The weekend just gone was way too wet to do any decking, but luckily I’m still a little behind in blogging the work I’ve been doing on the deck. I’ve decided to go all arty and start this post by showing you a photo of what I saw while I had my face in the dirt tightening bolts on a post….
Okay, so the next step was to continue on as planned and make sure that the frame was in place with the posts being level in themselves, and that the bearers were level with the front rail. I didn’t have to be too pretty with how I put all of this together, it just had to be held solidly level.
Once all this is in place, I will then go back and re-do them by recessing each post and bolting the bearers in properly. You may also notice in a couple of the photos, I did a cross beam near the corner. This was mostly to test the strength of that method and also to hold the post more sturdy.
The above shows the posts in place ready to be stood up. They will get one bolt in the base and the bearers put on with cross beams to ensure they are held level.
I didn’t want to have to cut up another bearer here for the short piece of timber to brace the corner, so I did it this way. It was still solid, but looks a little dodgy. Still all level, though. In the end, each post will have a bearer in between it, so they will be cut to size. Screw holes won’t make a difference, but if I cut short pieces, I risk not having enough wood.
Just to make sure the corner post is held well, I have braced it from a couple of points as you can see above. I also put in the cross beam to test the strength of it. I put it close to the tree as I will be doing that in the end so I can deck around the trees leaving enough room for them to grow. I put 100 kgs of weight onto the cross beam and it held well.
Most of the posts are in place as shown in the photo above. The tricky bit came next where I had to do the last post. The post itself was difficult, but the bearer was the biggest problem, being very close to the ground to make it level with the front rail. In fact, to make it fit in place, I had to cut a root out from the tree! I also had to dig a trench for it to go in, but at least it all fit. At this point all still level and almost done!
The two photos above show the finished product! All nicely in place, all level and done. Except of course, now I have to go back, pull them all apart and the finish it off.
What this means is:
- Mark where the bearers are so that the recess will be in the right place to keep the bearer level
- Remove the bearer and support beams
- Unbolt the post
- Measure the post to be exactly 180cm from the bearer and cut it to size (this means the wall will be the same height all around the deck)
- Recess the point for the bearer
- Drill the hole for the second bolt
- Bolt the post back in using both bolts and ensuring that the post is up straight
- Cut the bearer to the right length and make it have a recess to fit two bearers in the same post recess
- Bolt the bearer in and make sure the deck is still level
- Reattach the support beams if needed.
Simple. See? But, that’s work for the next blog.