25 years of great

Drywall/ 32
r Repair r lnstallation

Painting| 40
) r Strategy r Tidy Application r Prep& Cleanup


Framing/ 48

L, Z


r Rules r Roofs r Walls r Floors



Finish Carpentry60 /
r Rules r Cutting & Coping '. r Installing Trim

.orrrf,i.tiluoll 74

Cabinets/ 7A
r Construction r lnstallation r Efficiency Guidelines

www.fi nehome ilding .com bu


Mechanical Systems80 /
r Electrical r plumbing

6 B Editor'sNote Benches & Sawhorses
lmproved sawhorse, Multipurposecart, Knockdown saw stand

Exteriors/ 86
r Roofing r Siding r Trim

Doors & Windows
Routinghinge mortises, Solo window installation

28 Stairs| 96
Stringers r Treads& Risers r Railings

Cutting rigid insulation, lnsulatedheaders

1 0 8 TilingTechniques
Accuratediagonaltile cuts, Removinga broken tile, Applying latex gro.ut

al -{ ^I -


Outdoor Spaces102 /
. becks r Porches r Patios

al lf ( r -



Math & Measuring
Arch layout,Measuring odd shapes

The ThuntonPress
Inspiration for hands-on livingo

Katz Indexer Harriet Hodges Publisher Tim Schreiner Administrative Assistant Christina Glennon Sr. Gary M. Mike Guertin. taken from a variety of feature articles on topics such as framing.editor'snote Editor Kevin lreton ExecutiveArt Director Robert Goodfellow Welcometo the tailgate party AN OLD-TIMER ONCE TOLD ME that the key to working efficiently on any building project is to avoid stupid mistakes. you willfind professional-grade guidance on how to avoid mistakes and how to work more efficiently.finehomebuilding. -{harles Miller.and typically with tools and materials already on hand.com. with greater accuracy. special-issues editor Special-lssues Editor CharlesMiller ExecutiveEditor. Michelle Erca Ad SalesSupport Associate Sharon Zagata Fine Homebuilding Books & Videos ExecutiveEditor. This special collection brings together some of the best advice we've received addressing both halves of the working-smarter equation.fim Snyder Senior Editor CharlesBickford Associate Editors DanielS. Builders are a resourceful. I think he had the answer to half the equation. and painting. whether standing in the checkout line at the hardware store or sitting on a tailgate with a favorite beverage in hand at the end of the day. please turn to p. Morrison. Luckily. ff you'd like to find out more about Fine Homebuilding. drywall. Christopher Ermides. Charles Howe. Scott Gibson. Doerfler Administrative Assistant Maureen Friedman Contributing Editors Scott McBride. For the past 25 years. Home building Steve Culpepper Printed in the USA ' FINE HOMEBUILDING Photo:Charles Miller .John Ross SeniorCopy/Production Editor Chris Hoelck Copy/Production Editor Julie Risinit Deputy Art Directors Dan Thornton. send it in.121 for more information. But it's the clever solutions to common construction problems that make up the other half of the equation. Fine Homebuilding has encouraged readers to submit their gems of useful wisdom. You also will find a wide range of tips across the entire spectrum of tasks that make up this occupation and this passion that we call home building. and they're scattered throughout articles and other departments. Knowing that you should measure a board twice before cutting it once and that you should remove masking tape before the sun bakes it onto the window is important. Marne A. Wendy Baxter. The ideas are presented in our "Tips & Techniques" column. Rick Arnold. James Spangenberg NationalAccount Managers. gregarious lot. Here. They delight in coming up with ingenious ways to do things faster. And if you've got a tip that you'd like to share. Marketing Manager Carolyn Turoczi SingleCopy SalesManager Mark Stiekman AdvertisingSalesManager John Dyckman CorporateAccountsManager Judy Caruso SeniorNationalAccount Managers Joel Burger. or check out our Web site at www. where builders offer up their job-site brainstorms. Join the party. Brian Pontolilo Assistant Editors Justin Fink. Mayer Art Assistant Krysta 5. builders like to share their ideas.

