View Full Version : Ridge board question

12-27-2008, 04:06 PM
I was wondering if it is possible to tie two boards together to form one board for my ridgeboard with those metal splice plates that they sell for splicing two pieces of wood?

I need a ridgeboard at least 18 to 20ft long. They sell them at the hardware store in that length but it would be a pain in the butt for me. I would have to rent a 20ft trailer at the rental place because if i tried to transport that in my truck the board would bow quiet a bit. That happened with some of my 16ft floor joists. It is easier for me to transport say 10-12ft boards.

Im not an expert at this. If it helps any, my rise will be between 18 and 20 inches. I just want to make sure that a roof will or will not hold like this. I would like to start on my roof next week.


12-27-2008, 04:27 PM

You said you have a truck.
There are two other ways you can transport that length on your truck.
A} use two somethings { T posts, 2x4's ect. } lashed to front and back bumper so that they extend past the passenger side a foot or so then lash the board {on edge} to the side of the truck so that the bumpers now support the weight .
B} slide it under the truck so that it sticks out the front and back and lash to front and back bumpers { this method is dangerous ! , but has saved my butt at times. }

Otter Bob

12-27-2008, 05:17 PM
Most full size trucks are at least 18 feet long so 20 feet isn't to much of a problem . But to answer your question , yes you can put them together but I would recommend that you overlap screw and glue them. then depending on the span you should have a support post in the middle. Just those metal tie plates won't work

12-27-2008, 05:19 PM
As a side note I tend to overbuild things but with that said, I have never had a roof fall me either. My motto is better safe then sorry

12-27-2008, 06:17 PM
yeah - flatwater has it. To build a length of wood as long as two boards, you need four boards. Double the thicknesses and stagger the splices. Screw and glue to make on long, thick board. We've used this method for an edge sill to rest rafters on - works well and solid construction - even from salvaged lumber.


12-28-2008, 12:05 PM
Hi Jen
I tied together two 12 footers to make a single 24 foot ridgebeam.
I cut plywood gussets the width of the pieces then butted them together. The plywood gussets were both glued and nailed to my 2X10 ridgebeams.

I assembled the beam on the second floor, then lifted it in place with three people supporting the ends, with me in the middle. I supported the beam in three places while putting up the rafters. Those rafters in the middle right at the joint where each cut 3/4 inch shorter to compensate for the thickness of the gusset.

12-28-2008, 08:49 PM
Thank you guys for all your responses. I will have to see which works best for me and which is easier for me.

Hows the cabin coming along kawalekm?


12-29-2008, 12:52 PM
Hi Jen
Here is a picture of the ridgebeam itself. You can see the gusset at the middle of the beam. The ridgebeam was positioned with three 2X8s with C-clamps, so the position of the beam could be carefully adjusted till it was exactly plumb.
Here is a pic of the completed roof. It has proved itself to be very sturdy, having gone through wind storms that uprooted 24" diameter oak trees within a few yards of the cabin. Good luck with your cabin,

12-29-2008, 06:06 PM
My ridge board is 32 feet long and I just spliced two 2"x10" chunks together like kawalekm did, only I used an additional 2"x10" instead of plywood.

12-30-2008, 09:08 PM

Thank your for the pics. The roof, cabin...all of it looks great and so professional. Very nice job!!


12-31-2008, 09:53 AM
This idea may not do what you want, but you could always build simply trusses out of 2x4s. If I remember correctly your building is not so wide that a simple truss would not work.
Coming from someone who works alone mostly, just be careful out there.


02-08-2009, 03:36 PM
If you need a 20 foot ridge beam, buy 2 - 12' boards. (2x8-10-12's ?) and and lay them out over lapped 4 feet.
Make sure the crown (The bow in the board) is both crowned eithter away or toward you.
Start a 16d nail close to one corner of the top board and and another in the top board but close to th opposite corner of the bottom board. Get the top side exactly aligned with each other and and drive the nails in tight. As if all you were doing was over lapping the boards 4 feet and the top is flush with each other.
Now take chaulk line and make a mark from the corners on the opposite sides from where the two nails are.
Get the line as close to the opposite corners of the two boards as you can and chalk it.
Now take the skill saw and make the cut. When you cut the top board you are also cutting about 3/4" deep in the bottom board. Even if you get crooked with the cut they will match each other like a glove when finished.
Pull the wedge shaped scrap off the top first and then seperate the two boards and take the nails out. I said nails because you don't want scrap laying around with a 16d nail sticking out to step on. *:)
Now you just cut the bottom piece straight up the first cut. Follow that cut and even if it isn't straight they will fit together. The saw will pretty much follow the cut anyway because the top half is already cut.. *
Fit them together where the tops and sides match and run a 8d nail in the pointed end about 4- 6 " from the point on both pieces while keeping the two lined up. Do the same on the other point of the bottm board. Then drive several 8d nails close to the end.
Then stager 16d nails as long as they sink about 50-60% their length into the bottom piece while keeping the lined up. t. Flip it over and repeat.
Worked great for me. You can add splice plates but they aren't needed. Waste of time, energy amd money. If you stop and think about it, the rafters put pressure on the ridge board. Actually the only reason for a ridge board is to keep the rafters lined up while putting the roof sheathing on. As long as the rafters from one side to the other is nailed together at the peak of the roof, after the sheathing is put on it serves no purpose.
It's only purpose is to make it easier to sheath it. But it is well worth the cost in the savings in labor.
Hope this helps some.
PS: I wish I knew how to post pictures because this is one time about 4 pictures would have told the whole story.


02-28-2009, 12:15 AM
way too complicated just butt an toenail them together,when ya sheet the roof it ties everything together,been doin this 35 years,aint lost a roof yet.....huck

03-02-2009, 12:01 AM
i agree with huck. been framing for 20 years now and even in overregulated earthquake country you can just butt the two pieces together and get away with a couple of steel straps top and bottom. as long as the rafters butt into the ridge and don't sit on top of it that is standard framing practices.