Actually I take that back, if only because I know it’s tempting fate. However, despite yesterday’s trepidation, I actually managed to make some shingles. Just one to start with, then another three.
I was aware that when splitting wood with a froe you’re supposed to have a good degree of control over the line that the split follows, but I was impressed by just how much one has in practice.
The result, after perhaps an hour, no more, was ten shingles.
Another thing to bear in mind is that only one side (the underside) of the shingle should be shaped using a draw knife. The weather side shouldn’t be cut into at all. It’s ability to repel water rests on the fact that the woodgrain is intact.
Lastly the other thing that slightly surprised me was just how satisfying making shingles is. There’s something very grounded and sensual about it. Now if only I looked like Vigo Mortensen…