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Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Posted by weedyacres (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 5, 09 at 18:45

We've launched our deck build, and will post photos and details of our play-by-play with two goals in mind: we hope that those with experience will chime in if they see us doing something wrong, and we hope to help other DIY-ers. I've benefitted a lot from reading previous posts and staring hard at photos to see fastening methods, edge shots, stain colors, etc.

We hope to get it mostly built by the end of next week, as we're both taking the week off and importing FIL to help, as well as some cheap teenage labor when needed. Estimated cost of all materials is around $13,000.

So here we go. We've spent parts of the last 4 days digging holes for the footers. Our deck is free-standing, with 3 different zones, so we've got a total of 28 stinking holes (8 due to the fact that we can't have a ledger with a brick facade).

Our holes are all 36" deep (local code requires 24") and are a mix of 12", 16" and 24" diameter. After getting 8 holes done the first day, we decided we needed help from some younger backs. So we rustled up some teenagers willing to work for $10 a hole. We used a tractor post hole auger to loosen up the dirt, then had to shovel/post hole it out to the proper depth and circumference.
digging a hole

We finished up Saturday late morning, just as it started to sprinkle. Since it's a holiday weekend, we couldn't get either inspection or concrete until Monday, so we rounded up all our tarp-like covers and covered up the holes. See the covered holes and our maze of batter boards below.
holes tarped

Alas, the rain kept going and mud started forming, so we went and bought a gigantic tarp to umbrella the whole thing. Hopefully it'll keep until Monday and the sonotubes won't have turned to mush. The rain has stopped, but it's still overcast, so we can't risk untarping it yet.
big tarp


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

great start. We are almost done ourselves with a DIY deck. The pros on here are awesome and will point out issues and make recommendations. Hope you estimate better than me. I was hoping for $13, figured $15 and spent $20 and took waaayyy longer than I thought. It grew on me... I have to keep reminding myself: its only a deck, its only a deck. A contractor friend stopped by to "supervise" early on. He gave me a rough estimate that I thought was ridiculous. After spending nights, every weekend and taking time off from work, I now understand. My bet is you will too in a week or two.

Keep the pictures coming!


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Nice start Weedster,one thing the area will dry out faster with the tarp off and some big fans from homecheppo going full blast on them. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Well, at 6am today we pulled off the big tarp and all the little tarps to survey the damage. Two of the holes right by the corner of the house had water in the bottom, which we Shop-vac'd out. The rest were dry, thankfully. The sun, breeze, and rising temperatures are drying the dirt out pretty well.

Inspector Adam showed up just before 9 and blessed our holes. We shoveled some gravel into the bottom of each and then the concrete showed up at 11. Five yards down to the last drop. Some of the forms egged out slightly (didn't pack the dirt tightly enough?), and a few were a bit off level (or maybe I didn't cut them exactly straight). But for the most part they looked good to this DIY eye.

Cost so far: $1206 for sonotubes, gravel, concrete & child labor.

Now...time for lunch!

footers


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

We've got all the post anchors and post bases in and have started on the 6x6 posts. Can someone please tell me how they cut these things? The blades on our circular saw, table saw, and two miter saws aren't big enough and HD doesn't rent anything that big either. The sawzall and chainsaw can't make straight cuts. We've settled on the least of the evils, which is twice through a table saw at max height (~3")...not too bad on a short piece, but requires 2-3 people when running an 8-footer through.
cutting 6x6


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Way to go Girl!! I use a skill worm drive, finish it off with a resepo saw. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Today's agenda:
1. Pulled off above-ground sonotube cardboard (whoever said to do it with a utility knife was smoking something. We found a pry bar worked the best.)
2. Drilled concrete and hammered in anchor bolts (fresh concrete made it easy.)
3. Attached post bases.
4. Contoured the dirt, laid down landscape fabric and covered with pea gravel.
5. Cut/placed the 9 posts that support the lower deck.
6. Cut/placed the 3 beams that support the lower deck.
7. Hung one set of joists for the lower deck (was hoping to get the other set done by the end of the day, but we lost our child labor and Mr. Weedy went to a cub scout thing so our pace slowed).

Here are some work in process photos and how it looked at the end of the day.
drilling holes
laying gravel
day 2 end

We hit two learning-curve speed bumps, with figuring out how to cut the 6x6 posts (sounds like there isn't a good option that slices it in one fell swoop) and use the fancy laser level a friend lent us.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the Bostich metal connector nailer.

All the squareness measurements are driving me crazy. We had a total of 28 batterboards, and made sure everything was square when we dug the holes, again when we marked the holes for the anchor bolts (some were off center, but we weren't too concerned because the footings are large), then when the beams were placed on the center of the posts the diagonals were still off on some. GRRRR! So we've got some beams that are not quite centered on their posts. I should have looked a little more closely at the framing plan decks.com did for us and asked him to do it all with drop beams. Then we'd just have to get the outside joist frame square and wouldn't have to worry about perfectly square beams.

Do we need to put diagonal bracing from the posts to the beams? There are only 5 spans that are more than 5 feet. Is there a rule of thumb about when you need it?


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Looks great so far.

I had a similar experience once I dug my holes. The rains come and washed my holes in . . . dug them out . . . rain. I didn't use full depth sonotubes because those things are expensive. I just used them to get the foundation out of the ground. Your way was probably easier.

It looks like you are building a free standing deck, am I correct? If so then I believe you should have diagonal bracing in both directions. I have a structural engineer friend that was adamant about diagonal bracing even if I was attaching it to the house. I probably overkilled on the bracing and braced in both direction at every post. You might be able to get away with every other bay, but hopefully some of the pros will have some thoughts.

Keep up the good work, post lots of pics, and ask lots of questions.

Riles


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

be mighty careful how your running those 6x6's through your table saw. A small bind or twist while your running it though that way is going to hurt you. Part of the learning curve you do not want to go through. Also - consider rough cutting the larger pieces with a circular saw and /or recipricating saw, then take the smaller piece through the table saw. Your asking for problems with those larger pieces cutting them that way.

steve


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Steve: Thanks for the tips on cutting. Today we sliced the beams in half first, then worked with the shorter pieces to cut down further. Since all our posts are pretty short, we didn't have much wastage that way.

