Saturday, January 25, 2014

096 The Navajo Mining Railway - Shakes for the Depot Roof

Let's start working on the depot roof.  Shakes were common out west, made from trees up in the mountains.  Not shingles, mind you, which are sawn.  Shakes are chopped with an axe.

The plans had a tarpaper roof, but I think the shakes would give it more character.

Shakes can be almost any size, usually between 13-16 inches long, 4-6 inches wide and 1/2 inch to inch thick, per Wikipedia.  I'm going to keep the project cheap and use coffee stirrer sticks.  I bought a box for a buck at the dollar store.  It is really rough, unpredictable wood, which is exactly what will make the roof look good!  These sticks are rough 6-8 inches scale wide.

I double distress them on each side with a razor saw.

I decided to cut them 18 inches long.

After setting up the cutter I stacked a few up to see if they look ok.  Thinking back they probably should be a tad longer, but this is going to be fine.

I figured out that we'll need about 40 stirrers.

Each of the boards was double distressed, and you can see the grain here.  I was intentionally sloppy with this as each shake needs its own character.

I'm getting about 15 shakes per board, so we'll have about 600 of these when we are done.

To pull them out of the cutter I use a very sharp tip tweezer so that I can stick the board instead of trying to grab it.

Chop, chop, chop, chop, chop....I worked on this about an hour and got tired.  Watched a video while I did this.  Headed to bed.

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