Inc.com . or solve a problem. contact Fine Homebuilding at the address above or: Call: (800) 309-8919 Fax: (2031270-6753 E-mail: fh@taunton.Inc.O. Copyright 2006 by The TauntonPress.Call our customer support center: To report an address change.purchase back issues.com READER SERVICENO.E-mail us: fhservice@taunton.46 READER SERVICE GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . or give a gift.lf you don't want us to share your name with other companies.Box 5506. books or videos. CT 06470-5506 finehomebuilding. No questions asked.Big Jobs Editorial: To contribute an article.com LimitedEdition Bjg-Bag_s-.com Made in USA ! Line Complete Available Quality at Suppliers www. call: (800) 888-8286 Advertising: To find out about advertising: (800) 309-8953 Call: E-mail: Retail: lf you'd fike to carry Fine Homebuilding in your store. please contact our Customer Service Department at: (8OOl477-8727 fhads@taunton. inquire about an order. give a tip. of NO.41 The Taunton Guarantee: lf at any time you're not completely satisfied with Fine Homebuilding.Visit our subscriberservice section at: finehomebuilding. P. call: (8OOt 477-8727 To subscribe.you can: .US: HOW TO CONTACT Fine Homebuilding The Taunton Press. Main St.com Customer Service: For subscription inquiries. you can cancel your subscription and receive a full and immediate refund of the entire subscription price. (2O3)426-8171 Newtown. or ask a question. callthe Taunton Trade Company at: (866) 505-tt674 Mailing List: Occasionallywe make our subscribers'names and addressesavailableto responsible companies whose products or services we feel may be of some interest to you..com .63 S. No reproduction without permission The TauntonPress.bestbelt. Most of our subscribersfind this to be a helpful way to learn about useful resourcesand services.

holes in the sawhorse crossbars to accommodate the stationary jaw of a bar clamp. Dawn Ussery. David DeToto.z Applications Deuehpment: Heidi \Taldkirch. INC. Frank Miller.Debra Sennefelder.Its l4-in. Robert Nielsen. -JOHN MICHAELDAVIS NewOrleans INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERSSINCE I975 TAUNTON.Alfred Dreher. Larry Rice. Deshtopand Netutorh Sapport:Kenneth Jones.Monica Duhancik. PetreCotofana. Alice Saxton. Wilcox. Publicity: Nicole Radder. Itt made entirely out of scraps rescued from the burn pile. KatherineClarke. ReinaldoMoreno. height makes the stool narrow enough to passbetween stud walls framed on 16-in. I made some simple modifications to my sawhorses to make the planing go a little easier. SandraMahlstedt.centers.Laura Burrone. The thing I like best about my little stool is its stability. MelissaA. Rubber shoes Drawings: Charles Miller . Kathryn Benoit. Because the sides are tapered. and plane away.\Talter Aponte.Nelson W'ade. ElaineYamin.JenniferPeters.orraine Parsons. screwed and glued Distribution: Paul Seipold. C*rtomerSmtice: 1 4i n ..Marylou Thompson. plywood sides and top. Fulfllment Slaems: Jodi Klein.benches&sawhorses The ThuntonPress Inspiration for hands-on livingo The improvedsawhorse: has lips lt My work as a carpenter who specializesin repairing and replacing exterior trim means that I spend a lot of time fussing with long workpieces that have to be planed to fit. Magazine Print Production: Phllip\an Kirk. Nancy Boudreau. THE TAUNTON PRESS Booksr Marhetizg. it's a lot harder to tip over rhan a stool with straight sides. James Fulfillmenc Diane Goulart. Possick. LeanneFurlong. Data Entry: MelissaDugan. Michael Colonari. Dawn Viglione. Brett Manning. MaryAnn Colbert. l. Lynne Phillips. clamp the stock to the cross' bars. Ellen Grassi. Michael Lewis. Andrea Shorrock. Deborah Greene. JenniferKaczmarryk. To use. Paul and Jan Roman THE TAUNTON PRESS President & Editor In Chief Execatiue Vice Presidznt & Chief Financial Offcer Executiue Vice President & Publisher. ShannonMarrs. As shown in the drawing below. Carol Singer. Frank Melbourne. FINE HOMEBUILDING %-in. BusinessOffice HollySmith.Priscilla'Sflakeman.PatriciaPineau. Booh Group James Childs Chief of Operations Thomas Luxeder DIRECTORS Creatiue Director Hurnan Resources Director Technohgy SeruicesDirector Susan Edehnan Carol Marotti Fdward Kingpton Reynolds Gray Controlbr'Wayne Adaertising Director Marheting Director David Diana Allwein PatriciaVilliamson 2x4 sawhorse crossbars Fulfrllment Director Holes in sawhorse crossbars provide purchase for bar clamps. Gayle Hammond. Kim Eads. EileenMcNulry PatriciaParks. Amy Reilly. David Pond. Carol Diehm. Karhy Kelley. Maureen Pekar. Frank Busino.JayLigouri.Janel Noblin. Kathleen\flilliams. Gabriel Dunn. Judith O'Toole. Dorothy Blasko. lawrence Sullivan. Berty Stepney. Tweedle. I bored f -in.Jennifer Russell. Deborah Ciccio. Lip supports workpiece.Michelle Amoroso. Bonnie Beardsley.tlccounting Patrick Lamontagne.SusanBurke. Brian . Audrey Locorotondo.\7endi Mijal. SteveCulpepper.DeanaParker. Finance/Accountingt Finance: Kathy \florth. Legal: Carolyn Kovdeski.Daniel 'Woodhouse. Magazine Group Sue Roman Timothy Jon Miller Rahr Publisher. Human Resources:Linda Ballerini. Erica Sanders-Foege. _MIKENIEMEYER Lawrenceburg. Anne Champlin.Amy Griffin. A safer step stool I've been a remodeler and a handyman for more than 20 years no% and in that time.Linda Reddington.-dia. BarbaraVilliams. lrr: Chris Thompson.Linnea Ingram. PamelaHoenig. Ind. First. Manufacnring Thomas Greco. I simply rest the workpiece on the horse's lips.but still tall enough for rne to reach the top of a wall in a room with 8-ft. Foundtrs. Christine Lincoln. Editorial: Helen Albert. I cut the ends of the sawhorse crossbars to create little liplike ledges on their ends that are wide enough to support a piece of 1x stock on edge.John Vaccino.Lydia Krikorian.Nancy Knorr. Raymond Passaro. Second. Nicole Anastas. Carolyn Mandarano. Robyn Doyon-Aitken. Information Technolory Servi cex. Julie Hamilton. ceilings. PeterChapman.I've really come to appreciate the simple perfection of my little step stool.

