Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A-Frame Construction Part II: Framing

Today I finished the construction of the two halves of the A-frame.  Here are the basic instructions:

1.  Lay out two 9' 2x4s parallel to each other, and place four of the 33" cross beams (2x3's for me) between the 2x4s.

2.  Measure out the right spots for the cross beams.  One should be at the very end (this will be the top), one should be under the seam of the plywood (12" from the other end of the 2x4s), and the other two should be evenly spread between those two.

3.  Screw in the two three pieces that aren't at an end.  Or, if you're using 2x4s instead of 2x3s, screw all four cross beams in.  Make sure they're flush with the 9' pieces so the ply will lay flat on top of the frame you're constructing.

4.  If you're using 2x3 like me, flip the frame over and screw in the top piece.  It will be flush with the opposite side of the 2x4 from the other three support pieces.  I really recommend having a 2x4 for this top cross bar.  I found a 1" stake that I have wedged in the gap of mine so the plywood has support.  Just using a 2x4 would be much easier.

5.  Flip the frame back over if necessary, so you have the crossbeams flush with the side supports, all facing up.  Then screw the plywood onto the frame.

6.  Cut the moulding to 36" lengths.

7.  Measure out the spots for the moulding.  I wanted one moulding strip across the seam of the plywood, and then I did every 15" from there on up.  I haven't actually checked what the specs are for the venues about how far apart these should be--I just eyeballed it.  If you want it exact, I'm sure you could find out what they do (it might be every foot, needing 8 strips per side?).

8.  Glue the moulding to the plywood.

9.  PRE-DRILL the moulding holes (one on each side).  I thought I could just tack them down with a nail, but they were brittle and cracked.  When I pre-drilled, I never had a problem.

10.  Tack down the moulding strips.  Screws are probably better, but I just used nails.

Pretty good, eh?  It's not conceptually difficult, but I definitely did come across some challenges with the cracks in the moulding and warped boards elsewhere.  In the end, though, things came together pretty well.  I haven't put the hinges on yet, but that shouldn't be too hard.

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