Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 64

{

i

lj,r'

ii

:

W

Presidenl& Publisher

DonoldB.Peschke

Editor

TimRoberlson

SeniorllesignEditor

Jomes R.Downing

SeniorEdiior

Billlink

AssociqteEdibr

JoeHowkins

AssisiontEdiiors

Wyotl Myers,

KoteBusenborrick

ProiectBuilder

Mike Donovon

AssociobArt Director Sr.GrophicDesigner Seniorlllushotors

KimDowning

KurtSchultz

ErichLoge

 

Motf Scolt

Creolive Direclor

TedKrolicek

Sn ProiectDesigners

KenMunkel

KentWelsh

ChrisFitch

RyonMimick

Shop€rofismen

SteveCurtis

SteveJohnson

Senior Photogropher

CroyoloEnglond

Phobgropher

TobinBennett

Associob Slyle Direclor

RebeccoCunninghom

Pre-Presslmoge Spec.

TroyClork

Group Direclor Mo*eting bnd Soles J.FritzCroiger
'i

i!

Adv. SofesMonogers

GeorgeA. Clork80A563-5472

MoryK.Doy

877-835-1955

MorketingAssociole NicolleScott515-875.7135

Audit Bureau

of Circulations

WOreENCH

(SSN

{x)43 E057) is publishcd bnnoDthly

(F$., Apdl,Junc, Aug., Oct., l)ec.) by Au$st l{ouc

I'ublish;rg Con|P.oy,

22(X)

/odhd

is i h&nE.k

Gr.Dd Avd., l)$

of AuSs!

Mohcs,

lA 5{)312.

HotrE l'ubhhnrg.

Copyrigh! O2m4

Au$st

HonE

I'ublishtug Complny.

All rishs

r.scNcd.

Sub$dpdon nG: Sntdc copy, a4.9. On.-yc.rsubscnption

(6 Gus),

t22: No-

yLlr sub., t33; drec-yclr sub., t44. CrMdrn/lnd.,

add tl0

p.rycs.

PenodicrLr posbgc prid.t

I)s

Monrdr, Iow.,

ard at additional officcs.

"USPS/l).ry-Judd\ Hsrtlard l)ivision rutomublc poly."

Porma*er:

Seod rddrs

chargs

o

Wo*lrlr/r,

l'O

Dox 37272, BooDc. lA 5U)37r)272.

Cmadim

Subsdption3:

(l!u&

Po$ Areeilrtr!

'nfonnit'oil

M

Scild ehrils( ofJddr$(

PO Aox 881, St,tun hted

Miir,

h

khril.

U.S.A.

ON

No.4t[38201.

tol

L3P 8M6.

^

AugUSf

^

PUBrrsa

 

How

I NG

 

corponkse*c$: clredkra *,do,,. |,ousrsI

 

Hi(k,

Miry R. Sch.vc.6/tDlidi CdsSsllc, s'.

 

/@inrcrrr

hunJ.

Thon6,

A@nilB

Paydbh':Mary J. Sehlle.

A@unB R?eirahh: Mlrgo

Pem.

!'lcd.

 

,l'r.

D'.j

l)oughr M. Li&tcr. ,bd

Di.r C.o$

Chtrridan, Ite

PK

h'qe

SFcilk

Mnniefte

 

Joh'sn,

Stnoil /ddnr.j

Cft

Schwdrhck,

rc

Md!ira,,r,

lid.:

llobcft

D- Cook, Ndo M.dh

M!1.:

GordoD C. Giippe,

rd

Sn

/t

Dri

EuFnc

I'ede6cn,

Milnil.did

Dsiptt

Krn

Dlsri$

ry.,

&trrldtrr)'.i

Carcl Scho{ple\

wil

sil. Cilt

il M!6|DaridAnw

Wcl' hdtM:

T.ry

Walker,

 

R.r.drl

cbrl'ir,?o.

Ni.hof6

A. Jtcgct, thJ

Melophot

Diri

Mich,l

Sisl,

H,,,,r

ReJorrdr /sr.

j

Kisren

Koeb, qfir.Mfrj

Nedicb'tldalc,

Alfh.

h4./R.rytiollr:JcaucJoLN\

 

Ad'nh. Arr't.:

D.nielle

l)ehoblough,

 

Mdil/Dlivry

Cl.,*:

bu

Webber, rdalrier

M{'.:

Kuf

Joh.sn

. Ctuuladm:

 

Citr. Opt. Dr.i SandyBaoi1, Cir. tudah&

Dt.: WrydcJ. Khryb.il. Ro'oel

Mri:

l'dsc RoseE.

 

Gt.

Shdtqi. tsan6

Atdtsri

(tr

$hleilnns,

Prula M. DcM.rtct,

Cir.

Md*rri8

4rarr,i

l,.rick

 

A.

W*h.

Cin. Matuanu A$.r.i Chn*nre Fomt, n!tlrr.,,

 

M{rr St{h

Id;nah

'Creitiv.

R.sm$:

 

9

Lr,o'j

Cni8Rucrsq

 

/sr.

Ijli,o'j

Jocl lis,

/d

l'.r

Dougln A- flnn,.Sr

Gqhk

Mipts:

 

Chtr

Glowacki,

Mark A. Hay6, Jr., Robnr

Fdcnd, si

G,/tt

&rirfl?':

Ilmdy

Shebek, Crdpr,?

 

&r,:{/.r

ktic

Bskru

 

. NocB

Group:

Orrdlio,r

Dr

i Bob B.kci

Crio'w

&'i

Mx'i Jcnf,ie

 

Enos,

k

&d.

Neil Nndini . Wm&midr

Mg:Johtr

/dElou

kpr.rTalmy

Rtpt.i Meli$a Clark, Kint Harlin,

$rF/to':

Nmqjoh'er

8/pi

Lindrjotrd,

/$,.

&,/cri Nrnq

l)own.y,

sL Ctr.

Truckenbrcd, Anm Cox. ApnlRevell.I)ebonh

Cheryl

Store: MXr. j Dave hD,

Mf,r:Janr6 Hochs,

JoFdaD,

rydE 'd'ra Srdl

Syldi

ArL

M{.:TinT\.len,

LD'rd.vlr

Lry

Motun,

iltir

StaE StiryndR.d"h$

John Wmcn,

Rich. Vdcne Jo Riley, Os,.

Carcy, Kin

Mnhudie

Frceufi;

Matutiry

Qffa MJ6.i

Mark Mattisi,

SLr

.sr4lf Wendell sbne,

Mark

Bnu

SimnDm.

Sibcren,Pdt, &p,.

Edwad,TaDil

Kslcr,

Vicki

Johnson, G.epV

Sinno$,

Shcdc

kuzbnch,

Ceoryi, Kimek, Dn

Davc Frenmrnrg,Stqhen Duncs,

LeBe"u, Mike Mc(llulcy

CustomerService

Phone:800-31t-3991

Subscriptions

Editoriql

WorkberchCustomer Serice PO. Box 842, Da Moines,IA 50304-9961 Online:

WorkberchCustomer Serice PO. Box 842, Da Moines,IA 50304-9961 Online:
WorkberchCustomer Serice PO. Box 842, Da Moines,IA 50304-9961 Online:

lVorkbwh Magazine

2200GnndAve.

