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How to Figure a Rafter

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Blog entry by Clay Ortiz posted 06-18-2011 02:26 PM 3790 reads 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally put together my first howto video on framing! It explains how to figure rafter length and layout. I gotta say that it was a lot harder to do than I thought it would be. I’m going to make another video or two on the subject because I just didn’t have enough time.

http://youtu.be/7QuJYtq8MsU

-- Clay Ortiz, North Georgia



9 comments so far

View nailbanger2's profile

nailbanger2

967 posts in 1861 days


#1 posted 06-18-2011 03:19 PM

Clay, thank you for taking the time to make this video. It was very informative, and your visual aids demonstrated your knowledge on the subject. That being said, here comes the big “however”. I have been framing for close to 30 years, and I have never seen a calculator on a job site! I would recommend anyone wanting to make their own rafters to learn how to use a framing square in this regard. It was funny, after I finished watching your video, there was another one on my screen by a guy named Joe Fusco that explains exactly how I’ve been doing it these past 30 years.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View Clay Ortiz's profile

Clay Ortiz

83 posts in 1785 days


#2 posted 06-18-2011 11:42 PM

I started out planning on showing the different ways to find the length, but once I got going, I realized there was no way to get it all on one video. I didn’t use a calculator when I started framing either and I still can’t get my dad to use one. But I can’t imagine not using one now, it really speeds things up.

-- Clay Ortiz, North Georgia

View jussi's profile

jussi

100 posts in 1683 days


#3 posted 06-19-2011 01:43 AM

Awesome video. Very informative. Although I’ll probably never build a house myself I am in the process of building a small shed. Will definitely use the information here when building the roof.

View Clay Ortiz's profile

Clay Ortiz

83 posts in 1785 days


#4 posted 06-19-2011 02:19 AM

Thanks Jussi, I’m really glad it helped!

-- Clay Ortiz, North Georgia

View jussi's profile

jussi

100 posts in 1683 days


#5 posted 06-19-2011 04:17 AM

Hi Clay 2 quick questions. One of them isn’t directed related to the rafter portion so I hope it’s ok to ask this.

1. When you cut the seat portion does that change the angle at which the rafter mates with the ridge?

2. I’m planning on using the T-11 siding. How do you fasten it to the the studs? If I use nails will I have to caulk each hole?

View Clay Ortiz's profile

Clay Ortiz

83 posts in 1785 days


#6 posted 06-19-2011 05:00 AM

Jussi
1. If you are asking when you remove the material for the birds mouth by making the seat cut if that will lower only the tail end of the rafter and change your plumb cut at the ridge it won’t. The only way that would happen is if you have you ridge fixed before you install your rafter. That means that the depth of cut on the seat should change the ridge height and the tail height in relation to the floor the same amount.
2. Nailing it is fine w/ 6d or 8d galvanized nails in ring shank or spiral and you will need to caulk each nail head.
Hope this helps and feel free to ask questions I try to help.

-- Clay Ortiz, North Georgia

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jussi

100 posts in 1683 days


#7 posted 06-19-2011 08:17 AM

Got it. Thanks Clay

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15144 posts in 1907 days


#8 posted 06-23-2011 07:14 PM

Very nice and interesting!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2491 posts in 1809 days


#9 posted 07-06-2011 03:44 AM

Hey Clay, this was really awesome. I used to work in the Building Materials department at Menards, so I know quite a bit about rafter. It was definitely a good refresher! I hope you make more videos! Some day I’d love to build my own garage/woodshop. Learning how to frame a building is something I definitely want to learn some day. Your videos will be good references! Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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