Heathlands roundhouse finished

During the summer term I built a 4 meter diameter roundhouse at Heathlands school Bournemouth these photos were taken in Early July, the children worked on daubing the rest of the walls during the last weeks of term.

A time lapse of the build

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Shingle / Shake making

Ive been meaning to post this for a while, Learned to make radial split and bastard shingles back in 2008 when I was helping to build the viking longhouse at The Ancient technology centre in Cranborne. I made and attached over 5000 shingles to the roof, this may seem like a lot but there were well over 25000 shingles on that roof. I have since taught two members of the Dorset coppice group (David Ewers and John Sweeny) to make them for the Dark ages build at Upton country park. In theory we can now meet quite large orders if people would like them. £60/m2

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Remove sap wood, this can also be done earlier in the process before splitting with cleave break.


when edge not straight or too thin this should be removed shingles we find a minimum width of 2 inches about right.


P1000151if the source isn’t flat this can be removed either with the axe or a draw knife the axe works better and is faster, best to minimise this as cutting across the grain too much reduces longevity.



Shingles are 40cm long and should overlap by two thirds to make up 1 meter squared we laid ours ours out on a meter square and then piled these shingles up like this 16 layers = 1 meter squared.

Good luck with your shingle / shake making.

If all goes well I will be at the Stock Gaylard woodfair next weekend demonstrating, come and see me at my stand.