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Tying a Roof Frame Together—With Knots

June 05, 2016

Traditional shipbuilding lives on in coastal homes

When visiting coastal areas, where maritime traditions live among the artisanal fishermen, you will see ample use of elaborate knots for tying off boats, fish nets—and roof rafters.

In the photos you see classic diagonal and square lashing neatly done. Ship-shape as it were. If you were a boy scout, you may have learned to tie some of these basic naval knots.

Much of our wood construction heritage came courtesy of ship carpenters that applied their craft to English home building. The tradition is still very strong in New England as well as here in Mexico.

We are one of the few nations that still enjoy a robust wood construction industry.

Fernando Pagés Ruiz is ProTradeCraft's Latin America Editor. He is currently building a business in Ecuador and a house in Mexico. Formerly, he was a builder in the Great Plains and mountain states. He is author of Building an Affordable House and Affordable Remodel (Taunton Press).

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