Farm Life

Farm Life

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cabin in the Woods Part III: Ridge Pole and Rafters

          Now that our walls on our log cabin were up we began the process of preparing a ridge pole. This pole had to run the entire length of our home of 24 feet, plus extend two feet out on either end for the overhang. Looking back, I probably should have done a larger overhang, although two feet is sufficient. This massive log of 28 feet had to some how be hoisted to the top of two 24 foot beams awaiting at either end of the cabin. This ridge pole needed to bear the weight of the roof, so this explains it's massive size.
          On the evening of the ridgepole raising we had four men, and two good size boys available. My husband, my father, my brother in-law, my brother in-law's father, and my two oldest boys all took on the task. The ridgepole was first hoisted via pulleys up on top of the log walls. It was then rolled to rest against the two end beams that towered into the sky. My dad then placed a ladder upon the staging, and against the beams pointing skyward. He climbed to the top, and added an extension to the top of the beam, and then attached the pulley system to it. The same was done to the other end. The massive log was then hoisted up to rest upon the ends of the two beams. Once this was done they had to be marked, and then lifted, while my dad cut the underside of the ridgepole with the chainsaw, so that it would sit flat against the tip of the beam. All of this was done while balancing on a ladder high above the top of the cabin walls.
You can see the extensions and pulleys added here.
The pictures do not show the massive size of this ridgepole accurately!
Getting prepared for rafters.
           For the rafters, we ended up deciding on 6"x 8" beams. I really wanted a rugged look, and these would definitely look and play the part. We milled these out, and then myself, and my two oldest boys spent the summer hoisting them one by one up to the ridgepole, where my dad would pin them in place. This was labor intensive, and more than once I wondered why I decided on this size beam! When we had them all up, it was clear that the decision was a good one! They are beautiful! They are left exposed inside against tongue and groove pine boards.
4 rafters added.
Viewing rafters from north end.
Rafters all up!
Pinning rafters to ridge pole.

From here it was time for the roof. I will be sharing all about our roof raising in my next cabin post. 

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