Roundwood Open Web Joists

Parallel chord open web joists made with small diameter roundwood (click to enlarge)
Parallel chord open web joists made with small diameter roundwood (click to enlarge)

Inspired by projects such as William Castle’s house, featured on our blog yesterday, I set out to design an open web joist using small diameter poles for non-code areas. It’s not as shiny and elegant as manufactured brands, but hey, who can argue with the cost? These trusses would cost just a few dollars apiece if you have a good source of poles. In parts of the U.S., and probably other countries, the poles you would need are practically free. Small trees like this are thinned out to reduce fires and help larger trees reach marketable size. You could use scrap metal for tie plates and cut the cost in half. Barter for a can of screws and you’re talking really dirt cheap.

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Loft or Attic Trusses

We have previously discussed a number of low cost, do-it-yourself trusses and roof systems. Use the search engine above with keywords such as ‘truss’ or ‘roof’ to find older blog posts. Today’s post is about a special type of truss called loft trusses. Also called attic trusses, room-in-attic trusses and attic storage trusses, they create … Read more

Small Diameter Roundwood Trusses

There is a glut of small diameter wood in many parts of the US, both in national forests and tree farms. This resource is often wasted as it becomes fuel in massive forest fires. On tree farms, where it barely pays the bills, small diameter wood is sold cheaply to make paper. Instead of sending … Read more

Timber Trusses

This timber truss is a good truss system for small, simple structures such as cabins in non-code areas. Having trees of the right size and type nearby is an obvious plus. In many areas of the US you can legally cut trees from national forests with a low cost firewood permit. Instead of cutting the … Read more