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Why are we still cutting birdsmouths in rafters? We now have power tools that can easily rip a continuous beveled strip that can be added to the top plate to attach the rafters. Plus, we have steel connectors to ensure the attachment.
A. Mark McKenzie, an engineer in Brewster, Mass., responds: Although this alternative framing method could work in some instances, I think that the issues raised outweigh the benefits when compared with conventional (and properly executed) birdsmouth rafter cuts.