Friday, July 4, 2014

Deck Work

 Two days ago I gathered some tools together and went to help out a buddy do some work on his back deck.  He and his wife are in the redesigning stage of an ongoing process so the task at hand was repair work.  This sort of work is what my family called 'jack knife carpentry', usually it involves some recycling, some reusing and lots of improvisation. 

  This job had it all.  On the two edges of the wooden deck the deck boards had got quite rotten. My friends are trying to decide whether to have the whole deck replaced with interlocking stone but for now they just needed the rotten boards repaired so the deck was safe and sound.

  I actually got off fairly easily as David, (deck owner) did a tonne of nasty on his knees work tearing apart an unwanted section of deck and reclaiming the boards and deck screws.  All I had to do was help him fit the replacement boards and screw them down.


  First thing we did was lay down a chalk line  and cut about 20 inches off the deck board with my circular saw.  A chalk line is a tool that I only use once every couple of years is exactly the right tool for making a long straight line.  I wonder how many young people don't even know how to use a chalk line? 
   Once the boards were cut and removed, it was just a measure and cut exercise.  We did notice that the deck was not totally square when we started cutting the replacement pieces.  This is the kind of job that goes easier when there are two people working.  David took measurements, I cut the boards and then he screwed them down.  It is faster and easier if you are not bending down and up when working, or at  least is is easier for grey beards like me.  On Thursday both of us had sore backs none the less.

  I think that the quality of the final product was pretty good considering that the material cost was ZERO dollars.  

  For now it is safe to walk along the edges of the deck, it looks Okay and if in a season they decide to have it torn up and replaced they are aren't out a tonne of money.  I invested about two hours with David putting it together, I have no idea how much time he put in taking the other section of the deck apart and salvaging the wood.  Time is something retired people have, that and poor eyesight, and thinning hair, etc. etc. etc.

cheers, ianw

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