Da Moina,lA 50312 eroil: Editor@Workbenchmag.com

woRKBENcH

!

;uNn

2004

EDITOR'SNOTES

here'sa lot to be saidfor front porches.Not the leastof which is fond memoriesof beine a Kool-Aid-drinking, lightning-bug chasing,porch-swinging kid. More and more, though, I've come to appreciatethe uniqueopportunity a porch providesto visit with passersby,

catch up on what's happening in the neighborhood, and just plain relax. Well, asidefrom nostalgia, what's all this talk about front porches anyway? It has to do with a porch we

built recendy,an addition to an 1885 r\rvo-story house a few blocks from rhe Worlebenrhshop.As you can seein the Photosbelow, the porch made a huge improvement, visually "qing"

the house to the landscape and cre- ^tinga warm, welcoming Gel.

All in all, I couldn't be more

pleasedwith how this porch turned

out. ltt not

tackle lightly, however. Designing

and building the main structure of a porch - in particular the framing for the floor and roof- can get

quite complicated.To be honest, it's ajob thatt best left to a professional.

Then, once the structure is in place, you can add the distinctive details that make the porch unique. Transforming a Porch - So

what arethose transforming details? In short, they're the porch flooring, columns, and railings.These are the projects we've detailed in the article beginning on page 38. They're the most visually interesting aspectsof a

porch.They re also the most expen- sive if you were to hire the work

done. Fortunately, adding these ele- ments is well within the reach of most any woodworker.And whether it's a new or an existing porch, doing the work yourself savesa bundle. Plus it gives you something to chat about when neighbors stop to visit.

the rype of project to

4 /

t'/t

FEATURES

Gonlrents

WORKBENCH'June2004

Wh

PlosticMeetsWood

Durable,adaptable,and lout-maintenance compositemateials openup a naa realmof possibilities for your outdoorprojects.

Increaseyourhome'scurbappealwith a Jront porchfaceffi.Thesethreesimpleproj- ectswill dressup a neworexistingporch.

er Potti

Sturdyccdarandcompositeconstructionwill makethismttage-stylepottingbenrha useful anilattractiuegardenfxtureforyearstocome. Plus,youmnbuililit in a ureekend.

Onlineb<tro:CullingDiogrom

Aword-WinninqRedwoodDecks

hesentingthewinnercofourred*ooddeck mntestco-sponsoredbyWorkbenchandthe CalforniaRedw od,* sociaion.

KitchenSto

e Tro

Easy to mount underkitchencabinets,these uniquetrays"tilt down" at an angleto makekitchenaccessoriesreadilyauailable.

Online Exho:InlerocliveMobriols List

IN EVERYISSUE

CONTENTS

READER'SWORKSHOP

WORKBENCHSHOPTIPS

TOOLCLOSE-UP

MicroFence

Thisuersatilerouterfenceallowsforprecise

adjustmentsandsimplfiescomplex

routingoperations.

Questions& Answers llEW!FinishingFundomenhls Tips& Techniques Tools& Products CroftsmonshipClose-Up

SKILLBUILDER

JoineryWorkshop

karn

will defendyour outdoorprojectsagainst Mother Nature'sworst.

f@OnlineVideo:ThreeWeotherproofJoints

how to makethreedffirentjoints that

LREVIEU/

6" Rondom- OrbitSonders

Think a sanderisjust a sander?Wegaueseuen newmodelsa spinand cameup with some surprisingresults.

1 \i-/

,

acluestions

iis ffiljiitflilf,,

I wouldliketomakemortiseandtenonjoints in my

shop,butI don'touma drillpres.k thereanywayI couldmakemortiseswithafxed-baserouter?

Joel Breidenbach

Waemail

A lt'seosyto cutmortiseson

o tobl+mountedrouter.The

keyisto setstopblocksto estoblishtheendsof the

mortiseond useo guideroil

to keeptheworkpiecefrom

kickingout.A storterhole /nsef/ creoteso pocketthot

fitsdownovertherouterbit.

You can make mortises with a fixed-base router mounted in a router table.To make a mortise

this way, you have to

lower a workpiece

onto

a spinningbit. It takesa little bit of setupto do this safelyand correctly. You'll needthreethingsfor the technique:r'wostop

blocksclampedto the router tablefence,anda guiderail to keepthe workpiecefrom kicking out from the fence.

Stop Blocks -

The locationof the stopblocksis

important,sotakesometime to positionthem correctly. The ideais to clampthem in placeso that when the workpieceisbuttedagainstthem,the bit is alignedwith

one end of the mortise or the other (seelllustration). Guide Rail - As for the guide rail, it's just a scrap 2x4 glued or screwedto a plywood clamp pad (Main Photo).Posrtionthe clamppadsothatthe workpiececan slidesmoothlybetweenthe rail androutertablefence, and clamp it firmly in place. Rout Mortise - Beforerouting,drill a starterhole

at the front of the mortise (InsetPhoto).Thiscreatesa

pocketthatfitsdown overthe routerbit.Then,curting the mortiseisassimpleasbutting the workpieceagainsr the backstopblock,loweringit onto the spinningbit, andpushingit forward until it hits the front stopblock. Rout the mortisein a seriesof progressivelydeeper passesuntil reachingthe desireddepth.

Rouler

Toble

THIRD:Butt

workpieceogoinst

bockstopblock

ond loweronto

spinningbit

NOIE:Rout

mortisein o series of progressively deeperposses

I HOWTOSENDYOUROUESTIONS:

I Email:editor@workbenchmas.com Forums:forum.woodnelnet MaiI Workbench Q&4" 2200GrandAve.,
I DesMoines,IA 50312

I

t

I

I

I

Indudefullnome,oddress,ond

doylimephonenumber.

You'llrereiveoneofoul

hondsomeWorkhenchcops

ilwepublhhyourlefier.

III J

woRKBENcH

D

JUNE

2004

q meosuringmystery

ANSWERS

SONICVS.LASER

I'm confusedby all the new measuingdeuiceson the market.Can you teIIme what the dffirenceis betureena lasermeasuingdeuiceand a sonicmeasuringdeuice?

--^'

JOUNd

Loser

Beom

Loser

Device

A Whilesonicdevicescolculote distoncewith soundwoves,loser devicesuseo concentrotedbeomof light,mokingthemmoreoccurote.

JohnWatkins

Concord,NH

Sonicmeasuringdevices(such asthosefrom Zircon) calculate distanceby bouncing sound

waves offan object and measuring the time it takesthem to return. (The "laser dots" aresirrrplya targetingdevice.) Sound expandsasit travels,so the fur- ther away a target is,the lessrefiable the

measurenrent (Fig. 1).Thts rnakes sonic

devices great for estimates rather

accuracy.The units retail for $30 to $60. Laser measuring devices (such as those from Leica and Spectra)work in

a similar fashion, only

path ofa laserbeam rather than sonic waves (Frg. 2). Light is more focused than sound, and the speed of light is

more reliable,so lasermeasuring devices can boastaccuracyto within 1/*" o,ret

a distanceof severalhundred feet.This

technology comes at a price, however. Expect to pay at least $300 for one.

than

they measure the

A _fine laycrof rusthasdeuelopcd onmybandsauttabletop.What\tht bcstwayto ramouctherust? KcuinSchmueckcr Wacmail

There are a nurnber of products oLltthereto combat rust.One I've had particularsuccesswith is Bull Frog l\ust Renr over (u,'rvurl}-rll-Fxrg. conr).

