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Shlomy Builds an Outhouse, Part Two: Preparing Slate for the Roof

by Tyler

Today, Shlomy and I spent the afternoon preparing slates for the roof of the outhouse. There isn't enough of the reclaimed slate we bought a few summers ago to cover the roof of our cottage, so we're using it here. This is our first time working with slate—the outhouse seems like the perfect place to learn! Next spring, my first project is to put a (long overdue) slate roof on our cottage, so I'll be glad to have some experience under my belt.

Tyler & Shlomy Cutting Slate

The first step in the process is "ringing" the slate to find imperfections. A good slate will sing like a bell, while a bad slate (which might have internal cracking and/or decay) will have a dead clunking sound. As I picked through the pile, tapping the slates with a hammer I was pretty surprised by how many of them were no good.

Tyler Holding Slate Shingles Over His Head Tyler "Ringing" Slate Shingles

We opted to make all of the slates a bit smaller so they don't look out of place on our tiny outhouse roof, and so we can remove the old old holes (through which the slates were nailed to an 1800s barn in northern Vermont). This involved a lot of marking and cutting, which was actually a total breeze using a slate cutter.

Shlomy Marking Slate for Cutting Shlomy Marking Slate for Cutting Shlomy Cutting Slate

Through is wasn't a difficult project, it was a very time-consuming one: we took all day to pick through, clean, measure, and cut the (estimated) 200 slates it will take to complete the job. I think it's safe to say that there's no way I would have opted to slate the outhouse roof this season without Shlomy's enthusiasm overcoming my building-burnout!

Tyler Shlomy Cutting Slate Tyler Marking Slate to be Cut

Thanks to his hard work and camaraderie, the slates are all set out and ready to go for next weekend! Thank you so much for being such an awesome slate buddy, Shlomy! :D

Shlomy Cutting Slate