Riles: Yes, it's free standing. Most of the posts are too short to put any diagonals in, but maybe we'll do them on the outside ones. What size lumber did you use to do your bracing?

OK, now for today's adventures: framing, framing and more framing. Alas, Mr. Weedy got called into work, so we rustled up two teenagers to be gofers and supplement FIL's and my efforts. We finished up the rest of the posts and beams, and then set to work on the joists. We had a well-oiled machine going: 2 cutting and 2 nailing, and we flew through the joist hangers and hurricane ties. Did I mention that I love the Bostich metal connector nailer?

The two helpers left around 4, so FIL and I started the joists on the last (upper, weird shaped) section and ran into a snag with a beam that was too high, entailing some rework. Fortunately Mr. Weedy arrived home about that time, so I turned it over to him and he cheerily implemented the fix.

We had just the 9 20-footers left to put in, but thunderstorm clouds were rolling in, so we had to quickly toss all our tools inside the sunroom and spread the gigantic tarp over what's left of the PT plus all the pergola cedar. The garapa was supposed to arrive today (deck boards from ABS Wood, railing material from East Teak) but neither did. They'll be getting calls first thing in the a.m.

Here's how it looked just before the t-storm hit. I've included a few shots so you can point out anything we need to attend to. We do still plan to add blocking to the joists.
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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

I was "encouraged" to put a waterproof material over all the lumber that was "sistered" to prevent water from sitting there and rotting the wood. That was also where my previous deck went bad first. I was anal so I also put it on top of my posts as well as it also act as a barrior between the PT and brackets. It seemed like cheap insurance. Available at HD/Lowes and local deck store. Defer to the pros to comment if I wasted my $$ or its worthwhile.

Keep the pics coming


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

As far as the cross-bracing goes I didn't realize this deck was so low to the ground. Mine was about 4' off the ground. I think I would still brack the outer posts.

Just curious how far the joists are spanning, some look like they are spanning quite far? Hopefully it isn't a problem as I am no expert.

Riles


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

I saw that too Riles, They said there was some blocking going in.

The entire aproach seems strange to me in a lot of ways. I am thinking those Folks will learn a lot on completion. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Don't worry John, I paid attention in class when you mentioned the long spans before. :-) We added a bunch of blocking today. Every inch of every joist is now no more than 5 feet from either a beam or a block. If that's not sufficient, praytell so we can fix it while it's still a skeleton.

What else seems strange? I'd like to learn before completion so we can address it.

So here are the photos of the finished framing in front of the turret as well as all the blocking.
finished framing 1
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We got a late start today because of errands we needed to run. We regretted it once the sun came over the house and started to bake us. Man, it gives me new respect for the pros who do this day after day all summer long.

I called both tardy garapa suppliers today and asked where our wood was. East Teak checked and said it would be delivered today, but I had to call the local dispatcher, who apparently hadn't gotten the message that it was promised for yesterday. They did deliver it late this afternoon. ABS said the truck broke down ("didn't they call you?") and wouldn't be fixed until tonight. So no decking yet.

Anyway, next on the list is the pergola posts and railing posts. Our cedar posts for the pergola are rough sawn (only thing available locally) and the rustic look really doesn't go with our house.
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So we rented a belt sander and used a combination of planing the 4 sides, routing the corners, and belt sanding the whole thing to smooth them out and make them look like the remainder of the dimensional cedar that we've got for the rest of it.
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Anyone got any tips for hefting, holding and attaching 6x6 10-foot posts to the framing? The plan is to have blocking on either side and use carriage bolts.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

I always pick up East Teak material on the dock that is the trucking co dosent deliver it. Saves a lot of time plus I can just work off the tandum and only move the lumber one time.
When I build a free standing structure over the deck I use.40 pt posts set in the ground with creet then wrap them in say cedar like your using after the decking is installed.
With a 2x12 frame it is possible for the joists system/made up beams to react to the sun . The biger the lumber the more movement. If you notices any big humps either on the eyeball or while streaching a string investing in a makita power planer would be a good idea.
J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Your project is looking great. I didn't mean to alarm you about the joist spans. I think the pictures skew reality because I went back and found your framing plan and it looks like you are using 2x10's (not sure if that is 24"oc or 16"oc) and your spanning 12' (the pics make them look longer). The charts I have show max. 13' for 24"oc and 15' for 16"oc. I know the pros opinions on those charts, but it looks like you are OK assuming your anticipated loads are not greater than the assumed 40psf-live, 10psf-dead.

Keep up the good work, your project is looking great!

Riles


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Today was "put up the posts" day. The 6x6'ers turned out to be a simple 2-person job once we nailed a board underneath the joists they rested against.
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Some of them were a bit of a hassle because they required drilling holes for the carriage bolts in tight quarters, so it entailed a trip to Lowe's for a flexible drill bit and some creativity. But we got 10 of the 14 up before it got too hot and we decided to quit for the day. We could have pressed on, but we're not sure when our decking is getting here, and decided we'd rather finish off in the morning. The railing posts and bench posts are cut and their places marked as well, and those will be much quicker than the pergola posts.

Our deck looks a little Stonehenge-ish right now.
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A closeup of some of the post blocking.
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We did get confirmation that our wood was loaded on the repaired truck in Atlanta at 3pm today (6 hour drive from here). They gave me the driver's name and cell phone number so I could find out his plans and ETA, but I just got his voice mail. I told him we were happy to take a 2am delivery.

We had an "it's only a deck" moment today. One of the cedar posts had a fair number of cracks down one side once we got it all planed and sanded. We debated whether to return it, and my argument was "they gave us one we wouldn't have picked ourselves" so yes. So we took it back, but of the 6 they had to replace it, 5 were worse and one still had cracks, albeit smaller ones than the one we returned. I was pushing for "let's wait until they get more in that meet our standards" and Mr. Weedy reminded me "it's only a deck. We're not building fine furniture and we can put the cracks against the house." Point taken. We swapped it for the one with small cracks.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

LOL. "It's only a deck" Pretty soon it's "only another hundred" Keep the pics coming. How are you going to cover the sides and the piers?

