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Terrys multi-level low level Deck step by step, work in progress

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  1. #1
    terryB
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    Default Terrys multi-level low level Deck step by step, work in progress

    First up apologies for the long title but I have found so many titles not relating to the thread content so I am hoping my verbose one will be a bit more descriptive .

    Quick disclaimer, I have no skills or prior experience. Buiilding this deck has been some sort of manly right of passage and in part a saving on labour costs.

    We started here



    and we are currently here.


    In my next posts I plan to post the details on how I did things, why and some indicative costs. Somewhere along the way I hope to thank all the major contributors to these forums who in part made this at all possible.

  2. #2
    terryB
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    Default

    Unbelievable after all of that I forgot to include the word Deck in the title.

    As good a time as any to get the mentions of gratitude in. I cant believe how much effort some of you put into this forum and thanks a lot it has made this daunting task all that more manageable.

    Hero list as follows and apologies if I missed anyone. Utemad, Bloss, jimj, Oosham, Brynk....gees thought it was going to be easy to rattle off the list but have gone blank.


    Editor's Note: Deck has been added to the Title

  3. #3
    terryB
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    So What is it.

    L shaped deck.

    Main part is 5.4m x 5.4m built on a slope with clearance ranging from 230mm to 550mm.

    Second part is built over existing 75mm concrete slab with a step from the back door,
    here the working height/clearance ranges from 110mm to 350mm.

    This area did not come for free, it was infested with Ivy and an old neglected rockery. The Mrs and I spent 2 days digging out the junk that was in there. I had food poisoning and could only work for 15 minutes at a time, she on the other hand was a star. Here is the old Hyundai on the way to the tip.


  4. #4
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    I like it. Its totally overkill and you could have utlised materials much much better with the timber you have used, but hey! each to their own.
    I reckon you could park your car on that when ur done.
    Keep it up and show us some more pics!

  5. #5
    Luv a Duk chipps's Avatar
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    Looking good terry & keep us updated

    PS: My old VN used to carry those loads, till I got a Hilux trayback

  6. #6
    terryB
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    Default Planning planning planning planning planning

    Quote Originally Posted by oohsam View Post
    I like it. Its totally overkill and you could have utlised materials much much better with the timber you have used, but hey! each to their own.
    I reckon you could park your car on that when ur done.
    Keep it up and show us some more pics!
    You could not be more right!! But I hope this post will serve as notice to all those about to start such a project. I could have saved a lot of money, demoralisation and stress had I spent a lot more time planning.

    Like many others lurking out there I did a mountain of reading, I armed myself wih encyclopedic volumes of knowledge but it was all of no use untill I finally put pen to paper and had a plan.

    I intially bolted out the gate and built this. Affectionately known by my loving family as the railway tracks. For a year they say out in the garden all on their own.


    So below you can see I notched 90 x 45 H3 F5 TP into 90 x 90 H4 posts which were bolted directly on the slab. This task looks like nothing in these few images but it was mammoth at the time. I took the time to grind each connection point level so the stirrups would stand perfectly plumb. I used ankascrews (awesome fastener will post a picture shortly) to fix the stirrups to the concrete. I only had a shifty so by the end of two days on this is had ground my knuckles......hard yakka is fun but when you start getting injured for little reward the motivation soon dissipates. So use the right tool. I live 5 minutes from Bunnings so having planned a shopping list when I bought the bolts would have meant I would have bought an adequate spanner or ratchet.

    Dont want to bore you to tears but had I bought Staines book early in the project and read that 2 x 90 x 45 will span 1800 I would not have built and hand crafted a notch post every 800mm, again planning it is your friend take the time to draw it, measure, and mark it all out......you will save a lot of money and have a lot more fun.

    In closing on planning, to cap it all off if you go back to my first post you will see I ended up ripping this all up and replacing it with something more substantial. So now I have 12 stirrups, 24 ankascrews and 20 odd coach bolts lying around because I could not figure out how to drill straight. Duh!! How long do you think it took me to figure out you just drill from both sides of a stirrup.







  7. #7
    terryB
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    Default Stainless steel decking screws - macsim

    Woo hoo, lollies. You know you are getting old when a box of screws brings you joy.

    I went to Bowens Oakleigh today under recommendation from a friend who has just completed a fantastic deck.

    Macsim 10g 50mm Type 17 302 Stainless Steel. $250 per thousand. Now that may not be the best price in Melbourne but the day before I went to Kencor and they wanted $330 ex gst. They sell powers fasteners.






    Many thanks to BlockLayer for his awesome calculator in helping me figure out the quantities.

    In case anyone is interested Bowens also quoted me $3.98 pm for 500m which seemed a fair price compared to my usual suspects who are Demak and South East Timber.

  8. #8
    terryB
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    Default Decks & Pergola construction by Allan Staines

    Buy this book, here is my slighlty dishevelled copy after leaving it out in the rain over night. Seriously out of all the money you will spend on your deck this will be the best $30-$35 you will spend. I have seen it in every Bunnings I have even spotted it in quite a few book shops, got mine from Dymocks.

    It may not be as detailed about your exact problem but supplement this book with info from this forum and you have all you need to get cracking and complete a quality project.


  9. #9
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    You know what I love.
    I love the way your tools are lying everywhere. This is EXACTLY how I work. I can never find the tool i want when I need it and spend ages looking for it, and then i curse myself and promise to have a "go to" place for my tools. Never bloody happnes! hahaha
    Great to see

  10. #10
    terryB
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    Default Bearers and posts

    Due to the lack of planning I feel I may have ticked off nearly all common methods for bearer and post construction and joinery.

    Bearer notched into post, with stirrup bolted to exists 75mm concrete path.


    Bearer bolted directly into stirrup (so no post) but not bottomed out in the stirrup rather suspended M10 Galvanised bolts. Stirrup bolted onto existing path. scuse my pooch I only noticed him in this provocative pose after I took the picture.


    Bearer bolted into stirrups sitting fully suppressed into the base of the stirrup. Embedded into concrete.


    I found the final method to be the least amount of work and the easiest to get an accurate result. Most deck building instructions I found prescribed setting up the layout using stakes and string then digging holes then supporting posts + stirrups in the whole while getting the concrete in. For low level decks I did not think all that was necessary as in my case the need for posts could be entirely eliminated by utilising the inherent adjustability built into the following method.

    Mark out your post holes and dig them. Then either lay the bearer over the holes or measure them out and transfer the measurement to your bearer. I made a story stick with a long piece of 70x45 as carting around a 5.4m 2x190x45 was nigh on impossible.

    Then fix the stirrups to the bearer at your markings. Up until this point all you have had to do is make sure the posts on your stirrups are long enough to meet code ie Once you have the bearer positioned over the holes at the right finish height you need to have enough post from the stirrup embedded into the concrete. Staines book states 75mm. In one case I did not have a long enough post but luckily I had some smart friends around at the time who told me to hang a few bolts off the mounting holes, which is essentially the same as bolting to the surface without all the pain and suffering of drilling. Here is a pseudo example of what I did to deal with this problem.


    Here is the bearer constructed after I had transferred the marks and bolted on the stirrups.


    The beauty of going this way was everything is in line and the heights are all correct because they are all on the same plane. Note this really only applicable to low level decks where posts are not required.

    Next we used packers to set the bearers at the right height and the 3-4-5 method to make sure everything is square.

    Here we are packing up the bearers and putting them in place. Using old bricks, timber off cuts and masonite.


    I am very lucky and have some really helpful friends. When I asked them to come help me barrow in the concrete on delivery not only did they show up ready and purposeful but they arrived with a laser level and a proper level to make up for my little Stabila. If you can afford to hire buy or borrow one get yourself a laser level for this task it makes life so much easier and more accurate.


    So all in all a days work that I found more than manageable for my level of skill and experience.

    Quick note about the holes. yes you can dig them, or do what I did and hire a post hole digger. The one man post hole digger only digs out to 200mm, I wanted 300mm. So I knew I had to go back in and widen all the holes up. This I could never motivate myself (crook back and lazy) to do and I ended up hiring a man and his Kanga to come and bore them out. Wish I had just done that from the beginning. If you can afford it just get a pro in to do it. He was done in no time and the costs was hardly anymore than the hire of a one man post hole digger, my time and the cost of fetching and returning it.



    What went wrong in this phase?? The only thing I forgot to double check was that the bearers were exactly plumb. We needed to make a few adjustments and along the way 2 bearers ended up out of plumb (perpendicular to the ground). Not a crisis in my opinion but it did make cutting and fitting the joists a real pain. So double check square, heights and plumb before sitting back and sinking the first cold one.

    Another mistake was the over engineering and what could really be deemed a waste of timber. Again planning and drawing it all out and rechecking the spans would have saved me a lot of time and money including the fact I have more posts than needed.

  11. #11
    Member blak's Avatar
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    Out of interest, how did you connect that outside joist to the bearer? (top right in the photo)
    None of the books seem to cover this.

  12. #12
    terryB
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    Default Attaching end joist to bearers.

    Quote Originally Posted by blak View Post

    Out of interest, how did you connect that outside joist to the bearer? (top right in the photo)
    None of the books seem to cover this.
    Great question but one for which I have no answer at the moment. Been researching the problem myself. At the moment I just have some 65mm galvanised twist shank nails driven through the joists into the end grain of the bearer, so pretty weak join, was a temporary move to give us a solid height and boundary to work from. Worse still and again due to lack of planning I don't have much room where the joist meets the bearer and the beginning of the stirrup plate. I was contemplating building a block inside each corner which would have given me a long grain platform to work with. Pretty hard with my knowledge to articulate so here is a picture of what I was thinking.
    Worse still I am not too hot on Visio.



    The brown bits are the bolts and the blue box is a pseudo post if you like. So bolting this to the bearer would give you a nice sold piece of wood to bolt the joist to.

    I would love to here from the masters out there on what would be the most efficient way to do this. Cant imagine Pryda does not have something in the catalogue?

  13. #13
    terryB
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    Default Horse shoe packers, plastic packers, builders packers

    More than a few times I have come across questions about packers. I did finaly track them down in Mitre 10 and now bunnings. You can buy mixed boxes or packets of just one size. Here is a mixed box.



    Now these are great but I just preferred the more solid look of the stuff UteMad used in this low level project.

    So the search began, bunnings did have some macsim ones but again only one size I think 5mm or 6 mm. Kencor cam to the rescue with a big bucket costing $68. A lot of money for a bit of plastic me thinks. Either way they come in 5 different sizes from 1.5mm to 10mm.


  14. #14
    Neander Normite Groggy's Avatar
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    Nice job so far Terry

    Does the dawg have a head? surely it looks better than the rest of him

  15. #15
    Soldiers Earned Your Right To Free Speech watson's Avatar
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    I was almost gunna classify that pic as porn

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    Quote Originally Posted by terryB View Post

    I would love to here from the masters out there on what would be the most efficient way to do this. Cant imagine Pryda does not have something in the catalogue?
    Would a Corner Plate be enough?, I remember a book showed how to connect the out-joist to the bear vis Corner Plate for lower deck.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by terryB View Post
    Woo hoo, lollies. You know you are getting old when a box of screws brings you joy.

    I went to Bowens Oakleigh today under recommendation from a friend who has just completed a fantastic deck.

    Macsim 10g 50mm Type 17 302 Stainless Steel. $250 per thousand. Now that may not be the best price in Melbourne but the day before I went to Kencor and they wanted $330 ex gst. They sell powers fasteners.
    If anyone in southern Sydney wants these, I paid $150 a thousand @ Southern Fasteners in Kirrawee

  18. #18
    Complete Woodwork Newbie Mattsplatt's Avatar
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    Default Love it!

    Hey Terry,

    Looks great! I am about to extend an existing 5x3m deck (low level) and love seeing what everyone else is doing with their projects. Of course the Boss has said she wants it done B4 Christmas so I may not have any pics of the project to share. So thanks for showing so much detail in your project!
    Cheers,

    Matt Spl@tt
    "Better off the World to Think you're a fool, than open your mouth and prove it!"

  19. #19
    terryB
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    Default Melbourne timber merchant / supplier

    Would anyone like to make a recommendation on a supplier for Merbau in Melbourne (SE). Obviously I would like a great price but more importantly I am after a quality product and consistency.

    I was more than happy with service and quality from Demak but their Merbau price is about 5-6% more than Bowens so I need to assume with a bit of shopping around there is a good deal to be done.

    Thanks
    Terry

  20. #20
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    I got all of my Merbau (about 410m) from Bowens last week. Their service was quite good and their timber was as good as I could have expected (ie. it is all flat and clean - some is slightly bent sideways but nothing that can't be straightened by hand/using a jack). The timber was even good lengths (a lot of it was 5.1m / 5.4m).
    I paid $3.95 per metre. Bunnings is the same price out of interest. I got quotes from a few other timber suppliers but $3.95 was by far the cheapest I came across.

    Perhaps there is some out there that is cheaper but I can't see it being all that much cheaper and for me, Bowens is not far away so if I come across any really bad boards, I can take them back.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ScroozAdmin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cherub65 View Post
    If anyone in southern Sydney wants these, I paid $150 a thousand @ Southern Fasteners in Kirrawee
    We're currently running these at $140 inc GST, we also have smartbits at $25 if interested, although not til the end of the week.
    www.scrooz.com.au

  22. #22
    terryB
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    Default Smart-bit

    Quote Originally Posted by scruffydoo View Post
    We're currently running these at $140 inc GST, we also have smartbits at $25 if interested, although not til the end of the week.

    OUCH! I just paid $42 at Bowens. You replied while I was there so sorry I did not get to support your business. I am rubbish at this buying thing. I think next time I will let the dear wife run the procurement!!

  23. #23
    terryB
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    Default Gluing packers - as joist support over concrete

    Help please, I need to glue my packers to concrete as interim support (psuedo bearers). The joists running along the wall.


    Below you can see the gap between the fall and the joist. There is a temporary black wedge in place. I would like to glue the packers to the concrete as per yet another UteMad inspiration. http://www.renovateforum.com/f196/de...79/#post756864


    i dont want to drill any holes in the top of the joist as it is only 70x45 and it is exposed so the chance of water welling is pretty high. Question is what glue can i use to not only stick the packers together but get some sort of bonding onto the underlying concrete.

    Something like this


    Thanks
    Terry

  24. #24
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    What about Liquid Nails? The standard high strength stuff is not recommended for constantly damp areas (if this applies) but the "Landscape" type would suit the purpose. Check out Selleys Liquid Nails Landscape for details.
    It is more than capable of sticking to concrete and timber and should be fine to the plastic wedges.

    I'd avoid the "Fast" version as it is water based. Or you could go over the top with something like a polyurethane adhesive (eg. Selleys Pro Series Adhesive/Sealant)

    If you were to bolt it down like in Utemad's picture, you can cover your joists with damp course / protectadeck which would stop the water getting on the top of the timber at all (you can see what I did at http://www.renovateforum.com/f196/my-project-lowish-deck-work-progress-step-step-78622/index2.html#post781989). I've just used damp course as it is much cheaper.

  25. #25
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    I'd be going for a mechanical fixing, simple bracket to concrete then joist.
    Why didn't you run a ledger along that section?

  26. #26
    terryB
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    Quote Originally Posted by cherub65 View Post
    I'd be going for a mechanical fixing, simple bracket to concrete then joist.
    Why didn't you run a ledger along that section?
    Hi Cherub65, and thanks for your input.

    I am siding against putting more holes in a 70x45 joist than I need. So packers is the ideal option for keeping comfortable about the joists integrity.

    Why no ledger? Not sure what purpose it would have served would not have put it onto the wall as it is single brick veneer. In addition the floor against the wall had several old drain and sewer connections that I was hoping to miss with my joist spacing. Sadly I forgot to plan for this and ended up having to chop out all the pipes and vents a truly tortuous and filthy job!

    Cant say it enough....any other amaters out there about to have a go, plan plan plan and plan.

  27. #27
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    Could use sikaflex - 11 FC adhesive\sealant
    I would nail off some noggins between joists as close to wall as possible, this will minimise twisting of joists and will make packing simpler.

  28. #28
    Senior Member ScroozAdmin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terryB View Post
    OUCH! I just paid $42 at Bowens. You replied while I was there so sorry I did not get to support your business.
    That's OK, thanks for the thought anyway , to be fair to Bowens we're only offering them this cheap as they seem to be popular round here so we got a good deal on some bulk.
    www.scrooz.com.au

  29. #29
    terryB
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    Default Plugging a hole

    This is a real novice tip but in line with the rest of my recording, I thought I would share a quick mend with the other novices out there. Whilst butting two boards over a joist I decided I was not happy with the join. To mend the error I needed to move a board about 2mm.

    Obviously since it was screwed down I needed to repair the joist so the screws would not follow the existing holes.

    Here is a simple pictorial of how I went about it.

    I drilled out the screw holes to 6mm as I happened to have a 6mm pine dowel handy.



    Next I dropped some glue into the holes and tapped a length of dowel into the hole that when fully seated still sat proud of the joist.





    Next just chop the proud bit of dowel off or if you have adequate access you can cut it off.



    Preferably follow your glue instructions and give it a chance to dry before c screwing into your repair.

    Hope this helps someone, as you can see it was only my second board and I was already using rescue methods to correct my errors.

  30. #30
    Old Chippy 6K
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    TerryB - maaate - great deck. Just a smidgin over-engineered, but hey what the heck when your havin' fun right!

    Glad to see you found the Alan Staines book a goody - I've been harping on about it and boring people to death about it, but as you say worth every penny for a DIYer.

    I know a few supposed tradies that could do with a read of it too!
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  31. #31
    terryB
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    Default In the interest of speed, using fixing nails

    I had a friend came around and give me a hand while I had some time off and thank goodness he did. He quickly noticed during the process of concreting in the bearers my whole deck had gone out of square.

    To add to the problem I had not checked for square before smashing in thousands of nails and installing the joists, so my joists were now no longer exactly perpendicular to the house. Well after about 6 hours of fiddling measuring, checking and rechecking we finally got the perimeter of the deck all square. I was about 45mm out over 5m

    To expedite the process of laying the decking my compatriot suggested a common practise of nailing the boards in place using a gun and fixing nails. This process was crazy quick and we got a third of the boards in place in no time at all. Note this is not the final fixing they are all to still be drilled and screwed.

    Now, the nail holes don't bother me at all and I fear some of you will shudder at that comment, but the truth be told as much time as I want to spend on this deck and make it nice, I want to spend far more time on it drinking beer with friends and family and regaling stories of my yet to be lived batting brilliance

    The question then is what do fellow members think, can you just brush off the holes as a necessary evil in reaching the desired outcome or would you fill the holes with a weather resistant external wood filler?


  32. #32
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    Great to see the close up photos of work in progress and your thorough explanation. The deck looks really good.

    It was also really useful to hear the 'what I did less efficiently that I could have' bits.

    A deck is a long way down the track for me but this post was very encouraging.

    Re. overengineering: Is the span issue the only bit that you think is overengineered?

    Looking forward to more posts to follow showing progress.

  33. #33
    terryB
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    Default Cutting straight ends.

    Thought I would share a simple jig for cutting straight ends of the boards. Some slicksters out there may just chalk a line a and run the circular saw by eye. Sadly my skills requires as much guidance as possible.

    So to get the job done I use circular saw straight edge jig. It is as cheap as chips to make and should not take more than 30 minutes to make including glue drying time.

    In case my explanation does not work here are a few pics to help.



    1. Cut a length of your board about 60mm (I used MDF). Don't stress about your cut being straight you are not going to use your cut edge but rather the machined edge. (Hey Bunnings have awesome panel saws get them to do it for free.)

    2.Next rip another board about twice the width of the base of your circular saw. You should now have 2 pieces, the narrow fence piece and a wide base piece. Note in the picture there is not much jig to the left of the upper base guide. This was a mistake and makes clamping a pain sometimes as the clamps hit the saw motor so keep that in mind.

    3. Glue the two piece together (be sure you have the best edge on the fence piece facing the right way.), As per my picture you need the base piece to protrude past the blade once assembled. Reason being after the glue has dried all you need do is run the saw down the jig and you will cut the base piece to the exact location of the blade during a cut.

    So now that you have wasted 30 minutes what have you gained? Well you get a simple jig that takes one more calculation out of measuring and cutting.
    Normally you measure away from your line the the distance from the blade to the edge of the saws baseplate, then using some sort of straight edge run the saw.

    This jig allows you to just put the jig straight on your line (which I have not done in the pic below) and you can be 100% certain that is where the blade is going. I will leave how you affix the the jig to the deck up to you, I used double sided carpet tape.








    Job done!
    Sorry terrible explanation but it is about 200C in Melbourne today and I think my ability to articulate melted and ran out my ear.

  34. #34
    The Master's Apprentice Bedford's Avatar
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    Good one!! very nifty, your very good with the close up pics too.

    Also would help reduce chipping on the cut side.
    Last edited by Bedford; 31st Dec 2009 at 06:49 PM. Reason: added a bit

  35. #35
    Old Chippy 6K
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    As to nail holes - aesthetic really so long as you oil/ finish the deck well they will not cause a problem. In fact any filler you use will eventually work loose and look ratty anyway.

    Good picture and description of the temporary guide too - little 'tricks of the trade' that is often neglected when explaining to DIYers.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  36. #36
    terryB
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    Default Gratitude

    Quote Originally Posted by Bloss View Post


    As to nail holes - aesthetic really so long as you oil/ finish the deck well they will not cause a problem. In fact any filler you use will eventually work loose and look ratty anyway.

    Good picture and description of the temporary guide too - little 'tricks of the trade' that is often neglected when explaining to DIYers.
    Thanks Bloss for taking the time out to chime in. Everything I have read from yourself and other honourables like UteMad have told me not to bother with a filler, but being the stubborn fool I am I am going to fill one board with tinted epoxy/resin filler and another with an external wood filler.

    Why?? Out of interest more than anything. I am interested to see how they hold up over the months/years and which one performs better. I do plan to punch the nails near all the way through so the only movement I anticipate is shrinkage and expansion of the board itself.

    I guess the other extreme would be to use a plug cutter and re-drill every hole and fill it with a Merbau dowel.....but that would be a mindless waste of beer time.

    Thank again Terry

    PS: Whom ever is interested I promise to post an update on the outcome of my filler tests.

  37. #37
    terryB
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Melbourne
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    37

    Default Best and Worse of the joinery

    Thought I would post a few pictures of my best and worst joinery. Reason being after so many hours of reading the posts from the professionals who contribute to this forum I started to feel this endless pressure to produce this perfect deck.

    Things like bounce, straight boards, tight butts and mitres were keeping me awake at night .

    But I slowly realised the facts like this wood is going to be outdoor and in its lifetime move all over the place. I am also not a tradesman with 4 years apprenticeship and hundreds of hours cutting angles and square.

    I am definitely not trying to make excuses for my errors but as an amateur and diy'er, I hope you will think of these facts when you are next battling with that 140mm board that will just not bend that extra millimetre to close that gap that no one will notice but to you looks like the grand canyon. Do your best don't take short-cuts, and you will be soon sipping a cold one and enjoying your efforts far sooner and with a lot less stress.

    So here are some of my worst and best efforts. None I am particularly proud of or disappointed with at the end of the day it is all screwed down and I am free to tidy it up any time I like.

    By best 90mm butt joint.


    My worst 90mm butt joint. (This is rubbish but the pre nailed board moved over night and I forgot to check the joins. I only found this gap once I had screwed down both ends and decided to leave it in the interest of my sanity)


    My best Mitre joint, scuse the model and the missing screw


    My worst mitre joint. I told myself I would not defend all my botches in this post but the sun is setting in this pic and this looks much worse with the shadow than it does in real life.


    My best board ends


    My worst ends


    Pre-nailing gave me some speed and convenience at times but given the choice I would not do it again. I liked the flexibility of having loose boards and being able to make adjustments easily. Also the nails holes are still gnawing at me.

  38. #38
    Old Chippy 6K
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    Mar 2007
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    Canberra
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    Default

    Still looks pretty good to me - I have a friend who makes sure all his screws have the screw head squares aligned (sometimes in parallel, sometimes as diamonds!) , he does the same thing with phillips heads too - there is such a thing as too anal and obsessive!

    Although my dear departed Dah who taught me so much always insisted that screws be 'trued' ie: the slots had to align - vertically on tall fittings (like on door hinges and horizontally on shelf edging for example). With the coming of the various cross-head screws and power drivers a bit hard to do (easy enough when you were hand driving each one!).

    Once you get the deck coated and start using it the little details will disappear - and your friends will just be too much in awe of the whole structure to notice the little things that niggle you.

    If you do want to fill the holes then it might be worth using a coloured external grade polyurethane filler as it retains flexibility and has high adhesions so as the timber moves and shrinks etc it stays put. Only caution is that you want to take care when applying as if you spread it on the deck surface it can prevent oil getting through and the marks look odd.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  39. #39
    Novice
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    Oct 2009
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    Melbourne, AU
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    Default

    Your pics of your good joints/cuts look great and the others still look pretty good to me. I am a bit of a perfectionist but I am slowly learning to turn a blind eye to things I do that don't quite end up perfect otherwise they would take 5 times as long. As Bloss said, you are the only one that will ever notice. The best tactic with a deck is to keep at the beers until the imperfections disappear, then the problem is solved.

    Thanks for the detailed pics/description of your cutting jig. Something I can put to good use.

    I am greatly looking forward to the pics of your whole deck now. If you are up to the trim boards, etc. you must nearly be done.

  40. #40
    terryB
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
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    37

    Default Remember to bow in - I think?

    Just a quick reminder when confronted with a bowed edge/perimeter board I found it much easier to deal with when it bowed in. This way you can fasten one end and bend the board in then fasten the other end. A board is always far easier to bow back over its full length.

    So why point the bow in? Because once you has fastened each end it is pretty easy to push the bow out with a spacer, wedge or chisel and then fasten it in position.

    If you have the bow pointing out past the edge of your deck it is a real pain to pull it back in. I past the 1 ton in weight mark a while back and I was ubale to push the bend out of a 2 meter board and fasten it at the same time.

    If like me you do forget I got this to work for me (pic below). I manged to get an f-clamp under the deck and with a bit of exertion managed to tighten the clamp enough to pull the board in to a consistent 3mm gap.


  41. #41
    terryB
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
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    37

    Default Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Jusso View Post
    Your pics of your good joints/cuts look great and the others still look pretty good to me. I am a bit of a perfectionist but I am slowly learning to turn a blind eye to things I do that don't quite end up perfect otherwise they would take 5 times as long. As Bloss said, you are the only one that will ever notice. The best tactic with a deck is to keep at the beers until the imperfections disappear, then the problem is solved.

    Thanks for the detailed pics/description of your cutting jig. Something I can put to good use.

    I am greatly looking forward to the pics of your whole deck now. If you are up to the trim boards, etc. you must nearly be done.
    Thanks for the kind words, yes I am nearly done. I still have a about 10 - 12 boards only screwed to alternate joists and then the facia to do. The funny bit I I now find the deck to be only half done until I design and complete the roof. I realise I have done it backwards but I hated having concrete in my backyard and wanted it rid of asap.

  42. #42
    terryB
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    37

    Default Filler...just stupid!

    Quote Originally Posted by terryB View Post
    Thanks Bloss for taking the time out to chime in. Everything I have read from yourself and other honourables like UteMad have told me not to bother with a filler, but being the stubborn fool I am I am going to fill one board with tinted epoxy/resin filler and another with an external wood filler.

    Why?? Out of interest more than anything. I am interested to see how they hold up over the months/years and which one performs better. I do plan to punch the nails near all the way through so the only movement I anticipate is shrinkage and expansion of the board itself.

    I guess the other extreme would be to use a plug cutter and re-drill every hole and fill it with a Merbau dowel.....but that would be a mindless waste of beer time.

    Thank again Terry

    PS: Whom ever is interested I promise to post an update on the outcome of my filler tests.

