Sunday, April 10, 2011

Building a Chicken Coop, Part 2

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

After the platform was finished we started on the wall framing. This is where a framing nailer really shines, as you can simply hold to parts together and bam, they are nailed. We marked the top and bottom plates for studs 16" oc. Each wall was assembled on the platform, nailed together, and raised to vertical. Two of the walls were very simple since they had no penetrations. The other two had doors to frame in so took longer and used more wood for the headers and the jack studs. I made certain the doors were going to be taller than 6 feet - most sheds have doors at exactly my height and I end up banging or scraping my head. They are both 6' 4", with one being 32" wide for the main storage entrance and the other 28" for the coop entrance. The walls of this coop are 93", much higher than a standard 8x10 shed.

As we built each wall we raised each into position and tacked them together. Once all were up I squared things up as best I could and nailed them together. Then I nailed the bottom plates to the platform. The last step was to attach a cap plate all around with joints staggered to tie all four walls together.

The roof was made from A-frame trusses with no ridge pole. I built each truss using the rafters with bird's mouth notches for the cap plate, and a single collar tie to reinforce it and prevent the roof from spreading the walls. Cutting was the most laborious part of this process; my framing nailer made short work of assembly. I definitely would want to get a miter saw if I was going to be doing this on any real scale. Once all the trusses were complete, I attached two to poles to get them on the roof, one on each side. I tacked them in place and my wife made a marking pole for the ridge to situate the other trusses and hold them in place, exactly 10 feet long with trusses 24" oc. Once I attached this to the two end trusses, we lifted each into place and after checking for plumb, I toe-nailed each truss to the cap plate.

At this point I am still working on a ladder for everything. Stick framing (as opposed to say timber framing) does not really gain any lateral stability until sheet goods are added. Consequently the structure is pretty rickety - I won't be standing on top of it or anything yet.

The roof framing could have been called done at this point, but I wanted an equal overhang on the rakes as the eaves. So this meant framing in outriggers to support it. I notched the end rafters in 8 spots total, and cut 2x4's exactly to length. In retrospect, I should have done this before erecting the roof, it would have been much quicker that cutting them up in the air with a handsaw.

Outriggers, Lookouts, Purlins, whatever you want to call them - in place. On to part 3!

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