Rafters, how strong

How much load can the rafters in your house support? Well maybe not your PERSONAL rafters, but in general, if someone were to say, store their gold bricks up there, or put a safe up there - something that isn't large but at the same time is very heavy. I supose that it would depend on the age of the house too, for the sake of argument let's say its a 1950's era house.
Would the rafters be able to support a 400 lb load if it were distributed onto 2 rafter beams?
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Rafter length, Rafter Size, Rafter centers, Strong backs , There are so many factors. Most likely designed to hold the roof load not your safe.
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Well I wasn't thinking of my safe so much as I was thinking of me and a few friends - doing attic work. My fear was that a bunch of big guys would get up there and hear that <CRACK> of splintering wood. Not to mention putting our feet through the wallboard. I of course intend to lay down some plywood for a walking surface, but first I wanted to make sure that it would even be reasonable for a big guy to be up there.
I know the guy who inspected the house went up in there, but I just assume ask before falling through the ceiling.
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Eigenvector wrote:

I think there is some confusion with your use of the terminology. A rafter is the angled structural member that supports the roof sheathing. I don't know too many people that store anything at all on their sloped roof.
If you're talking about the attic floor joists (aka floor below's ceiling joists), then it's a regular joist situation and you can look that up on any span table. You'll need to know the size of the joists and the span. The Canadian Wood Council's web site has a design tool, SpanCalc, that provides values for various species.
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