timber frame rafters


Common Rafters/Principal Rafter: Closely and regularly spaced inclined timbers that support the roof covering. Independent of the bent system.


Double Rafters: Principal rafters stacked one above the other, usually in a king post truss, intended to share compressive loads.  The upper rafter, terminating at the eaves, supports purlins and maintains the roof plane.  The lower rafter, seated inboard of the end of the tie beam, obtains security against decay.


Hip Rafter: In a roof frame, the rafter that follows the line of the hip, typically backed to follow the slopes of the adjacent roofs.


Jack Rafter: Roof framing member that lies in the common pitch and terminates at the hip or valley rafter. In a valley system, the jack runs from the ridge down to the valley; in a hip system, it runs from the eaves up to the hip.  In general, any rafter shortened from its full run between ridge and plate is called a jack.

Principal Rafters: A pair of inclined timbers that are framed into a bent.


Rafter: In a roof frame, any inclined member spanning any part of the distance from eaves to peak.

Rafter Feet: The lower ends of the rafters that are framed into the plate or tie beam.

Rafter Heel: Inboard end of a rafter foot (birdsmouth).

Rafter Peak: The point where the tops of the rafters meet.

Rafter Run: Horizontal distance covered by pitched rafter.


Remember to visit the rafter end detail section.


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