Gang-Cutting & Web Stiffeners

With the Big Foot Head Cutter (a saw table for a chain saw), the author makes 33 tail cuts in a single pass through a bundle of I-joist rafters. The whole process — including racking, lay-out, and cutting — took about 30 minutes.

Plumb cuts on I-joists can be handled with a simple plywood jig

To set up for gang-cutting, we stack joists of the same length side by side on racks we build from 2x12s braced on edge.

With the I-joists firmly supported on the racks, we can make our head cut for the ridge ...

... and tail cut for the eaves.

Plywood web stiffeners, ripped to fit between the top and bottom flanges, are always needed at the eaves to provide a flush surface for nailing eaves blocking.

If we are using hangers, in which case it is best to also install all the hangers on the I-joists while the rafters are still on the ground. That way, as the framer at the ridge installs each rafter, he just has to nail the hanger to the ridge.

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