Pergola Rafter Tails Q&A

In some of my answers go to pergola rafter tails for the list of rafter widths.

 1) Do you have pergola rafter tails. 2 by 8"?

Answer. Go to the list. Select 8" from the list of rafter widths. And print out.

 2) Hi, I'm wondering why you chose the default widths? The rafters I'll be using are 2 by 8, 2 by 6 and 2 by 4. These sizes are standard. Will the default templates work for me?

Answer. You should have no problem with sizes 8", 6" and 4" widths. You can select and print off one at a time from the rafter width list.

 3) Need template for 2x6" and 2x10".

Answer. 10" is now on the list.

 4) Hi, I have 7.5" there a template for that size?

Answer. 7.5" has been added. Check the Pergola Width list.

 5) Hello and thank you. I have a 10" Width that I am seeking a template for. Can you assist? Thanks, Tom

Answer. Hi Tom

The 10" template is new and I have added it to the list.

Enlarging a Pergola Rafter Tail
To Make it Bigger

 6) My handyman instructed me to look for a template for 2 x 6 and 2 X 12 rafters. I am thinking the 6" width will work for one but I must modify it in order to get it also on the 12 inch rafter. Any help will be appreciated, and I will just have the templates printed.

Answer. Hi Dave

The question is. How to modify a 6" width template to get a 12" width template?

Look at this enlargement example. For a 5.5" template.

It shows how you can enlarge a 5.5" template to make a 9" template. The multiplier is 9 divided by 5.5 = 1.636

(9/5.5 not 5.5 / 9 which makes the shape shrink).

You need it to get larger so multiplier must be greater than 1.

A to B is 8.5. So A to C becomes 8.5x 1.636 = 13.9

Do the same for each corner of the original pergola rafter tails shape. And for all the equally spaced points on the curve.

So to answer your specific question.

To enlarge your 6" width pergola template to 12" use the multiplier 12/6 = 2. And repeat as above for your new template.

You can place the new A in roughly the same position below the curve. The rest follows on. Good Luck.

P.S. A 12" width rafter is big so make sure you have enough paper to draw the new shape.

 7) Hi there, was looking for a template to trace out on my 2×8. Would appreciate it you could please send me a template. Thanks Bryan

Answer. I have recently added 8". Please see the new Rafter width list.

8) What are the ends of a pergola called?

Answer. They are known by several names including:

Pergola Rafter Tails

Pergola Decorative Ends

Pergola End Cuts

In my experience Pergola Rafter Tails has stronger associations with Templates you can download and print off. See Pergola Rafter Tail Templates.

What size should pergola rafters be?

Answer. They are usually 2" thick and anything from 4" to 12" in width. The most popular are 6"x 2" and 5.5"x2" depending on the size of your garden.

How long should a rafter tail be?

Answer. There are no hard and fast rules about this. As this is the more creative part of your pergola project.

With my Pergola Rafter Tail templates I allow 3x Width. So a 6" width rafter tail template will be  3x6" = 18" long. I recommend the rafter tails protrude 18" (3xwidth) from the beam position.

How do you cut the ends of a pergola?

Answer. Once you receive your template trace the shape onto cardboard or thin board. Cut around the outside of the shape using scissors or jigsaw.

You are now ready to copy this lovely shape onto the end of each rafter.

Take the first rafter. Make sure it is lying flat across two saw horses or trestles and trace the template onto the rafter end using a sharp pencil.

Cut around the shape using you jigsaw.

When you have cut your pergola rafter tails on all rafters sandpaper the edges to create a smooth finish.

To keep all the rafter tails looking tidy in a straight line:                                                                                                                                                      Mark beam position  three times the rafter width from the end of the rafter- see picture above. For example if the rafter width is 6" mark the beam position 3x6" = 18" from the end of the rafter.

Where do most responses come from?

Answer. 80% of visitors are from the US. 12% come from Canada.

The UK comes next with the rest of the World. See Maps.

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