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Country Discussion Topics
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Making cedar shakes, I need a hammer design????????
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Earl    Posted 01-01-2002 at 17:01:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Im going all cheap on an out building im making, using all raw logs off the place, its noting fancy, just needs four walls a solid floor and a roof that don't leak, And I don't wanna spend a dime on it.

Ive never seen one before but i know there is a hammer/mallet that is used to cut cedar blocks in too shakes. Could some one give me a description of what one would look like so i could construct it.

happy New year


Butch in Kansas    Posted 01-12-2002 at 20:06:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
FIRST YOU NEED EASTERN RED CEDAR NO KNOTS WOULD BEE GOOD SQUARE UP 2O inch blocks thenfind some one with an shingle mill because it will take you some time cedar shingle are 20 long 3/16 and 1/8 the Wilson country old club Fredonia Kansas has one come around oct 4 and 5 and watch it work


steve kortuem    Posted 03-07-2004 at 17:40:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Well it just so happens my brothers and I are making cedar shakes for the first time. We are going to shingle an 18'X 22.5' log cabin we have been working on.

You can make a great mallet out of a 3" to 4" log. Cut the log about 15" long and then shave down one end to make a handle about 8" long. I had some Maple out in the woods that was down and used it. Supposedly if you find a log with a knot in it just where the mallet part is, it won't split out on you....it worked without a knot for me. Unbelieveably this rough chunk of wood works better than a hard rubber hammer or a mall or a hammer. The wooden mallet doesn't deform the metal froe.

To make a froe, get about a foot of 3/8" by 2" metal and weld a 2" long 1 1/4 pipe on the end, sharpen the bottom edge and install a 15" wooden handle (if you just weld a pipe on the end and use it for the handle it will break off...I don't know why but it does). Ideally the pipe should be tapered... larger diameter on the bottom and smaller diameter on the top...this way every time you whoop the froe with the mallet it tightens up the joint...I used a straight taper and some gorrilla glue.

We used old cedar power poles, they split pretty good except when you hit a knot.

If you really want some pictures reply to my e-mail and I will send you some.


John Ne.    Posted 01-02-2002 at 22:01:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
If y'all will swing by the local library, check out the foxfire books, there is one that deals with splitting shakes out of rough timber, use of a froe, and the mallets they used. John in Ne.


PCC-AL    Posted 01-01-2002 at 17:27:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Earl,
I'm not sure of the original design for the mallet, but it may have been a hardwood club type such as you can see on TV in the woodworking programs.
I have made several wooden mallets that I use in my shop anytime I want to avoid hitting steel with steel. I use hickory for the head, usually cut from an entire limb about 3" in diameter with a handle inserted into a drilled hole. I sometimes leave the bark on. I am not particular about my handles, sometimes even use a piece of broom handle.
The tool that cuts the cedar shakes is called a "froe" and looks like a draw knife with only one handle and the handle is turned in the opposite direction from a draw knife. However, a small hatchet will work or any thin, sharp edged cutting tool.
Most of our outbuildings had cedar shake roofs when I was a child.
Your post brings back a lot of memories.
Happy New Year & good luck.


Okie-Dokie    Posted 01-01-2002 at 17:38:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have seen this done with a big ole hand made froe and wooden mallet. The Mallet was just an appropriately shaped hardwood tree root and the froe was fashioned from a rear car spring that was sharpened on one edge. seemed like a lot of work to me, but using your own cedar rounds to make the shingles would make the price just fit my pocketbook! Good Luck!


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