Sunday, June 9, 2024

Fixin' The Deck Part 12

After a busy week at work, I found myself back out on the deck. I was on my own this time because Amy Sheep was away in Nashville and Samuel Sheep is yet to return from the 108th running of the INDY 500.

I started off by securing the ends of the boards. We could have done this when they were installed, but we ran out of appropriate screws. It was actually easier to do it this way. The screws need to go through the "open" sections of the deck boards - you don't want to hit a "rib."  I made some marks on a scrap piece of deck board which indicate the center of each cavity:

These marks, and two more which align with the gaps between the boards, were transferred to a small piece of 1/4 inch plywood...

With the plywood template I can set four (4) screws per board in the exact places where I want them. I found the template worked best when it could be rested against partially installed screws because it could not slide as much. A design improvement would be to make the temple 2 boards/8 screws wide and move it along every four screws.

I ended up setting batches of screws and then deploying them. The screws are set about an inch back from the perimeter of the deck, so the photo below shows that there is a significant overhang to the boards.

After all the screws were installed, I snapped a second chalk line and then trimmed off the excess deck boards. Which gives the nice straight edge you can see below. I still plan to cut probably two (2) more inches off the deck, but I am waiting until after the facia boards and gutters are installed. 

All of which leaves this one section of the structure to deal with: 

The 3-ply rim joist is still an inch or so higher than would be ideal, so I started with that. The blackened area is where the post was located. I was planning to cut out the damaged material and patch it, but I decided not to because it was very solid....just a bit discolored. 

The area below the next post was too badly damaged to ignore:

This is after all the damaged material has been cut out and patched and the rim joist has been sistered with new timber:

Continued installing plywood in the area above the table saw room:  

Covered in case of rain. We have a few family events coming up so it will be a while before I can work on this some more...

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Fixin' The Deck Part 11

It's Memorial Day weekend, and that means a few different things. It means the INDY 500, this time the 108th running, and the Monaco grand prix for the 70th time. It's somewhat surprising to find that the INDY 500 is so much older. For me it means three days off work and the chance to bring the deck renovation a bit closer to its conclusion. When I say "conclusion" I mean be done with installing deck boards. After that there is a bunch more to do including installing fascia boards, gutters and downspouts, perimeter flashings and of course a perimeter railing. But let's not get ahead of ourselves...

This is the scene at the start of the long weekend. It looks like just a small section of deck left to complete but it's worth pointing out that at least a dozen boards in the foreground are just laid in place and not sloped at all.

I began by tearing off the top layer of plywood and removing the nails. The remaining section of plywood is low enough that the deck boards could be installed on top with suitable shims....but it is stained all over and rotten in places, so I started tearing that off too.

One (1) piece out! I can now see straight into the table saw room. With a ladder underneath the hole, I was able to get in and out of the workshop much more quickly every time I needed to get another tool or saw blade etc.

This is the bit of plywood that was right above the table saw room. The white patches are fungus damage that I have been watching grow for the last several years...

D came out to help....but didn't...

Next section off... at this point the substructure started to get very wobbly! There are a several reasons for the lack of support: these joists are sawn 2" x 10"s while the newer ones are 2" x 12" and consist of much more robust Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL). Add to that the older joists are spaced at 16" intervals versus 12" at the LVL and that no blocking was present. Suffice to say, the structure was not strong enough to support some deck boards which are held down with a few short screws. 

So, after an evening detour to the local Big Box store to pick up 2" x 10" lumber, I spent most of the next morning chopping and installing blocking from below. It is much easier to install the blocking flush when the plywood above is still in place:

After that the rest of the plywood was torn off and the structure was found to be rigid enough for me to dance around on top of it (if you can imagine what that might look like?). 

This is later after non-rotten/stained plywood has been installed over the framing. This is now a super solid base on which we can lay the deck boards:

It remains necessary to install shims on top of the plywood because the plywood platform is essentially level and we want the deck boards to slope at least 1/8" per foot.