Inc.com.Keri DeGross. Vinn.TAUNTON. GeraldineBenno. CT 06470. Debra Silber.36 SERVICE NO. Coleman.. Nicole Pallatto. Rebecca Shafton. Director. Thunton Creative and Edi toial: Creatitte:Michael Amaditz. SandraMoryka.Roben Steigerwald.Singk CopySahs:Mark Stiekman.Richard Correale. Vidzo: Gary Junken.\Tilliam Godfrey. Kathy Martin. TAUNTON TRADE Kevin Hamric. plrt Coohing Our magazines are for people who are passionate about their pursuits. Donna Capalbo.Marketing: Dennis O'Brien. Taunton Tiade. \Written by practicing experts in the field.ValerieDroukas.SEAL'" Foamforms a continuous seal around perimeter flangeand internally of betweenframe end rough openingfor 'Wrap-N-Seal"protection. \X/hether youre practicing a craft or engaged in the creation of your home.Human Resources. RafaelCardoso. CatherineHansen. ChristopherCasey. ue a. Main St. WWW.Maintenanca. TAUNTON MAGAZINES FineVoodworhing .. Our patented "foam-flex"processallows optimalfoam compression maximizesealing to properties. StaceCaseria.Lisa DeFeo.Brian Leavitt. David Blasko. Pascal. C U S T O M E RS E R V I C E 'We are here to answer any questions you might have and boola and videos. Michele tadyko. RobertaCalabrese.Geoff Krajeski. Adaertising Production: l-aviChansamTham mavongsa. Mark Berger.SandraHannan.Karen Lutjen. reliable information supported by instructive and inspiring visuals. Kevin DeGroate. Brett DeMello.John Gedney. Jeannette Anne Michael louchen. Steven Molnar.Tlacy Goodpaster. Prepress: Deborah Cooper. ElizabethQuintiliano.llsubsidiuia . SarahOpdahl.JenniferVhceler Conlon. Patrick Cozens. or visit our website You may also write to The Thunton Press. William Bivona. the will not droolor Clearadhesivebacking stain like typicalblack rubberized-asphalt adhesives. Inc. Allison Hollett.taunton.Martha Stammer..DeanaTierney. Inc.. Lincoln Peters. Ruth Dobsevage.Richard Booth.shop at our convenient on-line store or contact customer service EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION To inquire about cateer opportunities.63 S. Thunton Pressmagazines provide authentic..Marc Imbimbo.COM Our website is a place where you can discover more about the interests you enjoy. 1-800463-9663 r. ud tunton oflIaunton. Just to help you order our rn"g"rirr. John Bacigdupi.com www. Kathleen McGreevy.. Renderswindow flanges impervious air and moisture. JoshuaKatinger.Robert Harlow.. PatriciaPetro.com www. TAUNTON INTERACTIVE Man JodieDelohery Michelle Rutkowski. Norma-Jean Thylor.fraserceda READER NO. Sally Operations: JosephMorits. Fine Gardzning . Room: T JenniferLicursi. Inc. V. call us toll-free ^r800-477-8727.PromotionPrint Productioz.Anna Pendergast. please e-mail us at tauntonjobs@taunton. Editorial Jefferson Photography:Scott Phillips. Fine Homebuilding Threads . TheThunton Pre.N. Newtown. Box 5506.' Scheurer. Cunningham. John Cavallaro.Kathryn Simonds. Taunton Direct. Thunton boofts will inspire you to discover new levels of accomplishment.r.Diane Flanagan. Michael Valanzola.Howard Runyon. converse with fellow enthusiasts. 1 READER SERVICE GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 Intemctive. Bergeron. Pamela Kolle. Alison \filkes. while to eliminating needto tape over flanges.\Tilliam Sims. SusanNerich. Inc. TAUNTON BOOKS information Our books filledwith in-depth are and creative ideas from the finest authors in their fields. TAUNTON DIRECT THE NEWEST WAY TO Ittur*TE * ttJl|'onT AIR AND MOISTURE AROUND WINDOUI'S. Promotion: Michele Mayernik. HOHMANN & BARNARD'S WRAP. Tiish Dardine.

