Roof Building Manual
Published by Pinedale Press, Caloundra, QLD
As reviewed in House & HOME Issue 46
Traditional stick-built roof framing has been largely replaced by the use of pre-fab trusses, but there are still situations where it is appropriate, such as smaller buildings (garages, sheds and the like), cathedral ceilings in houses, unusual house designs where prefab loses its economic advantage, and renovations where stick-built is the easier method to work.
If you can build a wall frame, you can probably pitch a roof, if you know the correct angles! Many carpenters use The Roof Builders Manual as their guide. Originally published in 1988, its usefulness is proven by the fact that it has been reprinted seven times and has just recently been released as a Second Edition. The book is aimed particularly at carpenter apprentices and presents the often complex maths and trigonometry involved in the most straightforward manner possible - simple charts. Half the book consists of charts which provide the angles for the hip plumb cut, purlin face cut, rafter plumb cut, purlin edge cut, hip edge cut, jack rafter edge cut, rafter seat cut and the hip seat cut - for every angle roof pitch from 5-75 degrees.
Using the tables, the length of the rafters and hips can be calculated through a series of simple additions rather than resorting to trigonometry. The bevel diagrams are designed so that the builder can set the angle of the part by laying a sliding bevel face onto the edge of the book and aligning the blade with the line provided for the angle.
The manual provides explanations of the most common roof styles, such as gable, skillion and lean-to, dual pitched, unequal pitch gable, Jerkinhead, dutch gable, hip, and hip and valley roofs. A large composite diagram of a roof lists all the common roofing members and shows clearly where they fit.
Perhaps most importantly, the book demonstrates good work practice by explaining how to draw up a diagram with all the roof elements in place, and how to prepare a cutting list so that parts can be made in order and marked off as they are done. This will reduce confusion and increase productivity in every roof carpenter, not just apprentices.
Combine all of the above with a definitive explanation of how to mark out top plates, ridges and rafters, as well as cutting the parts and erecting the roof itself - and you get the ultimate guide for Australian roof building.
Illustrations: Black & White
Units of Measurement: Metric
out the Top PIates & Ridge
Lengths & BeveIs