New Decking, at Least
  Re: New Decking, at Least by hbmcc (About three/four yea...)
Our rainy season rolled into town on the tails of the biggest lightning storm this region has seen in years. Seeing at most 10 lightning storms a year, 440 strikes an hour and heads to 36,000 feet is noteworthy, especially while standing in line waiting for dinner at a balloon light festival. The balloons didn't have a competing chance. They ducked out early.

Our spit-and-piddle rain doesn't bother me but tends to play havoc with the tools I use. A leaky umbrella is little help. So, the deck progress will slow even more, and painting likely be delayed until next June, or July, when things dry out.
  Re: New Decking, at Least by hbmcc (About three/four yea...)
The 'Flip' is closed.

I have various block planes but always fall back to my favorite "Heinz", the Millers Falls #57 'Hybrid'. (A likely No. 47 knuckle buster switch.) It sharpens easily, stays sharp, and just performs like a dream. I was going to use it to shape the butt ends of the step boards but decided cleaning up after installing the decking would serve best.

Stripping the last 5/6 feet that served as the main staging area through the summer. Well, it shrank as new deck approached. 

Once decked, the edge band needs kerfing and be installed. Then it's fiddly stuff before closing for winter. Stain or finish will happen next summer.

There are about fifteen years of bulbs in the pot and it is overflowing with accumulated potting soil. We need to rebuild it and figure out a safer way to keep it on the deck, in the corner. It's an institution. Taller tripod-feet? Flashing and scupper?

I may add an image of the six-inch edge banding when installed, but the view will be broken. As to design and engineering the band will clean up the deck edge and conceal the open main deck ends without having wood jammed into wood.
  Re: New Decking, at Least by hbmcc (About three/four yea...)

So close to finishing this phase of decking!

After a week of rain and diversions, Monday gave me intermittent sun and showers, enough dry to provide stepping access to the back. Another day and there will be edge banding at the steps too. 

One issue grew while we watched the rain this last week. The wet boards swell up and close the gap by as much as 3/32nds. Putting down wet boards will yield a quarter-inch-plus gap when they dry. That would be great over the whole deck since I wanted quarter inch gaps to clear most of our native crud. But I couldn't jury-rig a decent expansion from the 3/16th gap in the Camo tool. And from experience, sudden changes in board spacing look weird. So I wait for dry weather and dry-ish boards to do the installation.

The bad musical score look in the blocking is my impatience showing through at this point. I avoid that blasted cross-bracing which is now redundant, and simply start nailing at the point where the blocking won't move anymore. Also, deck height is at stooping level which is a killer.
  Re: New Decking, at Least by hbmcc (About three/four yea...)
The main decking is installed! Now, it's going to be the edge banding, which for worse is started..... Rather than rain, the sun came out more often today and gave me the time to spend the whole day fiddling.

I have been lucky to close a corner with 6-inch decking. This last one should have been trimmed shy of an 8th. However, I remembered to put nails away and use the Camo screws. I keep losing smaller drill bits so dig into the Boeing Surplus "longs" that hang around longer.

Using Heinz 57 to chamfer cut ends came to a screeching halt on the first section. I broke out my pointed B&D 21-inch belt sander. Much faster. 

I have a devil of a time fixing the deck ends for a quarter to 3/8ths gap before the edge band. At the steps it's a half-inch and more. Stops for the edging need to be revised. The sticks I use keep getting stuck. There is also a hokey setup for cutting in the drip kerf. A circular saw is not cooperating. I hate using my RAS in rip mode but may need to resort to it.


Clear finishes are not our favorite. The last stain was Cape Cod Grey and turned out white. Solid color is never a choice. So the winter will be spent hunting for a suitable deck finish.... If not liked, this won't be the first time I sanded off an unsatisfactory finish.

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