Inspired by Simon Dale's Low Impact Woodland Home, the roof for the barn will be held up by reciprocal frame rafters rather than a ridge peak or a truss system. This will allow a clear span beneath without support poles. Other web resources about this kind of roof can be found at the Year of Mud blog and at Green Building Elements.
This weekend, I tested out the reciprocal frame concept on the ground ust to make sure the voodoo works before I tried it ten feet in the air. First, I brought the rafters together in my driveway:
For the curious, he poles are 14’ spars of either red alder or bigleaf maple, debarked, with base diameters ranging from 5” to 7”. The next step was to put the first rafter on a “charlie,” or a temporary support, then beginning laying the other rafters one by one. Each rafter pointed 18” to the left of center, to produce a 36” central circle. After all eight rafters were placed, I carefully knocked the charlie out from the under the structure, to find:
It worked! Without fasteners of any kind, the rafters were supporting themselves off the ground by about two feet! I even climbed up on the top and bounced up and down. The more pressure I exerted, the stiffer the frame got. Very cool. Here’s a look down at the central circle:
This Saturday, we put the frame in the air…