Bending wood (cedar shingles) parallel to the grain


Hello,
I'm replacing the cedar shingles on my 1908 house because they are covered in lead paint. One current detail that I'd like to reproduce is that the shingles are bent around the 22.5 degree inner and outer angles on the angled bays. Does anyone have suggestions on the best way to do this sort of thing?
I'm wondering whether soaking the shingles will work, or if I would need to steam them. Or do I need to consider kerfing out the inside of the bend? The new shingles are 0.45" thick at the butt. It seems simplest to just use the building as my bending form and nail the shingles in place while pliable.
Also, most of the shingles I will be installing will be prestained with Cabot Clear Solutions 3000, a linseed-oil based stain. I assume this will interfere with soaking or steaming, and that I will need to use unstained shingles for the bends? Any chance that prestaining the inside angle of the shingle will aid bending, due to unequal moisture absorption on the two faces?
Thanks, Wayne
P.S. This is my second post in case my first got lost. Sorry if it is a duplicate.
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Depending on the condition of the shingles you might want to check into having them sandblasted. I had it done fairly reasonably when I bought my house. YMMV Tom

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Unless your kids are climbing on the roof to chew on the shingles, the lead paint shouldn't be a problem. It's not going to sneak into your bedroom at night and attack you. Also, it seems like the last thing you should do is sandblast it and turn it into tiny particles that really could be a problem. Bob

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True, but the paint is deteriorating and flaking off, so it is getting into the soil. Plus the failing paint looks like hell--shingles should never be painted. Lastly, it will be useful to replace the 1x10 board sheathing, to be able to insulate the house without disturbing the interior finish and to install plywood sheathing for seismic strength (Berkeley, CA). So all this adds up to replacing the shingles.
Cheers, Wayne
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Sorry to resurrect an old thread.
Wayne be sure to check with an engineer. Old houses (like yours and mine) depend on the tongue and groove "sheathing" for strength and they are considered structural.
The boards are damn near impossible to remove without destroying your inner walls anyway and it is completely unnecessary. You should consider "outsulating" the house by drilling and blowing insulation into each stud bay.
Good luck.
Wayne Whitney wrote:

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P.S. I'm talking about sidewall shingles, not roof shingles, sorry I didn't make that clear in my original post.
Cheers, Wayne
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Sandblasting is the last thing to do to lead paint, it will create lots of lead dust which will get all over.
Cheers, Wayne
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I don't think you're going to have much luck bending those shingles at 22.5 degrees no matter what you try.
If you look carefully at the originals I think you will discover that the corners are actually made from 2 shingles carefully overlapped and fitted tightly together. The paint has most likely obscurred the seam between them. The seam will alternate with each course. The front will overlap the side on one course and then the side will overlap the front on the next course. The overlapping shingle is planned off until it perfectly fits to the shingle behind it as they are being installed. Installing cedar shingles on a house requires considerable skill and experience to be able to get it right and this isn't the only trick that you need to learn. If you haven't worked with a craftsman and learned how to do this the right way I strongly recommend that you either leave the shingles that you have alone or hire a craftsman to replace them, and work with him as his apprentice so you can learn how to do it the right way. After you do the first 2 sides of the house with him you will probably have learned enough to be able to finish the other 2 sides on your own.
--
Charley

"Wayne Whitney" < snipped-for-privacy@post.harvard.edu> wrote in message
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Well, if they figured it out in 1908, I think I should be able to figure it out in 2006. :-) Just to be clear, I need to bend the shingles by 22.5 degrees: if a flat shingle is 180 degrees, I need to make shingles at (180 - 22.5) degrees and (180 + 22.5) degrees. These differ only by which face is outward, which will matter since my new shingles will be one face sanded.

