If I am repaired, can we meet again for the first time, in all of the places I have feared to go, and then, again, in all of the places I will have forgotten, if I am repaired?



Friday, November 26, 2010

Bananas, Butter and Shingles... A Few of the Many Reasons Chicks Dig Me

I have now opened a banana from the bottom end 
and held a slice of butter in my mouth until it dissolved.
I can't say that I'll be making a habit of either,
but clearly, it's self-expanding experimentation like this,
coupled with the irresistible machismo 
of inventing one's very own shingle making machine
that makes chicks dig me.
No... really.
I made a shingle making machine.
And it works too.
Here, I'll show you...

We're going to use this stuff to make some shingles...

Oak firewood.
Mostly because this is a trial run, and I don't have anything better cut yet.

we take the firewood and screw it down to these squares of plywood.
They're like louvers.

They flip up...

Each piece of plywood will hold at least three blocks of wood...
shingle blanks... about 18 total.

When the blanks are all on and I'm ready to run the sawmill's blade over them,
(it's a bandsaw type and the blade moves horizontally to the work piece)
the plywood louvers will be in the down position.
Like this...

I push this handle...

and BLING!

The louvers pop up 1/2".

This is important.
This is what makes the shingle fat on one end and thin on the other.

This is part of what helps with the popping up.
See that tapered notch?

It rides on this little piece of wood, inside the box... 

This is inside the box...

The horizontal bar is what you were looking at in the photo above...
what the notch rides on. 
The verticals are just stays... guides.
The cut-outs are for venting sawdust.

This is the 'ladder'...
the deal that moves back and forth.

Here you can see the notch and the 1/2" off-set rail that drives the louvers up,
which creates the taper on the shingle.

So this...

went to this...

then here...
to get dressed...

And ended up this...

Only 4000 more to go.

And that is why chicks dig me.

At least my mom does.


The End 


  1. I love that machine but I'm burning my oak for heat.
    When I made and shingled my palapa I used hojas made from fan palm fronds. All you need is a fan palm or two in your yard and a machete. The neat thing about that is you constantly have replacement shingles available. They are more fire resistant that wood. I still have a machete but no fan palm. I do have an excess of used metal roofing but it's so ugly.
    I could get obsessive about that machine. I love machines with a purpose.

  2. O.F.

    I'm wearing the oak out in my stove, too. Aside from the plywood, I milled all the oak I used on the machine from a windfall tree. It's handy wood.

    Palms don't fair well up here...you probably know that... not as well as oak anyway. Metal is always an option, but I hate it. It's on my shop and every day I cringe looking at that building.

    I could certainly use some of your skills to better this version. I hope it survives long enough to shingle the shed over the mill.

  3. .. First time ever I saw anything like this, Steven.. even the woodgrain in the shingle machine is beautiful... I never would have thought that this is how you cut shingles.. it's ingenious and the results are gorgeous!!!! oh my gosh this is a fantastic descriptive photo essay.. 4000 more huh... you can do it I have no doubts!!! That is going to be the most beautiful shingled building ever .. and the thought that you cut each one.. Absolutely Fabulous!!!

    .... I made a quilt once (called "wild goose chase") that had 3,724 pieces in it... mostly all triangles.

    I don't eat a mouthfuls of butter any more.. but I do still stick my finger in it...

    Thanks for this!!!

  4. Gwen...

    The machine is all reclaimed ply and windfall oak. I didn't shoot for pretty... Heck, I finished it with 30 weight motor oil. But thanks!

    I was suprised and very pleased with how the shingles came out. I can't wait to start nailing them down.

    I have to see that quilt! Any pictures!

    I ate a dog bisquit, figured I had to try the butter...

  5. I am very impressed by the shingle-making machine, Steven! Too cool ;)


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