Can someone tell me if this is a feasable way to layout commons.
lets say its a 10/12 with a 20' span.
i look on my framing square, and it says "COMMON RAFTER LENGTH PER
FOOT RUN" for a 10/12 it says 15.62.
so i multiply 15.62 by half my span which is 10.
gives me 156.2 which is about 156 1/4"
i subtract 3/4" for my ridges, gives me 155 1/2"
now is this 155 1/2" the measurement from my birdsmouth to the top of
also how do i determine the depth of my birdsmouth and do i need to
factor this into my math somewhere?
if anyone can understand what i just wrote, i appreciate your help...
If you mark a vertical line across your rafter at the
birdmouth (the vertical cut), then from the point where that
mark intersects the top of the rafter to the top of the
vertical cut at the ridge it should be 155-1/2".
I usually make my birdmouth as deep as it needs to be to
completely seat across the to plate. So if you have a 2x4 top
plate, you want the seat cut (horizontal cut) of the bird
mouth to be 3-1/2". If you have a 2x6 you might want to make
it 5-1/2", but I don't like cutting that deep into the rafter,
so I keep mine less. I just want a good bearing surface for
my rafter on the top plate.
If you don't want to have to cut a bunch of slots for your
sheathing, then you should apply the sheathing to the walls
first, then add an additional 1/2" to your span for the
thickness of the sheathing, then install the rafters so that
they seat across the plate and the sheathing.
You should cut two rafters without taking out for the ridge
(meaning that the thickness of the ridge should NOT be
subtracted from the calculation). Take them up and try them
at both gables of your building and in the middle if it is a
long building. They should fit well at all points. When you
are satisfied that they will work, then cut off the additional
3/4" for your ridge and use them for patterns to make the rest
of your rafters.
I agree totally with Robert, but I like to try to keep a full 2x4
(3 1/2") above the birds mouth to carry the rafter tails. If the
bearing is getting cheated too much, it may require some horse
trading. That steep pitch is harder to work around. The ceiling
joists spiked into the sides of the rafters establish much of the
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
Althought it is a good exercise to use the square to keep one's hand in. I
like the rafter program because I am generally using my computer cad program
to design my building and it is handy to have rather than go down to the
shop and get the square and mess around with it.
Everyone has given excellent responses so far. I figure the rafter
length with a scientific calculator and trig. 10/12 inverse tangent
gives you the angle (make sure it's in degrees and not radians. the
span multiplied by the cosine of that angle gives you the length. I
work from plumb cut to plumb mark at the outside of the wall plate. I
make my birds mouth as wide as the wall plate if possible, but no
deeper than 1/3 of the rafter depth.
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