All you do is apply a layer of remover

to the tabletop and let it soakin for about 15 rninutes('lopPhoto).Thenwipe the sur-

face clean with a rag.It takesa rusry table down to a shiny, ah-nostnew surflace. For additional protection, spray the tablewith a sealantsuchasBostikTopCote

to prevent further

rust (Bottom Photo).

woRKBENCH

t-t .1uur

2004

ANSWERS

3 eosywqys to

REMOVEGROUT

Thegrouton my tile countertopis crumblingand falling out in places. How canI removethegroutwithout

damagingthe tile?

I

!I

Flor.

I selecta tool for grout removal based

on the size of the area I'm working The lareer the area.the more

powerful the tool I ciloose.Of the tools avail-

RandaLlPhillips

able for removing grout, three of the best

Tienton,NJ

options for doing it are shown at right.

a Grcut Sqw

Thistoolworksgreotfor o smoll |ob. Justplocethetung- stencorbidecuttingedgeon thegroutline,opplypressure, ondmokestroightstrokes.

Groul

r Rotory Tool

Forlorger iobs, Dremel mokeso grouFremovolkitfor rotorytools.Twoguideskeep thebitcenteredinthegrout lineosyoupullittoworoyou.

A Rotory Sqw

Dremel'skitfor rotorysows cutso widergroutlinethon therotorytoolkitshown obove.Andthiskitconodiust to removegroutfromcorners.

woRKBENcH

f] yuNr

2004

in:ff"ti

rltG*r

t{:

't!

.

i.

,

"iil,

+ii

, ili

i,1;;il

,i'A nostyscrotchsuchosthisone presentstwo refinishingchollenges:First,motchingthestoin color,ondsecond,duplicotingtheoriginolfinish.

INVISIBLEREPAIR

:.r1,,

1ilrll

i

I scratchedthesurJaceofmydiningtablein a recelttmoue.NowI losemy

appetitelookingat thatawfulscratch.Any tipsonhowI can fx

it?

ChrisCascalenda

Itguna Beach,CA

l.::,

,i,,,.:,

'i,

One ofthe grcatestfinishing

challenges is matching a

I'r repair to the surrounding

wood.The first challengeis matching the stain color, and the second is duplicating the original finish. Stain the Scratch - Ifthe scratch haspenetrated the finish and changed

the color of the wood (Photoat left),

then begin by restoring the color.

The easiestway I ve found to do this

is by using a stain market (Fig. 1).

Eight

able from Minwax or Olympic.

Sometimes, a combination of two colors will do the trick, so you may

want to experiment on a scrappiece. Replace the Finish - After let- ting the stain dry for four hours, the

colon ofstain markers are avail-

next stepis repairingthe finish.The

ideais to carefully"paint" afine line of finish directlyon the scratch(Frg. 2).Wipeoffany finishthatlandsout- sidethe scratch.

Match the Sheen -

When the

polyurethanedries(4-6 hourslater), chancesarethe sheenofthe repair won't match the table exactly.To addressthis,applya thin layeroffinish to the entiretabletop(Fig.3) Ifyou can still feel the scratch, lightly sandthe areawhile the finish is wet to smooth it out (Fig.4). AIier smoothing,takea cloth and remove asmuch finish asyou can from the tabletop.Thethin layerof finishthat remainscreatesa nice,

uniform sheenon the entiretable.

Workbenchond BruceJohnson, Minwox finishingexpert, ore teomingup to onsweryourques- tionsoboutfinishing.

Sendyourftnishingquestionsfo:

Mqil: WorkbenchQ&A

22QOGrondAvenue

DesMoines,lA 503l2

Emqil: ditor@norfthmhmoq.com

Winners

receive

: o FREE

1.2

Onceyoufindo colormotch,rubthe tip of thestoinmorkerolongthescrotch. Useo clothto removeexcessstoin.

Tomotchthesheenof therepoirto thetoble,wipe o thinloyerof Minwox WipeOn Polyovertheentiretobletop.

', Whenthestoinhosdried,useon ortist'sbrushtoopplyMinwoxFosF DryingPolyurethonetothescrotch.

With thefinishstillwet,gentlysond thescrotchwith600grit sondpoperto smoothit.Thenremoveexcessfinish.

woRKBENcH

ft luNr

2004

:a I

rps

Tethniques

high-copocity

DUSTSEPARATOR

Emptyrng the bag on a dust collector is a dirty job.That's

why many woodworkers use a separator, a specialized

plastic cover that fits on a trash can. It separateslarge chips and deposis them into the trash can so only fine

particles go to the dust collector.

fill as quickly, you dont have to empty it as often.

These separators work okay, but they have one draw- back. When the trash can is about two-thirds full,- all the chips go to the dust collector bag, so it still has to be emptied fairly often. To solve that problem, I made my own high-capacity separator (seePhoto).It allows the trash can to fill completely with chips, so I dont have

to empry the trash or the dust b"g - as often.

Since the bag doesnt

The separator is a 20-gallon, plastic tub attached to

a plywood

(Illustrations,below).A smaller alignment ring, sized to fit

inside the trash can, makes it easyto reposition the sep- arator after you empty the trash can.

To connect the separator to the dust collection system, you'll need to remove the bottom ofthe plastic rub and

add a plywood top. Two holes in the top hold metal pipe fittings that connect to flexible hoses.For an airtight

seal, caulk around the fittings and attach self-adhesive

weatherstripping

mounting

ring that sits on the trash can

to the large ring.

Mike Harris

Innilon. Ontario

Forsendingushistip,

MikeHaniswinsa

BlackandDecker

cord,essho,kit

Maillips to:

Wo*ienchlips

& Techniques

2200GrandAvenue

DesMoines.lA

s0312

Etmifteoioro

workbenchmag,com

14

Incominooir

Fine

loodediirh

dustporticles

chips& dust

goio collecior

sEcTtoNvtEw

ToP

P/a" pi.rityo"airH

-fF-\

f{

I

d;if,

NoTE:cur4"

holesforfittings .

i

(S"center

;.";d

i

:1

i

i _3li-.a

j;

i

Remoye lroliom+

of rub

MountingRing

P/a" ply.x

l97z"l.D.x

)

24 O.D.I

-

=j-=

|

W x3h'Lvide

Weother-

Alignfient Ring P/n" ply.

xl9Wl.D.

#8 xlh"

SheetMebl Scrcws

PonHeod

woRKBENcH

!.JuNr

2004

.

UTTIMATE

TECHNIQUES

W|'RKSH(3P

I

t

I ltt

I

I

I

t

,

l t

r r t

I

t l

t t

I

I

t t

I

I

I

scrollsow

BLADESTORAGE

To keep my scroll saw blades organized and in easyreach,I rnade a sin'rplerack that attachesto my saw.Similar to a chemistry test-tube rack,the blades

are"filed" in short lengths of PVC plasticpipe.

