Building Craftsman-Style Brackets
Add a custom touch where your roof needs a little support.
Synopsis: When contributing editor Gary M. Katz was building his shop, he decided that the building needed some decorative Craftsman-style brackets as eave supports. To make the brackets, Katz went into the shop, made templates, and produced the parts with a system of templates and jigs. Using that system, Katz could cut all the dadoes with a router and template, and all the braces could be cut with a miter saw and notched on a tablesaw. After the brackets were dry-fit, they were stained and then assembled in place. Doing large amounts of work in the shop saved Katz a great deal of time; the joinery needed only a slight amount of trimming to account for minor discrepancies in material thickness as it was being assembled. This article includes two technical illustrations. One shows how the bracket pieces come together. The second shows how they are attached to the building. Additionally, a sidebar details how the brackets are assembled in place.
I’ve always been taken with the Craftsman style. I especially like the pillowed look of the style’s multistep brackets: big, sturdy pieces of decorative joinery used to support deep eave overhangs and small roofs. When I designed my new shop and guest cabin, I wanted to include lots of them as eave supports. Most of the brackets I’ve seen have a diagonal brace that’s mortised into the upper beam and lower post, and the mortises are cut at the same angle as the brace. I didn’t want to do all that chiseling and sawing for 20 brackets. Instead, I designed my brackets so that all the dadoes could be cut with a router and a template and all the braces could be cut on a miter saw and notched on a tablesaw. The brackets shown here support a small…