Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 16 Gazebo Project - Rafters

We installed the first 8 rafters for the roof.  These are the main support rafters and get installed into the slots we made in the 4 x 4 posts what seems like a very long time ago.  We have 8 more 'intermediate' rafters to install on another day.  This was enough for one day that's for sure.

The day started out wonderfully when our amazing helpers arrived.  My nieces came to the rescue once again.  As Brook wrote on my whiteboard wall, "Aunt "D" you're lucky we love you".  Believe me I know how lucky I am. We couldn't have done this without them.
As an added bonus they just got their first car and this was the first time they came to see me and drove themselves!

We made our 'king post' earlier in the week.  The king post is the center support for all of the rafters.  We had to cut a 6 x 6 pressure treated post into an octagon.  We had no way to do this with the tools we had so we headed to Club WorkshopClub Workshop is one of the locations where I teach my classes and I am very grateful we had access to the use of their band saw.  Thanks to the assistance of Sherman we were able to get our post cut in no time at all.

It is critical that all of the rafters are installed at the same height.  If they aren't installed properly it would be difficult to install the sheathing for the roof and have things flat and secure. We decided to install small blocks at the proper height on the post to help us locate the rafters.  Especially since the installation would be done 10 feet off of the ground on ladders.  I love this picture of the king post because I think it looks like a castle :)

We cut the first 2 rafters and attached them to the king post on the ground.  The plan was then to lift them into place and secure them to the posts, just like that.  Well, after we wrestled them into place with a lot of  swearing and sometimes what bordered on shouting we discovered the slots in the posts needed to be modified and the rafters pulled apart from the king post.  I was very worried that we might be at an impasse. Bill, my husband, saved the day by diligently working with the reciprocating saw to make each slot larger.  I was too frustrated to be much help with that so I busied myself with other not so frustrating tasks. With the slots opened up we had much greater success with setting the first 2 rafters but we did lose about 1 1/2 hours with the first attempt.  We recovered nicely later in the day so all was not lost.

We then set the 6 remaining rafters without too much trouble.  Of course since the angles of several posts were not square, a mistake I made at the very beginning of this project, we had to make some minor adjustments but they were not as problematic as before. We started at 9 am and were cleaned up and on our way to dinner by just shortly after 4 pm.  It was a full and productive day.

Enjoy a safe and joy filled Independence Day and remember all those who have sacrificed their lives to secure and maintain our freedom and liberty. Happy 4th of July!

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