Steve


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck .

Oops, meant to respond to John and Riles.

John: We'll give the nailing plane a good eyeball and plane off any high spots on the joists. Great idea! I also like the idea of disguising those ugly posts with cedar.

Riles: Yes, the joists are 2x10 and the tables do indeed say 15 feet span is ok. Our deck was engineered for 55 psf total load. But those things were awfully bouncy before I put the blocking in. They're much more stable now. I definitely agree with Jon Mon there.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Actually Weed,I was talking about your cover posts ya know the ones sticking up in the air. I put in handrail posts like that but your asking a lot from the conection you have them placed in. Its also the weak point in your project in two ways.

1 all the weight is going to be on the bolts, not good,wr cedar is just too soft for that I suggest pier pads under them with pt posts going up to the cedar from underneith secured in a tight nature.

2 WR cedar will rot quickley confined with pt framing like you have done, thats why I use pt posts then wrapp them in cedar. Water will get in around them and bang bang you will have major rot starting with the first rain and be a real problem in no more than 2 years. Not a whole lot to do about it now,mabey copper green poured in between the the framing and the cedar posts or anyother kind of mildiside, even motor oil might help. You seem to be up on tools/know how , and have a good helper, so I will run this by you>> Copper flat stock installed around all the cedar posts with copper nails Shaped with a block and a hammer so it runs up the posts 4'' or so and down to the framing another 4''. Copper stops organic growth so the more water,the more it leaches,the more protection <<

The span charts you guys keep going to were never ment for Decks,they are maxed out to the point of faliure in other words the most you can do, they are used for house framing and even there Framers will insatall blocking or strongbacks. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

John: I googled pier pads. This is what came up.

Is that what you mean? Or something like these deck blocks:

Some of the cedar posts are resting partly on beams so they've got some additional support from below.

I like the copper flashing idea. I'll go buy a roll and see what I can make it do.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we put up the last few posts and then waited, and waited, and waited for our decking. It finally showed up around 4:30. Apparently the driver of the truck that spent a few days getting repaired decided to quit/not take the load, so they called in another driving team early this morning and they brought it down. Why they didn't switch when the first truck broke down I don't understand.

We were able to lift one of the pallets off with a tractor...
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But the other one had a weak pallet that started breaking when we lifted it, so we had to unload it by hand.

So much for getting a substantial portion of our deck done by the end of the week. If our decking had been on time, we would have had 3 people x 2 days worth of work on it. But now FIL has gone home and Mr. Weedy will be back at work next week, so progress will be slower.

Question on skirting: I plan to put horizontal deck boards around the outside to skirt the PT joists and also provide a border for the decking. Kind-of like this photo (all I could find quickly with a google search)

I understand I need to have some breathing room for the garapa (air between the PT and garapa). What do you use for spacers and how thick do you make them? I assume you attach them every 16" and then screw the garapa to them? I need to overhang the decking by the right amount so it will butt into the "raised" skirting.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Pier pads,footings like you have pored already. Over here we have Dolice concret Co who make blocks as well like cap blocks 4 x8 x16'' solid creet those would work. The homecheepo block you found would work if you turned it upside down or just poor some more. Fasten a pt plate to them install the posts.

Another area that might get a little tricky,Wind,diagonal stress. Posts set in creet provide a lot of protection from this. With your set up all the stress is going directley to your deck frame, not good. At this point addding diagonal bracing to your posts would be complex in fact I cant figure out how to do it with any lasting benefit.

I am not knowing how your going to finish out the Cover but one thing you could do is add small wing walls to all four corners. These could be say...three/four ft wide construsted with 3/4'' cdx plywood bordered all around with 2x material then covered with sidding or some of that 3/4'' garapa. These walls are fastened to the posts,the decking and the framing up above. After install they will provide very ridged side stress protection so your design flaw will be solved.

Keep the Garapa covered and off the dirt while its waiting to go down. After all the care and work on the cedar posts get the finish on them as soon as possible even then they will crack up thats just the nature of WR cedar timbers.

You are looking for Cross Ventalation, air moving in and out under your deck. The gap inbetween the decking will not provide this so just go with the normal 1/8'' or so. If you go with solid skirting place screened foundation vents in that skirting these can be made up on site with the skirting material and are placed so you get Cross Ventalation...air in..air out. I have no idea what your talking about with the spacers.

Overhanging the decking is not a good idea for a lot of reasons. Install end grain trim. Extend the decking over the frame an inch or so then snap a line,cut the decking to that line. The line will provide a straight surface to attach the trim and also make up for any uneven areas in the deck frame. Say your using 3/4'' skirting,rip the garapa to 1 1/2 '' x what ever leangth your good working with, I put a router detail on, install the trim with TightBond 111 and ss screws all around the outside of your project. Doing this will seal the ends of the decking,tie them all together and provide a 3/4'' reveal to bump your skirting to. It also is a Class Act really gives your job a cool finished touch looks like the Big Boys did it.

The vents and endgrain trim can be seen on my site, and youall owe me Big Time!!! I have just saved you from Major bad dream problems. JonMon


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Thanks for your advice and your patience, John. It all makes my head spin. :-)

A couple clarifications:
1. Skirting: Original plan was to skirt just the outside joists (not all the way down to the ground) with 2 pieces of decking. The top one would have its edge even with the top of the decking (to provide a bit of edge trim) and the second one would be below that, and extend 1.5" below the joist. Is it ok to screw those skirting pieces directly to the joist? I thought I read in one of the thousand references I came across planning this thing that you needed to have a spacer between the joist and the skirting. I may be remembering this wrong. I agree that end-grain trim looks nicer, but I'm not sure I'll have enough decking to do that. If I can just cut the decking flush with the joist and decide later, then maybe I'll do that and then see what I've got left to skirt/edge it with.

