Happily Ever Rafter

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Plenty of space for hay up here.

Friday we cut and raised the remaining rafters for the Barn… all but four in the southwest corner, which we left off intentionally in anticipation of another plywood delivery soon. With the most visually impressive job complete, we then set to work on a mishmash of details; at times each of us had a task to himself.

For example, I spent most of the morning atop various ladders attaching 2×6 nailers to the front and rear exterior sheathing. It’s lots of fun lifting and fastening a long piece of lumber all by yourself… the trick is building a cleat to hold up the lumber on one end. The nailers will support 2×6 returns, which will support the soffit below the rafter tails. Colin was busy with the chop saw most of the day, cutting out those returns and rafter tails. Usually a rafter tail (the skinny part that overhangs beyond the bird’s-mouth) is part of the rafter lumber, but the Barn’s rafters are so long we simply couldn’t buy the right length lumber. Ergo, this detail with the separate tail pieces.

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Note the nailer plate running across and two rafter tails hanging down.

Meanwhile, Terry began framing stud walls on the gable ends. Since the top plates for these walls are basically the outer rafters, he had to bevel the stud ends at 45 degrees and nail them one by one to the rafters directly. No layout on the floor this time!

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The gable end, partway framed.

Wind picked up in the afternoon, and Terry and I put up some permanent lateral bracing between the rafters so they’ll survive the weekend. The roof will become much stiffer once we get plywood sheathing up there. Then I nailed together all 42 rafter tail+return assemblies. We finished the day gathered inside the future stairwell once more to check headroom and settle on the size of the landing.

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This is what the stairs will look like. Sorta.

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