The cart also makes a dandy mechanics-style crawler Padded side I I 1O1/zin.P E T E RB L A C K M O R E SaltSpring lsland. checking window frames. It's even good for waxing the car. Its l\Vz-in..lignomat. As illustrated in the drawing above. these sleevescan be slipped in from the top or bottom. Foam or carpet padding is great when I have ro move items like vanities. installinghardilood floors.The main body is a heat treated and temperedspring steel.i. . There are no screws or nuts to useor lose.S..- To move heavy or awkward items around a iob site. and it'll scoot around for low-level work on outlets or baseboards. With the recessed side of the cart up. ' Concrete and other buildingmaterials. I I . FINE HOMEBUILDING -2105 www. I drag my compressor around. Moisture Metersare indispensable tools whenselecting materials.com READER SERVICE 9 NO. PO Box 30145.mini-Ligno .2x2 curbs. T[iple-duty stool My little work stool staysput.r' the U. . 'i.rwall. The plasticparts are glass filled nylon 6/6. drilling right through the By curb. swiveltype casters.' > 15in.benches&sawhorses Multipurpose cart CONTINUED . '6ru" .Gypsum.com 8OO-227 503-257-8957. The SoloSiderwill let you adjust a pieceof siding up or down in real time using 1/16 increments. Dstg andPrwentMoisture Problems with the new. Canada :h. by l8-in. and casterwheels. the stool is accompanied by a dolly with 2-in. K O W A L E W S K I Ridley Park.I use the srool without its dolly. and move buckets of drywall mud.looking for water d. Most of the time. solosider. It's also useful for small children to reach the sink. Now available for Wood.A. FAX 503-255-1 430 USA READER SERVICE 35 NO.Dr.J O S E P HS . This is an engineeringgrade that is almost indestructible this in application. .It can be set for different overlapsusing the quick releaseknob. checking structural lumber doing repairs..JJS 2-in'-dia' casters-'v Removable casters fit in plastic sleeyes. depending on what I need it for..rre Metei. B. \zFu '/----: . plywood base. Patentpending SoIoSider aMadein The Name SaysIt All A high quality tool that will not mark the siding. height is enough ro reachg\Vo of the construction iobs inside the house. ' ? .I use the sort of casterswith stems that fit into plastic sleeves. Will not tear the paper or house wrap. b*uitaing cabinets.a professional.amage.81h in.. Lignomat USA Pleasevisit www.etc.Wood-Based Products.!}':11'\|.C.. As shown in the drawing below. --->l .lug paint pails. or scootsaround on wheels. I put the stool on its dolly when I want to scoot around close to the floor for nailing or drywall finishing. .. Pa. Portland OR 97294 .Nickel plated. . . '. D reliable and affordableMoisti.' 1t:l t_ 2x12 base Notches for stool legs I for accessingthe underside of sinks or lavatories.' . I use this small cart consisting of a l2-in.-dia.

