Building the Roof

Rafter pattern

Author laid out and cut a pattern rafter out of 2x cedar stock. The rafters will slant up at a 45° angle from the corners of the cupola and meet in the center.

Trace the rafters

Next the author traces and cuts the rest of the the rafters using the pattern rafter.

Angled plumb cut

The plumb cuts on the bottom ends of the rafters receive a 45° cut in both directions to provide a nailing surface for the fascia.

Creating the swoop

To create the swooped roof, the author uses a thin batten to scribe the curve to the upper edge of each of the rafters.

Cutting the swoop

A bandsaw cuts the curve in each of the rafters.

Mounting the rafters

The rafters attach to a plywood platform and and the tops of the rafters nail together where they meet in the center of the cupola.

Sheathing layout

For the curved roof planes, author laid out triangular pieces of sheathing with curved edges.

Cutting curves

As before, a bandsaw makes the curved sheathing cuts.

Sheath the roof

The sheathing screws to the rafters to create the swooped roof planes.

Drip Edge

After installing the fascia around the perimeter of the cupola roof, author begins the roofing with drip edge along the edge of each side.

Shingle courses

The architectural-style shingles on the cupola match the house below. A 4-inch exposure looked better on the small roof; the author uses a 4-inch plywood spacer to set the shingle courses. The hips get caps and a weathervane base seals the top.

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