The Big Y

This simply must be one of the wilder wooden splines ever conceived. Among the several challenges of any exposed valley joinery is that all the valley rafter and ridge joinery can often happen at the exact midspan of the supporting principal purlin. Just where we are trying to craft connections that fully and strongly hold the valley rafters up, the purlin has all it can do not to break even without a lot of mortising and peg holing. The two Big Valleys at the Carolina Country Club met in the middle of a twenty four foot long purlin and they really needed to be held up there, in order not to be inducing a lot of spreading at their feet. The challenge boiled down to grabbing the tops of the valleys and supporting the intervening ridge beam, while doing minimal damage to the 10x16 purlin. The Y-shaped spline, crafted from plywood, was pegged into the interior faces of the valleys, held in place with a wedge rather than pegs, and passed through the purlin above the ridge. [This is, certainly, one of those instances where a photo and drawing are worth more than another thousand words]

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