Just Curious... - Framing - Contractor Talk

Just Curious...

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-16-2015, 10:52 PM   #1
Pro
 
JesseCocozza's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 865
Rewards Points: 810

Just Curious...


For the guys who frame, specifically guys who have a crew who frame hip roofs with trusses. How many of your guys (crew) have the ability to calculate rafter, hip rafter, and Jack rafter lengths?

The reason I ask is because we are in the land of trusses here, so the mindset for a lot of guys is that it's a puzzle that just needs to get assembled. Unfortunately, most of the hip components that get sent out are total crap and require slight modifications in order for them to fall on layout, be plumb, and plane properly. I find that a lot of guys don't have the experience to spot these mistakes and rely on string lines and power planers to make things work, which drives me crazy.

This question stems from my frustration in not being able to find guys who have this ability. So I'm just curious if this is an unrealistic expectation of mine, or if this is a common struggle with you as well?

I mean as it stands now, I'm sending my guys home with quizzes in order to help teach them these things.
JesseCocozza is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 05-17-2015, 12:06 AM   #2
Registered User
 
TWarner's Avatar
 
Trade: Framing
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Kelowna, BC
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 12

Re: Just Curious...


I'm employed, also in the land of trusses, and feel its a perfectly reasonable expectation for you to have as an employer. I guess like most things, it takes someone to teach you, so good on you for that.

Advertisement


Last edited by TWarner; 05-17-2015 at 12:07 AM.
TWarner is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to TWarner For This Useful Post:
JesseCocozza (05-17-2015)
Old 05-17-2015, 12:47 AM   #3
Pro
 
Framer87's Avatar
 
Trade: Framing
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Alberta
Posts: 552
Rewards Points: 1,156

Re: Just Curious...


We're framing in the land of trusses and CM pro is our friend... every hip measurement comes from our own calcs, and not just how the puzzle fits. Never do we send up a block, fascia, rafters, or anything with any angle that does not fit. All figured out by the cutman with CM pro. As a matter of fact for irregular hips there is no other way. How else do you get all your cheek cuts and angles if you have an 8" and an 10" pitch for example?
Framer87 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Framer87 For This Useful Post:
JesseCocozza (05-17-2015)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-17-2015, 06:10 AM   #4
Pro
 
402joel's Avatar
 
Trade: carpenter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 148
Rewards Points: 367

Re: Just Curious...


I feel for you guys in the land of trusses, I've never lived there

Trusses used to be a rare sight around here and roof cutting was a requirement for a competent carpenter, unfortunately that has changed in recent years with the proliferation of truss and wall plants by the local lumber yards.

I've managed to be a hold out as my 2 sons and I will only frame hand cut projects, and there are still plenty of those.
__________________
NRA Life Benefactor
SAF Life
402joel is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to 402joel For This Useful Post:
JesseCocozza (05-17-2015), kiteman (05-17-2015)
Old 05-17-2015, 03:16 PM   #5
Pro
 
JesseCocozza's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 865
Rewards Points: 810

Re: Just Curious...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Framer87 View Post
We're framing in the land of trusses and CM pro is our friend... every hip measurement comes from our own calcs, and not just how the puzzle fits. Never do we send up a block, fascia, rafters, or anything with any angle that does not fit. All figured out by the cutman with CM pro. As a matter of fact for irregular hips there is no other way. How else do you get all your cheek cuts and angles if you have an 8" and an 10" pitch for example?

I am the same way, but there not many guys that have this knowledge or experience. This is kind of the whole point of my post. How in the world do some of these guys make it so long without learning how to do it properly. It's crazy.
JesseCocozza is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to JesseCocozza For This Useful Post:
Framer87 (05-18-2015)
Old 05-17-2015, 03:37 PM   #6
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 21,758
Rewards Points: 2,350

Re: Just Curious...


The same issue was around 35-40 years ago.

More time and labor is wasted on cutting roofs and stairs than anything.

Before trusses there was no option but to stack a roof. However, even in those days truly competent roof cutters were always in demand. There were any number of guys that could eventually cob a roof together. Once trusses started becoming the norm, that started the death knell for competent roof cutters. As time went by there became no one who could/wanted to teach and not many interested in learning. The pro roof cutters working today are few and far between.

Stairs are pretty much the same deal. Tremendous amounts of time and material wasted in cutting them.

So all this leads to the shortage of carpenters who have the basic knowledge to make the components of a hip truss package work.
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is offline  
Old 05-17-2015, 05:39 PM   #7
Pro
 
pappagor's Avatar
 
Trade: general contractor
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: mn mayo
Posts: 1,307
Rewards Points: 32

Re: Just Curious...


the only time i hand frame is for valley sets it is the way it is. still know how to but just can not beat the truss. one more part of the trade that is going going gone
pappagor is offline  
Old 05-17-2015, 06:46 PM   #8
Geometrist

 
Warren's Avatar
 
Trade: framing/remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 10,071
Rewards Points: 335

Re: Just Curious...


Most of the larger houses we build are about 75% truss, 25% stick. Trusses are never gonna completely replace stick, but they are very useful for larger spans and more economical. While I have never met a roof that I couldn't stick (so far!) I have also never used a CM, or any calculator on site to stick a roof. Just the way I was taught. When I started 30 years ago, nobody had a calculator on site. Doesn't make ame any better, nor any worse than a guy that does.

As far as my employees, I have two 20 year carpenters on board. Neither guy could probably take a full stick from start to finish. If they could, they would likely have moved on and started their own gig. My methods vary depending on the roof. A basic new construction, single, pitch gable would likely just be calculated on a scrap of 2x4 in less than a minute. A hip would take a couple extra steps, but still not too hard. On many remodels, the string will likely come out, as the likelihood of the existing being entirely accurate, is minimal.
__________________
I'd love to replace all the dumbness in this room but the budget is tight and the stupidity is plentiful!

Easy Gibson
Warren is offline  
Old 05-17-2015, 08:52 PM   #9
Pro
 
SAcarpenter's Avatar
 
Trade: residential/remodeling carpenter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hartford, WI
Posts: 594
Rewards Points: 938

Re: Just Curious...


I can get by, and have framed a few stick roofs that I actually was impressed I did so well on, but by no means could I figure or frame stick roofs as efficiently as guys who do it all the time
__________________
You can rest when you're dead
SAcarpenter is offline  
Old 05-18-2015, 04:53 PM   #10
Pro
 
muskoka guy's Avatar
 
Trade: framer/builder
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Muskoka Ontario
Posts: 534
Rewards Points: 558

Re: Just Curious...


Teach them to be one with a straight edge, its a framers best friend. That's what I teach my employees. Why wait for me to come around. First thing I am going to do is grab a straight edge and throw it on what every they are working on. If its not right, the straight edge will show it off right away.
muskoka guy is offline  
Old 05-18-2015, 08:33 PM   #11
Pro
 
JesseCocozza's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 865
Rewards Points: 810

Re: Just Curious...


Quote:
Originally Posted by muskoka guy View Post
Teach them to be one with a straight edge, its a framers best friend. That's what I teach my employees. Why wait for me to come around. First thing I am going to do is grab a straight edge and throw it on what every they are working on. If its not right, the straight edge will show it off right away.



This is kind of the problem. I get too many guys that are great at walls and subfloors. They make things nice and straight and flat, but cutting a roof of another story. Not enough guys that can sort out the cuts / angles properly without guessing.
JesseCocozza is offline  
Old 05-18-2015, 08:46 PM   #12
Pro
 
Chad McDade's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter/GC
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: East Palestine, Ohio
Posts: 566
Rewards Points: 344

Re: Just Curious...


I was lucky enough to be taught by a great roof stacker - the guy could stick a roof in his sleep. He never used a CM - just a framing square and a string. I use a CM now but I also haven't done any serious framing in years.

I think you are on the right track though - teach them. Most truss guys can't stick because they were never taught.
__________________
__________________________________________________ ____________________________________________
“When the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” - Abraham Maslow
Chad McDade is offline  
Old 05-18-2015, 08:53 PM   #13
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 21,758
Rewards Points: 2,350

Re: Just Curious...


I don't think most modern day Carpenters have a framing square, much less know how to use it.

A guys skill level used to be determined relevant to his knowledge of the use of a framing square....
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to griz For This Useful Post:
Chad McDade (05-18-2015), JAH (05-19-2015)
Old 05-18-2015, 09:15 PM   #14
Thread Reading Aficionado
 
Builders Inc.'s Avatar
 
Trade: Building Contractor
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,781
Rewards Points: 1,416

Re: Just Curious...


