Monday, June 05, 2006

Knot A Bad Idea

As I mentioned yesterday I bought 2X12 Con-Heart Redwood for the new porch steps. The construction grade wood has the occasional knot in it and I was concerned the knots would continue to seep sap and it would bleed through the paint job. There were a total of 4 knots to deal with. Two were quite small, but the other two were big, greasy knots that could ooze sap for the next 100 years if left alone.

The original idea was to use an extra heavy dose of primer on them but I had my doubts from the start as to whether that would really work. There was also the issue of the knots being visible whether they oozed sap or not. One had some cracks in it and it would always be visible. Then today at work I had an idea. If I can’t cover them up, then why not get rid of them.

To accomplish this I took my drill with a Forstner bit and ground the knots down about a half inch or so. I also ground down a little wood around the knots as well. Then I filled with putty and sanded smooth. It’s my new patented Knot-Be-Gone method. Today I put on a coat of primer and it seems to be working well.

Here is the current look of the porch. If I had to do it all over there are a few minor things I would do differently. I’m happy with it, though. There were sooooo many places I could have screwed this up. Especially on these last rails and balusters for the stairs. The hand rails I just barely made long enough. I think I cut about 2 inches off them when I cut the bevel, which is a little off, by the way. Those could have easily been screwed up and then I would have had to make more. Major pain. I was really sweating the balusters, though. Those are the same profile as the other porch balusters but they are longer for the stairs and I only had 4 of them. If I screwed one up I either would have had to go and get one made, or do a hack job to try and get it to work. There was a big sigh when I drove in the last nail.

I was going to move on to the rain gutter next but I think I might strip the pilaster and then start painting everything I’ve prepped to date. Some of the primer has been on there for almost 2 weeks now. I think I’ll wash everything down, reprime some of the older parts, and then go ahead and paint. First, more paint stripping. Yea! Fortunately, this is good paint stripping weather. Yep, nothing like a few hours of paint stripping to make a man feel like a man.

Woman! Bring me my heat gun.


Kristin said...

Wow, that looks so impressive! I love the angle of that pic, too.

merideth said...

i feel like i say this a lot to you but here it is again: GENIUS! That knot solution is a great one. I had a sap-weeping problem on my trim JUST as i finished it. Next time, Greg's patented knot-be-gone!