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In need of guidance, tools and otherwise!

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  • In need of guidance, tools and otherwise!

    Nutshell : my deck is rotting, it has a roof over it and the supports are rotting too. I had 2 contractors come out and both were amazed it lasted through this past winter. I am in a bind and forced to do this work myself – it’s a big job and the labor bill proved that !

    Anyway, I have a Porter Cable CPF23400S 3 HP 4 Gallon Side-Stack compressor – and the Porter Cable Framing Nailer. I believe this has the capacity for 2” – 3.5” nails.

    My first question (and please excuse me as over the coming weeks there may be many) is whether or not this nailer will be sufficient for my job. My decking floor is 2x6’s, should I use 2” nails for this or 2.5” ?

    Let me next describe that job that I must construct, as I am going to ask you what size nail to use and what Nailer to buy (assuming my framing nailer is not sufficient for this smaller wood work)

    The supports on the roof are 4x4’s cased in 1x6’s. What size nails do I use to construct this casing? I am afraid that 2” that fit my nailer will be too large.

    My railing is standard 2x2 spindles, cased at the top with 3 pieces of 1x4’s (top flat piece and a top side piece front and back).

    The spindles drop down and are cut at a 45 degree angle and are attached to a 4x4 support (the 4x4 is ripped on a table saw so the spindle rests perfectly on it. Its suspended 2 inches above the deck and attaches to the 1x6 casing of the roof supports – as does the top of the railing, but you knew that).

    OK, so that’s basically it (oh, I was not able to get pressure treated 1x4’s so I am using cedar – everything else is pressure treated).

    I am not even sure of those spindles where nailed on in the past or glued. I just don’t want to waste any wood, I have 2K in wood coming soon – that’s a lot of money for me right now (honestly, the kind folks at visa are helping me out). Any advice on what size nails to use and how to attach things will be more greatly appreciated than I can ever put into words here.

  • #2
    If the framing nailer is something like the FR350A then yes it is fine for the job (both 2X and 1X material). A general rule of thumb for nail length is that it should be more than twice as long as the wood you are nailing is thick. A 2X4 is 1 1/2" thick so the nail should be at least 3 1/4" long. For 3/4" thick material use 2" to 2 1/2" what ever is common in your store. For outdoor make sure the nails are galvanised. Since you are using pressure treated it is likely the newer ACQ type. Be sure to ask if the nails are rated for use in ACQ pressure treated lumber as this formula is far more corrosive to fasteners than the old CCA treated wood.
    Be sure to use joist hangers, in fact it is likely a good idea to get a permit if you are unfamilar with how to build the structure as the inspectors will tell you if your plan is safe and also come out and inspect your work for structural safety.
    YOu didn't say it but I would hope you are tearing down the old rotted structure and building new.
    For the decking I would use 3 1/2" ceramic coated screws. They hold far better than nails and will help prevent warping, also far easier to replace a bad board in the future.
    I really don't understand "The spindles drop down and are cut at a 45 degree angle and are attached to a 4x4 support (the 4x4 is ripped on a table saw so the spindle rests perfectly on it. Its suspended 2 inches above the deck and attaches to the 1x6 casing of the roof supports – as does the top of the railing, but you knew that)."
    A picture sure would help. If you are saying that the roof trusses are made out of 1x6 that scares me. 1X material is only good for trim work not for structural support.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you for the response.

      Actually, the joists that support the deck and the 4x4’s that run to the cement footers were properly constructed with pressure treated wood. It’s the surface wood and roof supports that had been build with pine. So I will simply be removing the visible wood and replacing it.

      The roof if supported by 4x4’s and then boxed out with 1x6’s, the railing’s attach to the 1x6 shell around the 4x4 support.

      The spindles are cut at the bottom on a 45 degree angle and attach to the bottom of the railing. That bottom is a 4x4 that has been ripped down to about a 3x3 by 2 angular cuts. I am afraid that if I use a 2” nail it would split that spindle since I will be nailing through the 45 degree cut on the bottom of the spindle.

      If I use 3 ½” ceramic screws – that sounds like a lot of work using a drill to attach them. I really like the idea of galvanized nails and my nail gun, I might regret it down the road. But after 3 back surgeries and a back full of titanium, I just don’t think I can be screwing that many in (the deck surface is 34 x 20).

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by crimson ghost:

        My decking floor is 2x6’s, should I use 2” nails for this or 2.5” ?

