Blocks, Ties and Straps

Saturday and Sunday, March 29-30, 2014

This weekend, I split my work day up into two half days on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. It was raining on Saturday, so I spent most my time in the garage cutting up and preparing the bird blocking that goes at the bottom of the rafters. On Sunday, Joy and I installed the bird blocking as well as the nailing blocks between the rafters that the plywood sheets will get nailed to.

Who helped this weekend:

  • Joy
  • Sheila

Cutting the bird blocking involved running 8 foot 2×6 boards through the table saw with the blade at a 45 degree angle. The table saw scares me a bit anyway and this particular maneuver pushed both the saw to the edge of its capability and me to the edge of my comfort level. But it had to be done so I tackled it as safely as I could. Luckily everything worked out fine, leaving me with nice 8 foot strips of bird blocking that could then be cut into twelve 22 1/2″ plus four 21 3/4″ long pieces (for the ends) to be installed between each rafter.

Ripping a 2x6 at a 45 Deg Angle to Create Bird Blocking

Ripping a 2×6 at a 45 Deg Angle to Create Bird Blocking

To cut the bird blocking into pieces, I set up a jig next to my chop saw so I could easily cut up the boards to exactly the same length without having to measure each one. That part was kind of fun. I was able to cut all 16 pieces within a matter of a few minutes.

Installing Bird Blocking

Installing Bird Blocking

Also kind of fun, but perhaps about as risky as using the table saw, was getting to crawl around the rafters to install the nailing blocks. I’m getting pretty good at crawling around on top of the house. I know it’s a little bit risky being up there. However, climbing around my house also makes me feel like a kid again, which is worth it.

Installing Nailing Blockes Between Rafters

Installing Nailing Blockes Between Rafters

Next, we installed some metal straps over the top of the rafters to keep the rafters from separating from the ridge beam.

Adding Strapping to Rafters and Rdge Beam

Adding Strapping to Rafters and Rdge Beam

Once all the blocking and strapping was installed, we also installed hurricane ties at the end of each rafter. If they do their job right, these will keep the roof of my house from blowing off when I drive down the freeway at 60 mph.

Installing Hurricane Ties

Installing Hurricane Ties

Today’s Tiny Epiphanies:

  • Most table saws accept a 10 inch blade.  If you’re trying to rip any kind of 2 by (1.5″ thick) lumber, it works much better to use a 10 inch blade since that will cut all the way through the material.  I did not know this when I was creating my bird blocking, so I used the 7 1/4 inch blade that was already in Joy’s saw which was not quite long enough to cut all the way through my 2 by 6 boards

Favorite parts of the weekend:

  • My absolute favorite part of the whole weekend occurred at about 2:00 PM on Saturday. I was cleaning up the garage when I noticed that it was really pouring outside. So I stopped what I was doing, crawled up into the loft, lay on my back, closed my eyes and just listened to it rain. What a feeling!
  • My second favorite part of the weekend was watching Joy hange from the rafters of my tiny house. Joy always seems so excited about this project and every time he comes over, his excitement always rubs off on me.
Joy Having Fun on My Rafters

Joy Having Fun on My Rafters

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