWYER

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2010, 02:19:00 PM »

  Just never seen pine shingles.  If you could soak them in a barrel of oil for a few days then drain and install they should be fine.  Alot is like you said they can dry out from below.  Cypress or white oak.  I have seen chestnut ones over 100 years old.
  I do like you shingle jigs though.
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Offline stonebroke

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 02:43:20 PM »
Would a steeper pitch help lengthen the life because they would dry out quicker? Also it would help on your snow load  :D :D :D :D :D :D
It is very pretty.
Stonebroke

Offline Planman1954

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 02:48:14 PM »
Ha. Probably so, but I'm in the deep south! No snow here! :) Well, not very often. Anyway, yes, snow load should definitely be considered in sizing and spacing of rafters, but as far as the water seeping back underneath due to a low pitch, I'll let you know since this seems to be a real world experiment! The sides are 4 : 12 pitch and the main body of the barn is 6 : 12 pitch. I'll go out and check it again in a bit for water spots underneath since the snow, it is a meltin'. (A little Bob Dylan is in my head I guess.)

OK, I walked out there and checked. The water is running off quickly now, and underneath are NO water spots. So I guess the 4:12 pitch is ok, even in snow. Now granted, it has not been on there very long, but as it melts, it doesn't seem to be running up hill. Guess I could have been a plumber too.
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Offline pipe_dream

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 04:20:45 PM »
Great job on the barn and the jig !!!  The wooden shingle choice is a very nice touch.

Couple questions about the shingles:  With using the pine, what was the thickness on the bottom end and the taper used to the top?   Did you sticker the shingles at all before install, or nail down green (assuming the cants were still green)? If you nailed them down green, did you tighten the gap at all to allow for shrinkage?  Just curious, I'm thinking of possibilities for some misc. storage sheds and possibly a mill shed, I have quite a few white pine on my property here in NY, this would save my few white oak.

Thanks

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 06:10:21 PM »
Great show on the shingle milling. But, I to never heard of pine shingles. We always made white cedar shingles and they still do. This area used to have a lot more shingle mills and barrel mills. I think cedar shingles look a lot nicer than vinyl siding. Or worst, some like to leave Tyvek strapped on to flap and rip in the wind a few years before the siding gets done. :D

White cedar shingles last a lifetime around here untreated.
Move'n on.

Offline trailman

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2010, 06:18:12 PM »
 neet job on the shingles. how many square on the shed roof. and how many hrs of milling and installing.? just curious. i might do the same someday. heard they were geting some snow across texas and your way. looks like a few shingle tops didnt land on the perlins in the photo of the inside of building. are perlins 12 on center. just a curious old carpenter here. bill

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2010, 08:55:57 PM »
Planman,the old fella I bought my shingle mill from years ago told me the man that puts up a pine shingle will never have to replace it.Cedar is better but pine will do, it tends to get dark so usally its stained or treated with preserver.Good looking job. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2010, 09:47:01 PM »
I like the way they look Planman. I just hesitate on the pine. Be sure to stick around for a few years so you can keep this thread going and let us know how that Pine holds up. Letting it breathe is important. I wonder what the UV rays are going to do to it? Are you putting any kind of treatment on it at all?

Looking good ....


LOGDOG

Offline Carpenter

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2010, 10:32:04 PM »
Do wood shingles need to be treated with a fire retardent?  I plan to make cedar shingles for sale and personal use both.  I know most of the old cedar shingle roofs in this area were not treated and they also make great kindling wood.   Most of the prospective customers also want wood stoves.  And, we all know that wood stoves occasionally throw sparks.  I sure like the looks of wood shingles and I know that they have been use for years when the only heat source available was wood.  So, maybe I am just worrying for no reason.  I just wonder if there is a way to treat them with a fire retardent and preservative.   Perhaps a dip tank. 
     Planman, I know this post has nothing to do with your barn, which looks like it turned out very nice, but it does have to do with making and installing wood shingles which I think is an excellent idea for a topic.  This question has been on my mind for a while so I took the opportunity to ask it.  Thanks. 

Offline eamassey

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2010, 10:37:19 PM »
Wow, I like the appearance of those shingles.  But I am much afraid of (non-heart) pine.  There were old barns around me that had pine shingles--most have been gone 50 years now.  But the pine was the old "heart pine".  I have lots of white oak, and I think that will be my choice.

