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Thread: Worker nailing shingles quickly - GIF

  1. #11
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Back when I was building boat docks and storage on one of the area lakes, one of the areas I hated to take a contract to tear out and reconstruct a covered boat dock was an older gated HOA controlled community. There was a total of 12 housing floor plans throughout the 200-dwelling subdivision and only 3 styles of covered boat storage and docks allowed all had to be roofed with rough cedar shakes. One dock rebuild I tried every roofing contractor in the phone book in 3 counties. None would even consider taking the job over the water even though my crew had already done all of the tear down of the boat house and had it built back to the point of just needing roofed, so we wound up doing ourselves. Milled cedar shingles are one thing but rough shakes are the absolute garbage IMO. The only good thing about them is you are not particularly confined to keeping the gig lines in perfect unison, it works out better if you don't in fact.

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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by clavius View Post
    Good roofing crews are impressive to watch. A neighbor had his house done a few years back. Not a huge house, but not tiny either. Roof is very steep (too steep to walk) with couple of dormers and more than one roof line due to successive additions through the years.

    The crew arrived in the morning, and it was clear everyone had a particular role and knew how to do it. They had the roof stripped and any soft spots in the sheathing fixed in just the first half of the morning. Cleanup was continuous, stuff had barely hit the ground before it was picked up and in the dumpster trailer they brought.

    When they started laying shingles they went along in a way that suggested that they had been working together for a long time. Two guys rough laid out the shingles ahead of the two guys nailing them down, one guy two tiers above he other, who was doing the next two rows down. Another couple of guys kept a flow of bundles moving up to the roof. The level of choreography was quite a thing. Another crew was doing the same on the other side of the roof. These guys were good and worked like a team of ants.

    Most impressive to me was that this was all done without anyone taking unreasonable risks, the guys working on the roof were in fall protection harnesses and tethered off. They were wearing safety glasses, gloves where appropriate, and hard hats. They wrapped up by about 5PM and when they left, you would be hard pressed to know any work had been done there. Roof looked great and every scrap was gone and the entire lawn was gone over with a magnet to get any stray nails.
    Here we have a classic example of 4 hours mandolin practice per night, in a different trade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by old kodger View Post
    Here we have a classic example of 4 hours mandolin practice per night, in a different trade.
    You are correct, without a doubt.

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    Very interesting video, but several years ago after a couple major hurricanes came to North Carolina, heard a radio story about how well houses were built, or not. One of the sub parts was roofing. Turns out lots of roofs that get done with air nailers, fully 1/3 of the nails don't go into rafters, just thru the roof decking. So a good blow comes along, those roofs tended to lose shingles, and then even get torn off. This, combined with all the other corner cutting by many contractors, means there are lots of systems in a house that are substandard against storms.

    Also, back when Hurricane Andrew rolled across South Florida in 1992, the houses that stood up to the storm were often built by Habitat For Humanity volunteers, and houses that died sudden catastrophic deaths were the high-end houses. The difference? Volunteers were committed to doing a good job, because they believe in the program. The high end houses were built by contractors, who were pinching every penny. Habitat house, put the hurricane clips in, standard calls for what, 4 nails per ciip? Vollies might put in 5, or 6. Commercially built homes? Hurricane clips might get 2 nails, or even 1/2 the spec'd number of clips. Follow that math thru a 2 million dollar home, and a contractor can save a large amount of money.

