Like most framers, I learned my trade from one of the older carpenters on the crew. He was a good framer, but he was intimidated by the math required to lay out complicated roofs. Instead of calculating, we often resorted to eyeballing cuts, estimating angles, and just cutting until the pieces fit.

After several years of framing, I decided it was time to stop guessing and learn how to do the calculations. In this article, I'll show my approach to laying out an irregular Dutch gable. Though the math may look a little intimidating at first glance, it's not so bad if you break it down into individual steps.

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