A story.  I tore down an old house last year for materials.  I found the "date board" over the chimney, the date was January 12, 1908.  It was originally shingled with heart pine shingles, and a few were still in the attic.  By word of mouth, the original roof held up to 1955.  (12/12 pitch)

A second story.  About heart pine.  My daddy was a log cutter.  In 1960 he found a down tree in the woods--heart pine.  It probally had been down for 50 years--he made two or three cuts from it in fence post lengths- and made fence posts.  Last year I rebuilt one of my dad's old fences--and I recognized some of the posts (from the down tree).  They were rotted off at the ground, but solid above ground.  Just yesterday I split some kindling to start a fire in my shop,  from a piece of post-- from the old heart tree--100 years or so, out in the weather.

eamassey

Offline Planman1954

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2010, 11:51:22 PM »
Wow! I just got  back home tonight after playing in the Celebrate Recovery band. I was happy to see the interest on the shingle post. Thanks for the kind words. As to the questions:

Pipedream:  The shingles are about 5/8" on the thick end and about 3/16" on the thin end. When the sticks are up, I drop the mill 1/4". When the sticks are laid on their side (down) I drop the blade 5/8".Some varience is there, but it doesn't matter since they lap over one another twice (3 thick on final nailing.) I nail them on green after dipping them. It took a lot of time. One other thing I ran into is the sawdust....Man, it leaves on lot on them that won't shake off of the sappy pine. I used another board to scrape the sawdust off both sides....More time. But the look to me is worth it. I left about 1/4" gap between each shingle as I nailed them on. Even with shrinkage, since no overlap is within 1 1/2" from the shingle below, I'm not worried about shrinkage.

Eamassey: Like I said on an earlier reply, I've weighed the argument about old vs. new pine. If they do last a long time, I won't be here to fix it. I'm 55 now, so let's see....Hmm, 30 years...that works for me!

carpenter: I've read on the internet about using diesel as a preservative. I related a story told to me recently about a trailer bed made of wood that constantly had diesel spilled on it, and it never rotted. That could be a good thing to do. I plan on spraying a coat of semi transparent cedar stain when they dry out really well. You are NOT supposed to seal them with anything like Thompsons or paint. This traps moisture which is a bad thing.

LOGDOG: I plan on staying on the board...cause the folks here are FANTASTIC. There is a ton of good and learned advice here from some brilliant people. There are also, well,...nuff said. But as long as the Lord allows me to, I'll be here.

Trailman: I've actually not done any ciferin' on the number of squares I used on the first lean to section of the roof. Let's see...the side was about 10' by 22'...or about 220 square feet... so what is that? About 2 and 1/5 squares, I guess roughly. Remember I used varying widths of shingles. I think it took about 600 indivdual shingles...That's a wild guess. It took about as much time to mill them as it did to put them on by myself. I guess the only advantage is there was NO heavy lifting to do...as OSB or plywood would have been. For this one area, I would guess that I spent about 12 hours putting on the stripping and shingles. Probably the same for cutting the shingles. Also, like I noted on the photo of the shingles above, the spacing of the 1x3 stripping is 8" on center. The shingles are 24" long. The top end that you see in the photo is some of them falling short of the upper strip by an inch or two...nothing to get excited about for me. They don't leak!! SO I'M HAPPY..


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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2010, 06:11:57 AM »
Sorry to interject here: ;)

Here's a white cedar telephone pole from the 40's when power was first put in. All the houses on that end of the road are all gone, there were 5 houses there, 3 on dad's farm he bought in the 70's. That's what happened to many of them, became fields after the locals looted, busted up and burnt some down. In the 70's I can remember those old cedar poles all along our roads. They had to replace pine poles 3 times since. :D




I saw some 10 year old ones put in along a highway in a  remote area. They'll be there after I'm gone. ;)
Move'n on.

Offline ladylake

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2010, 07:33:34 AM »
You think pine is bad the guy I cut a bunch for made them out of basswood. He claims they'll last 75 years if installed right. Looks like planman has them installed right with a lot of air under them, you can't put them over a solid surface such as plywood.   Stevfe
Timberking B20 12000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Dino setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Offline tbook

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2010, 10:50:08 AM »
nice shingle jig looks handy,Can a person just cut 1/4" random width stock to use as shingles. I guess my question is why the taper on a shingle, Is it like siding and just a matter of choice.

Offline Planman1954

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2010, 05:44:06 PM »
tbook:
I'm sure someone here could comment about single width shingles. I have seen past posts of folks doing that. Why the taper? Well, seems that's the tried and true way...Heck, I don't know. I do know one thing though. You get more out of a cant doing the taper than not due to the split angle. I was thinkin' along the same line as you when I first started cutting them, and sayin' to myself...Self, why are you going to all this trouble? But figured I had more shingles per cant, and since making the cants take time, I might as well keep on truckin.'
Norwood Lumbermate 2000 / Solar Dry Kiln /1943 Ford 9n tractor

Offline ladylake

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2010, 07:36:20 PM »
Yes, with taper I'll get 26 shingles out of a 11" block, if cut 1/2" thick you would get 10.   Steve
Timberking B20 12000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Dino setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Offline tbook

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Re: Making and installing Wood Shingles
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2010, 08:39:13 PM »
Thanks for answering my question.Still tryin to talk myself out of the taper " lazy people have lazy ways"


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