The pipe fits into holes in

the top and bottonl

of the rack.To keep bladesfrom falling out,"stop" the holesin the bottonr piece.Then add a hard- board mounting plate.

3/a" hole

Top/Botiom

(%"x3"x8"!

PaulA.Thray

Sand Springs,OK

t

IYEAWAY

DtY',SUUHAll W0ttSlt0P GtYtAt[AY200t Offt(ltt tullS:

| . tlow lo hld: tloPud$sll€(€$oryh tnid0rlvln0ftiz€,A prd|6e riil nol imre yowclnxsofwinnirg.Bqiming0l9:000.m.t6lsr Im ('ff) mliloy3, 2004until5:$p.m.tTonJm ll, ?(M,yurmcymtertiem6okcinmydilr

lohringw0F: (i) mlm byvisitingltp 00lt Yor$lflletuql ('0lY')rtei site

{v*n diynt*at.cun) (tte 'DlY l4tobdb')odconflelinqltEnlho$|ryfm W pG

vifin{yil mm,c0mpblsddr6s, phorte

runhrondvdilHnoilod&N{imitone

u$mentrypapesn/enroil0dd6psd0y),fdenlryintottr Grondftin dmiq (oll

6 defrrdHow);s (D hrd flint youmm. (mplele ddes ondpiomrumher

dtiamo3l/2'r 5'pmtcrd0.etsrotodtro0ftsp€rmhqulhnI 1/2'r 11'. andmilngllncmdu ppe (limil m (l ) fllrypr $nild, dlu ombpe)l0:0lY's UltimotoWolclropfiwv, P0.Box53013&nnilh,Ttl37950.Youmoymltr h

mdlc ofteno yo wi$hrt0llenldesm|6lbe Fsmoild byJurel{, 2004ond

miidhyJuu?1,?004hbsrhrdinlottrftndfiiredmh.ltednKdryrq0fud

fr illomd oniierwillf,otbeftGfd. lf0nmlronlM muhifemoilofirm to

ridl m tfunm mlmentryfu o dvm dsy,oh lh fu 0niimenlrylu lhl duy ri[ h el1iblelormlry.llw olliciqlruh m obomf,ouo0tth 0{Yt{ldsilsd b

sfidnqr df 0ffe$d, nomds'ydogoh l)lYlUltinohW0rkst'00Gvoousy - nR, t0. Bor53305, (mwllq Ili 37950bytutyl?, 2m{.50ippllerruk,lm.dAlo DlY,ltn Swssrhkctnlflia (ddrd hbw), pde spdm, od ofthir offiots, sisilhfl!, Frill orFrolim,odwrliingord Fmlin 0!sri6, ondollofirsir ros00rliwoffGs, 'Rdmm"). dir€d0s,$omholdss,omdoyemond0g6nlskdodiwh mdmvondolllf,lgmisw mdft(s fiwilsh) ffomt60q6hh l0f myirmst o iwmlB onlryinhm0lim;lilmn mot;ldld.0l mlfufflids; l0iltr6,misdon,inleruplim,&hirn,a Mectofmytdephmmlxd, ompuhr mlmsFlem. (mpdu 0qdFlHt,wr pmids,tr efiwn, indudinqoryiqsyfl domp|0nmrfsoronyotlupotrl out{ nhliql0il Kningtom FliriFlim

intliswftdm; indilitytom th W* ile; thft, hmpringdmlnxlirn,u mriDdrd0((ssh,ff dlsmlindmlirq|n6ft1if,6lhilmFu6dbhdiMdily ord0in(ompl0lBorlondijoh omptd0role(lloni(m0lirrlinu trnfttmgelimon flpInhfl0tfl !t orry$ibbsi8; pinli{, hw0n,d otfiflem;od orrymtricvltifi oe ht0,bst,irmpl0b,nidiffid,ldm, muilotd, fut*, prbled,r pctqedu,o onycariinotitnthrmf.ftmfdmilingismtwifudprmfo{ddwryumeipt.All effiichomsltn f0prly otOlYondwillmth ntuntd.[nWmlflioblhdlm hfl hmpsodsidrn 0llfled0ntrfi. 2. f,g&fitp lhbmophkc boFnmhlolsg0l oidmlsdir U.S. qrd ilstsililuiB,pGssim0d (mwltlr (erddrng Pwrto [ro) wtnuel8 ymrofqe 0rdds,ercoplordoys (fld lieirimr|di0lef!fliliB

bos,

Itrir ltrlrotpld)ofDll 0lY'spqromprorirhr,tows (mprios, lm., &iSS8

Sffiil (qpuutim, 0odgs,}|moywdl(qEUmhdulsC{dg,PropomEdmlinond

Rasodt (ould ondoils ptiriptirg $osmd

sbsidorb,cd afflidedsililb {coledinty,tie 'Swpsrokc Entrlis').Usofthe

 

Vt"xVz"

7a"counlersunk

Mochine

mountingholes

Screw

p

-U1"

Lock

Nut

)

Mounfing

Plo|e

pmnh,dh[r'S,d$dmod eodofllnimpelinspum)od mhsof

lhrilrQ€diw tsml cmFni6,

3/4" hole,

3/s" deep

fflry iilumlin 0bl0imdfim ilw mlrmhwtomt€r0nlimh sbitrtb

fi€ sils!

pimqpohy,ordsxhcomnlgrM0tlim 0f qtry. ltrsnn0nbr|ffi tts

RdM

Y2" PVC,

4" long

Scroll-Sow

NOTE:Pioeisremovoble to cleonoutdust

Stond

frmd0sidd fiir6otddqmS6ft*{hurElimsilhsdrn|l0f,fsFiiciFlin mfld nty inif, so6hks ond/uttemeiptr w olanyprizeomrddinilrb vmptukc.l}b vmptdc isgowmdby1J.5.hwondiss$i€dl00llfdad,sl0l0 ordhol lom.Voilwhn orehihtdbvlm. 3. ftftr* GmdPrire:Ons{l) Gmnd ftizelliinmvllsin: {i)550,000h dr fil lmbf,d mletubl0buiHm llltimt0 lvdkhp (lor0l loponmdoR0btr\tolm ("AlV') ol6mndftize:550.000).TotolARVof

dl pirosintib sroopt*o:550,000.00.IF odd0l$nnir{dopildupillis rumbq

ofolfuiileenfiareteiwdfa th oppffi|odrodB.All (61s,qF$os, md/nhxof

osodotsdwitionyo|glwrtoftlp piz0s mfsp€dfo[yodresdl|doinoroiE soio nryrihtllof ttnrcpeliwprizewinm. lh gmlis oldlofmntinsdd€nmb

olmypdzsinlhympsttsshllh nlely&tmind I

b',rilt mmdy r

$iffi[06 orosubpdt0ltBl03p€div0m[ufodjldtloilrBond (ildfio$. Wnnds0l

tlBGnidftie willftoirs0fomi099. hirescomotbs|Iuddrod,$bsNilud0l ndemdfo oh erceptot0lY!sledbselin,inwl*i w 0 pfl:6 0foqul$ gmlc

