cellini's Diaryland Diary


Building Outriggers is Fun

I feared building the gable end overhangs. It seemed fussy and difficult. Like cutting common rafters, only worse. However, when I finally got around to taking the plunge yesterday I discovered that installing 'outriggers' for gable end overhangs is FUN.

The tricky thing is that you have to cut slots in the last rafter on each end for the outriggers to pass through. The outriggers will support the pair of rafters ( which are called 'barge rafters') that hang in space over the end of the building and in order to support that weight they need to be secured properly to the rest of the framing. They pass through slots cut into the tops of the last pair of rafters, such that the tops of the outriggers are flush with the tops of those rafters, and then the outriggers continue back to the next previous pair of rafters, which they are butted up against.

The fun part is that I get to use my big chisel. I have a big, 3" wide chisel that I use for this sort of thing. First I use a circular saw or a reciprocating saw to make a series of cuts down to the depth that the slot needs to be. Then I smack it with a hammer, which makes the remaining chunks of wood fall out. Then I have a rough slot which must be chiseled out to create a smooth bottom with an even surface so that I can nail the outrigger into it and it will hold firm.

My chisel is fucked up and chipped in the middle, on account of Trish having done something incredibly stupid with it a few years ago. I think she tried to open a paint can with it or used it to pry something. It was something totally retarded like that which ruined this sixty dollar chisel for fine woodworking. But it's still ok for fiddling with rough framing like this.

Man, I wish she hadn't fucked it up. Before she chipped it, it only took the slightest tap to shave off a 16th of an inch of wood in a long, broad, continuous strip. The wood came up in a silky, white scroll.

Anyway, chiseling wood is fun. After that, it is very satisfying to have this perfect 2x4 slot into which the outrigger is placed at the sublime moment. Long nails are pounded in at the butted connection and again where the outrigger passed through the slot. It is then very sturdy. The outriggers make a sort of ladder going up the last 2 pairs of common rafters. I climbed up on them and sat on top of the ridge board, satisfied.

10:21 - 2008-05-19


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