        I hope you are replacing the deck boards with 5/4 x 6 decking and not more 2 x 6's. 2 3/4" - 3" screws should be good for fastening them.

        The supports on the roof are 4x4’s cased in 1x6’s. What size nails do I use to construct this casing? I am afraid that 2” that fit my nailer will be too large.

        By "supports on the roof" do you mean something like roof rafters or are you talking about columns that support the roof structure? The casing can be installed after all the "heavy work" is done, right?

        My railing is standard 2x2 spindles, cased at the top with 3 pieces of 1x4’s (top flat piece and a top side piece front and back).

        Do the railings need to be replaced too?

        OK, so that’s basically it (oh, I was not able to get pressure treated 1x4’s so I am using cedar – everything else is pressure treated).

        I don't see a problem with that.

        I am not even sure of those spindles where nailed on in the past or glued. I just don’t want to waste any wood, I have 2K in wood coming soon – that’s a lot of money for me right now (honestly, the kind folks at visa are helping me out). Any advice on what size nails to use and how to attach things will be more greatly appreciated than I can ever put into words here.

        Whether you use nails or screws, make sure they are the right material for the new pressure treated lumber. Regular galvanized is not good. I believe they have to be hot-dipped galvanized. Stainless steel would be better. This applies to all the joist hangers etc , any metal that contacts the pressure treated lumber. I cannot emphasize this enough. I have heard of decks starting to fall apart because the new p/t lumber rotted the fasteners and the new p/t hasn't been out that long.
        BTW Welcome to the forum.

        [ 05-18-2005, 10:00 AM: Message edited by: Lorax ]
        Lorax
        "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by crimson ghost:

          The roof if supported by 4x4’s and then boxed out with 1x6’s, the railing’s attach to the 1x6 shell around the 4x4 support.

          Since you are trying to keep expenses down, is that casing really necessary? It sounds like it is just there for looks, but of course if you really like the look then that makes it necessary.

          The spindles are cut at the bottom on a 45 degree angle and attach to the bottom of the railing. That bottom is a 4x4 that has been ripped down to about a 3x3 by 2 angular cuts. I am afraid that if I use a 2” nail it would split that spindle since I will be nailing through the 45 degree cut on the bottom of the spindle.

          Whether you use screws or nails and a (God forbid) HAMMER here, you should pre-drill to avoid splitting.

          If I use 3 ½” ceramic screws – that sounds like a lot of work using a drill to attach them. I really like the idea of galvanized nails and my nail gun, I might regret it down the road.

          See my reply in your other post about using the proper fasteners.

          But after 3 back surgeries and a back full of titanium,

          I feel for ya man, I really do. If you have to do it by yourself, I would suggest a little at a time, but I'm sure you knew that.

          I just don’t think I can be screwing that many

          So you just screw until you can't screw no more, have a cigarette and fall asleep. Continue in morning.

          Lorax
          "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06

          Comment


          • #6
            I already ordered 2x6’s, too late to change to 5/4 x 6.

            My roof supports are columns that support the roof. Yes, the 1x6’s can be installed after the heavy work is done. Some of the spindles are rotting – I do not want to salvage the good ones as I am concerned they will rot within a couple of years.

            I will look into stainless steal and/or the correct galvanized for acq lumber. Thank you very much !

            Comment


            • #7
              actually, you should use screws for your decking. nails will pop out in time especially if you are in a changing climate.

              Comment


              • #8
                "actually, you should use screws for your decking."

                I agree, stay away from nails and use screws on the decking to avoid nail pops in the future. When someone rips the bottom of their foot open or trips on a high nail head, you will be wishing you had used Stainless Steel or coated screws.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You might want to consider a good impact driver so you don't strain your back while driving properly coated deck screws. (and it won't weigh nearly as much as a nailer and air hose) Since you are using your Visa anyway it won't take that much more to get the impact of your choice. Its always a wonderful thing when an opportunity to buy another tool arises. Then treat the wood with a quality sealant.

                  Make sure the rings of the board are facing down like a frown. If they face up moisture will build up inside the wood and cause it to rot faster. A professional deck builder showed me that trick about 20 years ago and to this day when I see a rotted board, 90% of the time the rings of the wood face up like a smile. Other long time carpenters I have talked to have expressed amazment at this little tip and stated they noticed the same thing after having it brought to their attention.

                  Good luck.
                  Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

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