2. The pergola design is to run double 2x10 beams perpendicular to the house, connecting each pair of posts, with diagonal bracing from post to beam on each end. 4 of these beam pairs in front of the sunroom, 3 in front of the turret (2 separate pergolas). Then we'll construct an insert that will go up between each pair of beams and screw into them. The 2 really bad sketches below hopefully give some sort of idea. First one shows beams on sunroom pergola, second one the insert (sorry so fuzzy; can't get the camera to take a decent photo). It's like a ladder, but with the steps on a 45 degree angle to shield more sun.
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Given that the whole thing will tie together, that should mean that any shear forces are shared by 8 points of contact, not one. Also, half of the beams are just 3" from the house, so the structure would be limited in how much it could move. Does that change your recommendation at all?


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Skirting to the rim joist is the only way to fasten it, still unclear what the spacer thing is all about.

I dont see any diagonal braces in that plan, I see cross members conected up a ways, but your idea of diagonal and mine could be different. The intire idea of only 3'' of movement until the thing hits the house is in complete flawed mode. If you have that much movement at any given time that thing is coming down and taking your deck frame with it.

Your cover plan is total top heavey with no positive conection to the ground, or really anything else.

It would be possible to install real diagonal braces on all four coners of the cover, that is say 4/5' 6x6 fastened at a 45 to the posts and the upper framing. The joint conections should be very secure. That might spoil the look your going for but it would give the little Lady places to hang stuff like they love to do. I hate those things cause I alwyas knock my head against them.

Another plan would be to run 4'' glav steel L chanell creeted in down below,runing up the side of the important 6x6s and fastened to them this could be done in conjunction with the added piers.

Hang in there Bro. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

So....are you happy with the delivery from ABS? I am thinking of ordering my garapa from them if they come in with a good price.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

After a much-needed day of rest yesterday, we had a few hours today to futz with the deck. No helpers, no FIL, and back to work, but I bought some copper flashing to mess with (haven't yet messed). I really wanted to get some decking down. The lower deck was designed 10 feet deep but in actuality it's 10'2", so the 10-foot decking boards are all a tad too short. That necessitated a design change...so much for avoiding the fancy-pantsy stuff, we're going to have a full board-width border around our deck.

That entailed some more blocking of course, but I'm proud to say we now have a tiny bit of flat space to walk on instead of joists.
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The short PT posts sticking up will have a built-in bench attached to them. Here's a closer-up of the decking. Yes, we'll go back and put 2 screws per board per joist, but I was anxious to get something in. Do the countersinks look to be the proper depth? The gap between boards is 1/8" and the overhang is 1.5", half of which will be supported by skirting.
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One more thing to toss into the pergola anchoring discussion: Many of the pergola posts will also serve as railing posts, so there will be more blocking down low to stop the sway. Don't know how much that affects the equation.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Isn't laying the decking down supposed to be the fun/easy part? Today's plan was to finish the decking on the lower deck. It started off well enough, but around 10 am I broke the drill bit on the countersink. Long story short, by the end of the day I had broken 4 (2 on the same board), realized that was going to be a repeating saga, and cleared out HD's entire supply of 7/64" countersink replacement bits. I can now change them out in 5 minutes flat, including cutting a half inch off the bit with a grinder because they're too long (need to avoid drilling into the PT frame). Oh, and I've exhausted 2 countersinks as well, as they dull really fast on this hardwood. Plus one has a stuck starter bit that I can't get out. Who knew that I'd go over budget because I neglected to put in $300 for drill bits?

Anyway, I swore I'd finish up the whole lower deck if it killed me, but around 7:30 when bit #4 embedded itself in a board and broke off, I decided that if I kept going I might kill something, so I quit and went and picked blackberries from our wild, prickly bushes down by the lake. Thorns were a more pleasant experience than drilling garapa.

OK, my rant is over. Here's all 6 1/2 man hours yielded today:
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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Little trick>>> 5/32'' black bit, a garapa spacer with a hole in the middle chucked into your drill to the right leangth showing on the bit so you dont get into the pt frame.<<<<

So you have the bit going through the spacer into your chuck set at the right debth. Its almost impossible to break the bit used in the spirt of a sound mind. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Do you think the smartbit tool would help reduce bit breakage? I was thinking of getting a couple of those.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

the smartbits worked ok for me but we still went though a few bits. (No where near $300 though) I started off with 2 bits ($15 each) and two packages of replacement bits ($12-$15 - 5 bits in a package) The learning curve had every helper break 2 or 3 bits before we figured out you had to go staight in and back out - no forgiveness/sloppiness and do not stop in the middle. We had to use longer bits when drilling from Ipe to Ipe (vs Ipe to PT). That got fun when the oily wood heated up - it "pops" Not sure about Garape but if it does it - you will know. The smartbits are designed so they do not "clog" up as fast as a regular bit.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

I looked at the Smart Bits, but the countersink on those is only 17/64" and we need 3/8" for the plugs. It could well be operator error, salmon, as only one of us has broken bits. :-) We tried a shorter pilot bit on a few holes this morning (doesn't go all the way through the garapa) and it seemed to work ok, as the SS screws we're using are self-tapping. Still have an issue with the countersink dulling quickly, though. That really slows you down. I bought a bit sharpener, but our countersink shank is too big for it. I may go shopping for a smaller diameter one.

Mr. Weedy played a bit with the aluminum flashing around the cedar posts. The copper's on the inside, per the instructions on the roll. Here are 2 versions, one using a single piece wrapped around/cut, and the second using a separate piece for each side. John, do either pass muster?
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A rainstorm just rolled in, so we won't be breaking bits for a while.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Weed Man,I dident notice your were pluging thats makes a pinto out of a paint. I use a forster bit first then the pilot drill.

I am not understanding the alum over the copper, But Dude!!!! you are a hard Worker. When that thing is done the JonMon would be proud taking the Harley out there and buying you a Tecate.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Wow, I missed that too (plugs). That's a lot of plugs and a lot of sanding! It will be fantastic when done. You said a week?

John, wont the alum turn to dust next to the PT?