dmslnlhmdd. lllprizcrilhmdd. 4.Dmfig d llollfi.ol|clh pohnlidrinm oflieGmndfthevillh Cectdh omndsndmie fim muq oil eliptlemliesinttnopflioUe pia pool ono oioutlm 23,2004byonindecdmt i4in0 o$lirlirn ond$ll b0 (0nhctd h ovdrighlcoutuond/u plmowilhin

oppoxirmtdyhi (l 0)d0t60liln dwirg. llm ofltn pdzewim wilh ItuUYlttdsh. iudF'd06h8*ilhmqedlote tim odotlwmlln

b ltresmpldm slnlh fiml.Poturtiolwinmnnyh rquid t0ilfilts mcffidovil

ofdittihlilyondnlss d

ffw6) bunmfrp ofiwe, drdr€ $f:i€dl0wifiolin mdcmy'imowithtlw ruhs.lf |)lYb mblot0 (onhd opotwrtiolprinwinm,il opotenlid Fro whMhb lomy'oloud olm dlfom byfn gotifod dote.it o ptantiolpdrowiw fdbb mdyritiaryoftnBqiqmhofllw0ftil ftk,oif mypr6qpdnmlifufin

b rolmxlo ur&hwils,lle oftewf,h flrfuid od m lltsnohwimr$dl bs

s0ldM.llimscilslshlh$aof thirmme, phloqnpi, ftm, blrymily,wio

od/r vib fr odvatiirgsd Funoliomlpirlosss,

wiinlddtimlomprotkn, 0plmlfl mlir, oKoptwlse pmhfitd bhw. lf,in

llnf{c'qinim,lhao buryspxld r rludsvikn dolxtruics mHlodmni(

hnpuing*ii srypfllim0fltnseeptoks,a iflrdmiddifrarlliccmpmir lh

inl0gily0fitr ffiFl0ls,

(fldd0dmdoNir0h0v'!rdltplrteui'g d oli$h,mu4odilibftcivd6

0{lhtsmtulin&h. Slnfl tBsx,000$drsbhmtuH qUblk $ld oftlinl &n, mit nl h pdd mlln OlYltt its. 5.utnft lbr 0nu don]dy 12, 2001pmyfth ip mdlh

pis rim oiltHby FiB loltF|)lY UISilo d milim o sdhdrmd

ffi"ffi'mffiCil

scissor-stylecor iock rescues

WARPEDDECKBOARDS

Tiy asI might to pick all straight deck boards for a project, a few

inevitably warp before I'm ready to use them. However, it'.spos-

sible to

straighten a warped board

- even when working by your-

self- with the aid of a scissor-

sryle car jack.

L 2x4 cleat screwed to the

supporting joists ailows you to exert enough force with the jack to straighten the board. Then screw the board in place.

CraigHuber

Marengo,IL

DIYftircommdd'm

$nnilH,

eittroerprxodo imflid.lrryonddlmnonicord

pmtdm

pstdning

fiolifilyond pdlrity(0x(0pt wlus prohititd bylm) dtiin

i"drdh mhmonmsmils,

ttr iudg6 r6du ltudghtl0ldnimhlttsv00ts1dcf,d

Note: As deueran applicationo;fmechanicaladuantageas this k, the jack will not do you onebit ofgood in the euentof a Jlat tire unlessyou rememberto returnit to thecarwhen you'refn- ishedtuith your deckproject.

h dTtloOlYDohYud lloml iizisi.l sbd:.r,rr'fu-.n'iicii.

qrdd*ff

ProductInlormationNumber274

woRKBENCH

!

JUNE

2004

20

WORKSHOP

Jr,

l'

q workstqfion

for

POCKETJOINERY

I tt hardto beata pocket-holejig

I for makingstrong,accuratejoints

for doingitfsr.You simply clampaworkpiecein thejig, drill an angledhole (or holes,asthe casemay be),andscrewthe piecestogether. To make pocket-holejoinery evenmore efficient,Don Carlsenof Centennial,CO incorporatedhisjig into a simpleworkstation (seePhoto above).Note:Thejig shownhereis manufacturedby the Kreg Tool

Company (Model #K2). For aKreg Tool dealernearyou,visit their web siteat KregTool.com

|

-and

Side Supports -This

worksta-

tion isparticularlysuitedto handling

Iargeworkpieces.That'sbecauseof a

large"wing" on eachsideof thejig

that providesplenty of support for

long workpieces (Photo,above)and largepanels(InsetPhoto). Built-in Storage - Another

handy thing aboucthis starionis a pair ofplasricstoragetrayshousedin a compartmentbelow the worksur- face.Theserrayskeepdrill bits,pocket screws,plugs,and all the necessary accessoriesatarm'srcach(Photo,ight).

Finally,the entire

workstationcaneasilybe carriedto

thejob site.Apair ofhandholdspro- vide a comfortablegrip.And once the job is completed,you simply

stow everything in the station and

hangit on the wall (Photo,page22).

Portability -

A Plosticstorogetroyskeeppocket- hole occessoriesorgonized.We purchosedthesetroys (Akro-Mils

#14316)fromTrueVolueHordwore.

woRKBENcH

-l .yuNt

2004

WORKSHOP

A A mounfingholein theboseof the workstotionletsyou hong it on the woll for storoge.Wood stopskeep theplostictroysfromslippingouf.

building the stqfion

Ifyou're

bet you alreadyhavethe most important thing - a pocket-holejig.To makeassem- bling the workstation quick and easy,you can use the jig itself to createthe joinery.

It's alsousedasan alignment tool when building the workstation.

building thisworkstation,itt a sure

Build

the Base

- The first step is to

build

(ConstructionView).It providesthe main sup-

port for the two wingsandhousesthe plastic storageffays. The baseconsisbof a3/4"plywoodboaom (A),t*o endpieces(B),andasub-top(C).The endsandsub-top form an inverted U-shaped

assemblythat createsan openingfor the trays. To make it easyto slide the traysin and out, sizethe opening so it's 3/s" wider than the

the trays.This provides

1/s" clearanceon the sidesof the traw,andalso

combined width of

the

base of

the

workstation

betweeneachone.

