Oh golly. I can’t even figure out how this worked.
We were puzzled and while Will and I perused the hardware store for anything that might lend insight, including staff members, Jon and Asa worked on a set of ingenious diagonal brackets that gave support to the entirety of the palapas structure. Reducing the swing and twist of the structure that was ever present prior to the brackets installation.
Will and I returned with little in the way of answers regarding the roof … First the short of things and then the long of things.
With a series of dodgy podgy (if that’s a word) maneuvers we erected a seemingly unstable, but realistically rigid and supportive pitched roof line.
The crew was there and now we had to get this thing to have a roof. Easily enough there were a couple of snags. Snag one, how do we get the beams intersecting the posts to attach? Snag two, how do we get all the posts to attach to each other in the middle at the apex? Snag three, how do we do all this without a crane or scaffolding?
Finally someone – I don’t think it was me, initiated some work and we all set out doing something. We cut the ridge line piece ends to an angle and strapped them to a 4×4 that would sit at the peak of the roof. We then took Jon and put him on a ladder and had him hold the flimsy, yet very heavy structure in the air at the height we wanted it, directly at the center of the structure (a mark we had created by running twine across the diagonals and locating the intersection, basic geometry, wooo!) I then climbed the palapa sides and bent some cheap brackets to be nailed into the 4×4’s and then into the 2×4 ridge piece that was at a 45 degree angle. One bracket on each side of the beam and then to the other corner. Jon’s arms were getting tired and I was tempted to fall off every time I’d swing the hammer into the unsupported beam that seemed to simply deflected the impact rather than take it. But at last we had the two corners pinned down. The A swayed with any motion, one could say it was at a substantial unstable equilibrium and was ready to pitch over at any second. Fortunately it didn’t.
We prepared the other ridge pieces by fastening the brackets to them prior to their lift off and to our frustration we had cut right through a knot and our nails were only splitting the end of the wood to pieces. The beam would have no structure to it. We turned our attention to the other beam and erected it promptly to secure the already timid roofline. With three ridges up we could spend a little more time examining our problem and concluded we’d try the other end of the beam. We cut it and nailed in the bracket. Again we split the wood. It appeared that at any moment the bracket would simply ‘pop off.’ In the seemingly running theme of the production we took our chances and just put it up.
With all four ridge pieces nailed up and secure it seemed incredibly sturdy. I still wasn’t willing to put weight on it (though that would change with time) but I was impressed that the split end of the one pieces didn’t seem to cause any problems. With the completion of the roofline we declared the work day a success at sometime around 9 and drank beer.