  8. #16
    Supporting Member Hoosiersmoker's Avatar
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    Crews around here are paid by the job so they work as fast as possible. Some leave 2 guys to finish a roof and clean up and the other two go off to the next job of the day and start laying it out, setting up the pyramids and prepping the valleys (if there are any) on one side then go to the other side and do the same while the other two get there and finish the first side then move to the second side while the clean up is completed. Good crews leave very little to be cleaned up after a new roof goes on, only when it's a total tear-off. When I was in high school I worked clean up for a two man roofing crew. We got there at dawn to start the tear-off. They got there just before we finished and set up. One of the guys carried all of the bundles by himself. He set the ladder at an angle equal to the pitch of the roof and walked it like stairs, two bundles on each shoulder. By the time we were done cleaning up they were capping and trimming the rake. I used to just watch sometimes. One of the things you don't really notice about the guy in the video is when he grabs the shingle from the end with his left hand, he's actually offsetting a small slit on the end that allows that shingle to rest on the top of the course below it aligning it exactly where it needs to be. Once he positions the other end and get 2 nails in it he can let go and reach for the next shingle. This guy absolutely has a lot of pride in his work and it might be a contest but likely against the clock for who buys the beer after they finish for the day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb4mdz View Post
    Very interesting video, but several years ago after a couple major hurricanes came to North Carolina, heard a radio story about how well houses were built, or not. One of the sub parts was roofing. Turns out lots of roofs that get done with air nailers, fully 1/3 of the nails don't go into rafters, just thru the roof decking. So a good blow comes along, those roofs tended to lose shingles, and then even get torn off. This, combined with all the other corner cutting by many contractors, means there are lots of systems in a house that are substandard against storms.

    Also, back when Hurricane Andrew rolled across South Florida in 1992, the houses that stood up to the storm were often built by Habitat For Humanity volunteers, and houses that died sudden catastrophic deaths were the high-end houses. The difference? Volunteers were committed to doing a good job, because they believe in the program. The high end houses were built by contractors, who were pinching every penny. Habitat house, put the hurricane clips in, standard calls for what, 4 nails per ciip? Vollies might put in 5, or 6. Commercially built homes? Hurricane clips might get 2 nails, or even 1/2 the spec'd number of clips. Follow that math thru a 2 million dollar home, and a contractor can save a large amount of money.
    I don't think the fact that those roofs were nailed with air nailers has much to do with the nails not being in rafters. The proper spacing of the nails is set by the design of the shingle and nothing dictates that the spacing bears any relation to the rafter spacing. That sounds like one of those things that news reporters say without really knowing what they are talking about.

    As for the large fancy homes collapsing, that is simply shoddy construction and crooked or incompetent inspectors. Sad, really.

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  11. #18
    Supporting Member hemmjo's Avatar
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    I think we are now talking about two different processes. Nailing shingles is totally different than nailing sheathing.

    There is no attempt made to nail shingles to any rafters or trusses. The roofing nails should be just long enough to penetrate the underside of the sheathing. The old style 3 tab shingles were supposed to get 4 nails, one on each end and one above each slot. The newer dimensional shingles are supposed to have 4, 5, or 6 depending on style and manufacturer. There are a lot of ways to makes mistakes, one way to install them correctly. Improperly adjusted nail guns can ruin an other wise good roofing job. If you search for this, Duration® Series Shingles Nailing Zone Performance, it is a short video about single nailing. It is an add for Owens Corning shingles, but there is some good general information if you are interested. If your shingles are not attached properly they will blow off in a storm and the roof will leak.

    If the roof deck is not nailed properly, the whole structure is subject to failure in storms. Sheathing is nailed to rafters or trusses. If the rafters or trusses are not attached properly to the walls, the whole roof may very well come off in one or two large pieces. There are indeed many sheathing nails that do not hit the framing. Competency is the problem, not air nailers. While they do remove the sense of feel you when you hammer a nail and miss the framing. I am old school, back when I did it, each sheet of sheathing got chalk lines before nailing. OSB comes with preprinted nailing lines for guides. Of course assuming the installers got the rafters right and the sheathers start the installation correctly.

    I am too old now to be climbing around on roofs. But I do second the statement above; shoddy, faulty workmanship and crooked or incompetent inspectors are a big problem.

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    It is very evident in the video clip that he does NOT hit a nail for each end, and just above each slot. He may hit 5 nails, but nowhere near what you're talking about.

    And yes, true the sheathing being properly nailed to the rafters, etc, will be critical too. Nailing everything to everything just seems... logical.

    This news item I listened to was not your average 2-3 minute piece, this was the result of an in-depth investigation, with consultation by 'appropriately quailfied' experts; building engineers, roofing contractors, etc. Yes, it was on NPR. You don't get that kind of coverage from other places.

    We had our roof done about 5 years ago; company came highly recommended. They were very specific that they hand-nailed.

  14. #20
    Supporting Member hemmjo's Avatar
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    My point is simply, that you can do good work or bad work with a hammer as well as a nail gun. You can just to it faster with a nail gun.

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