Raising the Roof

Today was not a banner day for us, construction-wise. We had spent much of the evening last Sunday trying to calculate the hypotenuse of a couple of triangles, then use similar triangles to find a particular length that needed cutting.

Suffice it to say that our math was failing us, so this morning when we got going we relied on the mechanical math used by carpenters for a very long time. And it worked, when I managed to measure correctly.

Putting a rafter in place

This was one little cheat we used: the ridge beam sits directly on an upright piece of wood, which is prone to wobbling while you get the rest of the roof pinned into place (after which everything becomes nice and rigid). To hold it in place we nailed it into this triangle (made when we cut the angle on the rafters, so we had lots to spare).

A triangle holds up the king stud

Then we had a ridge beam and two sets of rafters in place, and the really, really hard part was over (and we were ready for the merely very hard part).

Ridge beam in place

In fairly short order we got the rest of the rafters in place, and then we spent some time bickering over whether to put on the end boards or the sheathing before settling on the sheathing (because the end boards were not straight and it was not going to be much fun to try to get them to work right).

Rafters in place

Sheathing the roof was not too bad, apart from the physical effort involved in lifting sheets of plywood over your head and twirling them around. The nailer made everything much better.

Noel in the ceiling

When the last pieces of sheathing were being nailed up, I built a little perch for the chickens in their room. We had lost one of the chickens to a possum this week, and ever since that event the remaining three have not wanted to sleep in their hutch (and who can blame them?), so the decision was that if we got the roof on, they could sleep in their new home. The perch is almost five feet high, which is about where they have been wanting to roost at night lately (they've been flying up to try to roost on their water container, and fouling it in the process).

Chicken room

The thing is, we got very little done except for the roof, so I closed the ceiling off with a large bundle of chicken wire stapled in place, then stapled them in for the night with more wire. A thick layer of pine bedding, several handfuls of scratch thrown in on top, and they were pretty happy with their new home.

Stapled in for the night

And here we are at the end of the day today. Tomorrow we hang the door for the chicken room, nail up roofing, and finish some last bits of framing. Tonight Noel will be taking our circular saw apart to try to fix a problem in the gear box.

With a roof

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posted by ayse on 06/28/08



I went over to the floorplan with photos link, but no photos load when the rooms are clicked on...

Oh, man. I have been meaning to fix that page forever. Thanks for the reminder that it's still broken.

Looks nice. Out of curiosity, why not just make trusses with a 6/12 pitch? Seems to me that would get you a tidy 30-60-90 triangle, and the whole "build on the ground then secure onto the building" approach seems more user-friendly.

7:12 is the right angle for mounting solar panels at this latitude, which we will be doing at some point in the future (off-grid, to operate a couple of lights and some chicken-care automation devices). Also, we wanted a steep pitch to help with scaling the shed and to make it look more cute. 6:12 wasn't quite steep enough.

Also, we wanted to suffer with trig. I'll consider it practise for my structural exam later this year.

"Chicken-care automation devices" -- I can't wait to see those! ;)

i'm so sorry to read that you lost one of the chickens! poor thing! the chicken house appears to be coming together nicely, however...

Nice work on the "Palace de Poulets" as Martha sez. :-) Am very sorry to hear about Debbie, so sad.

Do your dogs react to July 4th fireworks? Do things like this affect chickens? I have no idea. My cats don't like the noise and they hide.

Hope you and your family have a great 4th! m.

The dogs are indifferent to fireworks. In part because we have fireworks all over the place: Chinese New Year, May 5, July 4, somebody's party or wedding, and so on.

I wonder what the chickens will do: they sort of turn off after dark, so maybe it will not even wake them up.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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