Compound Radial Wedges

When you are trying to assemble an octadecagon; one that is big and heavy, and on a tight and pressured schedule, then you need every edge you can get. Connections that tolerate movement during assembly, while being able to provide clamping that pulls the structure into position are such a tool. The upper ends of lower radial rafters at the Sugarbush Base Lodge are under tension, generated by the long struts down to the doubled posts. We wanted to be able to tip the inner ring of post outward during assembly, so the joint between the rafter and posts had to be able to handle some sliding. Both the posts and the rafter were dadoed, anyway, so we just extended the dado on the rafters inward. This allowed the posts to tip out, while providing a bit of safety against their tipping TOO far out – as in falling over. When the rings were complete, we drove matched sets of compound wedges between the paired posts and the penetrating rafters. When the wedges were drawn up tight, the dadoes were bearing on the outer faces and we knew the hoop was closed.

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