"roofing" Hammers

 
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:36 PM   #1
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"roofing" Hammers


I have an old shingle hammer that my grandpa had. Why does it have about 5 small holes in the hatchet end. And why does it have a hatchet end. Why do new estwing hammers have a razor blade on them. The hook blades are easier anyway, unless there was an old trade trick to them.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:42 PM   #2
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


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Originally Posted by 1967 chevell View Post
I have an old shingle hammer that my grandpa had. Why does it have about 5 small holes in the hatchet end. And why does it have a hatchet end. Why do new estwing hammers have a razor blade on them. The hook blades are easier anyway, unless there was an old trade trick to them.
Hatchet is really for shakes,
but it's real handy to separate
seal downs for repair work.
The holes are for a shingle
gauge, to set your exposure.

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Old 04-28-2008, 11:57 PM   #3
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


I just picked up an old Roofing Hatchet from a tool repair shop.

It's simply beautiful. I'm going to have the head polished.



I've seen guys use the blades on their hatchets to cut shingles...
...never as good as using a good hook blade on a carpet knife though.



I personally prefer the Stanley Titan with a big AJC Hook Blade in it (made in England).



While hatchets were initially used for just shakes, I prefer them to hammers because of their slanted face that lands flush on pitched surfaces.

Plus the shorter handle makes it easier to swing. For Roofers, the distance needed and available is much 1/2 that of of a typical Carpenter's needs.
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Last edited by 2ndGen; 04-29-2008 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:20 PM   #4
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


In my area 2 guys specialize in cedar, not gonna get in their way, thats their gig, both are true pros. Anyway, hammer wise my go to's are a Stanley 16 oz Fatmax and/or a Plumb 20 oz, both with rip claws. Stanley 199, time tested, -perfect knife(IMO).
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:16 AM   #5
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


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Originally Posted by 2ndGen View Post
I just picked up an old Roofing Hatchet from a tool repair shop.

...never as good as using a good hook blade on a carpet knife though.



I personally prefer the Stanley Titan with a big AJC Hook Blade in it (made in England).


I know them simply as English Blades.


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Old 05-01-2008, 05:56 AM   #6
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


We used to use the estwing 20 oz. roofing hammer when hand nailing 3 tab shingles. The 5 holes made an adjustable exposure gauge and the hatchet has a cutting edge on the side also. With practice you can set, nail and cut the edge shingles with the same tool. More or less ripped it on hot days so the hook blade was a better choice for cutting.

Ours all retired when Bostitch came out with the roofing nail gun.

Good Luck
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:23 AM   #7
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


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Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
We used to use the estwing 20 oz. roofing hammer when hand nailing 3 tab shingles. The 5 holes made an adjustable exposure gauge and the hatchet has a cutting edge on the side also. With practice you can set, nail and cut the edge shingles with the same tool. More or less ripped it on hot days so the hook blade was a better choice for cutting.

Ours all retired when Bostitch came out with the roofing nail gun.

Good Luck
Dave
Same here...today, a hatchet is an accessory to a gun to pound down proud nails.

But every once in a while, I like to use them to shingle a small section...I like the feel and rhythm of hand nailing and the thud on the shingle with the hatchet's face.

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Old 05-02-2008, 07:43 AM   #8
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


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Originally Posted by 2ndGen View Post
Same here...today, a hatchet is an accessory to a gun to pound down proud nails.

But every once in a while, I like to use them to shingle a small section...I like the feel and rhythm of hand nailing and the thud on the shingle with the hatchet's face.

We just finished a roof yesterday, first one I've been on in quite awhile. Hand nailed the whole thing because it's in a high wind area. But I found the ole tap wap of the hammer comforting.

Don't miss transfering that square head waffle pattern to the thumb at all!

Good Luck
Dave
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:00 AM   #9
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
We just finished a roof yesterday, first one I've been on in quite awhile. Hand nailed the whole thing because it's in a high wind area. But I found the ole tap wap of the hammer comforting.

Don't miss transfering that square head waffle pattern to the thumb at all!

Good Luck
Dave
It's meditative.

It's theraputic.

Have a good day Dave.
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:11 PM   #10
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


The five-hole on the hatchet end (of the traditional Plumb hatchet) is for a screw-in shingle gauge (usually set at 5", but the holes enable other settings). Most of the Estwing straight-blade hatchets were intended for use on 235 lb. (no adhesive) or 240 lb. (adhesive) or even lighter weight fiberglass three-tab shingles. The heavier shingles in use now make cutting with the Estwing straight-blade hatchets a bit difficult.

The purpose of the hatchet portion of the Plumb was splitting or shaving wood shingles. Shinglers who worked on wood filed the near corner to enable scoring and cutting wood shingles. Wood shinglers decided no one in their right mind would use the clubby Plumb, and usually opted for the Plumb lathing hatchet--better balance, thinner, lighter head, and less of the feeling that you are swinging a rock on a stick common to the "original" Plumb shingle hatchet. The Plumb lathing hatchet took a slide-on gauge (a circle of metal with a set screw, adjustable for different exposures). As long as your gauge didn't slip, it was a joy to work with on wood roofs.

I used hook blades for years, and had a machine shop drill the heads of Plumb lathing hatchets so I could mount the hook blades at a slight angle backward--making it even easier to cut with.

