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Roof Trusses
12 November 2006

Hi-res version of truss video (8.4 MB).
Lo-res version of truss video (3.0 MB).

Walking Overhang After a long flight all the way from Missouri, my sister and her husband arrived here late on Sunday night.  I had already warned them that first thing Monday morning I would need their help putting the barn roof on, they could start their vacation after all the trusses were in place.  My friend Matt and I would walk the trusses but I needed them here to hand stuff up and help tie the trusses to the crane on the ground.  Cranes are expensive so I wanted enough help to make sure everything went as planned.

The crane got lost on the way here but once that was sorted out, everything else went smoothly.  My friend Matt had convinced me to pre-build the first three trusses on the ground.  This proved to be an excellent idea.  The crane had no trouble picking up the heavier weight and pre-building those end pieces helped ensure that everything else went on straight, fast and easy.  It also minimized the amount of time we had to spend hanging over the three story drop without any harnesses.

Once the crane left, we spent the rest of the day installing purlins, strongbacks and fascia.  The fascia was the most difficult part because the trusses are four foot apart with a four foot overhang and three stories up.  Hanging out over space like that takes some getting used to.  I have some great pump jacks that could easily reach but moving them repeatedly from place to place would take far too much time.  Climbing and reaching over the edge is the only reasonable option.  Luckily, Matt is a monkey, a very fast monkey the wields a mean nail gun.  His help installing the roof trusses was invaluable.

All that's left to do now is one more coat of paint then the roof itself.  The roof will be clear plastic so the sun can dry the coffee laid out on the deck.  Home Depot had the best deal on the roofing material but only a third of the order has arrived.  On the mainland, they could simply call a neighboring store and have the remaining pieces sent over but that's not possible here on the island.

Even without all the roofing in place, it still feels great to have the trusses in place.  There are still a million things that need to be done to the barn but the end is in sight.  It sure will be great to have a dry place to work and store all my tools.  Even better, it will be great to be able to take a break from barn construction for awhile.

Monkey Nailgun

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