Finishing Shingles

I’m using Thompson’s Water Seal to finish my shingles before putting them on the house.

Thompson's Water Seal

Thompson’s Water Seal

This product that I’m using claims it will help to maintain the wood’s natural color.  It is a transparent product, not a stain.  The instructions recommend only one coat.

To apply it to the shingles I have a plastic bin that I pour the Thompson’s into and a 5″ brush that I use to apply it to the shingles one-at-a-time.

Plastic bin with brush to apply Thompon's Water Seal

Plastic bin with brush to apply Thompon’s Water Seal

I brush a coat on each face and make sure I also get the bottom and sides.  Then I stack the shingles in this pipe.  It is a piece of 8″ diameter PVC pipe cut in half lengthwise.  It was formerly used as a feeder for goats.  I have the pipe propped up on a slope.

Shingles draining

Shingles draining

The excess Thompson’s runs off of the shingles into the pipe and travels down to the end where I have a quart sized container to catch the run-off.

Catching the excess Thompson's run-off

Catching the excess Thompson’s run-off

I collect almost a quart of excess run-off for every bundle of shingles that I finish.  I find that I can stack roughly 60 shingles in my pipe each time I slather on the finish.  Once the excess has drained, 24 hours or more, I take the shingles to the barn and use clothes pins to hang them on ropes to dry.

Hanging Shingles

Hanging Shingles

They will usually hang in the barn for a day or more.  The east & west sides of the barn are open to the wind and I often open the door (you can see it at the top of this picture) when I’m working on the house to allow for more wind into the barn.

Working with the wet shingles is a messy, oily job.  To keep my hands from getting all oily I tried wearing latex gloves but the rough edges on the shingles tore them up.  I then tried wearing nylon work gloves but they got pretty saturated with the Thompson’s.  I’ve finally figured out that if I wear the latex gloves under the work gloves my hands stay pretty clean and dry.

Once the shingles have hung for a day or more I can take them off the line and staple them to the house.

For installing them on the gable end where so many have to be trimmed to the slope of the roof I set my chop saw to the correct angle.  Then I measure the distance from the bottom of the shingle to the roof slope and trim a shingle to fit.

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