Deck Remodel – Sunday (day 20)

Posted by admin on October 17, 2010

We’re back at it again.  I don’t think I will have the construction done by next weekend, but that would be my preference as the weather feels too nice to be working. Staining and painting probably won’t actually happen until spring so that the wood dries out sufficiently and fades just a little bit (and gets rid of some of the greenish cast).

I did get the half posts installed against the house so I could start on the railing.  I countersunk a 7/8″ hole and drilled through the rest of the way with a regular 3/8″ bit then a 3/8″ masonry bit into the mortar for some “redwing” brand anchors.  I really like the anchors. They seem to work really well.

Ripping the 6x6 down the middle was a little more work than I thought it would be. I initially tried to re-saw it with the bandsaw, but the cut wanted to wander pretty bad. We ended up scoring a pretty deep groove with the table saw first on both sides and then finish it up with the bandsaw.

I spent a lot of time and tried to use online calculators to figure out the best method for spacing the balusters.

Look closely and you can see all the markings and re-markings on the 2x4 rail. My trusty 12 year old Dewalt drill hasn't let me down yet!

I didn’t like the 4″ gap between the balusters (maximum spacing that code allows) so I ended up going 3.25″ apart.   The online calculators are great and all but it takes way too long to mark down all the lines for the spacing and measuring each one with a tape measure was not going to save time and things seemed to creep off by the end.  I changed my plan and started using a pair of dividers which were amazingly fast and very accurate.

Dividers, where have you been all my life! You sure do work great!

Jenny helped me cut balusters this afternoon.  I had the miter saw set up with a stop block to cut them to length and then adjusted it in order to make all the bevel cuts. I think she did a pretty good job.

Cutting the bevel with the chop saw.

There is a little bit of danger involved with this saw.  I can tell you from experience.  The next picture is a close-up of one of the bevels getting cut.  You can see where there is potential for the little piece to fly off after being cut right at the end.  Luckily, I don’t think all but a few got shot out of the back of the saw.

The little cut off piece likes to take flight if the saw blade is still spinning after the cut and brought back up out of the orange guard.

The sun was out all day.  It was extremely nice out but I think I got a little too much sun and lost a bit of water because it didn’t feel so hot.

Here's the first railing on the south side of the deck. A 2x6 top hand rail will be screwed down into the posts as well as the top baluster rail. It's pretty solid right now, but when the top rail is in place I don't think anything will be able to knock it free.

So much for the weekend!

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