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Ridge Beam and Rafters

August 10. I made a simple platform about 45" high to get me within nailing distance of the future ridge beam. This platform is also needed to put up the first section of the ridge beam:

I marked off a 16' board with rafter marks, 16" centers, offset from the joists so they will be parallel when nailed to the joists at the top of the walls. Then I nailed two support boards to the ridge board so that when we stood it up on the second floor, it would be level. The end board was long enough to be nailed to the side of the south wall. I had used a 2x10 board first, but then switched it to a 2x12 to follow my submitted plan.

August 14. It's level and ready for the first rafters:

After I cut the first rafter and tested it for fit, I used it as a pattern to draw marks on the next four boards. I built two 8-foot long saw horses on which I could lay out, mark and cut the 18-foot 2x8's. You can see my rusty, trusty framing square on the pattern rafter on the left. It has brass square chucks fixed at 10 and 12 inch marks, makes it easy to draw the correct lines on the board:

Here are the first rafters in place.

August 15. Sixteen rafters up and the next section of ridge beam. At this point, I only had a few nails holding everything together:

Here is a close up of the bird's mouth cuts and plumb cuts at the eave ends. The bird's mouth lets some of the rafter sit on the top plate. Fascia will be nailed to the vertical end of the rafter, soffit underneath:

It was windy up there, rafters swaying. As evening approached, I finished nailing these rafters to the joists using 16d nails through both sides. I also nailed all rafters to the ridge beam, toenailing 16d nails through predrilled holes or toenailing 10d nails without predrilling:


August 16. Third ridge beam section in place:

Here is a view from the bottom showing the temporary floor. The hangers are screwed in for easy removal later:


August 19. More rafters up, and collar ties over the auto lift hole:

Auugust 23. All rafters up and nailed to the ridge. Also, the skylight hole is framed:

Next: Gable End Wall.