An important milestone was needing to bring more boards out of the garage...

At the end of the weekend, we have about a dozen more boards to install before this part of the project can be completed. Before that I have to do some repairs to the rim joist.

Covered the exposed areas with plywood for now, just in case it should rain again before Fall:

The deck looks much more impressive after I swept it down and looked in the opposite direction:

To be continued...

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Fixin' The Deck Part 10

Last time around we spent the best part of four days re-sloping and re-installing deck boards more or less from the double doors out to the apex. The next Saturday, we had a massive unseasonal downpour, which meant we couldn't work on the deck....and at the same time we discovered that the deck boards still do not drain correctly:

From studying the areas where the water was ponding, I discovered that the deck boards curl upwards after the last attachment point. So, the next day, after the weather cleared up, I went out and cut off the excess sections. I cut the edge a couple of inches longer than what I think the final measurement will be; this gives me some wiggle room when I'm installing the gutters.

A quick test with the hose pipe showed there was a lot of improvement, but still not quite there:

To completely remove the "curling effect," I need to make an attachment point closer to the ends of the boards. The next photo shows the view from underneath and was taken the following weekend. In the absence of the fascia board, most of the boards overhang the house by almost a foot. 

I could hang the fascia board next and screw the deck boards into that...but the fascia will only be 3/4" thick. I need something a bit "meatier" to really anchor the deck boards and prevent them from curling upwards. The solution is to install 2" x 4" blocking between each pair of rafter tails. I used treated lumber for the blocks because I don't have to paint them, and I have a bunch of scrap pieces knocking about from the original deck.

This is later on after blocking was installed at the way along the edge of the deck that overhangs the left side of the garage:

I installed four (4) deck screws into each board, all of which hit the blocking or the rafter tails:

This is later after hosing down the deck again....No standing water!

The next day the sun was still shining so we got back to installing more deck boards. The three-ply rim joist needed a little bit more adjustment:

By the end of the day, we had put down six full boards after the corner of the office:

It looks a bit more impressive if you look the other way and count back from the apex (13 boards):

The last few boards were just dropped in place for now:

This is the last bit of the original roof, probably less than a quarter of the total area:

The next day happened to be somewhat cloudy....and I had the whole afternoon off work. I decided it was high time to remove the rest of the roof covering - I need to assess the damage in this area and make repairs before we can install many more deck boards. I started by removing the last bits of the enclosures and the gates and post sleeves, and then I move these items to the backyard.

I was particularly keen to see below this soft spot which happens to be located above the cabinet saw room...this area has been leaking all the time we've lived here...

As expected....lots of moisture-related damage around the posts:

Some close-ups of the rotten plywood:

The top step of the stairs and the stringers were installed over the roofing material, so they had to be removed:

I ended up removing all the treads and risers and both outside stringers since I will be building new stairs later. After that I pulled off the fascia boards and the plywood behind them. Here is a look at the bits which need the most repair work:

To be continued....

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Dining Room Cabinets & Bookcase Part 7

Back to the cabinet....back! I'm making the back panel from three separate pieces of plywood. The central strip is 42" wide, and the pieces at the sides are about twelve inches each. This is with the first piece fitted:

With the central piece added:

All done:

The three back panel sections will be joined with biscuits - this is not really necessary from a strength perspective, but helps with alignment and also helps with my reputation for over-engineering at every  opportunity. I can put a piece of tape across the join, and mark where I want to put biscuits:

The tape can be cut by sliding a razor blade between the plywood panels:

...and biscuit slots can be cut accurately at both panels:

Similar methodology was used to cut slots in the central section of the back panel..

...and at the bookcase:

This was one of the more difficult glue ups. The next couple of pictures were taken the following day:

There is a lot of fine glue residue inside the bookcase which needs to be sanded off, but otherwise it is looking in very good nick.