More Rafters

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

Still putting up rafters.

After getting the digger's help to put up rafters I added the ridge boards above them: two 2400 mm long ones on the north side and one of the same length to the south overlapping half of each to join them together.

The boards are not heavy (about 14 kg each by extrapolation from weighing a 49 g offcut on my kitchen scales) but they're awkward enough that they were tricky to pull up on to the scaffolding, particularly in anything more than a dead calm.

Accordingly, I took to sliding them up between the rafters…

then onto the scaffolding rails.

Having got those up I prepared nine more rafters to go on the north side and called the builder to send a chap with his digger again. This time the chap was considerably younger and stronger and, after the first rafter, didn't use the digger but just jumped up on my scaffold tower and the purlins and lifted the rafters by hand.

I knew I couldn't put up the last two rafters on this side right at the gable end because of interference with the scaffolding but once these were up I saw it was worse than I'd thought. Luckily, I noticed before nailing the end one fully otherwise I'd have blocked the scaffolding gate.

I've since got the scaffolders back to move the access to the other end where it's well clear of the gable.

Put up the noggins between those rafters (leaving one out to make sliding the ridge boards up easier) and the rest of that half of the ridge beam apart from the short bits at the gable end.


Yesterday, and since those pictures, I've put another rafter up on the south side, well separated from the ones already there. I've been diddling around trying to tune the length of these to get a better fit to the south-side purlin so wanted to fit check it. Also, even one rafter at that end would significantly strengthen the north-side rafters left hanging there. Nice if we had a lot of wind.

I've now got another dozen rafters prepared to go up (8 for the north side and 4 for the south) but I'll do a couple more before asking for the digger again - maybe at the end of this week though the weather isn't looking helpful.

E.g., this morning I went up to the site to take delivery of 22 tonnes of 2"-down hardcore to expand the parking area. I finished off preparing a rafter I started yesterday (but stopped work on due to rain) and did another one. Rain then arrived and looked like lasting a while so I went home for lunch. Once it stopped I waited a while for things to dry out then went up and started on another (not included in the above count) but only got the bottom blocking nailed and cut before another lot of rain threatened and I packed up again, not wanting to put this timber away wet under plastic. It looks like setting the theme for the week.

My thinking now is to ask either these builders or another, more local, lot to do the sarking boards, membrane and counter-battens and maybe some work on the gable ends while I get on with the floor. Without that help I won't be able to get the house part (greenhouse part will have to wait) in a fit state to survive the winter.