Monthly Archives: January 2015

Build with Rafter and Ridgeboard

© 2014 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee   [caption id="attachment_3081" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Build a Chalet Style shed with Rafter&Ridgeboard Chalet Style shed under construction  with Rafter&Ridgeboard[/caption]  

Carpentry Retro: Build with Rafter and Ridgeboard!

Do you know what rafter&ridgeboard construction is? Most trained carpenters are familiar with rafter and ridgeboard construction  because most homes in the past were built with this essential, reliable, strong construction technique. This timeless, and relatively simple construction method has fallen out of favour because of the convenience and availability of trusses.

The Modern Truss:  Alternative to Rafter and Ridgeboard Stick Framing

A discussion of rafter and ridgeboard stick frame construction would not  be complete without an explanation why the use of trusses has become more popular. The modern home builder today is more likely to use pre-manufactured trusses which incorporate ceiling joists, rafters and engineered web designs into single units which are incredibly strong. Individual rafters, ceiling joists and other web components are all computer-designed and  assembled with steel gussets into a ‘truss’ structure.  The gussets are gang-nailed together, or today, more likely press-assembled  with specially-designed steel gusset plates at the time of manufacture.   An engineered truss  offers rapid installation of the exterior  roof framing  and interior ceiling framing of a home simultaneously.  With trusses, wide spans can be achieved without central load-bearing walls, posts or beams. Much time can be saved in construction by using trusses on large projects. Trusses for a small building such as a shed , play house, or doghouse are not necessary. Even for a modest full-sized home, rafter and ridgeboard construction is fast and efficient and can be achieved by competent carpenters and moderately-skilled DIYers.  Your closest long- established neighbourhood in any city has many homes that demonstrate the method is reliable and strong enough to last for centuries. Building with Rafters and Ridgeboard Rafters are established in opposing matched pairs to form the roof, with each rafter leaning against,  and fastened to a pre-installed ridgeboard at a calculated height with another rafter immediately opposite.  The length of the rafter is calculated using the simple Pythagorean geometry of a right-angled triangle. The chalet style shed in our photo  has a  12:12 pitch slope (45°) and a wide overhang. The pitch of the roof must be decided prior to making any rafter cuts. [caption id="attachment_3084" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Stick framing showing rafters and ridgeboard Stick framing showing rafters and ridgeboard[/caption] The  rafter, after calculating carefully for length, is cut short at the peak to allow for half of the thickness of the chosen ridgeboard which may be a 1x6" or 2"x6 dimensioned lumber. The length of the rafter is calculated from the actual peak to the vertical cut for the bird's mouth notch which is made in the underside of the rafter at the top of the supporting wall. An allowance for the overhang of the rafter is added to the rafter length calculation.  The top end of the rafter is cut vertically to accept the fascia board. The fascia boards  and ridge boards are both measured long enough to extend past the end walls, again to allow for overhang as desired and carry the ends of the ‘fly rafters’ on either end of the building . An  overhanging ‘ladder’  assembly may be built to resting on the  end wall,  or simple ‘lookouts’ may be used  to fasten the fly rafter . *Hint:  Cut one matching pair of rafters (opposing) and try them. If they fit perfectly, use them as patterns for the remaining rafters. In typical stick-framing, (don’t you just love that old carpenter term?)   'horizontal ‘collar ties' would be nailed onto the opposing rafters  close to the apex of the roof for added load-carrying strength. Additional collar ties to and from matching opposing rafters may also be added at the mid-point of the rafter. Doing so substantially improves the strength by creating what is in fact a simple truss.  A diagonal support brace from the wall plate to the peak of the underside of the roof may be installed and fastened to each of the rafters to  establish spacing and  dimensional stability prior to roof sheeting. Following the installation of the rafters, ceiling joists may also be installed if desired. [caption id="attachment_3082" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Symmetry of Rafters Symmetry of Rafters is Elegant Geometry[/caption] See the photos!  The beautiful  symmetry of rafters carefully installed in stick-framing has a certain elegance... Here's an over-simplified diagram. [caption id="attachment_3085" align="aligncenter" width="881"]Rafter and Ridgeboard Construction showing Collar tie Rafter and Ridgeboard Construction showing Collar tie[/caption] Simple, isn’t it? Now you can build that dog house or play house with a storage space. Or a chicken-coop for the egg-laying chooks. Or a whimsical peaked roof for a wishing-well. Or a protective porch over that back door.   The application is endless.   After a small project is complete,  try a larger garden shed too. Apply  the rafter and ridgeboard construction technique to your next building project and you’ll have discovered the joy of genuine stick-framing .  Happy Building!   Is that Incoming I hear?   *Photo credits and diagram © 2013 rakukkee  All rights reserved.    
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Writing Life: What do You Think About?

©2014 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee   [caption id="attachment_1346" align="aligncenter" width="584"]Time to Think...                                     If you write, it's also Time to Think[/caption]

*Happy New Year to everyone, with best wishes for the safest, healthiest, and most prosperous Happy New Year ever.  Happy 2015, people!     


It's time to write....What do You Think About?

Vacation's over, time to get into gear. Haul out that pencil and paper, pen and ink, or even the crusty, unreliable  old laptop. It's time to write, write, and write but you're stuck in a rut?  What do you think about? It has to be one of the most interesting facts about people; each individual is different, unique,  and many have highly individualized, specific interests.  Some are apathetic and have none. The collective human condition by design, or by destiny may be involved.  Common interests may occur as a result of necessity, social exposure,  peer association, societal trends, and pressure to fit in manipulates the mind  this way and that. But does that mean you must consistently think the same ‘content’ as your peers?  Are you required to conform?  No. Think. Perhaps lifestyle, career-oriented, keep-up-with friends and  trends are involved to some degree. Influential. They rule you. No?  Regardless, you can bust out of the mold. Perhaps you're already  totally different, weird&wonky, unique in every way.  Congratulations if you're interested in old books, literature,  writing, fancy cars, snowflakes, art,  writing, tools and rocks, pickup trucks, pickles&pies, mud-in-your-eye religion,  kids, cats and coconuts, history and mystery,  —or are you just plain weird and think differently because of some happy accident? Do tell.

Be Different, Think for Yourself, Decide...

How do you know if you're really different? Do you daydream about  horses, college courses, law and discourses? You like pinecones, old bones, gardening gnomes and get distracted easily?  What’s that down the rabbit-hole? Wait, there’s a chicken. I want a sandwich. That tree looks like a bonsai. How many trees are there in Canada?  How does your mind work?  How do you decide what to think about and end up scribbling?

Have you ever really thought about it?

Are your interests in fishing  wild water and living in the rough? How about  skiing, glass blowing,  or  old bars, fast cars, classic guitars, apple- pickers and the Blues? There are crafters and believe in the forever-afters. Politics and magic tricks? What about the news? Sci-Fi , admire the sky, outer space is quite the place but inner space may be more challenging.  What have you got to lose—by exploring your mind? Do you know where your mind is and what it contains?  Dare to use it. You may be much smarter than you think if your interests are highly varied, and even learn to specialize as time flies. Think about it. You may already be a veritable, scribbling genius.  Are you another Einstein? Another outstanding writer, instead of boring ordinary.  Do you think like a genius?  Do you think in terms exotic, psychotic, neurotic, or erotic? Scientific? Quickly now, make a list.  See what you've missed.  Open the mind,  you never know what you’ll find… What do YOU think about?  The old adage "know thyself" comes to mind. Will self-discovery help your writing? # Is that Incoming I hear?
Posted in Humanity, Reflections, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments