Category Archives: Home & Hearth

New Year Planned… Is YOURS?

©2015 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee     [caption id="attachment_2511" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Happy New Year 2016! Happy New Year 2016![/caption]  

"We'll take a cup of kindness yet, for Auld Lang Syne..."


Is Your New Year Planned?

Wow, no doubt about it,  it is exciting —the end of one year, the chance to start on a  new one—but is your exciting New Year planned?  Really?  It is that time of year again.  Res0lutions, promises, renewals,  parties, dances, celebrations,  decorations, champagne.  Let us all celebrate tossing of the old, tired, and sing, bringing in the new...There.  Done.  That ought to do it.  Pop the bubbly. Sing, hug, have a smooch or two. Enjoy.  Smile.   Here's Auld Lange Syne,  sing it, baby!  Beautiful, isn't it?


Without careful, thoughtful planning, a.k.a.   New Year planned well,  and singing aside,  what will be changed?  The same old, same old.  And perhaps, it seems we are doomed to repeat the same mistake every year.    We all get older,  but are we necessarily becoming wiser in the process?  Once-a-year friends. Once-a-year promises, best wishes, fences mended, destruction of the old in the hope the new shall somehow be a new year planned,  kindness renewed, and we shall  somehow smarter, better, richer, faster, happier, have greater opportunities, more hope, more happiness... get the idea, better dreams all around.

The reality is, unless we have worked hard—diligently—gone all out— to have our new year planned —and do the groundwork required for all of the above to coalesce into solid progress and reality,  alas, 2016  is likely to remain more of the same.  Unless we make it so, a new year is unlikely to turn out much different. Not better. Not exciting.  Not encouraging. Not the stuff from which sparkly dreams appear.  It is up to each of us to plan...does that overwhelm you?

No matterThink about it.  For the moment, go outHave fun. Enjoy your friends. Celebrate.  Stay safe.  Promise not to drink and drive.  Decide what you'll do with the next 365-1/4 days.  Recognize that 2016 can be heady stuff!—and then go for it.  Keep in mind, a new year planned well can be an amazing inspiration, —and your dreams and plans can actually become your NEW  reality.

  [caption id="attachment_3635" align="alignnone" width="215"]Thunmbs UP, Happy New Year! Thumbs UP, Happy New Year![/caption]

As for us here at Incoming Bytes, the muse can be pretty convincing at we're going for it.  Happy New Year, everyone! Stay safe!  Let's play Auld Lang Syne again...



      Is that Incoming I hear?  
Posted in Home & Hearth, Humanity, Life, Reflections, Uncategorized, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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.    
Posted in Home & Hearth, Home&How To, How To... | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments