Modern wooden shingles, both sawn and split, continue to be made, but they differ from the historic ones. Modern commercially available shakes are generally thicker than the historic handsplit counterpart and are usually left “undressed” with a rough, corrugated surface. The rough-surface shake is often considered to be more “rustic” and “historic”, but in fact this is a modern fashion.
Some have pre-cut decorative patterns and available pre-primed for later painting. The sides of rectangular shingles may be re-squared and re-butted which means they have been reworked so the sides are parallel and the butt is square to the sides. These shingles are more uniform go on more neatly.
Wood shakes and wood shingles are manufactured from western red cedar, cypress, pine and redwood trees. Shakes are split from logs and reshaped by manufacturers for commercial use. They are thicker at the butt end than shingles; generally one or both surfaces are split to obtain a textured effect. Cedar shakes and cedar shingles are available pressure treated with fire retardants and chemical preservatives for increased fire resistance and to prevent premature rot and decay in some climates. Pine shakes are made from southern yellow pine and are taper sawn. They also are available pressure treated with preservatives to protect against decay and insects. Interlayment felts are required for pine shakes.
A split and resawn shake has a split face and sawn back. A taper sawn shake has a natural taper and is sawn on both sides. Wood shingles are sawn on both sides and have an even taper and uniform thickness. When applied to shingles, the industry terms “Perfection” and “Royal” mean 18 inch and 24 inch lengths, respectively.