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Its not regarded as the best kind of install Sam,alum against acq, but most likeley its micropro that wont give out specks at all. In Fact mcq ground contact,if you dig in the fine print, is ground contact,but that dosent mean under the ground so you cant cover it with....Like....Dirt!!! Homecheppo is selling .15 mcq keep in mind .40 was ground contact and they were selling .25 with acq. They forget to tell this to the Wallets of course. So what the Helllll it really wont make any diferance.

The Mans real issue is diagonal but same kinda deal, Go on with it Dude. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

No fear on the flashing. The inside is copper and the outside is a plastic of some kind, not aluminum. The stuff is actually called deck flashing, recommended to protect ACQ from the hardware. I do need to move the flashing down a tad so that I can still attach the lower bannister rail to the post without the screws hitting the copper.

"Making a pinto from a paint"??? I don't speak Oklahoman, is that a good thing or a waste of time? :-) The Forstner bit would certainly do better digging into the wood than a countersink...might be worth a try. You really drill twice, then drive? There goes my timeline again. ;-p

Yeah, salmon, a week. That was the original plan/hope: to get the thing decked by the end of last week since we had 3 full-timers and a couple kids-on-call. We'd still have the pergola, railings and stairs, but the bulk would be done. The late-arriving decking put a wrench into that plan, though getting all of it in in 2 days even with the full crew might have been wishful thinking.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

A horse of a different color.

The forstner bit is a sure thing and a lot cleaner cut. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Zowie, the forstner bit was just the ticket. Cuts the garapa like buddah. Well worth the three-tool swap-out. John, you saved the day...I owe you bigtime. Here are the triumphant triumvirate:
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I had a collar on the forstner, but it was getting clogged up so I pulled it off and just eyeballed it, which worked fine. I was also able to drive in screws without the pilot hole when the battery ran down. Three hours of solo work finished off the lower deck! Then another 2 hours filling in all the spots that only had a single screw.

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In the pm I continued with the copper flashing around the cedar posts that are sandwiched with the PT, and Mr. Weedy propped up the 7 pergola posts that are not resting on a beam. Here's the view from below.
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I also played with the drill press and made a few plugs. Here's my experimentation (dark board in the middle). Obviously need some sanding. Four down, 396 to go on this part of the deck.
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You can also see the difference in the quality of the holes on the top and bottom boards. Upper screws are with the original countersink bit, bottom screws are with the forstner. Much cleaner.

Most people would be happy with a 10x16 deck. Heck, it's big enough to tango on it. But no, we still have 500 square feet to cover. At least it's going faster now.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Given the amount of plugs your going to need, you might give your supplier a call. I bought mine from East Teak and they were great. I think they were about 15 cents a piece. well worth the time.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Ditto on East Teak plugs. I am working with their Ipe plugs right now and am very pleased...........


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Im not real sure ET sells garapa plugs,could be.

Cuting grapa on the drill press is not as hard as ipe but it still puts out a lot of smoke,I am thinking there is a lady poster,so Mam be sure and run a big fan into the work while your cuting them. Also give the plug cutter a break every now and then and give it a cleaning. There are two ways to release the plugs one involves the table saw and the other is just poping them out with a screw driver I have found the screwdriver works best for me. No matter how cearful I am the table saw rips up a lot of them.

Counter sink the plug hole a good 1/4'' I usually just go the debth of the forster bit. JonMon


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

weedy,

I have a 1000 Garapa plugs left over from my project. Email me and we can find a way to get them to you. marcus4atcomcastdotnet


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

ABS offered me plugs, but at 15 cents apiece (for a tiny piece of wood???) that was going to be over $400, and I figured the wood is free and my time is cheap, so we're doing our own. I can cut 200+ plugs in an hour, so my payback is at least $30/hr, which tipped the scales to DIY on those. (Marcus, I have emailed you.)

John, you're right, after about a half dozen plugs the drill press starts smoking, so we've got a little container of water that we dip the drill bit in to keep it cool. And we're going the screwdriver route as well.

We got a hefty rain last night, so had to let the deck dry out until mid-afternoon. Then three hours of plugging and our holes are closed up! Plugging is simple enough, but awfully tedious. I had a small bin of light, one of medium, and one of dark plugs, picked the closest one to the board I was doing, aligned the grain, and popped it in with some Titebond III.

Here she stands:
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Tomorrow we start on the "grill deck" (the one in front of the turret).


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Well, got a good start on the grill deck today. It took a bit of time to figure out where to start the first board, add blocking for the trim piece, cut/align the trim piece and do all the cutting around the pergola posts. But at least the drilling and screwing goes forth steadily without breaking bits.

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Right now the trim piece is just laid over the decking boards. Obviously we still need to cut them off.

We tried an experiment with the plugs: making the plugs from a piece of the same board so the color match is good. How OCD is that!! Don't know if we'll keep it up, but it's an interesting experiment. One new issue with the plugs, though. They're not snug. Either the plug cutter's cutting small or the forstner bit's cutting too big (both are 3/8"). The plugs just slip in, no pounding required. Do we need to step up the size of the plugs?


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

It will probley work with enough glue but the TB111 will leave a little dark circle,no big deal with the finish on.

Using a tapered plug cutter would help. www.leevalley.com
or www.wlfuller.com for a carbide tapered plug cutter.

Pretty soon youall are going to know all the little tricks. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

We found a tapered plug cutter at Lowe's, so we'll see if that does the trick.

We only had this evening to work on the deck today. So here's another not-too-exciting "weedy put a few more boards in" shot. But we did get one pergola beam up!
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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

good picture angle. It looks like you are staining the pergola. If yes, staining it before it goes up is a smart idea. Much easier to do before putting it up. We are making very slow progress completing our Ipe deck. We got distracted with having to install a bunch of patio doors, only being able to get to it on weekends isn't helping and someone got into my garage and stole a lot of tools. (I had brought them home from our vacation house because I was concerned about leaving them there - go figure)
Steve


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Woo-hoo! We got the decking on the grill deck done and all 3 pergola beams up today.
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Good idea to stain the pergola first, salmon. Unfortunately we haven't settled on the color yet (we have to experiment to get something that makes the cedar and garapa coordinate well).

