Handsplit Shakes

Cedar handsplit shakes must not be less than 18 in. (450 mm) long and 4 in. (100 mm) wide. They must also be no wider than 13 3/4 in. (350 mm). The butt thickness should be between 3/8 and 11/4 in. (9 and 32 mm) (Fig. 74).

Shakes may be applied over spaced or closed roof sheathing. When spaced sheathing is used (Fig.69A), 1 x 4 in. (19 x 89 mm) (or wider) strips are placed on centres equal to the weather exposure at which the shakes are to be laid, but never more than 10 in. (250 mm). In areas where wind-driven snow conditions prevail, closed roof sheathing is recommended.

Proper weather exposure is important. As a general rule, 7 1/2 in. (190 mm) exposure Is recommended for 18 in. (450 mm) shakes, and a 10 in. (250 mm) exposure for 24 in. (600 mm) shakes. The minimum recommended roof pitch for handsplit shakes is 1:3.

A 36 in. (900 mm) strip of No. 15 roofing felt should be laid over the sheathing boards at the eave line. The beginning or starter course of shakes should be doubled; for extra texture, it can be tripled. The bottom course or courses can be 15 in. (380 mm) or 18 in.

Installation of handsplit shakes.

width between 4" and 13 3/4" (100 mm and 350 mm)

length not less than 18" (450 mm)

thickness between 3/8" and 1 '/j," (9 mm and 32 mm)

18" (450 mm) No. 15 felt laid over top portion or each course

36" (900 mm) No. 15 felt laid at eave line double starter course fascia width between 4" and 13 3/4" (100 mm and 350 mm)

length not less than 18" (450 mm)

thickness between 3/8" and 1 '/j," (9 mm and 32 mm)

18" (450 mm) No. 15 felt laid over top portion or each course

36" (900 mm) No. 15 felt laid at eave line double starter course fascia

(450 mm) shakes, the former being made expressly for this purpose.

After each course of shakes is applied, an 18 in. (450 mm) wide strip of No. 15 roofing felt should be laid over the top portion of the shakes, extending onto the sheathing. The bottom edge of the felt should be positioned above the butt at a distance equal to twice the weather exposure. For example, 24 in. (600 mm) shakes laid with 10 in. (250 mm) exposure would have felt applied 20 in. (500 mm) above the shake butts. Thus, the felt will cover the top 4 in. (100 mm) of the shakes and extend out about 15 in. (350 mm) onto the sheathing (Fig. 74).

Shakes should be spaced between 1/4 to 3/8 in. (6 to 9 mm) apart. Side joints should be offset no less than 1-9/16 in. (40 mm) over the adjacent courses. When straight split shakes are used, the "froe-end" (the end from which the shakes have been split and which is smoother) should be laid uppermost (towards the ridge).

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