After cuttingthebasepiecesto size,itt just amatter of drilling pocket holesandscrewing them together (FrontViewDetail).Then,to prevent the traysfrom slipping out when transportingthe workstation,add a couple of stops(D).Thesenarrow stripsof wood butt agairstthe front andback ofthe trala and aregluedin place. Support'Wings - The next stepis to addthe two supportwings (E).They"sand- wich" the pocket-holejig betweenthem, forming a large, continuous worksuface. To end up with a flat, level surface,the wingsmustbe flushwith thejig base.Aset of four spacers(F) elevatethe wings to accomplish that (SpaeerDetail). Plane the spacersto the appropriatethickness.Then use the pocket-holejig to position the spacersand glue them to the sub-top.In the sameway,usethe jig to position the wings and attachthem with screws.

coNsTRucTroNvrEw

@

SupportWing F/a" pV.x 9Bld'xl6"l

PockeFHoleJig

(Kreg Model#K2l

U1.'

roundovers

Thickness

mokhesbose

Sub-Top

(%"ph.x 8"x2l7/s"l

Spd-cer

(opprox. %"thick

xllz" xl0Wl

lr/a"

PockeFHole

Screw

l " hole

for hongin{

worksiofion

,. 'f

on woll

l%'PV.x8"x30"f

NOTE:Locotestopsto fit snuglyogoinstfrontond bockof siorogetroy

woRKBENcH

ft luNr

2004

TIPS FROMTHE

loy,ngoulon

OGEEPROFILE

A cathedral arch, identified by its ogee profile (a double

curve in the shapeof an elongated'S') is often usedasa

designelement for cabinet doors,nrirror frames,and head- boards.It's also a distinctive feature on the back panel of

our potting bench fuage 58).Forappearance,the arch must be symmetrical.Therein lies the challenge -

laying out a perfect ogee profile. Two Templates -To do that, I usedtwo tem-

plates:one for the center of the arch and one for the sides(seePhotoat right).Since the curve is sym-

metrical, the side template is used to lay out each half of the arch.

A template doesn't require any specialmaterial.

I used 1/"1" plywood, but hardboard or even poster-

board would alsowork.The shapeof the template

is laid out using a narrow strip of l/a" plylvood asa

A Whenloying

compass (Making aTbmplate).Note

that the distance

oui the ogee

berween the pivot point of the compass(a nail) and the

profilefor the

pencil is equal to the radius of the template.(The back

cothedrolorch

panel of the bench requiresa 20"-radiustemplatefor the

on

this

pot-

top and a 30"-radius template for the side.)

ATwotemplotesmokeit eosyto loyouto cothedrol orch.Troceoroundthetemplotes,then"blend"the linestogethertoformo smooth,symmetricolcurve.

tingbench,the

Lay Out Arch -

It's easyto lay out the

arch on the

trick is to use

back panel.Align the center template with the peak of

two templotes.

the arch,clamp it in place,and trace around tt (Illustration,

Thiswillensure

belou,).Forthe sides,lay out a line indicating the "low"

o smoothcurve.

point of the arch.Then align the side template with this mark, butt it againstthe center template,and trace the arc (Photo,aboveright).kepeat this processon the

other side of the panel.Then remove the templatesand

"blend" the lines together to produce a smooth curve.

IAYING OUTTHEARCH

Centerlhie templbteon widthol panelsciit ali1no

with peak of arah, then alafip it in plaaeanA lraae ihe arc

Ali1nlhia templale wllh

lowpoint of arah,buttit

Againat

aeiter templale, then traoe ara.

lHIR,D:

Removetemplalesaind 'i blenA lineEtit produae ai moolh, 5 - ah)ped curve

1,4

i

9abk

taiid

woRKBENCH

D

JUNE

2004

TIPSFROMTHE

HOP

circulqrsqw

CUTTINGGUIDE

Using a circular saw to crosscuta 4x4 post is a comnon operation.To cut all the way through the post,you haveto make rwo passes.Thisoften leavesa small ridge of mate-

rial on the end of the post where the cuts aren't aligned. To create a clean, accurate cut, I use a shop-made guide. Basically,itt a U-shaped "saddle" that clamps to the post (Photo,right).Two fences, one on each side, guide the saw to ensure perfectly aligned cuts.These fences allow you to make either 45o and 90o cuts, which comes in handy for cutting the 4x4 corner

blocksand legsofour

potting bench (page58)

>Thehiongulor

>Thehiongulor

corner blocks

corner blocks for the potting benchrequire occurotemiter

for the potting benchrequire occurotemiter

cuts -

on both

The cutting guide consistsof two sides(A), a back (B),and rwo identical fences(C), eachwith a 90o and a 45" edge.Startwith extra-long pieces for the sidesand back. They'll be trimmed to length later with the circular saw, forming reference edgesthat will be used to position the guide on a workpiece. Carefully lay out the loca-

a workpiece. C a r e f u l l y lay out the loca- tions

tions of the Gnces on each side of the guide so they align with each other. Then attach the fences and trim the

tions of the Gnces on each side of the guide so they align with each other.

sidesof o 4x4. Ourshopmode guidemokeshot o simpletosk.

Fenae

Uz" ply.)

5ide

(/2" ply. x 61/2"x 24" rgh.)

Baak

(l\z"x3lz"x

24" rgh.)

26

wastewith a circular saw to

To use the guide, align the appropriate reference edge with a layout line on the post, clar.npthe guide, and make a cut. Then, without removing the guide, turn the post over and make a fina1passon the oppositeside.

createthe referenceedges.

I

9U

refercnce

edgea .,

]

4x4 ?osl

Side

NOfE:

lo create relerenaeedgeo on autting Ouide,6tart wilh extra-lonq sidea and baak,then trim to lenOlh wiLhairaular aaw

AWhenusingo circulorsowtocrosscutor mitero

4x4 post,thisU-shopedcuttingguideletsyoumoke

onefromeochside.

two perfectlyolignedcuts -

45'MITERS

To miter the

thick

blocksfor the

pottingbench,

slipthecutting

guideoroundo

4x4 post.Then,

usingthe 45'

fenceto guide

theboseof the

sow,mokelwo

posses,onefrom

eochside.

corner

cRosscr,T5

Thecullingguide olsosimplifies the iob of trim- ming the 4x4 legsof thepot- ting benchto length.Onlyhis time,ofieryou clomptheguide to lhe posl,use the90'bnce frc guidethebose of thesow.

w o r { K l t E N C r . r f t

luNe

2004

Ti

- _

TOOL

it

$lf ''I''

i

>Thonksto itsprecision odiustmentmechonism (lnset),theMicroFence tokestheguessworkout of routingperfectly-sized dodo ioints, lt'sshown Abovewith o low-orofile fencefor routingdodoes of exoctintervols.

Advonced Clqss:Inloys

Whenrouterworkneedsb beincredibly precise,suchoswhenroutinggroovesfor

inloywork(Fig.IJ,theMicroFence'ssuper-

fineodiustmentofferspinpointoccurocy. Thebestoccurocyisochievedby using o roulerbitthot'ssmollerthonhe desired widthof thegroove.Aftermokingo first posswiththeundersizedbit, useo diol colipertomeosuretheinsidedimensionof thegroove(Fig.2). Thencomporethotto thewidthof the inloymoteriol(Fig.3). Subtroclthewidthof thegroove(.250in thisexomple)fromthewidthof theinloy

moteriol(.3301.Thedifference(.080)tells

you exoctly how for to odjusf the MicroFence.

