Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Deck Repair Adventure

I was not going to repair the deck before the planned big trip departure, but as that is delayed, I needed to get started.

I have a large ground level deck that surrounds my pool. It's about 20 years old now and some of the boards need replacement. It has a curved edge and the vertical boards were not done in the best way back then. You will see I have a better way now.

Dianne was worried someone would cut their feet on the rotted wood like this bit below. It does show the way I made the top and vertical pieces fit. 45 degree mitres and nails. Not really a secure way to join the two pieces.

Here's another example of the state of the occasional board. All like this have to be replaced.

I used / am still using a lot of tools for this job. Here is a chop saw and a set of persuaders.

A couple of useful tools. The one on the left is called a Cat's Paw. Generally, it is used on finer work, but I use it a lot.

My old drill has batteries that won't hold a charge. So, I now have a new drill and it's companion impact driver. Rigid is the only company that warranties the batteries too! But, you have to buy it from Home Depot.

These wooden steps at the base of the patio doors had to be moved. They are so heavy, I should have had a helper.

Some of the vertical pieces are in custom widths. So, how am I going to do a better job this time?

I'm going to use dowels. 30+ years ago, I bought the yellow dowelling jig shown below. You can see the first attempt in progress.

Custom width needed? Dowel two pieces together. This has the advantage of keeping the fancy rounded edges too!

The jig makes it easy to drill perfectly in the centre of a piece and to match up two pieces.

So, here is the old board removed...

And, the nice new board and vertical edge in place. Now I need to repeat this about a couple dozen times, on the house side alone.

Because the deck edge curves to match the curve of the pool, I have to mark each horizontal board and cut it at an angle. The length across the angle is longer than the width of one board, so that is why I have to make custom vertical boards. I cheated a bit on the original build but am going to do it right this time.

I am using some spacers on the concrete pool apron to ensure a proper vertical length and an equal space at the bottom of each vertical board.

And, this is the pile of old screws and nails I have pulled so far.

Most of this requires lying on the deck, using something that looks like a dental pick to clear the Robertson / Square Drive socket on the head of each screw and then trying to unscrew the fastener. If the wood is rotted at all, the screw just rotates in place. Then, I have to chisel wood near the screw head and use Vise Grip pliers to back out the screw. Did I just name another three tools?

One tool I used for this blog post is my Nikkor 105mm Macro lens. It's a bit long but a great lens.

OK, that's what I have been up to and will be up to for a while. Then, maybe I will be off on my big Western bike ride.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Great Rotate And Other Stuff

Recently, I mentioned Dianne got a new Apple Air. Well, the computer + extended warranty + training was just the fiirst of the expenses. She has a sore right neck, arm, and wrist so she needs a good desk. She prefers an angled desk, with left and right arm support so we went to Ikea and bought a great desk for her. It took a bit to assemble, but it worked out great.

Above, you can see the item as it was assembled. The IKEA quality is really good. The desk surface is very good. All the metal work is excellent. Welds are invisible. Paint looks like powder coat. Clean metal, not greasy. Fasteners are bright metal. Alignment is perfect. We assembled all as shown so a simple rotate around the nearest edge will result in the final alignment in the room. Joe, our next door neighbor helped with the "Great Rotate". Then, Dianne added some stuff to get this result:

So, there we are with her new desk and her new Apple Air on it. She also has the Apple touchpad next to it since it is kinder to her right arm. That is also why the right area of the desk is wider - it is easier for her arm and her sight.

Also, in other news....

The Latest Bathroom Reno

When Bob last visited, he stayed in the guest room with the old, original ensuite. Previous posts showed the reno of that bathroom. Now, when Bob returns, he can of course use that ensuite, but if he choses to use the "Main Bathroom" at the top of the stairs from the main floor, he can use the latest reno:

By the way, the addition of these few photos took about an hour. Probably my fault, but the process of adding photos is not easy, at least for me on my PC. I have a lot less problems using Blogsy when travelling...

Google needs to make it's Picassa programs a whole lot more intuitive, IMHO.