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Setting timbers

3894 Views 23 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  muskoka guy
Does anyone have experience setting timber frame houses? We will be building some houses with partial timber frames and i am trying to imagine the best ways to set them. Specifically setting the rafters safely. I'm just not sure how t rig the straps without them sliding down. ( I'm sure i can figure it out, i just thought I'd ask)
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Going to use a rope rigging? Call OSHA first.

Do like I (the professional rigger ) say, and choke it.
That's what I thought, "doesn't timber hitch mean with a rope? A rope for lifting rafters? :eek:"

You need straps rated to carry the load. I usually choke and bend over some 16d nails to keep them from sliding. You can use a block of wood too if you think the nails aren't enough. A rope with a timber hitch will work good as a tag line though.

This sounds dangerous if you have to ask these questions. Not harping on you but maybe you should find someone with experience to help you with this. Rigging is usually pretty simple but a minor mistake can lead to a huge accident. A hard hat won't help someone if a beam comes flying on top of them.
SAcarpenter said:
Really!? "This sounds dangerous if you have to ask these questions" seriously? I post this to ask one question and you jump on me? I thought this site was for asking questions and sharing info between contractors. Look at my history, i'm plenty qualified. I just thought maybe a site full of contractors might have some helpful solutions
I'm not seeing your history, how much rigging experience do you have? I am sharing info, my info is to work with someone experienced in the type of rigging you are doing.
I apologize for my rudeness before. It has been a week from hell and I was just crabby. I do appreciate your concern and input. I have been lifting and setting walls, beams trusses and just about anything else on a residential site for fifteen years. Everything except post and beam rafters. I even have a "Qualified Rigging Person" certificate. We all know that those certifications don't mean you automatically know everything though. As far as working with someone more experienced than me, we might tour a current site of the builder where i could pick up some pointers. Thats as good as its gonna get.

In the end, I'll figure out a way to raise them safely. Thats if the rafters are still part of the plan by the time we start!
Not a problem, I'm certified as well. Maybe you do have the experience but I wasn't sure when I got the impression you were thinking of lifting them with a rope. Don't use a rope! use straps.

If it was me building this I probably wouldn't set them with a boom truck or forklift. I would set up some planks and muscle them up. Because you're talking rafters not trusses right? Seems like a lot of fooling around rigging up one at a time and trying to control it with a boom truck. If you really want to set them with equipment then I would use a spreader bar. And call the manufacturer of the bar to ask them if there's a safe way to hoist your rafters at an angle. But my guess is they'll tell you not to do it. If you've ever lost a beam being lifted or seen it happen, it doesn't take much tilt before the thing goes flying out.
Anti-wingnut said:
I've been a qualified rigger before there were qualified riggers. The company that makes spreaders shouldn't give you an answer, because there is no way for them to know. In fact, I don't see why you would need a spreader for a rafter or a truss. You could girth the rafter in two places with a hitch similar to a prusik, and then render the slings with a come-along until it was at any angle needed, with no danger of the slings slipping out.
Be careful with that, if you recall the Kingdome incident where people got killed erecting a scaffold. The first citation L&I wrote up was failure to contact the manufacturer before attempting the lift. It's clear in their instructions to contact them first. And one of the rules in our state is, follow manufacturers instructions. If they did call the manufacturer they would have said, don't do it. I see what you mean with your idea but in my opinion spreaders are safer, less movement.
I disagree with you, but you can think that. Btw, the guy that actually wrote them the fine is the one that explained the Kingdome incident to me.
Bearded Wonder said:
Yeah, sliding is bad. I've been sitting on a ridge beam about 30' up a couple times when a log rafter slid out of the strap, and that level of excitement is more than I care for. We got to putting a couple frame nails above the strap to keep them from sliding.
I've been in that position too. That excitement makes you learn really quick, you become very opinionated quick too as to how it needs to be done if you're going to be anywhere near someone doing a lift.
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