28

MicroFence

ROUTER

EDGEGUIDE

Humor me for just a moment and think of your router

as a workhorse. In

workhorse, you're going to need a good bridle. So to

further, let me just saythat

stretch this metaphor a little

order to get anything out ofyour

MicroFence makesone of the bestrouter"bridles" going. The Micrometer Edge Guide System (MicroFence for short) is an incredibly precise,microadjustable router

fence that delivers repeatabiliry accuracy,and versatility beyond conventional fences. The version I evaluated is the MicroFence Total Package.This package includes everything for precise joint making and circle cutting in diametersfrom 6" to 24". It sellsfor about 9260, which is in the low end of the $160 to $1,200 price rangeofMicroFence packages. The more inclusivepackagescontain accessoriesfor cutting ellipses,attachments that expand the circle-cut- ting range from assmall as 1" in diameter to aslarge as 48", and various other attachments too numerous to list

seethe entire line.) the first places the

MicroFence proves its worth is in the relatively simple

operation of cutring

some point, you ve probably noticed that a %"-thick sheet

here. ffisit www.MicroFence.com to Straight Line Basics - One of

rabbetsand dadoes (Photosat W).At

woRKlrENcH

ft;uNr

2004

of plywood isnt quite 3/+" thick, but a3/q" straightbit

really is 3/+". So ifyou cut a dado with a3/+" bit,itwill be

slightly oversized for the pi1'wood, resulting in a poor

The secretis to cut the joint

smaller than the plywood

a bit

fit.

in rwo passeswith

(a s/s" bit is a good choice).

'With the MicroFence, adjusting the router for the

second pass(the one that really counts) is a simple nutter using the onboard microadjuster.The MicroFence is adjustablein increments of .001", so my approach was

to "sneak up" on the settingsuntil I found the perfect rwo-passpositioning. Once thosewere established,I set

stop collarsso I could quickly cut multiple dadoes.(The

stop collars are a 925 accessory).

Circle-Cutting Basics -The circle-cutting abiliry of the MicroFence is one more way this systemdistin- guishes itself from off-the-rack router fences (Photo,top

right). By attaching the circle-cutting jig to the MicroFence, circlesranging in diameter frorrr'6" to 24" can be cut with the samelaser-like precision.

Another interesting feature of the MicroFence is irs abiliry to accuratelyfollow irregular shapes(such asthe curve shown tn the Photoat right). For operations such

asthis,attach the half-round insertsthat come with the basickit (Photo,right).The insertsprovide fwo constanr

contact points for better directional control.

Advonced Closs:Circlewithin o Circle

TheMicroFencegoeswellbeyondjusteverydoy circlecuttingwithoperotionslikecircl+in<ircle culs.Inthisexomple,I cuto lorgeringfromo sheetof mopleplywood.Aftercuftingtheinner portof thering,I usedthemicroodiusterto increosethediometerof thesetupby exoctly thediometerof therouterbit.ThenI cuto finol circlefromo sheetof wolnutplyvood (Fig.al. Theresultwoso seomless,two-portcirculor |oblebpcutino fewsimplesteps fFrg. 5/.

M***

woRKTENCH

tr luNE

2004

< Thecircle

iig

occessory

kitturnsthe

MicroFence

intoon

incredibly

occurotecircle

iig

fordiome

tersronging

from6" to

24',.

< Holf-round

insertsonthe

MicroFence

mokeit

copobleof

following

contours,such

oswnen

routingo

groove

porollelto o

curvededge.

29

ll

ll

{

WHENPLASTICMEEISWOOD

I Recycledplosticond recop-

turedwood ore reducedto dust

or pelletformond thenblended

to creotecompositeproducts.

Pholoscoudesyo{Timbe(Tech {obovel ondTrex liopl

30

I n the simplest of terms, composites are an

I alternative to natural wood made from a

I Ute"a of recycled plastic and recaptured

I sawdust (lnset Photo).Theseunlikely bed-

fellows are blended in roughly equal quanti-

ties at high temperatures.The molten "goo" thatt formed is then extruded and cut into manageable lengths. At first, this technology was applied exclu- sively to deck boards. Today, the category includes deck boards, handrails,balusters,fascia boards, molding, and even fence material. In

short, whatever your outdoor project, chances are theret a place for composites.

Composites are an excellent choice for

several reasons.Chiefly,

maintenance materials.In most cases,an annual

cleaning is all that's required. Another reason to select composites is longeviry. Most manufacturers estimate the

life expectancy oftheir product at around 75 years (interestingly, warranties range from 10 years to lifetime).

And one final argument for composites is the intrinsic flexibiliry of the material.This unique trait makes it easierto incorporate eye-catching design elements into a deck, such as the ser- pentine pattern shown in the Photo above.

they are low-

or no-

woRKBENCH

ft

luNr

2004

Are All Composites

CREATEDEQUAT?

Dozerx of composite producs are cur-

rently available,but the offerings have asmany diflerences assinrilarities.

Texture - \z[q5gmanufacturers offer composites in at least rwo of

the three cofunon textures (smooth, brushed, and woodgrain, shown at far right). Some even ofFer reversible boards,

which have woodgrain on one face and a brushed finish on the opposite face.The tex-

tures vary from one brand to another, so somebrushed or wood- graln textures are more pronouncedthan others.

Color Color selection also differs slightly from one brand to another. Generally speaking,most manufac-

turers offer their prod- uctsin various shadesof

gray,tan (often marketed as"cedar" or "natural"),

and reddish brown (most

often called"redwood") (InsetPhoto).Gray is the most readily availablecolor, though shadesvary dramatically berween brands.

Claims of colofastness also dift-er widely. Some manufacturerstell us

to expect the color to fade to gray

after a few years,while

only minimal color fading.

Another color option is to use a

composite that acceptspaint.Again, there are sigrificant differencesto be aware of here. Some nranufacturers sayitt fine to paint their

others claim

product; others expressly forbid it by voiding the warranfy if their product is painted.

One product that

deservesa specificmen- tion here is Tendura Classics.Thisis a unique conrposite that requires

paint and comes pre- primed. \)Vhile this is a bit of a compromise on the no-maintenance

appealof composites,it's still an excellentchoice for a porch project where authentic or his- torical characteris a high prioriry (seepage 38).

Solid or Hollow - Hollow composite prod- ucts ty?ically cost lessand are lighter

than soiid composite products. But there are some trade offt to working

with hollow composite products that you'll want to weigh (Plrctos,below).

MAlTRIALS

ATEXTUREVARIETIES

Smooth,brushed,ondwoodgroinorethe threebosictexturesof composites. Brushedondwoodgrointextures vory in depthbetween monufocturers.

'i, :'

."t:

< POSTS

Hollowcompositeposts {or sleeves) costlessthonsolidcompositeposts initiolly,butrequireon innerwood post,whichoddsto thecost.

DECKBOARDS>

Hollow compositedeck boordsore lighterthonsolid compositedeck boords,but require on endcopfor o finishedoppeoronce.

I

lfE*Ell,rnarrRtnLs

BEYONDDeckBoords

RUNNINGWIRE>

ChoiceDek'sroiling is eosy to ossembleond complete,rightdown to built-inwire chosesfor low-voltogelightingor outdoorspeokers.

A deck is much more than just deck

boards.Skirting, molding, stairs,and

of course, railing, are important

components of a complete deck.

Composite Variety - Just how many of these design demands can be met with composites will depend on the brand you choose. Some

composite companies offer only deck boards.Others have compre- hensive product lines that include everything for a deck except the

structural pieces.

