Perfect Roof Rafters
Focus your efforts on the pattern rafter, and the rest of the roof falls into place easily.
Synopsis: Taking lessons learned from timber framing, Sam Koerber uses chalklines, a framing square, and knife lines to carefully lay out pattern rafters, ensuring that his roof rafters line up nicely without the need to trim and shim them once in place. Online Extra: Behind the Scenes: How Fine Homebuilding Articles are Captured.
My process for framing a roof starts the same as anybody else’s: laying out and cutting a pattern rafter, which I then use as a template to cut the rest of the rafters to make up the roof frame. Just like everybody else, I choose a flat, straight, and dry piece of stock for the pattern rafter, which I crown so that any natural arch is facing up when installed, and I set the piece atop a pair of sturdy sawhorses that are at a comfortable working height. From there, I get a bit more fussy than…