If you have a center beam, as this pergola does, you’ll want to find center on each side of the beam. At worst, the task requires the services of three or four people. Get some scrap 2×4 pieces. Also mark the exact center of the V-support on the edge. Make sure they are near to the side edge of the top plates so that they meet up exactly with the birdsmouth cut. You’ll need to lay down a 2×4 on its edge at the apex of the two rafters to act as a ridge board – for spacing. Make sure you use gloves when handling.

Now, I could do a few calculations and know that 4:12 is roughly 18.5 degrees, but a speed square is so quick that I don’t need to do that. When ready, turn the eight-foot timber and assembly and nail the other two-foot (or 18-inch) section as you did the first unit.

Lean-to rafters then connect to a ledger board against a wall of another shed or house. If you look at the rafter span chart, you’ll notice that 2x4s can be used for rafters on spans up to 11 ½’. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc or its affiliates. Then use a measuring tape and measure from the furthest, top point of your first cut. Lastly, if you live in a place with heavy, wet and regular snow, then consider your load. I am so glad we have cranes and services that can do the job for us. I’ve done simple gables, slant roofs and a few lean-to’s – and probably a few others I can’t quite recall. If you live in the real backwoods, you may find that it is highly expensive to pay carpenters to drive out to the hinterlands and then work in teams of three or four, which means at the very least, even if you hire amateurs, $30 an hour for the team, or $240 per day. Now stand the assembly on edge, with the V-support away from you. Cut one 2×4 to exactly this length, then cut two more about four inches longer than the first.
First, you’ll want to find the pitch of your rafters, which will help you find the length of your rafters.

This will give the connector a full face of wood on the rafter to nail into. Nail through the bottom of the four-foot section and into the end of the eight-foot section.

Trusses and rafters are materials that make up the roof structure, and while they have similarities, there are distinct functions that impact your choice of attachment to the top plate. You’ll install them so that the mark you made on the top plates is in the center of the notched opening of the connector. I then bring the ridge beam to the other wall to check alignment – if the marks don’t line up, then I know I need to re-check my measurement. These connectors require 10 SDS structural screws. You don’t need to worry about measuring, since the slots are already on-center exactly as they should be. I figured it was time to put that shed rafter knowledge into an article to share with you. Use an 18-inch board (2×8 works well) and cut the board as shown in the photo above. Simply build another variation of the V-support, one that reaches to the floor (ideally over a joist). I’ve looked through R802, but can’t find it. If you use 2×6 lumber for rafters, your ridge beam will be 2×8. This gives us plenty of support for our roof without having to worry about snow or other debris caving our shed roof in. Now you can install your rafters into the connectors. You’ll be outlining underneath each rafter, but you’ll use the edge of the shed floor as a guide, so you don’t have to see what you are doing because the edges of the floor are your guide. Make another mark. When to use common rafters? Remember that for rafters, you’ll always use a ridge beam one size larger. We’ll take a look at a gable roof, but you’ll be able to apply the rafter method outlined below to most types of shed roof styles. One side of the slot is short enough to allow you nailing room. Go until you get to the end. Finally, to keep from climbing up and down the ladder so often, you can make a multiple-rafter holder that will hold four, five, or six rafters at a time. Use three nails in a row at the two ends and in the middle of the half-inch board. After you’ve marked where each rafter will go, it is time to install the top plate to rafter hurricane tie connectors. You can affix it with a couple of wood screws – it isn’t permanent, so it just needs to be able to hold the ridge board.

The length can be a foot or so. You are going to cut out triangles that will cover the apex of each set of rafters. By using the three simple and almost-free devices shown here, you can install rafters of any length, and you can do every step of the work without an assistant and without straining your back or risking injury. Do it carefully so that rafters are not out of place.

Toenailing is arguably the easiest choice, but hurricane ties is a favorite as it provides superior strength. A king rafter has hip rafters jutting from either side of where they meet the ridge beam. When you are ready to mount the assembly, you need only to align the two marks. To make the holder, choose a length of 2×10 lumber at least 18 inches long. A classic choice for securing your rafters is toenailing involves connecting the rafter to the top plate using nails driven into the beam and the wall cap.


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