Shake and Cedar Shingle Roofing Types

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Hand-split and Resawn Shake (the most common shake installed): As available wood became rougher, the Hand-split and Resawn Shake was developed during the 1950s. Shake boards are split along the natural grain of the wood. Then each board is run through a band saw and is sawn diagonally lengthwise to produce two shakes. The back (sawn) side is smooth but the face of the shake has the natural textured split surface. When these were first developed the shakes were all cut at least ¾-inch thick. Hand-split and Resawn Shakes are most commonly made in lengths of 18 and 24-inches and are random widths from 4 to 14 inches.

 

  • The most common thickness used today is normally 1/2-inc thick. They were first referred to as “Lites” as they were thinner than those first Hand-split and Resawn Shakes. They are also knows as Mediums or Medium Resaws.
  • Shakes that are nominally ¾-inch thick are referred to as Heavies or Heavy Resaws.
  • Shakes that are nominally more than 1-inch thick are referred to as Jumbos.
  • There are 3/8-inch shakes available, but they are a manufacturing by-product and are not recommended for roofing in the Northwest.

Taper-sawn Shake (also known as Flat-sawn): Hand-split-Resawn-typical-rustic-shakesAs raw material utilization became more important a totally new product was invented: the Taper-sawn Shake. The first machine developed to produce these had the main saw (4-foot diameter) in the horizontal position rather than the typical vertical saw shingle machines. The first “Flat-saw” machine was made by Pentti Koski. As both faces are sawn, like a shingle, the Taper-sawn Shake can be made from rough wood that will not split straight. They have the natural, tailored look of a shingle but because they are cut thicker they are complimented by the sharp shadow line of a shake.Because they are not split with the grain of the wood, sawn products have natural cellular tension. When they dry out shakes with flat grain may curl or cup. Therefore Sharp Roofing only uses edge grain Taper-sawn Shakes. Taper-sawn Shakes are most commonly made in lengths of 18 and 24-inches and are random widths from 4 to 14 inches.

  • The most common thickness used today is nominally 5/8-inch thick.
  • Heavy Taper-Sawn Shakes have a nominal thickness of ¾-inch.
  • Thicker Taper-Sawn Shakes are available.

Straight-split Shake: This is the original shake used by Native Northwesterners. It is now also known as a Barn Shake and many years ago was known as a Ranch Shake. Historically Straight-split Shakes were three to four feet long and applied in double layers across the purlins (beams) of a barn or other out building. Today it is produced mainly by machine but can also be split the traditional way with a mallet and froe (YouTube link). The shake is split from the same end of the block, which produces the same thickness throughout.

  • The most common Straight-split Shakes are 3/8” thick by 18” long.
  • Less frequently made are Straight-split Shakes 1/2” thick by 24” long.
  • Straight-split Shakes are available up to 4 or 5 feet long.

Taper-split Shake: The Taper-split Shake is also a split product but is produced by reversing the block, end for end, with each split so that the wood grain produces a natural taper. These tapered shakes were developed for application on early Northwest homes.
The Taper-split Shake is usually cut ½” thick and 24” in length.

Cedar Shingles: Shingles are always sawn on both sides from a block of cedar. The machines used to make shingles were developed toward the end of the 19th century. The machine design is the same today. Most shingles are manufactured using a stationary, upright saw. The block of cedar is moved through the path of the saw by a device called a carriage which holds the wood firmly but also alternates the angle of the cut with each stroke. After being cut from the block, the sides of each shingle are then trimmed to create square corners on the product. This type of smooth sawn, architecturally uniform cedar shingle is preferred for its natural but tailored appearance and is used on traditional and modern residential and non-residential structures. Shingles are random widths from 3 to 14-inches and are commonly available in three sizes:

  • 16-inch: averaging 0.4 inches thick they are commonly referred to as “Fivex” or “XXXXX”
  • 18-inch: averaging 0.45 inches thick they are commonly referred to as “Perfections”
  • 24-inch: averaging 1/2 inches thick they are commonly referred to as “Royals”

Treated Shakes & Shingles:

Long term protection from fungal decay is provided with factory pressure treatment of preservatives that will extend the life of cedar shake and shingle roofs. 30/50 year warranties are available for treated shakes and shingles.

For quality roof replacements call Sharp Roofing today! You can reach us at (206) 367-7663 or Info@SharpRoofing.com. We offer free roof inspections and no-obligation estimates. Financing is also available. We look forward to showing you what we are all about!