Nope, I've already demoed most of the shingles. There is no question that the shingles in the inside and outside corners of the bay are singles shingles bent to the angle of the house.
Cheers, Wayne
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First, I'm doing sidewall shingles, sorry my origional post wasn't clear. Given that, I'm not sure why you say shingling is so tricky. I would think that anyone with the attention to detail required to make furniture could learn to do sidewall shingling pretty well:
Mark a story pole with the vertical location of all the obstructions (windows, doors, etc.), lay out the courses on the story pole to have full exposures at the boundaries of obstructions, mark the sidewalls from the story pole, install a starter row of shingles, temporarily tack a cleat with vertical extensions in place to support each row, line up the shingles with the appropriate size gap, paying attention to the gaps in the two prior rows, secure each shingle with 2 stainless steel siding nails, each 1" in from the edge, repeat for each row. Below obstructions, a piece of molding covers the last row of exposed nails--the apron on a window, the frieze board at the top of the sidewall. At the side of obstructions, the shingles butt up against the trim and are typically caulked. Outside and inside corners are weaved as you described earlier.
I do have two questions: is caulking between the side trim and shingles really an improvement? And my shingles will have only a 4.25" exposure, so I'm not sure how to get a long cleat stiff enough not to sag that doesn't obscure the entire row of shingles below.
Cheers, Wayne
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Removing the paint from those particular shingles shouldn't be a problem. Why not strip only those shingles, with a chemical stripper, and reuse them?
New shingles: Soaking the shingles for a few days, then steaming them (at bending time), facilitates bending that type of board. If you don't have a few days for soaking, soak them in hot water for several hours, then steam and bend. I don't have any idea about the pre-stain washing out during the bending process. I would think the coloring would remain in good order. Any corner of a structure is a transition point from one surface to another, and any color variation, in that transition, may not be noticeable.
For that slight of angle, they may have used a thicker board and sawed the angle for fit, rather than bend the board. That may seem far fetched, somewhat, but was and is an option. I am thinking, a sawing technique, even semi-perfected, would make quick work of any angled cutting, even with a handsaw. Cedar is not a dense wood.
Sonny
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Given that we are removing all the other shingles, we'll also be removing the sheathing so that we can insulate and put in plywood sheathing for seismic strength. That necessitates removing all the shingles. Plus the new shingles will be in a "natural" finish, so I don't think the stripped 1908 shingles with some water damage and nail stains would really match.

Obviously I can try it myself, but there's not much hope for soaking alone being enough? For a 14" x 18" shingle, any suggestions for a stovetop steaming system? I'm happy to steam them one at a time, since I'll only need a couple angled shingles per row.

I was more concerned about the linseed oil inhibiting the moisture absorption from the soaking and steaming--that shouldn't be a problem? I need to figure out if I should order one box of shingles unstained.
Cheers, Wayne
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On Fri, 23 Jun 2006 05:38:30 GMT, Wayne Whitney

Here's a link to a home made steaming system:
http://www.megspace.com/lifestyles/njmarine/Steam.html
You'll have to replace the pvc chamber with something that will accommodate the shingles though.
HTH Bill

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On 2006-06-23, carver(remove) snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net <carver> wrote:

Thanks for the link. I wouldn't want to use DWV PVC under pressure, as the failure mode is so dangerous. But the diagram does give me some ideas. If I want to steam something 18" x 12" (the biggest size of shingles I'd need to bend), would a flat pan of appropriate size with water on the bottom, a rack to raise the wood out of the water, and a lid do the trick? I could just throw this on my kitchen stove and heat it with a couple burners. Or is it important to have the steaming apparatus right next the bending site, as the pliability time is limited?
Thanks, Wayne
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On Fri, 23 Jun 2006 15:55:43 GMT, Wayne Whitney

You should note that there is a relief hole in the chamber, so pressure is not very high at all. I also thought of a metal container, but that would get very hot, so gloves and caution would be advised.
I also thought that you could build a 3/4" plywood chamber with a hinged lid. You could possibly line it with something to minimize the softening of the chamber.
Bill
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Is it the paint finish you object to or that fact that it has lead in it. If you don't want paint, I can see replacing them. If it is the lead, don't eat it and you will be fine.

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It is the paint finish I object to, shingles should never be painted. The paint is failing and flaking off, and it is very difficult to strip shingles because of the textured surface and the gaps between shingles. Repainting without stripping will give a lot of alligatoring. Lastly, since the paint is flaking off, the lead is a problem, as it winds up in the soil.
Cheers, Wayne
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