However, all things considered, unless you are hard-wired into using a specific type of hatchet, there is no real comparison to the AJC for nailing asphalt shingles (their intended purpose). The blades wear out fairly fast on heavy shingles, but they cut fast, cleanly, and efficiently. They are the absolute best for trimming rakes if you trim each overhanging shingle as you install it. Even better than hook blades.

For those who believe that a hook blade in a utility knife is the way and the light for cutting shingles, consider sewing a pocket on the right calf of your work pants (if you are right-handed). It is the most efficient place to stash the utility knife when not in your hand.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:02 AM   #11
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


Quote:
Originally Posted by tekwrytr View Post
The five-hole on the hatchet end (of the traditional Plumb hatchet) is for a screw-in shingle gauge (usually set at 5", but the holes enable other settings). Most of the Estwing straight-blade hatchets were intended for use on 235 lb. (no adhesive) or 240 lb. (adhesive) or even lighter weight fiberglass three-tab shingles. The heavier shingles in use now make cutting with the Estwing straight-blade hatchets a bit difficult.

The purpose of the hatchet portion of the Plumb was splitting or shaving wood shingles. Shinglers who worked on wood filed the near corner to enable scoring and cutting wood shingles. Wood shinglers decided no one in their right mind would use the clubby Plumb, and usually opted for the Plumb lathing hatchet--better balance, thinner, lighter head, and less of the feeling that you are swinging a rock on a stick common to the "original" Plumb shingle hatchet. The Plumb lathing hatchet took a slide-on gauge (a circle of metal with a set screw, adjustable for different exposures). As long as your gauge didn't slip, it was a joy to work with on wood roofs.

I used hook blades for years, and had a machine shop drill the heads of Plumb lathing hatchets so I could mount the hook blades at a slight angle backward--making it even easier to cut with.

However, all things considered, unless you are hard-wired into using a specific type of hatchet, there is no real comparison to the AJC for nailing asphalt shingles (their intended purpose). The blades wear out fairly fast on heavy shingles, but they cut fast, cleanly, and efficiently. They are the absolute best for trimming rakes if you trim each overhanging shingle as you install it. Even better than hook blades.

For those who believe that a hook blade in a utility knife is the way and the light for cutting shingles, consider sewing a pocket on the right calf of your work pants (if you are right-handed). It is the most efficient place to stash the utility knife when not in your hand.
Good post Tek.

I (for knives) prefer Stanley Titans. They are absolutely a dream to cut with (made in England).

A nice big Hook Blade in one of these and one can cut anything from any angle. Unlike typical Roofing or Utility Knives, the ergonomics of the Titan's design makes the cut on the "pull" (not on dragging the knife across the material).

I tried Stanley's newer Titan "type" Knives, but I went back to the original that's been in production for almost two decades.

+'s:

Ergonomics
Scewless Quick Change Knob (solid brass)
Super fast blade change
Blade Storage Capacity
Bulletproof Aluminum Construction
Very light
Good size
Blade is held firm
Super easy streamline design easy to clean
Cheap ($15.)
Lifelong tool (I've had two and only lost them to theft)

And it's a real "knuckle" saver.

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Old 05-12-2008, 02:02 PM   #12
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


I always use a retractable knife, easier on the pockets.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:11 PM   #13
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


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Originally Posted by Roofsafe View Post
I always use a retractable knife, easier on the pockets.

I guess you live up to your name then!

I use a nice Rooster Products Knife Sheath that lets me keep a fixed blade knife in it.

I personally prefer fixed blades for cutting shingles because they are stiffer and more accurate when cutting where retractables tend to move and are unstable for me.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:13 PM   #14
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


I like the 16oz Estwing with Stanley fixed knife 199 with English hook blades I wanna say made in Shefield.

My Dad used to swing a hammer with the hook blade on back. He has a big 28oz or something Estwing but he's always grabbing the hammer out of my belt. After a few minutes with his monster hammer the wrists get sore and we swap hammers back. From time to time with his hammer I'll joke around and use both hands nailing down 16 pennies.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:26 PM   #15
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


I agree , fixed seems prone to less movement, which results in less blade wander and mis-cut shingles. When young and learning, the 199 was the standard of the pros in my area, so just kinda stuck with it for main use. The 10-299 is a close second, usually with hood blade or back up. Both are designed with a interlock type of safety which prevents blade from sliding up and thru the slit between the seam on top of the kinfe casing, preventing some stitches, if not fully tightend. A sheath with rivets bottom provides my storage. just my $.02
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:11 PM   #16
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


Quote:
Originally Posted by dougger222 View Post
I like the 16oz Estwing with Stanley fixed knife 199 with English hook blades I wanna say made in Shefield.

My Dad used to swing a hammer with the hook blade on back. He has a big 28oz or something Estwing but he's always grabbing the hammer out of my belt. After a few minutes with his monster hammer the wrists get sore and we swap hammers back. From time to time with his hammer I'll joke around and use both hands nailing down 16 pennies.

I hired a guy a few years ago with some siding work who was a union roofer for years. He had the biggest forearms from swinging a big hammer, I thought he said 3 squares/hour don't remember. He's in prison now for stabbing his wife in the head.
I just thought of this guy when you mentioned the monster hammer and sore wrists.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:27 PM   #17
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Re: "roofing" Hammers


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He's in prison now for stabbing his wife in the head.
What type of knife did "he" prefer?


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