Making Our Hat.

David's picture

Well, we are still trying to finish up the cob. If the sky is clear and it's not our turn to make supper, we get in a batch or two when Patricia gets home from work. It's very slow going, but we are still plugging away. With winter on our doorstep, we can't afford to stop and sit idle. So while Patricia's at work, Phoenix and I do what we can to keep things rolling. And now we are starting to make the hat for the studio.

So how are we doing our roof? We lucked out with the timing for our roof construction. It just so happens that our local Home Hardware had a lumber yard sale. Once a year in the fall, Home Hardware puts on a sale to sell any leftover materials they have. Most of it are cast-offs that are in less-than perfect condition, but nearly all of it is still in good working order. So we went for a look-see, and found a few small stacks of lumber that suited us well and at a great price. It even included a box sized grab'all for nails and screws. I loaded up on 10 penny galvies and a few bags of metal roofing screws. AND, all of it was delivered free of charge. You can't beat that with a stick.

At home I pulled out the best 2x8 in the stack to use for my rafters. For the framing, I'm simply going to use plywood gusset plates instead of a continuous ridge board. The roof has a pretty steep pitch at 18:12, and I figure the gussets and the deadmen should hold the framing well enough. Patricia is a little concerned about using the gussets, and would really like me to use something more conventional. Well, aside from the gussets being able to do the job, they fit our ideals to use what's on hand as opposed to buying new.

But away I went. I grabbed a tape measure and found the center point from the north and south walls. I stood up a 2x4 at that point and then put a mark on it at 6' above the loft (We want the head room at the peak to be around 6') Then took a measurement from the point to the top, outside edge of the wall. I added a couple of feet or so for the overhang and I had my rafter length. Someone out there is probably shaking there head wondering why I did it this way instead of just working it out mathematically. Well, I don't know what to tell ya, except that maybe I was just being free flowing like most things when working with cob.

Anyway, I had my dimension and set out to start cutting them up. It was at this point that I decided either (a) - I'm a little cookoo, or (b) - I'm turning into a purist. I have, in our greenhouse, a perfectly fine circular saw that was lent to me earlier for another project. But instead of using it, I opted for my trusty handsaw. I chose it because I didn't want to have to weave an extension cord to my work site, and I didn't want to hear all the racket. Of course this wasn't the first time using my handsaw, but it was then that I decided that I will use it first, before going to the circular saw. Who knows, I may end up fading out all my power tools.

Well I cut them up and nailed them together. It wasn't at all difficult, and took less than a day to do. I even trimmed the tail ends on one side for some extra character. I used a jig saw for this, so I'm not quite a purist yet. Now I just need to raise them up onto the walls. Maybe this weekend when I have an extra hand.


Rick's picture

You will need some collar ties near the ends or something to resist the thrust those are putting on the walls. I dont think the gusset plate you have has enough shear value, nor is there enough material to accommodate all the nails it would take.

Don't want to see that fall on your head at night or anything - do you plan to put at least 2 collar ties in there somewhere?

I do like those decorative ends though!

By Rick
David's picture

Oh yeah, I failed to mention that the logs we used at the loft will double as collar ties. The collar ties, deadmen and rafters will all be attached to eachother.

Thanks for the tip though!

By David
Rick's picture

Oh nice - yeah I seen them in the other pics but wasn't sure if you were going to tie them all together. I feel safer already!

By Rick