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?
P.S. This is my second post in case my first got lost. Sorry if it
is a duplicate.
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.
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
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.
Wayne Whitney wrote:
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.
"Wayne Whitney" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here's a link to a home made steaming system:
You'll have to replace the pvc chamber with something that will
accommodate the shingles though.
On 2006-06-23, carver(remove) email@example.com <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
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
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.
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.
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