I bring you yet another construction-minded writeup. You will now be swept into the exciting world of the common truss. Note: Reading my truss writeup may help with some of the terms involved here.

The common truss is called such because it is the most common truss in a roof. It is also the most simple truss and the truss most universally recognized as a truss. I will now pretend I can do ASCII Art and draw a common truss:

                    / | \
                   /  |  \
                  /   |   \
                 /\   |   /\
                /  \  |  /  \
               /    \ | /    \
             /                 \

Is it perfect? Hell no. But you get the idea. As you can see, the common consists of equal-length top chords, the bottom chord, a kingpost up the middle, and congruent end webs. There are, of course, variations on the common theme, but this one is all we'll need to work with. One of the best things about common trusses is the uniformity of it all. An ideal roof will have tons of these (though nowadays folks are building all kinds of crazy houses with roofs that don't make sense).

The common is the granddaddy of all trusses; the original truss. Back in the day, all that was built were common trusses. Then, this sort of dark age of construction came about and people wanted strange and geometrically exciting things like vaulted cathedral ceilings.

There is nothing on this planet that is more satisfying to build than a roof full of common trusses. I am going to experience this again in about 22 hours and it makes me tingly. When you are building a series of commons, you really feel like you're doing something. This is largely a result of the repitition of the process. You repeat the same procedure over and over and you do not have to stop to take measurements or re-center everything like you very well may have to with scissor trusses or crazy junk like that. I am feeling very emotional about the common truss so I will describe the experience.

You are the table man. You've already stocked the table and set up your jig. There are huge stacks of bottom and top chords on the table to your left and right. All of the plates have been laid out. Everything is ready. You do some quick calculating. Three men working on a 26 foot truss will take about 7 minutes per truss. We have thirty to build. 210 minutes is 3 and a half hours. That means, when we're done, it's lunch time. Words can not describe the satisfaction. You know that for three and a half hours or longer, you will be working, being completely productive. You hope to God that Tony doesn't talk the whole time, though he likely will, about how many guys he killed playing Firearms last night. You will ignore him. This is your time. You are the table man, and you love the common truss.