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A Handmade Roof

12/17/2009 3:09:21 PM

Tags: DIY

shakesDo you have a hankering to create something beautiful from scratch? With two simple tools — a froe and a mallet — and a pile of cured cedar or fir you can make your own roofing shakes. Sound difficult? It isn’t.

A froe is an L-shaped hand tool with a blade on one end of a wooden handle. The blade is pounded into wood with a mallet, then the handle is used as a lever to split the wood along the grain. Wood that is dry and straight grained will flake off lovely thin slabs of wood to be used as shakes or shingles. You can find used hand-crafted froes and mallets at farm auctions and flea markets, or buy new ones online.

You'll feel an immense sense of satisfaction knowing your roof is safely, and beautifully, covered with the shakes you made yourself.

Photo by Michael Shake -

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Tom Duchesneau_1
1/27/2010 2:47:50 PM
It is best to put these over a fire retardant layer, either a sheet material or they can be put on top of the old asbestos or asphalt shingles. This might prevent your insurance premiums from going up, or becoming suddenly un-insured.

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