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making your own wood shakes

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  • making your own wood shakes

    can anyone give me heads up on the best way to make tapered shakes on my bs1400? or etc

  • #2
    Picking the brain here. Quick off the top of my head I'll say 3 options. One is to cut the ends of the stock at an angle at alternates to achieve the desired thin and thick ends dimensions. Using a riser block will yeild approx. 11" long shakes, alternating ends and direction on each cut. Make a small miter sled with an angled fence of the proper angle. Use previously cut shakes for spacers between fence and stock, and flip the stock end for end on each cut. Or simply mark and free style your cuts. Suggest a very high grade blade for this.
    John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


    • #3
      Assuming you are starting with hand-split shakes (cut with a mallet and froe), the surfaces will be irregular and not uniform. This could create problems using a jig. Laying out and marking will more than double your production time, so if you are making a lot of shakes, you may want to avoid this.
      The way the big boys do it at the shake mills is to set the blank on edge and line the blank up with the blade starting offset to one side to allow for the heavy butt of one end and the thin end taper of the other, then angle the blank and site across the blank to the blade. They push the blank through on this imaginary line, and reaching behind the blade, grasp both parts and pull to complete the cut. Bear in mind that they are well practiced at it, so they make it look easy. Plan on sacrificing a few blanks and practice the proceedure, being aware of where your phalanges are at all times.
      Be aware that a lot of these mills are small shops with 1-5 people, so don't expect to see a big sophisticated operation with lots of machinery. They are a lot more like the "Waltons"
      than your local cabinet builder.
      If it don\'t fit, force it. If it breaks, \'needed fixin\' anyhow. 8{~