Sep
13
2013

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Grindbygg Timber Framing: Rafters, Part Two

by Tara

Ever since we got over the hump of raising the first rafter, our grindbygg roof building project has been going fairly smoothly. It's actually pretty simple thanks to the jigs Peter left us with. The hardest part of the process is getting the rafters on top of the building! We have a pretty good system going, though, and so far we've been able to manage on our own.

Tara Measuring Mortise Tara Measuring Mortise [|9691632166|,slideshow] Tara Measuring Mortise Tyler Cutting Mortise

After we've completed our cuts for a beam, we drag the heavy end of a rafter towards a scaffolding that rests beneath the building. Once we've staggered our way over, we set it down on one of the metal rungs. Then, we divide and conquer: Tyler gets below the rafter and shoulder presses it upward while I heave forward, making sure it catches on each successive rung. Usually we can get the rafter to the top deck of the scaffolding in two or three pushes.

Rafter Hoisting

With one end atop the scaffolding and the other in the dirt, Tyler joins me once more. Now we both grab the rafter, wrapping our arms around the wet, sappy pine. With repeated one, two, THREEs, we shove it up, bit by bit. When the beam passes its balance point and gets too high for us to reach, we climb the scaffolding for more heaving. With a little more effort, we can pull it up so it lays down across the tie beams.

Us Hoisting Rafter Us Hoisting Rafter

Once we've gotten this far, it's pretty easy to roll, push, and pivot the rafter into the seats. Then, the fun starts. As we slowly lift the rafter to the correct angle, it slides down the wall plate towards the ground, often scaring the bejesus out of us as it does. For me, there is always a heart-stopping moment here, filled with visions of the timber flying off the roof uncontrollably. Thankfully, the bearing surfaces on the wall plate and rafter always meet, landing snugly into the position Peter carved. PHEW!

Tyler Raising Rafter Rafter Seat

When both are seated, it's time to fit the mortise and tenon together. There's another moment of nervousness now, as we lift both rafters at the same time in order to slip them together. Will they fit? Is our joinery okay?

Tyler Fitting Rafter Tenon/Mortise Tyler Fitting Rafter Tenon/Mortise

YES! So far, so good :) A good thwack with our "flintstones" mallet finishes the job.

Tyler Fitting Rafter Tenon/Mortise Rafter Peak Tenon/Mortise Tyler Fitting Rafter Tenon/Mortise

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7 comments

As exciting as it is to see your cookbook numbers rise, it's even more exciting to see your workshop rise! Raise high the roofbeams, carpenters!
Posted by Nancy Kane on September 16th, 2013 at 5:08 PM
It amazes me every time to see Tyler working construction in bare feet!
Good work you two. Your building is remarkable!
Posted by Kara Cz. on September 16th, 2013 at 8:03 PM
Seeing Tyler working barefeet, I guess not only your mallet is 'flinstones' related...?
Sorry for this one.
:D
Posted by David B. on September 16th, 2013 at 8:20 PM
So funny to read the comment by Kara, posted just as I was writing mine!!!
Posted by David B. on September 16th, 2013 at 8:25 PM
I really ought to stop working in bare feet--it's a terrible idea, especially with our crap health insurance. I hate wearing shoes in summertime, though!
Posted by Tyler on September 16th, 2013 at 9:19 PM
I really ought to stop working in bare feet--it's a terrible idea, especially with our crap health insurance. I hate wearing shoes in summertime, though!
Posted by Tyler on September 16th, 2013 at 9:19 PM
Guys , it's like living in the wild west all over again.Building your own homes , communities. Love it :) Keep up the good work.
Posted by Tejas Ashok Dongre on September 16th, 2013 at 10:57 PM
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