Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

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Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

Postby ToneWood » Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:27 pm

Which woods are good/bad/indifferent for making roof shakes?
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Re: Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

Postby Jan Krobot » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:46 pm

In my country it was traditionaly made of ABIES ALBA. Hope it helps
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Re: Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

Postby woodness sake » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:16 pm

White cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) or white oak (Quercus alba). By shakes, I think you mean hand split rather than sawn.
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Re: Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

Postby Kevin Downing » Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:06 am

A neighbour has Western Red Cedar over a bay window. These were cut not riven. I think I read somewhere about sweet chestnut, maybe William Coperthwaites A Handmade Life.
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Re: Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

Postby Ken Hume » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:21 am

You can view how to apply oak shingles to a cruck-framed structure on The Oxfordshire Woodland Group web forum.

Image

The Cruck frame was built by Henry Russell and Barbara Czoch. The oak shingles were fixed by Brian Williamson and Ruth Goodfellow.

Image

A smaller more rustic frame once again built by Henry Russell and others at Clisset Wood, Herefordshire was fitted with oak shingles.

See more pics of this building.

Untreated shingles can be made from good straight grained, knot free, softwoods like larch and western red cedar and also from durable hardwoods like oak, sweet chestnut, black locust (robinia) and strangely enough even from perishable woods like aspen providing these are soaked in pine tar.

Ken Hume - OWG
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Re: Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

Postby ToneWood » Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:40 pm

How about Ash, Beech, Birch, Scots Pine, Douglas fir & Leylandii? Leylandii trees have an antisocial reputation (fast growing, dense, dark & big) but the wood seems quite good - and folk are often keen to be rid of it; it contains resin which might give it some protection.

I am planning to split shakes for a shed roof. Cedar was popular in the USA but in the UK oak is the only wood I have come across used for this purpose and that rarely (on a handful of v. old churches) & expensively. I'm probably going to have to use a mixture of different woods. Good to see sweet chestnut ("poor man's oak") mentioned as this might be the easiest to source, a lot cheaper than oak, plus it splits readily and contains quite a lot of tannin.
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Re: Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

Postby Ken Hume » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:09 am

I have seen sweet chestnut being used to make shingles -

Image

and larch was used by Henry Russell to cover a cruck roof in Argylshire.

Image

See more pics of this building.

The grid shell building at The Weald & Downland open air museum is covered with Western Red Cedar shakes (more like long planks).

I would not recommend using beech or birch as this is perishable, ash would most probably be marginal, old growth scots pine heartwood would probably be OK and Leylandii might well be the most durable of softwoods but there is currently no known use of this timber for this purpose (please correct me if I am wrong !). On a similar veign Macrocarpa is quite durable.

Ken Hume
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Re: Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

Postby ToneWood » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:19 am

Thanks for the info. That's a remarkably tidy, uniform roof - good for a few hundred years? I am (thankfully) aiming a little lower, I am planning/expecting something a little more rustic, higgledy-piggledy and will be happy if it lasts 10-20 years. Cedar roofs in the US are reckoned to last ~25 years but on my subdivision they started being replaced at about 15-18 years. Steeper roof angles help (as with thatch) by shedding water & debris better, sun exposure hinders burning holes through the wood.

Had to look up Macrocarpa - cyprus? I wouldn't expect to find much of that but you never know what you are going to come across: a few years ago a giant redwood (or possibly giant sequoia) - native of the Pacific West Coast of America - was felled only 2 miles away from here. I see Westonbirt arboretum just felled one too.

Yes, I saw that grid shell building at The Weald & Downland open air museum in person last year. Very modern(ist):
Image Image
Not what I aiming for this time :D but marvelous.

Useful info. from Lakeland Coppice: http://www.lakelandcoppiceproducts.co.uk/lcpshakes.htm
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Re: Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

Postby AlexanderTheLate » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:06 am

I remember a video on YouTube of some Eastern European fellows making them from spruce. (I think?) I assume that any wood would do the job- it's not like the water is sitting on them, and no wood is waterproof. Longevity is the only thing to take into consideration, I guess. :)
I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.- Unknown.
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Re: Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

Postby ToneWood » Mon May 18, 2015 10:27 pm

How about fruit woods? I recently got a few heavy logs of cherry - only about as thick as a man's thigh though, so a tad small for shakes or bowls.
RE. ash, I read that some boaters found it rots rather quickly when wet - so perhaps not a good choice.
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Re: Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

Postby Ken Hume » Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:13 am

Hi,

It's been a long time coming but we have now received planning permission to build a cruck framed barn in our South Oxfordshire Woodland using only trees felled and converted in the woodland.

Anyone wanting to get involved in this project should contact Ken Hume

oxfordshire woodland group
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Re: Good/bad/indifferent woods for roof shingles/shakes?

Postby Bob_Fleet » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:10 pm

Larch
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