Bummer about your tools.:-(


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Man you really should have gone with T&G garapa ;-)


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Like I said youall are some hard workers,the thing looks good to me. I am not understanding the little posts coming up but Im sure I will. JonMon


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Rain, rain, go away. The garden loves it, but it doesn't do much for deck building. Two days of nothing, and tomorrow we've got "stuff." Have to do some catch-up on Saturday.

The inspector did stop by to check out our framing and pronounced it "overbuilt." That's what we wanted to hear. We've been trying to decide whether or not to put diagonal bracing in underneath since it's free-standing. The AF&PA's Design for Code Acceptance calls for it on all decks over 2 feet tall. Ours is on the borderline (parts over 2 feet, parts under, tallest post only about 18") and there's not enough clearance for the 2-foot-to-2-foot diagonal the DCA prescribes. I asked the inspector and he said "not required." So I think we're going to skip it.

While moaning at the weather, I did do some calculations and design on the stairs, and bought the materials for them. Here's the plan (feedback welcome):
--4 inch slab for the stringers to rest on (local code says slab is sufficient), supported by some 2-foot-deep 8" diameter footings, since the ground it's on is relatively newly disturbed, so we expect some settling.
--2x6 .40 ACQ shot into the concrete perpendicular to the stringers.
--Stringers at 15-16" OC, tops held to joists by sloped hangers, bottoms nailed to 2x6 base. We're using pre-cut stringers because I don't want to mess with making my own, and we can grade the ground to make the slab exactly where we want it.
--Treads from 1x6 decking, routered sides. (can't remember who posted theirs, but I liked the look)
--Risers faced on 3 sides with more decking, mitered corners.

One set of stairs is about 4' wide/5 steps, one about 8' wide/6 steps, and one will be box stairs instead of stringers. 3 short steps from 2x6s.

Other thoughts/ideas?


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

I'm with you on the pre-cut stringers. I cut my own and they were a pain in the neck. They turned out good, but if I had to do it again I would of used the pre-cut ones.

On the risers I also mitered the corners, but if I were doing it again I would of just ran the one in front long and butted the side risers up behind. The mitering was more work and the way the wood moves outside it is tough to keep these miters tight. It could just be my DIY woodworking skills.

Riles


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Boy, we did something really dumb. We had 3 slabs to pour for stair landings and I calculated the concrete we needed at 1.5 yards. Local ready-mix suppliers have a 3-yard minimum, so it was going to cost $270 even though we only needed $135 worth. So I went to Menards to price the bags. A helpful employee was nearby and offered help, so I said I needed 1.5 yards of concrete. The bags don't speak in terms of yards, they say X square feet 4" thick needs Y bags. The employee did some in-his-head calculating and said 14 bags. That sounded like a deal, to get off for $50 instead of $270.

He was off by a factor of 4. I should have taken a couple minutes to do my own math to figure that out. Unfortunately I didn't until we had used all 14 bags on the smallest of our slabs. By then we had already sunk $50 in, so went ahead with bags on the rest...and spent a total of about $220. DUMB DUMB DUMB!!! Did I mention that mixing them up 2 bags at a time in the mixer we borrowed from our neighbor took 5 hours instead of the half hour that a concrete truck would have taken? Why didn't I stop and think???

Anyway, we did get the 3 slabs done today.
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In the meantime, I've been putzing away at the decking in between rain and making concrete forms. Halfway done on the main deck! My tortoise pace usually takes 10-15 minutes per board. It goes faster if there's a second pair of hands running the bowrench, but I haven't had that luxury much.
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After finishing up the concrete, Mr. Weedy left on what will be a 3-week cross-country bike ride with his dad.
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I'm trying to decide whether to surprise him with a complete deck when he returns or go on strike and refuse to do anything until he gets back. :-)

BTW, John, I told him it'd be nice if he'd swing through OK on his way back and buy you a tecate. You won't hold it against him that he drives a rice burner, will you?

Riles, thanks for the input on the stairs. That's some good food for thought. Could you post a photo showing the side view of your stairs (couldn't see one in your other posts)? Did you cut the wraparound part of the risers off to match the diagonal of the stringers or take it all the way to the side of the deck, to make a more solid look?


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Mrs Weed Mam, I am not understanding all that Creet for such a small stairway. Unless you all are planing something extra to land on that slab it is way to the max overkill.

Compaired to what you have already done cuting stairbucks is easy. No way would I use the homecheppo pre cut one chance in a bunch they are going to give you what you need.Just post the rise and run and the JonMon will give you the cut.

I have respect for any Rider that goes it for 3 weeks,its not the way I do it with the trailor and all but what the hay. See if He wants to come on over Me and Susan will put him and the Dad up for the night, then take him on over to the Freedom Harley shop to look at a real Motorcycle, Just Kidding Girl,phone and map are on my site.
JonMon


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

That slab is for stairs that will be 8 feet wide. The other slabs are smaller. We made them deeper than needed so there's a little concrete to walk on before you land on the grass or whatever path we decide to put at the end of it. Yeah, a bit overkill, but what else is new with this deck? :-)

Today my goal was to finish the decking on the main deck. I got o-o-o-h-h-h so close, but then the rain AGAIN kept me from crossing the finish line. This is the rainiest July ever, I think. My knees and back are quite ready to be done with decking.
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So next up is plugs (I know I should have been doing this as I went along) and skirting, then stairs. A couple questions:
1. Plugs: Marcus kindly sent me a big bag of plugs. They all look to be light colored. If I plug them on light boards and dark boards, will the stain make them all blend in or do I need to match the tone a little more to make them less conspicuous?
2. Skirting (1): I'm using deck boards for this. Is it ok to attach them with SS finish nails? I found some that fit my Paslode and I'd SO love to nail instead of screw & plug.
3. Skirting (2): Any tips for straightening bowed boards on the skirting? The Bowrench won't exactly help me here.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

NO problem with the plugs Allison,they will all blend together.

Fastening the skirting with 2 1/2'' trim nails is all good the length is so short you should be able to tap them into place. Good Idea to use construstion adhesive behind them. Provide cross ventalation in the skirting very important. Keep the shorts stacked up,dry, and under cover if your using them for skirting.

