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How could/would you do this?


Alpo
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This is from a fiction, but it got me to wonder.

 

They have the ridgepole from the old barn. It's forty feet long. Twenty inches square. 180 years old. They plan to use it as the ridgepole in the house they're building.

 

It is heart pine. The statement is made that it is so hard they could not drive a nail into it.

 

So how do you attach the rafters?

 

I assume that you could drill holes into it. Would it work to drill slightly undersized holes for the nails, and driving the nails into the undersized holes would give it the grip needed? If it's too hard to nail, would that work? Still with the drilling the holes, but instead of driving nails into the holes use screws? If it's too hard to nail, would it be too hard for the screw threads to bite?

 

Maybe that would just be a surface hardening from age, and once you have drilled through the surface you could easily screw into the wood below?

 

 

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You know when you hit a knot in that old pine whether it's driving a nail, running a drill or cutting it with a saw. 

 

It's also a quick way to ruin a perfectly good drill bit or circular saw blade.  Those nails ring like a bell and just refuse to move.

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51 minutes ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

Or use truss ties/plates. 

Most definitely use hurricane anchors. They're in Louisiana in the story. But you still have to attach the hurricane anchors to the ridgepole.

 

53 minutes ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

Have worked with ipe

For anyone else that read that and thought HUH???

 

https://www.wood-database.com/ipe/

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Around here you run into a lot of houses and barns made with 'native' timber. That means oak and hickory milled on site in the 1800's. Predrill every nail and screw. They won't budge.

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13 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

No different than reusing oak limber from an old barn or cured bois d'arc. Pre-drill all the holes

What he said…only measure twice, drill once. 
 

As @Michigan Slim mentioned, old homes built with native timber. My dad got a contract to dismantle an old log cabin that was built in the very early 1800’s. He was then to use a bunch of the logs to frame a home. He used heavy brackets similar to those hurricane brackets above and drilled holes to use lag screws to join logs for the walls and rafters. 
The owner was not impressed where my dad and his crew mis-measured and there were some exposed holes that needed filling and blending to appear natural. 
 

That would was hard! That was the only job my dad did like this one. It took way longer than anticipated and he lost money on it. 

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3 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

What he said…only measure twice, drill once. 
 

As @Michigan Slim mentioned, old homes built with native timber. My dad got a contract to dismantle an old log cabin that was built in the very early 1800’s. He was then to use a bunch of the logs to frame a home. He used heavy brackets similar to those hurricane brackets above and drilled holes to use lag screws to join logs for the walls and rafters. 
The owner was not impressed where my dad and his crew mis-measured and there were some exposed holes that needed filling and blending to appear natural. 
 

That would was hard! That was the only job my dad did like this one. It took way longer than anticipated and he lost money on it. 

Worked with a guy who would use unnecessary plates to cover misdrilled holes so the owners wouldn't know.

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