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Thread: Going back to woodworking roots

  1. #1

    Going back to woodworking roots

    Yeah today I went back to woodworking's deepest roots. Yeah I cut shingles all day...

    I know what you are thinking, Travis has really lost it this time...cutting shingles and woodworking are two separate things altogether. But the truth is I haven't.

    A lot of people do not know that despite all the tools we now have that can cut wooden shingles, the first circular saw blade ever made cut through a cedar shingle first. Here is another surprising fact, it was not a man that invented it either.

    Apparently a shaker woman came to the conclusion that if a saw had teeth that cut wood going back and forth, a rotating disc with teeth would do the same thing. She put it on her spinning wheel and cut through a cedar shingle just to test her theory.

    I guess things have changed over the years. I have found bringing my scrollsaw out to the job and cutting shingles around all the protrusions is the best way to cut shingles. The scroll saw blade can cut all sorts of odd shapes, and with the thinness of the shingles, does so pretty quickly.

    I didn't get much shingled today however, perhaps two square. My trim job did not make the shingling go very fast. I used a lot of angles and curves around my doors and windows to give the house a custom look. I also tackled the worst wall with a lot of protrusions coming out of the laundry room, plus a window tucked into a corner.

    Somehow I don't think Sarah Babitt would be disappointed that her invention was not used today to cut my shingles however. Maybe she looks down from those pearly gates and realizes her great invention can do so much more than cut simple wedges of cedar...
    Last edited by Travis Johnson; 08-27-2007 at 12:24 AM.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    The pic police will be arriving shortly, Travis....

    Comment will follow later....LOLOL!

    (stupid smilies aren't working for me)

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Cut shingles?
    Waddaya think a froe was invented for?
    Last edited by Frank Fusco; 08-27-2007 at 11:36 PM. Reason: fix a stoopid typo
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
    That must be one sharp Froe Frank! I have seen a lot of Froes in my life, but never one that cut a shingle. The ones I used only split them.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    That must be one sharp Froe Frank! I have seen a lot of Froes in my life, but never one that cut a shingle. The ones I used only split them.
    Right, ye don't cut with a froe, ye split with a froe. Makes better shingles because the cells aren't cut open, the wood splits along cell walls.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Why are you cutting or splittng roots????????
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

  7. #7
    Actually me and Frank are toying with one another. Frank is a Shake kind of guy and I am a shingle kind of guy.

    Mark its an inside joke between Frank and I. Frank used to do volunteer work at a historical site and would split "shakes" with a froe. Shakes are basically shingles that are cleaved from a block of wood. By splitting the wood, the wood separates along the fibers and will last an incredible amount of time because the wood fibers are not severed like shingles.

    My family has a shingle mill so I make shingles. Shingles are sawn on a big saw so it cuts the wood fibers and allows the water to soak into the shingle. They won't last as long as shakes, but they are easier to install as they are uniform in size.

    Interestingly enough, in todays world the term Shake and Shingle are used interchangeably, even though there is a profound difference between the two.

    P>S...where else but FWW would you get a history lesson on shingles/shakes and two guys that made each type? We can also rib one another too without getting out of sorts, even though Frank knows deep down inside Shingles rule
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  8. #8
    To tell you the truth, Greg had it right all along, this entire thread is useless without pictures so I went out and snapped a few tonight. They are not the best but you can at least see what I am doing.

    Here is the first one. It shows the window trim. I could have placed the shingles right up next to the window but I always felt the lack of wood trim made a house that did this, look kind of cheap and trashy. I thought I would add to the look by making the top trim board slope upwards just a bit to help break up the long horizontal lines the shingles are going to give this long, short ranch style house.



    In this picture, you can see how I thought a simple flare out at the bottom portion of the corner boards would give the siding a sort of custom look. Again I could have weaved the corner with shingles alone but a good architect friend told me those corners are fragile and not very water repellent. I agreed, but felt a little flare out would look like some thought went into the corner board instead of just nailing two boards onto the corner of my house. I hope others agree. Still I was too cheap to buy a 1x 6 and rip it down. Instead I spliced the 1 x 4 and 1 x 6 boards together using #M 5200 epoxy. Its a marine adhesive used for wood to wood through hull fittings. It also has biscuits installed so it should be a long lasting, water proof joint.



    This picture is a bit harder to see, but its just the corner return trim on the gable end of the house. I gave this detail trim a bit of a curve so that it matches the curves on the trim of my cupola.





    Now here are a few pictures of how the house is coming overall. I have a ton of work to do, but hopefully you can kind of picture where I am going with all of this. Shingles will eventually cover the old and new parts of the house with matching trim of course. It should look like a whole new place I hope!!

    So anyway, that is what I have been doing lately. Any thoughts on what I am doing and how I am doing it?



    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Looks good, and you won't have to paint it any time soon!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
    We might end up painting it, but probably not this year. I think the trim would look better if it was painted a contrasting color than the shingles in my opinion.

    Still the trim is White Pine and since this is the Pine Tree State, that means the wood could bleed out some of the resin in the wood. They practically give pine boards away here, but they are right off the sawmill and surfaced dried, not kiln dried. I am thinking it would be better to let the sun and wind dry it out some, then paint it next year when I have less to do and the wood is better conditioned.

    I can say the same thing for the shingles. I think the Mrs wants them painted as well. Right now there is a shingle shortage (or more than likely, the price is low so they are slowing production to drive the demand and price up.) Anyway the shingles are of excellent quality. Rebutted, resawn clear number 2's that practically put themselves up. With the new staple gun I can nail them as fast as I can grab for them. Still they are fresh cut and very wet. Again a good dry on the side of the house for a year would do them good. It would let them shink up too and I could get a better paint job on them.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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