Stringers and String

Today we built the stairs! No longer do you need a ladder to climb to the second floor of the Barn, and that simple fact makes moving around the site and especially transporting materials much, much easier. We also attached rafter tails to all the rafters we’ve set up so far. We continued to leave a gap at the southwest corner in anticipation of a fresh plywood delivery.

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Kari and Jenny, super happy to have stairs.

Said delivery also included sheathing for the gable ends, some additional lumber, and nail gun ammo. The truck we expected at 10 in the morning didn’t arrive until nearly 4, and our dwindling supplies during the day forced us to be resourceful. Terry installed the three stringers that support each run of stairs; I cut steps until I ran out of 2x12s and then cut bullnose edges using a router. With two steps needed to finish the first run, he found some scraps to screw in as temporary steps so we could at least climb to the landing. Recognizing a headroom issue on about the sixth step, he trimmed four inches out of one offending floor joist and installed another joist behind it to maintain structural strength.

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Terry lays out stringers for the first run.

Terry also accelerated the rafter tail installation, which we originally planned to do after the plywood arrived. Instead, he pulled a string taut between the first and last tail, and I used the string as a guide to set all the tails in a straight line. Once I attached each tail to its rafter, I held the return tight against the nailer plate and nailed it in. By necessity I’m becoming much more nimble high on ladders… which is good, because I expect to stand on lots of them tomorrow while handling heavy sheets of plywood for the roof.

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String held taut to guide the tips of the rafter tails.

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