l : \:Il MK-|00 uillllilr llJtll+. -LARRYJAcoBSoN Seattle a movable stop that can be raised above the support when I need to make multiple cuts (top detail)... and extends from 8 ft. Then I wondered whether I already had components that could be reconfigured into an acceptable saw stand.benches&sawhorses Double-duty miter-saw bench I upgraded my miter saw recently."E . Variable height cutting head allows plunge for cutting . Part# 159943 . It weighs Co. even up to 11 ft. but any similar plank will work. 1-1l2HPfan-cooled motor o Twoposition postcutting motor head convenient for cutting various sizes ol tile .by 4 i n. Capping the edges that contact the lumber with aluminum angle stock reduces friction and makes the rig easier to use. Linear-Bearing chrome plated guide-bar and assembly precise ensure cutting . .. b y 1 5i n . . diagonally 13"tile cuts guard easy Hinged blade lor blade changes HeaW dutyon/offswitch CSA Approved --"rr". Heightto match miter-sawbase the stop to the position where its vertical edge can be aligned with the saw's fence (bottom detail).ajandb.comlfhb. / 1 i n. I did a little improvising.I CONTINUED affixed a power strip to one of the sawhorses.html Yr' -\/ READER SERVICE NO.tlr til \\ /rl IllA. Part# 158189 . wide. . 888-523 401b. long.. and like the chopsaw.I used Werner's PA 208 plank (Werner Ladder -3370). One-year limited wananty JE AEi IAT &-[ TD Se||tx lll@ll PRIGE: $SZS FREE SHIPPTI{S! Find it at http://www.r cosr me anything extra. Blade shaftlockfor easy blade removal . The basic stand consistsof an extendable aluminum scaffold plank held up by a pair of folding sawhorses. and now I've got what I think is a more adaptable saw stand than any commercial unit I reviewed_and it didn.by 4 in.html (D@ . and that got me looking at commercially available stands. . Powerful 1-114 high-torque universal motor Tilting head allows precise mitercuts for 450 Variable height cutting head allows plunge for cutting lS"cutting length. I made a pair of supports to hold up the ends of long pieces of stock. .n PBIGE: $299 FREE $HIPPIIITG! Find it at http://www. HiltrlllJll l. For one-off pieces.48 12 FTNE HOMEBUILDING . Each support includes Extendable aluminum scaffold plank Right-side support/stop Left-side support/sto clampedto plank \..I lower Verticaledge of support/stop in fence-alignment mode A 45'bevel collects wood chips. 10" WET CUTTIiIG TIIE SAW . the supports are anchored to the plank with C-clamps.com/fhb. 0ne-year limited wananty MK-370EXP'" 7" WET CUTTIIUG TILE SAW . .__4 Aluminum angle 2 in.is 14 in. The supports are mirror images of each other.ajandb. to 13 ft. Wing nut and bolt Support/stop in multiplecutoff mode by 12i n.

eachis backed by WarmlyYdl.com *Sor* sERvrcE No. homeowner assistance Forproduct information theseand on otherquality WarmlyYours homecomfort products. The drawing Cut slots to shows the kind of sawhorses plywood thickness.Lake Zurich. I need at least a2x6 crosspiece support a to dozen or more rafters. WarmlyYours. The Slot for --. Maine Hurricane-tie sawhorse I stole the idea for this sawhorse from a local road crew. At the top of the 2x legs.4s 14 FINE HOMEBUILDING .C a n a d a C) :t o u.benches&sawhorses Roof framerrs sawhorse CONTINUED Hurricane ties. The inevitable result is aggravation and lost money on a new blade. tgwelwarmers and mirrordefoggers add Welcomed luxury bathroom to remodeling projects ObsigneO maximum for comfort ease and of instdlation. savings plus certificates worth up to $125.a pair of hurricanetiesaccepts the crossbar.WarmlyYours.I can whip up a new set from wood scraps whenever I need a worktable. Inc.M I C H A E L D e Y O U N G ii E o TurnOrdinoryBafhroorn Projecls hrfreordinery lvifh "yormlyYours Home CornforfSolufions! ffip. WarmlyYours electric floorwarming systems. I made a pattern out of hardboard that gives me the profile of the standard sawhorse. tt Equal o t height of slot in Part A connectors.Below the crossbar.Fax (800)408-1100 Website .call(800)875-5285 today. _ W I L L I A MR A Y N S E Sunset. Corporate Drive. The horses can be taken apart for transport and quickly reassembled with a screw gun. d C o u p o nm u s tb e p r e s e n t ea t t i m e o f p u r c h a s e . Suite 100 . The knockdown connections all are made by way of metal framing 'tt-.. C h i l l i w a c k .'2 :F. I've found that with a load of 2xl0 rafters..:.00 on yournextremodelffrg off pQect. C . and the crossbar cutout can be adjusted to accommodate any piece of lumber adequate to the task. With the pattern.a rail screwed to joist hangers on the leg brace stiffens the horse. . &. both sides No matter how careful you are.: i||l:i' special ard ey SazringsJ .iwnntylpnu :::l'. the metal fasteners in sawhorseseventually encounter a spinning sawblade. I use when I cut roofs.rrs exclusive installation 2417 support seruices Freelifetime and plan.Ph. thesehorses require no fasteners.Interlocking plywood piecesstore flat in the back of a truck. 6 c 6 E c) o * $rched bottoms -for stabilityon unevenground . design is simple.B . and the crossbar material is scrap plywood. \ Best of all.lL60047 . (800) 875-5285 www.:::i'::!.

