Taking Boards To The Fascia

When the Fascia and the Soffit were first mentioned to us interns a couple of weeks ago, I thought: “Great! I love Muppets.”

We’ll, I was wrong, but that is okay because fascia ( the long flat surface of visible wood covering the ends of rafters) and soffet (the exposed underside surface of an overhanging eave) are just as fun.

So we’ve got our trusses right? And they extend  28 and 1/8 inches beyond the top plates on our beams to create an eave or overhang which, in addition to being a lovely architectural feature, help keeps moisture off of the exterior plaster walls of our home by both redirecting runoff (in conjunction with roofing and gutterwork) and preventatively shielding against any direct splash from those lunging heaven-sent raindrops. (Here’s where rain catchment comes into play, you Gardeners!)

So the Soffit and Fascia are a given. And, in our unique case, homeowner Andrea has requested we position the soffit boards perpendicular to the walls of the home, which is a lovely idea, affording a pleasant visual roll of short plank boards radiating out from the straw bale like rays of light. Additionally, it affords us an opportunity to design a new-to-CR way to affix our horizontal soffit to our vertical fascia.

Here’s a nod to Doug for offering a design: a variation on the Mortise and Tenon approach, wherein the mortise is a cavity cut into a timber to receive a tenon. In our case the mortise is cut into the inward facing backside of the vertical fascia and the tenon is our running series of outward extending planks constituting our soffit.

A long haul across the table saw affixed with Dado blades creates a shallow Stub Mortise cavity in the Fascia into which is inserted the ends of each of our Soffit planks. Affix the other end of the Soffit to the blocked topboard and, Voila, a neat fit for a hidden joint. (Note to the interested: Each of our soffit boards are additionally cut in a z-pattern with opposite top and bottom notches cut out on either long side, so to create an interlocking feature between each of the individual soffit boards in addition to the notched attachment to the fascia.)

Why Mortise and Tenon? Thousands of years of woodworking has something to speak for itself in the simplicity and strength of this joint. From vessels built into the pyramids of Giza, to furniture discovered in ancient Silk Road homes across the Middle East, to Chinese architects seeking methods of construction without the use of fasteners or glue, to the very stones of Stonehenge, the Mortise and Tenon style of piecing together has been a cornerstone of solid engineering for nearly three millenia.

Move over Muppets.

Check out the mortised fascia! Soffit is on the way. (Kristen and Eric  solemnly admire the interns' ingenuity.)

Check out the mortised fascia! Soffit is on the way. (Kristen and Eric solemnly admire the interns’ ingenuity.)

Thanks Doug!

Thanks Doug!

2 Responses to “Taking Boards To The Fascia”
  1. Mark says:

    Very interesting. I like using the rain water to help my plants.
    The project must be moving along if you are closing up rafters.

  2. Lauren says:

    Yes to the mortise for the soffit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: