With the arrival of spring I decided to renovate our deck. The original deck was built 17 years ago and because of intense exposure to sun, the boards were getting weather-beaten. Although they were still somewhat solid, cracks and aging were taking its toll. So a new deck floor and railing system was planned. The deck structure itself was in excellent condition as it was sheltered from the sun and is raised a few feet from ground level. This allows the wood to breathe and not accumulate moisture for long. Renovating a deck is so far removed from making fine furniture I must say. The pictures tell the story. So many screws to remove and replace, in the order of 1500. Some were stubborn, the majority were removed without issue. I wanted to avoid damaging the joists below so no prying off of deck boards. They were all judiciously removed.
The first series of pics show the original wood railings, the last series show the new wood and metal railing system. Since the deck is a few feet above ground, I maintained the correct height of the railing to meet the local code here. I also wanted to make the railing strong and solid to avoid any risk of somebody leaning over and snapping it. So the railing sections are tied together with bolts creating a strong and solid structure. The four cap rails on each side is one continuous plank and this does wonders in reinforcing the rail sections. A redesign of the posts at the stairs to accommodate solar lamps was a nice touch! In a few weeks I will apply a timber oil finish. The same oil finish can be seen on the gazebo deck in the background of the first and last pic. I have never had much success with water-based finishes on outdoor wood. A combination of sun and wear cause the finish to flake off in a year or two. So oil finish it is now!
Below, the window in the background is one of a few large windows in my furniture making studio. If you look closely, you can see small scale mockups of a chair in the window.
We found the new solar lamps to be such an improvement over earlier generation lamps. Glass is "water glass" so light is disbursed in a random, quirky pattern. So we like them so much that another set was just added to the gazebo deck this morning! Actual gazebo going in this weekend. Back to regular scheduled programming next week. Also begin preliminary work on Issue 02 of WOODSKILLS magazine this month.