To sister or not to sister?


Old 05-31-14, 12:03 PM
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To sister or not to sister?

I took my roofers advice and added some collar ties to my attic (he said it was like a trampoline up there). Everything went smoothly except there was one rafter in particular that I had a lot of trouble nailing into. Not sure why. After almost a dozen attempts I finally got the collar tie fastened in. My question is, after so many failed nails where driven into the rafter, should I now sister it? I removed all of the bent nails and it does not appear that that the rafter is cracked anywhere.

I should note that the house is over a hundred years old and the attic framing is all 2x4 rafters at 24" on center. I am aware that the current arrangement does not meet code.
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Old 05-31-14, 12:16 PM
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Welcome to the forums! You have old lumber, and it is better than today's lumber. You need collar ties with any roof, but I doubt it was causing the trampoline effect. It is most likely the 24" OC span and the size of the wood that was causing the bounce. That coupled with the planks used. You are right, an inspector would spit on himself if he were inspecting as new construction.

You didn't say why you had trouble nailing into the rafter. I perceive it to be heart pine and as hard as nails unless you say otherwise. You may want to post a picture or two of the rafter so we can see what you are seeing. May help.
Old 05-31-14, 04:14 PM
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In old homes I sometimes have to resort to masonry nails. Old heart pine has sent more than one regular nail from a nail gun bouncing back at me. And, on occasion I've even resorted to treating it more like steel and drill a pilot hole and use a screw.
Old 06-01-14, 03:16 AM
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Sometimes old wood gets extra hard, if I bend more than a few nails I'll usually drill pilot holes.

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