Since the first huts, roof building and repair have been necessary skills. As skills have improved, so too has the quality of building and roof materials. Several traditional roofing tools are still in use, though they are not as prevalent as in centuries past.
Traditional roofing tools are mostly hand tools. One of the most important is the roofing hammer. Roofing hammers, such as the Estwing European Roofing Hammer, easily remove nails from slate, a common roofing material for older buildings and traditional style roofing. The key to this type of hammer is its very heavy 964gr weight (595gr head), along with its 13-inch length. The hammer features a slate punch front and a claw back. It provides enough power and leverage to yank nails out of stone and enough weight to drive a wedge between slats when pulling up old roofing.
Rippers of different types have been used for years to pull roofing from its framework. Straight-edge roof rippers are used for removing tar and rolled-out roofing, which is still in common use. Notched-edge roof rippers are designed to remove shingles and sometimes include a D-Grip on the handle to provide extra leverage and comfort. These rippers can be hammered between slate and other difficult roofing materials to drive a wedge between old roofing materials and their former framework.
The thatch pin is used in one of the oldest types of roofing: thatched roofing. Thatched huts and homes are made of straw bundled together into thatches. When creating a thatched roof, the straw is woven together. The thatch pin is used to hold the edge of the thatch in place during the weaving process. Another pin can be used to help weave the thatch into the roof. Once the thatching is woven, this pin is removed.
A shearing hook looks very much like a hand scythe. It also is used in thatched roofing and includes a sickle-shaped blade with two sharpened sides. This tool is used at the end of thatching to cut off uneven segments and keep the portions of thatch even. It also helps shape the overall look of the roof.
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