holes along the front edge of the basecorrespondsto the dowels in the front legs of the saw stand. I mounted my portable tablesawon a%-in.com {t'l RIIRilIIC'i UlTnnu0H CORPORATION ni1 ultraviolet. r Customizable your to meet needs a wide with variety of sizes from {widths 24'toll0'). recreati on areas. The stand is constructed of 2x4 legs that have been connected in pairs by way of 2x4 crossbars.I place the saw and its baseatop the reinforced box and run screws through the plywood into the 1x2sto hold everything together.My saw is affixed to a plywood baseover a hole that allows dust to evacuate. t ffisj{ e e v' .R O B E R T C O NR A D P e l l s t o n . info@ultraviolet. - ' I ultraviolet. 375Marcus Boulevard Hauppauge 11788 NY (631 273-0500. A pair of Whole House Water Purification Harnessing benefits the of germicidal ultraviolet light to protectand improve humanlife. fJl U q/ G. hardware. Unique steelweb-frame design yields 100% usable space is and specifically engineered to utilize standard-sized purlins wood & girts simple for insulating and finish-off.M i c h . "''e o to 0pen an hing! Itb Sutta Miraclel h$.com . 4 S E . -* j' td. designs These l a r ei d e aflo r p o o e n c l o s u r e s .engineer ed TR steel l di ng st emincor por at e bui sy s open cathedra l. Bthsrrizet availabls smrihrsevr'ngs/ wiilb *Brtilding pricos. Fast easy assembly and doesn't require skilled or heavy labor equipment. Appliance T carton *--// A 2x8 leg extends above base to become outfeed block. may [odesin CA& FL affect ffittRAcllilRrFs' 1-866-463-1229 www.com ) R E A D E R E R V I CN O . Benchtoptablesaw" Plywood base. the saw may overheat or even causea trre.stceilings yle provi de m or e w hi ch a com f or t ablefeel i ng envi ronm ent . . Learn mor e oday. I begin by cutting the box down to about 24 in. { Z-in. . Knockclown sil\v stand My work as a remodeler requiresthat I carry a wide variety of tools and materials. The saw is held fast to the stand %-in. The crossbarsare notched in the rniddle where they engage one another. The plyrvood extends well beyond the back of the box. -MARK WHITE KodiakAlaska . y e . plywood basethat has a big hole in the middle to evacuate sawdust. Then I reinforce the box's upper edgeswith 1x2sscrewed and glued to both inside and outside surfaces.sand glue hold them together. 26 16 FINE HOMEBUILDINCI . during use by dowels.so spacein the truck is at a premium.miracletruss. Scre'*. plywood \ base Use 1x2s inside and out to reinf orce liP. packages Building include steelframes & endwalls.benches&sawhorses 'l'ernporary sat!' stand CONTINUED The drawing below shows how I improvise a stand for a portable tablesaw from an appliance carton.a pr MIR A C LE U SS e. where it is held up by a 2x8 leg. with a utility knife. styles l9 contemporary and colors choose to from. sheeting.com READER SERVICENO. and trim complete assembly instructions. That's why I came up with this knockdown saw stand. Don't let the box get too full of sawdust. hobbyoom s r you or for anypurpo se can i magi ne.

Caulk the brick moldings to the bricks. Close the door. Here's the most accurate way I've found to do it. These units are custom-made to be % in. where turn-of-the-century brownstones and bricks are the norm.\ . bit won't be. But with solid-brick walls. a pry bar provides leverage if necessary. Heights are standard. Photo this page: CharlesBickford. In theory.-wide strips of 3A-in. .ra *"ttj Vg plywood strap 20 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings. pilot hole in the door edge until it pierces the door jamb. *s shim as -/ necessary. N. and you're done. plywood attachedwith 172-in.doors&windows Putting a new window in an old brownstone In Brooklyn. spade bit. Rather Strapsmade of 2-in.except where noted: CharlesMiller. with a brick molding already attached. \ . narrower than the brick opening. cut strapsflush with stud sary to square to the window. the area once occupied by the sash weights is now a large void. S.) Spaceformerly occupie'd by sashweights r\ New window \ Stud wall Brickmolding :'-t::\\ N. _MATT HAUSMANN Brooklyn. The strips also serve as support for jamb extensions or drywall. bit is too small for most latch mechanisms. shimming as necesOnce they are affixed to framing. they drop into the opening and are strapped to the interior-wall framing with vendor-supplied galvanized straps. I improve on the strap idea. Before installing the drywall. Use a nail to mark the center of the strike-plate hole Locating a passageset in a door isn't too tough.Now drill holes for the latch and the strike using arsAr-in. and many manufacturers provide a template with the hardware. Now I can attach the plywood strips to the stud wall. As shown in the drawing.\rri. and the trole left by a l-in.Conn. . I screw 2-in.Y. window replacement often calls for some ingenuity. Then push a 6d nail through the %-in. and hold it tight to the stop. (A %-in. The strips then are cut flush with the studs.-widestrips of 3/q-in. I stuff the sash-weight voids with insulation. covered completely by the latch plate. and top of the window.) -TOM O'BRIEN New Milford. -\. I have used both Bonneville and Andersen brick-to-brick replacement windows.plywood to the sides. Locating the latch hole in the jamb can be more difficult. bottom. what do you strap the new window to? When old windows are removed. screws than make a mountain of unstable framing in the void.