Framing Square yes, but not without square locks. Those things are awesome!
Builders Inc. is offline  
Old 05-18-2015, 09:16 PM   #15
Pro
 
JesseCocozza's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 865
Rewards Points: 810

Re: Just Curious...


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
I don't think most modern day Carpenters have a framing square, much less know how to use it.



A guys skill level used to be determined relevant to his knowledge of the use of a framing square....

While I appreciate that skill level, I'll take what I can get!

In all seriousness. I've done this long enough to know that each carpenter has his own way of attacking a build. I try not to get too hung up on the route they choose. I am focused on helping them to see the "triangles" in everything. If I can give them a CM and help them see the different triangles in their mind's eye, I think they'll get there. If they can figure it out faster or easier with a square, great, but I have a feeling that will come later.
JesseCocozza is offline  
Old 05-18-2015, 09:17 PM   #16
Artist and not a curator
 
Deckhead's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry,
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Posts: 7,878
Rewards Points: 14,026

Re: Just Curious...


Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseCocozza View Post
This is kind of the problem. I get too many guys that are great at walls and subfloors. They make things nice and straight and flat, but cutting a roof of another story. Not enough guys that can sort out the cuts / angles properly without guessing.
Don't sweat it. The thing you mentioned was one of the big reasons I went solo and reminded myself again recently.

For those who don't know, our area is absolutely wretched for competent carpenter's, especially if it takes any amount of skill more than, "can't drink beer till after jobsite". Keep looking, hopefully you can find someone.
__________________
[signature removed by admin]
Deckhead is online now  
Old 05-18-2015, 09:19 PM   #17
Artist and not a curator
 
Deckhead's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry,
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Posts: 7,878
Rewards Points: 14,026

Re: Just Curious...


Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseCocozza View Post
While I appreciate that skill level, I'll take what I can get!

In all seriousness. I've done this long enough to know that each carpenter has his own way of attacking a build. I try not to get too hung up on the route they choose. I am focused on helping them to see the "triangles" in everything. If I can give them a CM and help them see the different triangles in their mind's eye, I think they'll get there. If they can figure it out faster or easier with a square, great, but I have a feeling that will come later.
Just helped a guy frame a roof. He took a 5500 sq ft roof and took a week to make it not plane. It was horrible. Framing around here is for a different breed, get the market if you can.
__________________
[signature removed by admin]
Deckhead is online now  
Old 05-18-2015, 09:21 PM   #18
Pro
 
mnld's Avatar
 
Trade: drywall junky
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: central MN
Posts: 1,106
Rewards Points: 498

Re: Just Curious...


Remember when framing squares were sold with the little book that showed how to use it for hips, valleys, jacks, stairs, etc. etc. I bought one when I was 16 and read that little book so many times I think I saw it in my sleep! Not saying I ever learned to use it to its full potential though!
I have a neighbor that to this day doesn't use a speed square. I've learned a lot from that guy.
mnld is offline  
Old 05-18-2015, 09:24 PM   #19
Pro
 
JesseCocozza's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 865
Rewards Points: 810

Re: Just Curious...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckhead View Post
Just helped a guy frame a roof. He took a 5500 sq ft roof and took a week to make it not plane. It was horrible. Framing around here is for a different breed, get the market if you can.

I thought you only did decks??!! You didn't tell me you were for hire. Now I'm offended!
JesseCocozza is offline  
Old 05-18-2015, 09:26 PM   #20
Pro
 
kiteman's Avatar
 
Trade: Framer
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 2,729
Rewards Points: 16

Re: Just Curious...


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
I don't think most modern day Carpenters have a framing square, much less know how to use it.....

All they know now is a speed square, and still not all the scales on those.

Advertisement

__________________
An old framer once told me "For years I thought I was the best damn carpenter in California. Come to find out I'm just competent."
kiteman is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to kiteman For This Useful Post:
griz (05-18-2015)


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Curious how you'd design & build this pinwheel Finish Carpentry 13 02-02-2014 02:42 PM
Curious dproc Decks & Fencing 18 05-24-2013 10:21 PM
Curious Dadodeez35 General Discussion 8 01-26-2013 10:36 AM
curious about Chuck Dustyrose Off Topic (Non Trade) 18 03-17-2009 05:34 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?