Strong Women, way to go!! Hows He doing on the bike with all the rain. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

On the skirting, I was just planning to cover up the joists with horizontal deck boards, not extend all the way to the ground with vertical ones. I'll plant stuff to cover up the other ugly, and leave it generally open for ventilation. Just regular old heavy duty construction adhesive ok, or do I need to use some outdoor/waterproof kind?

Photo above notwithstanding, all of our lumber is safely ensconced under our jumbo tarp around the side of the house.

Today I braved the mud and framed up stairs #1. It took about 3 hours, and I had to do some shimming & trimming to make them all line up in near perfection. Speak up if there's anything I need to rip out or reconfigure. The center stringers are very secure but the outside ones have a bit of a wobble in them, probably because they're secured by angle brackets on one side instead of joist hangers. Will adding the treads tie it all together or should I use joist hangers on all (it'll be covered up by the skirting/fascia)?
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Mr. Weedy's currently in Iowa (where dad lives), but they just decided to hang out there for a few days and won't set out for the long adventure until Sunday. If I'd known that, I'd have wheedled at him to stay down here and build stairs with me. :-p


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Stairs look good to me,garapa on the treads will study up any shake in them now.

I have been using the liquid nail heavy dudy stuff for adhesive because the green mafia outlawed the 490 if there is still some on the shelves buy it. The skirting should just bump up to the border overhang just fine. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

John, I put in blocking, was that overkill or just needed for the posts?


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

John, Steve, etc,
Regarding the stringers above........
Is the 2x bolted to the concrete pad necessary/recommended, or can the stringers simply rest on the concrete pad? How do you avoid rot from moisture when dealing with stringers connecting to a concrete pad? Is the fact that the wood is pressure treated enough?
Thanks,
Kim


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Blocking the stairbucks will stiffen them up and provide backing for the skirting if its going up and down. And of course its nessecary to place the rail posts.

It would be a little tricky to fasten the stairbucks directley to the slab and not near as good as the pt plate. Far as rot goes most of us are using micro pro pt lumber now, this stuff is as bad as it can get far as protecting the wood, the worst yet after the fall of cca. I myself have been using motor oil on the pt plates that go in the ground with my Jobs while looking around for something else.

Its not as easy for me as it was for the Weed's to keep the pt lumber out of the ground most of the time I cant use the zmax metal post brackets just because of the way I frame the decks. Contact with a slab is not as bad as in the dirt but like I said I am looking for a paint on that will brace up the really poor pt lumber we are using now in the more important areas.
J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

re: skirting

fwiw...I went with vertical skirting on my steps cuz it is easier to see the step with the contrasting alignment. Easy to do with miter saw and finish nailer.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Pretty sure I just found the product I was looking for> Cuprinel<. Now why dont they treat framing lumber this way?
Never mind I know it makes too much sence. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

John, Cuprinol No 10 Green is what I have been using. Found a gallon can on sale at Menards for my deck. Works great for cleaning my brush after coating posts to be buried with non-fiber foundation coating, too.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

It's been a few days since I posted, and I got sidelined briefly by an incident between the nailer and my finger, but it turned out to be only a flesh wound, so I'm plodding along.

Got the big stairs framed (stringed?):
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And used a box step for the transition from grill deck to lower deck, and from lower deck to ground.
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And did a bunch of plugging when we'd had 36 hours of no rain so the decking was sufficiently dry. The East Teak plugs are a lot taller than our homemade ones, so I'll probably use thinkstomuch's method and chop them off with a multimaster before sanding.
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Now I think I'll go in the garage and cut some plugs (need about 700 more).


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

You might want to put 4 little blocks under the box step landing on the garapa its always good to have air and light under a set up like that.

Taking down the plugs goes pretty fast for me with 60 grit/5'' makita orbital. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Weedy,
Real nice deck. I've enjoyed following the progress.
A multimaster will work well on those plugs...I wish I had one. Personally, I use an extremely sharp chisel, and chip the plugs close to the deck. Then I sand the remains with my 5" Ridgid random orbital sander with 50 grit discs (the black ones that they sell at Lowes). The Ridgid is a great sander, and that 50 grit is very aggressive.
Don't spot sand the plugs, as you'll see it after you put on the sealer. Sand the entire deck.

I look forward to seeing the finished deck.

steve


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

John: How high do I need to raise the box? Is 1/8" or 1/4" enough? I cut the box so it splits the rise exactly in half, so I'd like to avoid having to plane everything down again if possible. Alternatively, would it be sufficient venting if I (I know this is unconventional) drilled a few holes in the decking that will be covered by the steps?

All I had laying around was 80 grit, and my ROS cut down two at a time in about 30 seconds without too much effort. I'll try the multimaster and compare. I'm worried that if I chisel them I'd sometimes take off too much.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

I came here WAY late. Please someone explain Garapa for me. Wikipedia thinks it is a juice from sugar cane.

I will be building a small deck in my back yard, that is why I looked here in the first place.

I LOVE what you did! It's awesome. But way bigger than I could ever put on my little lot. :)

Moni


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

1/4'' little spacers would do it Allison you can put them on with tightbond 111 and a trim nailier.

I never spent the time to get a chisel sharp enough to do that either but really no need the random orbital works fast enough for me. Steve is a class trim Carpenter he has all that stuff.

Okla google up Garapa Decking,you will get a full screen.
J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

John,
It looks like her plugs are 1/2"+ proud of the deck surface. She can't sand them. Those holes in the bottom of the RO sander will grab those plugs, and break them every which way.

Chiseling is the way to go, or a mutlimaster...or a small japanese style saw.

steve


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Today was "make the deck purdy" time. I put up a few pieces of skirting (couldn't figure out how to hold both ends of a 16 foot board at the same time, so I had to call in some child labor to help out) and got several pieces up before I remembered John's advice to glue them first. Doh! Then I went to work trimming out the stairs.