    Not that anyone was holding their breath but above was a stupid idea and not an experiment I will be partcipating in. After having weathered my deck for a few weeks in the baking Melbourne sun and watching everything move around and shrink and bend it is now very obvious why you would not bother with filler!! Way to much movement.

    So listen to those that know, it will be a waste of time.

  43. #43
    terryB
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    37

    Default Oiling the deck - Feast Watson in Walnut

    Not too much to say here as there is the world most conclusive post by the ever knowledgeable Utemad here about oiling and cleaning your deck.

    The short of it is I copied Utemad's instructions onto a piece of paper took it with me to Bunnings bought all I needed, then got home and followed the instructions exactly.

    I could not be happier with the result.



    The deck after it had been washed with the Napisan, I bought safeway generic brand for less than $3, it is $7 for the real deal. It works amazing the deck is so clean you can perform surgery on it.



    This is a progress picture halway through the second coat.



    Here it is all done with the instructions in the picture to show my gratitude to UteMad. There is still a bit of sheen here and there where the second coat has not fully taken.

    My deck is 40sqm and a 4 litre tin of Feast Watson Decking Oil only just just just did one coat. My wood was super thirtsy after having being weathered during the crazy heat over Christmas. The second coat only took about 2/3 of the second tin.

    Colour is Walnut for those wanting an example.

    Now all I have left is the surround and and a step at the back.

  44. #44
    Novice
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    Oct 2009
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    Melbourne, AU
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    Default

    The deck looks fantastic. Thanks also for the pic of the colour. I am going to be oiling mine soon and like the colour of yours - just have to run it past her who must be obeyed .

    After using the SmartBit to pre-drill the screw holes on our deck, I notice that there are burrs/dags left just above the surface of the decking boards. Did you have this? If so, did you sand them before using the applicator to avoid bits of white fluff all over the deck or was it alright?

  45. #45
    terryB
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Melbourne
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    Default Lambs wool applicator.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jusso View Post
    The deck looks fantastic. Thanks also for the pic of the colour. I am going to be oiling mine soon and like the colour of yours - just have to run it past her who must be obeyed .

    After using the SmartBit to pre-drill the screw holes on our deck, I notice that there are burrs/dags left just above the surface of the decking boards. Did you have this? If so, did you sand them before using the applicator to avoid bits of white fluff all over the deck or was it alright?
    Thanks for that.

    I had no issue at all with the burrs/dags as you mentioned. I even got massively caught up while oiling on the full width of a 140mm board where the grain had raised a bit and just went and checked now and there is no wool whatsoever left on the wood.

    I imagine it has something to do with the quality of the applicator, something I did not even think about at the time of buying the applicator. Just in case I used the cabots one. My Bunnings only had the Uniden and Cabots one available they are both around $12-$15.

  46. #46
    Novice
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    Jan 2004
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    Sydney, NSW
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    Default

    Your deck looks fantastic Terry! Great work in progress thread too - an excellent read.

    Cheers,
    Gibbo.

  47. #47
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Feb 2010
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    Diamond Creek
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    Default

    Good on ya mate!!

  48. #48
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2006
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    Melbourne Victoria
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    Default

    Nice pics, with the worst and best miters over time they may swap as the wood wood expands/shrinks. The good may open up and the bad close. Eitehr way, no-one notices when they are standing there admiring your skills with a cold one in hand

  49. #49
    Member
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    Sep 2009
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    Default

    Lokos excellent!

    Just a quick query on the decking.

    It appears you use 90mm boards for the main part but 140mm boards as the border

    I imagine the boards are the same depth? (or you would have a small step)

    What depth boards did you use? Did you go up a size on the 90mm or down a size on the 140mm?

    Or is there some other trick you used?

    Thanks.

    Mike

  50. #50
    terryB
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Melbourne
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    Default Board depth / thickness

    Quote Originally Posted by Micmac View Post

    What depth boards did you use? Did you go up a size on the 90mm or down a size on the 140mm?
    Hi Mike thanks for the kind words. Not sure what you mean by depth I am going to take a guess and assume you mean thickness. If that is the case yes they are all the same thickness generally Merbau decking is supplied at 19mm in most board widths....well in Victoria anyway.

    Cheers
    Terry

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