Topic: Crafts

Sap Bucket Lid Roof

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All photos/art by John Gruen

Frieda Wimmelman likes to blend old and new. Her contemporary farmhouse in southern Vermont, for example, mixes modern touches (such as Energy Star appliances) with time-worn items (salvaged beams and wide pine floorboards).

So when she saw that a neighbor had recycled sap bucket lids (think flat, round metal discs) as roof shingles, she knew she’d found just the look for her small greenhouse. Even better: It gave her an excuse to take advantage of her late grandfather’s abundant supply of retired buckets, stored in the barn.


Although she downplays her carpentry skills — “I was on the phone getting advice from my neighbor every 10 minutes,”she jokes — Wimmelman managed to do the daylong job herself. To make her shingles, she trimmed 3 inches from some 150 sap bucket lids. Next, she laid down a foot-wide strip of galvanized-steel drip edge at the base of the roof as an even starting point.

Then she moved from bottom to top, setting down overlapping rows of 10 lids apiece with 1-1/2-inch roofing nails. Working with the roof’s edges, Wimmelman cut a second batch of lids down the middle and ran these straight-sided shingles in alternating rows. To form a ridge cap, she bent the shingles by hand and nailed them down on either side of the roof. “It’s an easy metal to work with,” she says.


New, flat, galvanized-steel lids can be purchased for under $5 each. Buckets run another $15 each.


“It’s just very different,”says Wimmelman. “It gives it this scalloped look, which I really like. Of course, it also meant a lot to be able to use my grandfather’s buckets to create it.”


Look for new or used buckets and lids on eBay and at local antiques stores. Or shop at:
Elsie’s Daughter, Huntington, VT. 802-434-3896; elsiesdaughter.com
Leader Evaporator Co., Swanton, VT. 802-868-5444; leaderevaporator.com


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