50: Rafters!

I'm holding the camera crooked -- the cabin is level!

I managed to put up all but the most outlying rafters all by myself! I notched the last two logs, the top plate logs, on the ground, cutting them on 24" centers all the way along. I did that by snapping two chalk lines an equal hight from the bottom of the log, not the top, helping to insure a similar hight for the top of the rafters over which the roof planking will cross.

Then, I sat the two rafters on top of the other, bigger 15' top plate rafters and along the crest of the load-bearing walls. I tried my best to rotate the logs so that the notches would angle up, toward the ridge beam in the center, toward which the rafters would travel.

Using a bevel, I figured the angle to cut the high end and tail of each rafter, the angle being slightly different for each side. I used a chain saw on the ground as a chop saw. The left-side rafters are 110 inches, and the ones on the right are a full ten feet. This differential was necessary to reduce the overhang above the left-side window. Who wants to look out at an eave? There'll still be about two feet of overhang on that side. On the long side, the front rafter had to be shorter to accommodate a birch tree. I'm hoping we can angle the tin around that tree.

One mistake -- I somehow reversed the direction of one of those pre-notched top plate logs. That might have happened in the pre-dawn hours when I was working in the beam of a headlamp.

So, only after hanging several rafters on one side did I discover that they don't line up with their partners rising to meet them from the other pre-notched, pinned-down wall. Doh!

I fixed this next to the verticals by creating new notches with the crosscut saw and big framing slick. That razor sharp 7 pound chisel made it so easy I wish I'd just notched them all up on the wall.

This would be a deal-breaking design flaw on a residence being permitted according to code. Fortunately, this is an outbuilding that doesn't have to meet a living-space criteria. Also, the full-dimension 3x8 ridge beam is both sturdy enough and supported from below, and the roof is small, and log walls are extremely unlikely to spread, so collar ties won't be necessary and I think it'll be fine. I may strap them from below and up/over the other side of the beam, though.

I could simply add a couple of rafters on the opposing side near the middle of the span. This would look like overkill but might do the trick.

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I use this blog to chronicle certain aspects of my life near the Smokies. I'm building a cabin. I kayak. Sometimes I bike.