The best example of a full line is

Tiex, which

includes four rypes of

< WHITERAIL

A whiteroil is o nice complementtoonydeck

or

offersthe only 100% compositewhiteroiling.

porch. TimberTech

deck board, five choices of fascia, risers,and trim, as well as a com-

plete rail system that includes a couple choices each for balusters,

handrails, and post caps.Trex also offers other outdoor elementssuch

aslandscapetimbers and edging.

a close second to Tiex

in options availableis GeoDeck.An example of a complete prqect uti-

lizing GeoDeck composite products

is shown in the Pftotobelow. Most manufacturers fall some-

where between the "deck board only" end of the spectrum

Running

(Phob couilesy ot Timberlech)

and the full complement

Trex (seetheBuyer'sCuide onpage37).

Railing - One decking element that deserves a closer look is the railing.The most basic composite

railing systemsinclude 2x2 balusters

and usedeck boards for handrails.By contrast, ChoiceDek's railing system

uses specifically designed compo- nents, including a unique turned spindle, to create an attractive and

easy-to-construct rail that will com-

plementjust

upper left). This railing also has wire chases built into the posts and handrails for

about any deck (Photos,

offered by

concealing wire inside the railing system.This is a great feature if your deck design includes lighting.

One more raiJing that merits indi- vidual mention is TimberTech's

\X/hitesand railing system (Photo,

middleleJt).-fhisis the only one hun- dred percent composite white railing

available.White rails offered by other companies are actually a PVC shell

over a substrateof aluminum or com- posite.The high sheenof the plastic shell makes these much less attrac-

tive than the more natural appear-

ance ofTimberTech's

product.

DECORATIVE

POSTCAP

I

i

i

t

;

I

l.

f

t

i

I

I

FASTENINGS stems

REDWOOD

STAINIESS

STEET

AConventionoldeck

screwsteorthecom-

positefibersond creoleo scoron the surfoce.

In most cases,compositescan be machinedjustlike wood. One impor- tantdifferenceisthe fastenersused

to install them. Deck

Screws

Conventionaldeckscrews do not work well with composites.The coarse

thread on deck screws tends to tear

and [ft the fibers ofcomposites,

GRAY

which resulsin an unsighdy "volcano" around the screw head (ConventionalDeck Screw Photo,belua).Drillingpilot holesdoes lirde to eliminatetheseeruptions.

A Duol-threodedcom- positedeckscrews hidethetornfibers by pullingtheminto thescrewhole.

Hiddenfusbnersoreon excellenlwoy lo €nsurecleon,blemish-free instollotionof deckboords.Shownhereorelwo exomplesof com-

"

, a

.

.t

:

.

:

'

.

'

-

.

| *rttes fiot hoveo hiddenfudeningsysr€mbuiltrightin.Tenduro

:,

.; i

t

'

.

'.

Solidsdeckboords(belov(leftlorep'€drilledot4n inbnols.

After.ins|olling

all^-

:-^r-ll!--

^-^

?n: rytg,

L----r

J

thegrooveoffie moting

?.r

boordwill hidethehdener. LifelongDecking(rightl useso screw ondclipfiot conbrmb fie profileof thedeckboord.

'

'"

".

.t

,.

,

.' ,'. ,1,:-

'

]

<PRE.DRILLED

TenduroSolids'

predrilledtongue

mokesfor eosy

noilingondo

cleonerfinished

look.

34

. Composite Screws - Specially designed composite screws, on the

other hand, eliminate this volcano effect.These screwshave a length of

coarse thread at the bottom and a

section of fine thread at the top. This fine thread captures any "mush-

rooming" material and pulls it back

down into the screw hole. (Composite ScrewPhoto, below).

Composite screwsalso come in colors that match the various shades of composite materiaTs(Photos,Iefi). Hidden Fasteners - Another

option is hidden fasteners. Most composites are compatible with the many hidden-fasteningsystems avail-

able from companies such as Eb-Ty, Grabber,Tiger Claq and others.

Some composite manufacturers have gone one step further and designeda hidden-fastening system into their product.

Lifelong Decking, for insrance,

uses a screw-and-clip

system that

nestles between the deckboards. Another example isTendura Solids, which is pre-drilled for nailing

through the tongue (seeIntegral Hidden Fasteners,below).

woRKBENCH

!

luNa

2004

HowIo

cHoosE

rtrFFE',unrrn^mMATE

RIATS

Given all this information on com- posites,and particularly the differ-

encesthatexistbefweentheseseem-

ingly similarproducts,choosingthe compositethat bestsuitsyour needs mayseemlike an overwhelmingask. The bestadviceI canoffer is to apply

an organizedprocessof elimination. Design First - The first stepis to designyour deckjustthe wayyou want it, without regardto whether or not there are compositesavail- ableto do everythingyou hope to. Laterin the processyou candecide whether you want to make any compromisesto your design to accommodatecomposites. Shop Around - 1116l<1,and this is where the elimination begins, you'll need to determine which compositesareavailablein your area. Although this is a rapidly growing category,you'll find that many of the products listed in the Buyer's Guide(page37) just arent availablein your region.

Check the Features - Having

shortenedthe list to products you

know you can get,you're readyto startcomparingproduct linesto your design.The first thing you'll want to consideris the completenessof the availablecompositelines.Ifyour deck includesa matching railing, you might want to eliminate the productsthat don't offer composite railing systems. Likewise,if you can't find the color,colorfastness,or texture within a given product line, then you can probably eliminate them from the short list.Also keep in mind that

some products allow painting, and onein particularrequiresit.Are you okay with the occasionalmainte- nancethis enails,or do you preferto "build it andforget it?" Be sureto considerhow you'dlike to constnrctthe deck.For example, wotrldyou savemoneyby usingdeck- boardsthat span24" insteadof 16"? And isit important to you thatyou be

ableto usehidden fastenen? Compare'Warranties - You'll alsowant to comparethe warranties offered on the various products. Longer is better, obviously.But if you foreseesellingyour home,awar-

ranty that canbe transferredto the new owner might be a valuable sellingpoint.

Mix and Match - As you apply

this criteria,considerwhere you are willing to compromise.For instance, ifyou musthavethe authenticwood look offeredby EverGrain,but want a fancierrailing than they offer,are you willing to usea wood rail? Or perhapsyou canpartner EverGrain deck boardswith the railing system from anothermanufacturer. Hopefully theseguidelineswill getyou closeto finding the product or combination ofproducts to con- structexacdythe projectyou desire. And havingchosento usecompos- ites,you're not likely to haveto make this decisionagainin your lifetime.

36

Boordwolk

www.CertoinTeed.com

800-782-8777

ChoiceDek

www.ChoiceDek.com

800-951-51l7

CorrectDeck

www.CorrectDeck.com

888-290-1235

EverX

www.UFPl.com

608-326-0900

Eve€roin

lifelongDecking

wwwBriteMfg.com

905-857-6021

NexWood

TimberTech

www.TimberGch.com

800-307-7780

Trex

www.EveGroin.com

www.NexWood.com

www.Trex.com

800-405-0546

888-763-9966

800-289-8739

GeoDeck

Tenduro

WeotherBest

www.GeoDeck.pom

877-804-0137

www.Tenduro.com

800-836-3822

www.WeotherBesl.com

800-343-3651