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Thread: Ridge pole material

  1. #1
    Member akfirefighter's Avatar
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    Default Ridge pole material

    I want to use rafters for my roof. What should I use for the ridge pole? I was thinking of using two BCI's nailed together. Is this an overkill/adequate? What kind of standard is there when determining the ridge pole size? My cabin is 24' long with a 6' enclosed deck.

    I plan on having a window centered on my gable. Do I need to frame the window in normally then build a support off the header that will hold the ridge poles?

    Also what is the preferred way to attach the rafters on the wall? Should I cut in a bull nose then use hangers, or can I just sit them on the wall with hangers?

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
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    AKfire,

    I like a continious ridge, but with a 24' cabin and 2' off the back and 6' off the front = 32'. that is gonna be a problem. Don't think that they make much that long you could use I have not looked for something that long so I may be wrong just seems like a beast. If we are talking about scabbing together two members. I would talk to the guys at SBS or whoever sells you connectors and see what they reccomend.

    My opinion here so take it as that. I like solid wood in my roof. All roofs eventually leak and I just don't like the thought of particle board lumber in my roof system.

    For dimentional lumber rafter roofs you figure what size rafter you need for your span. Then you size your ridge one size up. So in my cabin which is much smaller, I used 2X8s as rafter and a 2 X 10 ridge.

    Frame the window as you would any, not a load bearing wall so you don't have to do anything special.

    I personally cut birdsmouths and then also use hurricane straps. I think it looks better and helps the rafters stay put when building the roof. Triple check your master rafter and then just keep cutting duplicates and it goes fast for angles and birdsmouth cuts.

  3. #3
    Member CaptNemo's Avatar
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    We used two 2x12's with 5/8" plywood sandwiched between them, glued and nailed you can make them any length you need. Ours covered a 30' cabin with 8' decks front and rear for a total length of 48'. The only problem we had was getting that bear up there. By offsetting the joints we were able to put it up in two pieces then glue and nail them together. I think this is way overkill but we dont worry about it now.P8210064.jpgGood luck. CN

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    easy to build a girder out of 2x10s or 12s, with offset joints. Also easy to go cut down a 60' spruce and use the bottom 40 feet!


    Re: where the rafters rest on the walls, i don't really like cuttings birdsmouths. I mark the rafter locations on the top plate, then go put the diamond shaped hurricane ties in place. Once rafters are cut and ready, I use a chop saw to make small wedges out of 2x6 (or whatever dimension your walls are. Figure out the proper wedge size to fill the void, make them a little on the small side and slap a bead of subfloor glue on both sides, stick it in place and set the rafter down.

    For me this is just faster than cutting birdsmouths, and you don't have to compromise the rafter strength, especially important if you are using smaller rafters.

  5. #5
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akfirefighter View Post

    I plan on having a window centered on my gable. Do I need to frame the window in normally then build a support off the header that will hold the ridge poles?

    Also what is the preferred way to attach the rafters on the wall? Should I cut in a bull nose then use hangers, or can I just sit them on the wall with hangers?

    Thanks for the help!
    I always header in my ridge boards; it's crucial to do this to prevent rafter thrust against the walls, which is also where birds' mouths come in, by the way. If you don't provide bearing under each joint in the ridge, your roof will eventually sag. If you can't do posts, I'd look into a glu-lam or LVL that'll span the full distance.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

  6. #6
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Double BCI's are not designed for roof ridge use. Use an appropriate sized glulam or LVL beam. Header above the window needs to be designed to hold the loads of the ridge beam. I would need to see a drawing of the proposed roof system to suggest a beam size.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  7. #7
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Or do site built trusses.




  8. #8

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    Have you thought about building a ridge beam out of 3/4" plywood? Glue and screw it together. 24" deep and 6" thick, (8 layers) with 2 layers 18 g. flashing on two layers. When I was a kid my Dad built some beams like this and passed building codes no problem. These can be expensive to build compared to other methods, but have the advantage of being able to transport the materials to rural areas easily.

  9. #9

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    Dirtofak, I am very interested in the demensions of your cabin. I am planning one now and like your design. How tall is the center of the loft area? If you have more pictures of the interior I would like to see them if you don't mind.

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