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Wood Shakes & Shingles How to install, treat, and maintain wood roofs by Henri de Marne Shakes are installed with strips of 30-pound felt laid between each course to keep windswept snow and rain from penetrating between them. There is something romantic and earthy about a wood-shake or -shingle roof. The materials evoke images of New England's colonial days when they were used extensively as both roofing and siding. They've also become a symbol of California's western architecture and outdoorsy style of living. Early Easterners used a variety of wood species: white pine, white cedar, and so on, to make handsplit shingles, called shakes. As pioneers reached the Pacific Northwest, they found the ideal wood: western red cedar. T h e p r