It’s all in the Details

As you are aware, our mock truss went up! I (Taylor Bissert) am a part of the “Fab Four” – now you may misunderstand this to mean fabulous… but “Fab” is actually short for “Fabrication”. This term was coined at the beginning of the semester when my three other peers and I volunteered to be truss fabrication gurus.

For me and the rest of the “Fab Four”, Monday was a dream. Seeing our hard work and tireless hours go up brought a tear to my eye! Below you can see a real life photo of me (okay, of how I felt)…

If you’re unaware of the truss process, I will try to break it down in a few words – not several months like it took. WAYYY back when (September) we did LOTS of studies to get the right proportions to this thing. That included rotating, shifting, scaling, deleting, crying, etc. AND THEN finally one night we found it! What would then be our child. But little did we know the process wasn’t even close to done. Next (with a few steps in between) we went to the shop to build a half scale mock-up. We learned quite a bit about the joints and structural members and decided to try making the two lower pieces like “boomerangs”. We then made a SECOND half scale mock-up which helped us determine the extra strength in the boomerangs – so we decided to then design the full assembly with these pieces.

Fast forward a month past concrete and site work… “Fab Four” team get’s back to work! This time, building a full scale mock-up. It was decided that full scale mock-up was necessary because of the variations in the concrete piers (a story for another day). We wanted to save as much money as possible on this mock-up because we originally didn’t budget for it, so we milled down existing scraps of wood to the size we needed. This process took lots of time and involved all members of the studio. As we constructed this mock-up we created jigs to help us set angles for the real thing and to get our joinery correct – which I learned a hard lesson about teamwork during.

FINALLY, with jigs set up and learning along the way, our truss was finally assembled in shop! (Key word: In shop)… SOOOO we had to disassemble it and transport to site. Once on site, we then had to reassemble – which took WAY longer than the first assembly – but nevertheless, we learned once again, this time about order of operations when assembling. THEN the moment you’ve all been waiting for, 10 of us erected the truss into the piers, took measurements, photos, and had a few laughs while we gazed at the last months of work!


Here’s a few photo’s of the details and construction pieces: Some of these still need a little work. 

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