Afternoon All

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Afternoon All

Postby Shingle » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:58 pm

Nice to meet you all. I'm a woodworker and wood turner but haven't worked much with green wood. I do however absolutely love it and the part of the process in creating blanks for turning naturally has me ferreting about with tree and branch material. There has been a latent desire to start doing something with it since stripping the bark off willow twigs with a pen knife as a nipper. I figured I ought to join somewhere where the folks actually know what they're talking about! So here I am.

I want to start with a froe because I plan to build a wood drying open fronted extension to my shed and I rather fancy having a go at making shingles for the roof. I've done a meander around t'interweb and from what I can gather the Ray Iles premium large froe (with the rounded edges) seems a good enough place to start???

I would really appreciate any advice and guidance in that assertion. Am I close to the mark or barking up the wrong tree.

Last question then I promise to leave you all alone. I appreciate Ash isn't ideal for outside projects. If I went headlong against that advice (because I have some) and used it for my shingles, how long might it last? Ball park is all I'm after here since I know that question comes riddled with variables. I do have a little oak but possibly not enough. Can they be placed in situ on the roof when green also?

Many thanks.

Rob
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Re: Afternoon All

Postby Brian Williamson » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:37 pm

Hello Rob and welcome,

I don't have any knowledge of the Ray Iles froes, so can't offer any endorsement of them. The notion of a froe with rounded edges is a little worrying, though. Whilst froes are rarely sharpened to a knife edge, they do need to sharp(ish) for ease of entry into the wood.

The use of ash for shingles is not too outrageous an idea. My guess at it's lifespan for shingles? Maybe ten years. I doubt that you'd get more. A steep pitch to the roof and a well aired situation will help to prolong their life as well. If your supply of ash is plentiful you can make them pretty chunky, too.

When nailing your shingles, butt them up close if they're still green (they will shrink as they season) but leave a gap (1/8th inch, perhaps more if they are wide) if they are seasoned (they may try and expand during prolonged wet weather). It would probably be worth nailing a few gash ones first to see if they split - you may need to pre-drill ash.

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Re: Afternoon All

Postby Shingle » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:40 pm

Great advice. Thanks Brian. 10 years is more then enough for my purposes. Just one follow on query. You mentioned that if my supply is abundant then its worth creating a thicker shingle. I will do that. I was thinking about 1/2" at the thick end tapering to about 1/4". Would you go even thicker?

Many thanks

Rob
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Re: Afternoon All

Postby anobium » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:59 pm

Shingles tend to split if nailed at both sides as the alternate wetting and drying makes the shingle expand and contract across the grain so just put one nail in and the shingles will support themselves in a lateral direction.
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Re: Afternoon All

Postby gavin » Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:58 am

Shingle wrote: from what I can gather the Ray Iles premium large froe (with the rounded edges) seems a good enough place to start???


I've had both Iles and Gransfors. I sold the Iles. Go Gransfors - you'll not regret it. Better grip to handle, very sale-able if ever you did want rid of it, has a tapered and oval eye. Iles puts a wedge in his handles to fix them in his parallel-sided eye.
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Re: Afternoon All

Postby Shingle » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:55 pm

Once again my thanks for the responses.

Whoops.....already ordered the Ray Iles one. I think the considerably greater cost of the Gransfors put me off though it is obvious it's rather good that cant be denied. Hey ho. I'll see how I get on with the shingles. Thanks for the tip about a single nail. Also some direction regarding thickness would be really useful. Just to divulge a little more detail, I had a 60 foot Ash come down in the Valentines night storm so I'm awash with the stuff. It's very straight grained too so perfect. I cut the butts long so to help manage the splits being off-cuttable.

Is there an ideal size for a shingle? Or do you tend to cut them to suit the proportions of the roof? In fact if somebody would be kind enough to just document the typical dimensions (incl thickness at both ends ie wedge dimensions) I really would be grateful. Lastly, copper nails presumably?
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Re: Afternoon All

Postby anobium » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:55 pm

Copper nails best but if you are aiming for a 10 year life, steel is more cost-effective.
The shingles need to be all the same length say about 20cm but the width can be variable within limits, between 9-12cm. Best to drawknife the outer surface for smoothness.
The small amount of info I can provide comes from watching and talking to a man who was replacing the 'bardeaux' (shingles) on a church steeple in France. He was using sweet chestnut which is probably the best material.
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Re: Afternoon All

Postby Brian Williamson » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:09 pm

There's no benefit in using nails that are going to seriously outlast the shingles. You'd almost certainly be OK using plain steel, but you may be happier with galvanised. i always use stainless steel ring shanks, but my shingles are usually oak, occasionally sweet chestnut and I hope that they're going to last fifty years. The ring-shanks reduce the possibility of the nails creeping out as the wood expands and contracts. You can also get these readily in galvanised.

I would go no less than 12mm (half inch) thickness. My shingles are usually 16" (200mm) long and between 4" and 6" wide, but length can vary quite a lot from roof to roof.

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Re: Afternoon All

Postby Shingle » Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:14 pm

Thanks Brian.

I've got both copper nails left over from a slate roofing job and also galv, though not ring shanks. Now the 64,000 dollar question: Should I cut tapered or straight? I think one is a shingle and one a shake technically aren't they? I would prefer to cut them straight since that sounds easier to be honest and given I'm a noob that seems to make sense. Am I missing anything with respect to the design/practicality of the application by just going with uniform thickness of (say) half inch?

Just had a look at your website Brian....what an utterly delightful business :-) I particularly liked the photo of your "office".
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Re: Afternoon All

Postby Brian Williamson » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:38 pm

Thanks for the compliments - always gratefully received! I'm afraid that the website is sadly neglected at the moment; keeping up with the internet is snot one of my strong points.

When you ask should you cut them 'tapered or straight', I assume that you're differentiating between radially and tangentially split?

In most cases (and this should be so with ash), cleaving radially gives you a much cleaner surface. This is a good thing, as it sheds water more quickly and therefore prolongs the life of the shingle. The downside is that the shingle tapers from side-to-side (heart to sap). This is not a good thing, as a shingle will last pretty much as long as its minimum thickness.

Cleaving tangentially gives a rougher surface (and will sometimes not run at all well), but it should be a uniform thickness.

You pays your money and you takes your choice. As you've got plenty of ash why not have a go at both and see how they work?

Nomenclature is a vary vague and varying thing. In GB, anything cleft seems to be referred to as a shingle; shake being a term we reserve for naturally occuring splits in timber (esp oak and sweet chestnut). On the other side of the atlantic, a shingle seems to refer to a sawn 'tile' whereas shakes are cleft ones. Which side of the pond are you? I assume the GB side? It's always useful to put this up as location can make a deal of difference to an answer.

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Re: Afternoon All

Postby Shingle » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:19 pm

Right, interesting. I'm in Hampshire. "Old" Hampshire to be specific :-) Or perhaps original Hampshire might be more accurate! Wiki was my source for the nomenclature but it may have been substantially written by Americans. Thanks for the clarification. I was born close to Sheffield so they don't come much more English than I :-)

This is why joining this forum was such a dam good idea because I really am green if you'll pardon the pun! It was my understanding that one chose either tapered or uniform thickness. I hadn't realised it was related to how they're cleaved off the log. I had assumed that a tapered design would work better in vertical cladding settings (like feather edge) and a straight cut would be preferable as roof tiles.
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Re: Afternoon All

Postby Ken Hume » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:52 am

Hi in Hampshire,

Check out Brian and Ruth in action on the shingled roof at Harcourt Arboretum cruck frame.

Ken Hume
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Re: Afternoon All

Postby Shingle » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:16 am

Lovely. That barn's a beauty :-)
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