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filling framing gaps and voids

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Jun 17, 2013, 12:10 PM
filling framing gaps and voids
I am building my first building. It is an outdoor 12x24 art studio.

I have a set of plans and it is going well. It has a framed roof with a ridge pole. I started adding rafters last night. I tried to use the straightest 2 2x6s I could for the 25' ridgepole but at the end of the day it has a slight twist that seems to be working itself out as the rafters are installed. Out of the 18 sets of rafters I have installed the first 4 sets. I essentially spent the entire day doing this with lots of measurements and created a template. I am not happy with the first 4 in that where the birds mouth cut is meeting the top sill the rafters not all are not laying particularly flat and snug and there are some voids and gaps here and there. Not large ones but still noticeable and no matter how many retries I do it ends up like this.

After jerking around with this all day I am coming to the conclusion that I am going to have to live with some of this. Each retry to get one thing better results in something else just a little off. The construction guide I have as well as my father in-law insist that construction framing is going to have these flaws because of lumber and skill levels etc. Everything is level, straight and very solid. I am using Simpson H1 ties to attach the rafters to the top plate and the joist are nailed to the rafters.

My question is after the roof is completely framed it is ridiculous to then go around with a product such as liquid nails and fill in any small gaps where the rafters are toe nailed to the ridge pole and the birds mouth notch meets the top plate and is a little wavy? I know it may not be necessary but is it OK to do just because you want to. I am thinking of leaving the rafters open and if I do I also want a nice clean look so this is one excuse?
Jun 17, 2013, 03:04 PM
The only reason to fill these minor voids would be for looks. Not going to make any difference for strength.

While you would think that making rafters would be easy, it's more difficult than most think. A sure sign of a pro when you have perfect cuts with no gaps. At least it wasn't a hip roof!

If your structure was square, then you will make all your rafters exactly the same. Any dips i the ridge beam will even out as the rafters are installed.

Jun 17, 2013, 04:38 PM

Well (sheepishly smiling at my ineptitude) The first 4 are not exactly the same (about a 3/8" difference) between the right/left sides so I am thinking of just ripping them out and starting fresh.

I started out putting in 4 sets in the middle just past the spice, the reasoning was to add support here as I was using a 10' 2x4 to stop sag on 25' ridge pole and keep it perfectly level. The slight twist was more pronounced just past this spice. My ridge pole is dead on center on each end but in the center I had about 3/8ths between the sides on these 4 sets (8 rafters) I was face nailing with 3 10d on one side and toe nailing the second with 2 on each side. To compound my errors I was intending pulling up the rafters snug on the notch to the top sill but after nailing the ridge pole and then going to the top sill to install H1 brackets the notches were seldom snug and 2 of the 8 had as much of a 1/2 gap which of course brings into question the 3/8" difference in length.

I think I just got frustrated and made a mess of the work as I was getting frustrated with getting so little done this weekend that I was just trying to convince myself that since this is solid that its fine. I am starting on each end 10" in from the gable for first rafter so I will do as you say and find the right measurement for both sides to be the same (my building is perfectly square) and work my way in and rip these out when I need the give.

Wish I hadn't nailed the thing up so firmly with the H1 ties as those connector nails are a hell pulling out.

Thanks for the input!
Jun 17, 2013, 07:25 PM
Another framing tip: Install each end set of rafters then use a string line on center to help gauge when the ridge beam is exactly where it needs to be.

Jun 18, 2013, 10:21 AM
Fantastic tip, thanks!