I decided to take Riles' advice and not do the miters on the treads. Instead I routered the fronts with a roundover bit to try and make them a little more finished. On the sides, I just stacked boards along the shape of the stringer. I considered Riles' tread design, making two even pieces, but calculated all the wood I'd have to throw away and instead went with a full board and one about 1 1/4". (It's only a deck...it's only a deck.)

Then I hit a stumbling block with the treads. My plan was to have them hang over each of the 3 exposed sides by 3/4", just like the decking. But two full boards, even with 1/8" gap, only cover the tread plus about 1/4". Not so purdy. I suppose I can do John's end grain trim, ripping 1/4" off the front board and going from there. Any other options?
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P.S. John, don't be blowing my cover. :-)


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

well that was an interesting comment......

"P.S. John, don't be blowing my cover. :-)"


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Who Me??? Never.

The endgrain trim works for me. I go about the treads a little different by running the kick plate or the riser cover after the treads are in but yours looks good as well.

I know you probley will but be sure and add blocking all around the stair posts with construstion adhesive. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Boy, life sure has a way of getting in the way of deck building. :-p

Those tall plugs only jut up about 1/4", and they're sandable if you position the ROS so the holes don't catch. 60 grit also chews it up faster than 80 grit (of course). I put my child labor to work sanding plugs in between helping me hold boards and he managed just fine. I may still take the Multimaster to the remaining ones if I can find where Mr. Weedy put it.

I blocked, but didn't know you were supposed to use adhesive on the stair posts, but I will in the future.

I debated the tread vs. riser first, but if I had done the tread first, the riser would have been 1/2" shy of the stringer cut, and that would have been either an ugly gap or an ugly strip of wood or a lot of work cutting two different boards to make it even. I know, you told me, I should have custom cut my own risers. I will write on the chalkboard 100 times "John is always right." Next deck I'll do that. :-)

After laboring over the choice of tread design all weekend, I consulted with Mr. Weedy and surprisingly he voted for "cut a thin slice and put it against the riser to build out the tread." My reasoning for laboring over the end grain trim was because my box stair on the other side, which I custom framed (no store-bought stringer) is the perfect size for the original design with full-board treads, so if I changed to end-grain, I'd have to do it on that one too, which would entail shaving down some boards. I weighed the work involved in each, and decided to go with the "thin slice" but I put it in the middle because I thought that looked more aesthetically balanced.

So here's the final result on the side stair:
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And here's the box stair:
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Do you see what I see? The decking has sure grayed a lot in the month it's been down. Guess that answers my question about whether we need to freshen it up before we stain.

I routered the sides of the treads with a roundover bit, and am leaning towards doing that across the fronts as well to make a more unified look.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

I am impressed with how far your getting doing this in your "spare" time. The photo showing the graying was great. When do we get some stain??


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Stairs are looking goood. Not to worry about the weathering garapa a light oxalic wash will bring it right back with a little scrub work done by the child labor.
J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Not a lot of progress in the last week, as I went out of town for a wedding. Mr. Weedy and his dad ended up cutting a couple days off their trip to get back to Iowa because grandma was fading fast. So no side trip to OK this time to meet the famous Jon Mon in person. :-(

Anyway, we're back from wedding and funeral and have 3 days before we go east to help one sister put a bathroom in her basement and paint another one's house. So today I finished up the big flight of stairs.
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The decking is kind-of squeaky, presumably because all the expanding and contracting from the rain/sun. So Mr. Weedy tightened up all the screws that aren't yet plugged. I guess that's what using Liquid Nails under the decking helps prevent? I've done that on the stairs and they feel very solid, so I'm sold on that technique for the next deck, should there be one.

Our goal is to finish the plugging tomorrow and the wood part of the railings on Saturday. There are two of us, so it should go faster than my solo act the past 3 weeks. The staining will hopefully follow soon after we get back from my sisters'.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Funny you should mention squeaky. I just finished screwing in my garapa decking and I found the same thing. They seemed ok when I first put them in. Now they are squeaky. Is this going to be an on-going problem since I didn't use any glue?

Will tightening them up one time do the trick? Never had this problem with nails.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Well, we got the upper/lower railings in as planned, and I plugged till my fingers were raw, but still have some to go. Here's where we stand:
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It's hard to get a far-away shot of the whole deck because of the slope of our land. And I think the rails look rather fence-like personally. Black aluminum ballusters should help with that.

Anyway, I read the directions on the Deckorators package after the railings were up and found that we put the rails 1" closer to each other than they need to be (ballusters will protrude). So we'll have to either lower the bottom rails or raise the upper ones by an inch. Grrr....

We're off to the east coast, so won't have any deck progress to show for a couple weeks. If any of you feel like dropping by while we're away and putting up the pergola, feel free. :-)


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

I am thinking you all are using the ballusters that fasten from the outside. One way to solve the height thing..install a 1'' strip on the top rail then a cap rail laying flat on the strip.

Have a safe and good trip, garapa/twp shorts on the way mon or tues. J.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Boy, I have to say that this is pretty irritating that GW lost the final month's worth of posts on this project.


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

O Man!!! thats just not right.

It would be good to see that. Hope the Bike is runing good and you keep the paint up and the rubber down.

JonMon


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Wow, i just got through reading this whole thread, and what a let down not to see the final result! I'm looking into Garapa for my deck and would love to know the weedy's impressions after living with it for a couple of years.

And is East Teak and ABS still the best places online, or have other reputable suppliers entered the fold?

-adam


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

armada:
I can't recreate all the final month's detailed work, but here are a few photos.

Staining: I did 2 coats of TWP dark oak. This photo shows no coats, one coat, and 2 coats.
 photo DSC03277.jpg

Final pics:
 photo DSC03307.jpg

 photo DSC03298.jpg

I did have stain issues. My thread is linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: stain re-do


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

thanks for the follow up. Hope the new stain has held up better for you.

I need to find some pictures of grayed garapa to see if I like it. Part of my desire to go Garapa/IPE is less maintenance, which gets thrown out the window if I have to keep staining it :)

-adam


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RE: Now Showing: Building a Big Ol' Garapa Deck

Love it.

Great picture thread and updates.


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