Solo window installation I had to install windows in a new house by myself.D A N I E L E . straightbit to make quick work of the hinge mortises. . and cut around its perimeter with a utility knife.plywood. First. H I L Ll l l G r i s w o l d .o n n .I routed a shallow groovein the plywood. to which I attachedthe leaf of a radiusedbutt hinge aligned to the edgeof the plywood asit will be placedon the door or jamb (drawing l).R A y F R E U D h e r r y H i lN . I screw the hinge to the door stile in the desired position.M i c h . When the window was centered and level. Then I measured the distance that the windows projected from the house and cut four blocks equal to this distance plus %in. Using the hinge as a guide for the router's base.-dia. Now I was free to go inside and level the bottorir of the window and center it in its opening with shims. longer than the widest window. Now I can reattach the hinge using the same screw holes.I cut the template along the dotted lines (as shown in the drawing) to make it more convenient to maneuver.I installed a vinyl window and placed the 2x4s over it.I screwed the template to a iamb and followed the curved edge of the plywood with the router's base (drawing 3). screwing them to the wall on both sides. C Router base :v ( _. Then I score around the edges of the hinge with the knife as shown in the drawing above.straight bit. Then I pulled out the crossbars and moved on. -SCOTT B R U C E G r a n d B l a n c .l Crossbarwith blocks holds wind ow during i nstallation. plywood Attach hinge leaf to plywood. to make the cuts. set at a depth equal to the thicknessof a hinge leaf. I used the same 3/q-in.doors&windows CONTINUED Screw hinge leaf to door stile. I decidedto make the hingeSo mortising templateshown in the drawings below.I went back out and nailed it in place. Working from outside. had tried freehandingthe mortises I with mixed results. beginning with the bottom flange. C l. First.letme move the window without interference from the 2x4s.1 %-in. The extra Ycin. lowed with my jigsaw as I made a circular cut in the template (drawing 2). screwed one block to the end of each2x4. I use a utility knife and a chisel for the same purpose. J . I cut a couple of 2x4s about 8 in. With the hinge removed..-. To cut a hinge mortise. Routing hinge mortises I had a fair number of doorsthat neededhanging. I startedwith a pieceof Vz-in. I chisel the mortise to the thickness of the hinge. 22 FINE HOMEBUILDING . Router base follows template's curue as it cuts hinge mortise. Next. (drawing 4). The insideedgeof this shallow the groovebecame cutline that I fol6n t d-rT f Chiseling hinge mortises I typically use a router and a template to cut mortises or to enlarge existing mortises for new door hinges. By the way. and I wanted to take advantageof my router and my 3/t-in. But for small jobs where it doesn't make senseto cart along a lot of gear.I placed the screws that hold the template to the jamb so that their holes will be covered by the doorstop .

economical run.54 FINE HOMEBUILDING 5"JlHt""#i ffi #ffiffitffi:i'lriL"T"1**"trT.As shown in the drawing.I let a drywall lift (a tool designed placingdrywall for on walls)do the heavylifting.. _TOM O'BRIEN New Milford. when I'm readyto hang the door. The engineeredwood panels. no crowded pools. and effordessly raisethe door into position. no heavy chlorine. You can find thesetools at the big drywall-supplyoutletsthat caterto the pros. Ideal for swimming.OvrX will also *"!. usemy foot to center the lift under the door. Modular construction meansmany sizesand optionsare available. g Y o c.n. help can protectyour investmentagainstwater and mildew.a drywall lift features integral an fulcrum (soI don't haveto setit on top of a2x4 to get leverage) and a stirrup that permits hands-free operation. r" READER SERVICE NO. .I slip a toe through the stirrup. Unlike a flat bar.62 .water rehabilitationand fun. ft*n READER SERVICE NO. d . The 8'x 15' EndlessPool@is simple to maintain. (to STLANF rnsu[arcb wa[[pane[s from real insulationis the key to a comfortableand basement.Conn. o - ii O) o . efreaOy own a pool?Ask about. No traveling. By the way. in combinationwith STYROFOAMinsulation. to and easyto install insideor out.! o like a Ela your Bas Swim or exercise againsta smoothcurrentadjustable to any speedor ability. I usually so coverthem with a layer of duct tape.Expectto spendfrom $15to $20 for one. aerobics.doors&windows CONTINUED Hanging heavy doors When I haveto musclea solid-core door into or out of its hinges. A stronger ioint where the casing meets the stool Common practice is to nail up through the stool into side casings.OvrX InsulatedSub-Flooring Tile and Wall Panels 30 years of proventechnology.the sharpmetal edges the of lift can scratchwood surfaces. But biscuits hold better than end-grain nails and won't come out through the exposed surface of the side casing.J O S E P H B E A L Sl l l M a r s h f i e lH i l l sM a s s .



