Living in McCall Idaho has its perks, but one of them in NOT getting snow off of the roof. Lots of other folks have built these tools, so my design is standing on the shoulders of other DIY-ers gone before me.
The basic idea is to make a giant cheese slicer. The slicer cuts the bottom from under the snow and lets it slip-and-slide off the roof. The primary issue solved is "ice damming". If you have a warm roof the melt can come down under the snow to the end of the roof and freeze. Then it backs up under the shingles and leaks.
Step 1: Shape the 3/4 EMT Tubing
- 3/4 inch EMT pipe and bender
- pipe/tube cutter
- 2 roller blade wheels with axels
- 2 washers
- Form a "D" shape with the first two bends and cut the pipe with equal length legs.
- Bend the tips up 30 degrees.
- Crush the pipe until the axel will fit all the way through it and the wheel
- Drill a hole for the axel. Mine were 1/4 inch.
The bend on the tips is done to act as an upside down ski, keeping the wheels on the roof as you push the slicer upward. Note that the surface of the snow holds it together, so if it has sat on the roof for a while you should flip the tool over and use the handle to break the surface into vertical slices, then run the slicer underneath.
Step 2: Assemble Wheels and Tarp
- Old tarp
- 1/4 inch aluminum dowel
- paper clip
- Drill a 1/4 inch hole on each side of the "D" above the wheel for the dowel
- Make a mini cotter pin out of the paper clip for one end of the dowel
- Cut the dowel two inches longer than the outer width of the "D" in your pipe.
- Crush/fatten one end of the dowel in your vise and drill a hole in the other for the cotter pin
- Find the hem of your tarp - you will slide the dowel into it.
- Cut the tarp perpendicular to the hem and to the inner width of the "D" in your pipe. Singe the edges.
- Slide the dowel into one pipe end, through the hem to the other end. Secure the cotter pin.
I have also built one with 18 gauge speaker wire instead of the dowel. Not quite as sturdy but works.
Step 3: Tent Fittings
I purchased my fittings locally at a canvas tent place in Nampa Idaho. You can find and order from suppliers online as well. Here is one
- T fitting
- Sleeve fitting
- Two 10' lengths 3/4 inch EMT tubing
- Cut the "D" in the middle and attach the T fitting
- Attach the tubing with the sleeve fitting
- Stop playing around in the shop and start working!