Replacing / repairing cedar shakes

What is the best way to take out and reinstall single shakes that are damaged? I guess I just need to know the best way to get nails under the upper shake, since they aren’t flexible. Do I face nail with 8 or 16 galv. nails?

When installing the replacement shakes you need to put the nail in at an angle at the butt of the shake above it.
By nailing at an angle the nail will pull itself under the above shake when it is set in place.
Use stainless steel nails, galvanized is just not good enough IMO.
A slate ripper works well to remove the old nails.

Thanks for the response. What is the typical nail length used for medium shakes? 1 1/2"?


I use a saw on the old nails. To hard on the slate ripper.

If you leave the shake down about a half inch when nailing at the angle like Axiom says, you can whack the bottom of the shake and push it up to help hide the nail. No need to go larger than an 8penny. A 6 will hold just fine.