Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Second Storey

After finalizing the method I would use to attach the rafters to the second floor joists, I calculated the required length using the trig calculater a few posts previous. Rudi and I carefully climbed up to the second floor, where he helped me install the first pair, more as a test to see if it could be done readily, and if the attachment seamed suitably designed. Bear in mind for weight, simplicity and style considerations, a fascia board and standard rafters with associated birdsmouth cuts was not in consideration.

The second picture shows the means of attachment I designed, using a basic hurricane bracket bent to the appropriate rafter angle, screwed down, and then the rafter glued with PL Premium adhesive, screwed from the sides, and also screwed vertically from the bottom through the joist into the rafter. Theres nothing moving here!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tool of the Month - August 2010

Initially purchased for my Father to replace a forty year old small table saw, he found this one a bit too larger for his needs, and it only had an extendable top on the right hand side, whereas he needed both sides extendable. Later my mother bought him his ideal table saw (a Craftsman Professional, what else!), and this one ended up in my possession.

It is a Craftsman Professional 4.4hp 10" jobsite tablesaw. It's big, it's tough, and it can slice through lumber like a hot knife through butter, all while making extremely precise cuts. I paid $399 plus taxes, and that was a 50% off sale price if I recall correctly. A tough as nails tool that can be moved around easily, and does what you need, and more!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Roofing Materials

We visited my older sister (and my brother-in-law and neice) in Ottawa one weekend during our last two weeks at the cottage, and I was able to return with a couple of hundred square feet of salvaged steel roofing that was removed from their farmhouse when they had the original house re-roofed during the construction of a new addition. It made absolute sense to strip off the fifty odd year old roof, as the new steel roofs are far superior in terms of design, appearance, and durability.

This is the whole lot, about 20 mostly full sheets, which will be used to roof the treehouse later this fall before the snow starts falling (hopefully). My goal is to have the rafters and strapping in place next week, and the roof installed the week after that.

Making Curved Lumber

The main cantilevered deck of the treehouse is designed with a broad sweeping curve at the front, so the outmost deck joist will have to be curved to match. How to make curved lumber, in this case a curved 2 x 6? Fairly easily, if you start with decent sized scrap plywood, best thickness around 1/4" to 3/8" or so. Set up a table saw with the rip fence set at the width of the lumber you are trying to match, in this case 5-1/2 inches for the nominal 6" lumber. After ripping, this is what you end up with. The length really is not critical, as long as about half are at least six to eight feet or longer.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Alexander Lends a Hand

Forever chirping "Me do it, me do it, me do it daddy!" I decided to let alexander help out with some of the simpler tools. Here he is after cutting apart some cedar slabs with the Makita circular saw!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back to Grade 11 Math!

With the main floor framed, the second floor joists installed, and much of the subfloor above complete, I have to now calculate the length of the roof rafters. To keep things simple I cut all my joists at the desired roof pitch of 55 degrees, and will simply intall a 2" x 3" 'fascia stop' across the bottom end of all the joists, and then butt the rafter bottoms against this stop. This means no birdsmouth cuts, just a corresponding 55 degree cut at the rafter top to mate with the ridge.

Seeing that I couldnt recall whether 'soh cah toa' (or is it toh sah coa?) was correct, and whether angles had to be in degrees or radians, I chose the most efficient option. I just googled "trigenometry calculator" and got this incredibly simple online calculator. Input two of the values you know, and the other 3 are calculated for you!