TWo ways to fix a door that won't latch
If the door contacts the latch-side stop at the top but not at the bottom (or the other way around) and is difficult to latch, the door is warped, or the jamb is twisted. -SCOTTMcBRIDE Va. Sperryville,


;l' tl '.1',

'irf{ i

iil f'Ti'

Fix 1: Moving the hinge can cornpensate for warping or twisting. A door can be coaxed into closing smoothly by shifting either the top or bottom hinge outward at the jamb.

Thimming foam flush to studs
I use foam insulation from an aerosoi can when insulating around rough window and door openings. The next day,I trim all the excessfoam away from the wall and the window frame with a mastic trowel (drawing above). Its serrated edges saw through the foam,leaving the foam flush with the wall. - K E I T H M E T I E R i g h l a n d a r k l,l l . P H WARPED DOOR TWISTED JAMB

Fix 2: lf moving the hinge doesn't fixthe problem entirely, it may be necessary to move the doorstop so that it contacts the entire latch side of the door.



! o o o

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Wall-sheathing insulationstops
When I switched to blown-in cellulose insulation in the attics of new homes, I saw the trouble installers had stapling cardboard insulation stops between the rafters or trusses above the exteriorwall plates to keep insulation from falling into the soffit. I came up with the idea of extending the exterior-wall sheathing above the top plate to become an integral insulation stop. Instead of trimming 1 ft. off the last row of sheathing to end it flush with the top plate, I let it run above the plate. I calculated the height between the bottom and top truss chords at the point above the outside face of the exterior wall. Then I deducted 1!zin. to leave a ventilation slot between the top of the wall sheathing and the underside of the roof sheathing. and cut off the rest. After nailing on the wall sheathing, I marked the roof-truss layout along the top edge of the sheathing and squared down the lines to the top-plate level, Before lifting the walls, I cut 132-in. slots for each truss to drop into. The slots quickly positioned each truss and allowed me to float the walls beneath until they could be tweaked straight; then I could nail down the trusses. Expanding spray foam seals any gaps between the truss and the wall sheathing so that no insulation slips by. The extra work saved me more than it cost me in time because the insulators didn't have to charge for crawling on their bellies to staple cardboard stops.
-MIKE G U E R T I N E a s tG r e e n w i c h ,R . l .

A 2x6 provides sheathingsupport. 2x4 stud for
drywall blocking Entire corner cavity can be insulated.

1 x 3o r plywood strip

A hybrid corner that eliminates therrnal bridgrng
Contributing editor Mike Guertin long hasbeenconcerned with exterior corners, which can be notoriouscold cavities. Although thermal bridging is a concernalong the entire wall, framing alternatives suchasdouble-stud walls are not cost-effective. Corners, on the other hand, carry lessload than
a typical stud and are structurally more flexible. Guertin is experimenting with a2x6 corner (photo left) that can be insulated completely. He uses a2x6 on the exterior corner and nails

%-in. OSB sheathing

Fiberglass insulation

a2x4 and a lx3, or a strip of plywood, togetherto form the interior corner. Insulationthroughout the corner cavity eliminatesthermal bridging by . breakingcontactbetweenthe sheathing and the drywall. Guertin says that the corner still providesgood supportfor top platesand for nailing.
(Although Guertin's building inspector approved the corner, check with your local inspector before trying it.)



Drawings:CharlesMiller.Photo: Scott Phillips.


Cutting rigtd insulation
Foam-insulation boardsare high in R-value, but they alsocan be a nuisance cut---{speto cially foam boardsthat are 2 in. thick. A utility knife won't cut deeplyenough.A kitchen knife works, but not very well because triangular crosssection the the of bladebinds asthe cut deepens. Sawsleave rough edges and spewstatically charged insulationparticlesthat cling to everything. A2-in. putty knife doesa grearjob of cutting foam insulation.The trick is to
sharpen one side of Sharpen with a straightedge, of a sharpened putty Foam insulati knife cuts through foam like butter, and its wide blade keeps the cut from wandering. _ C H R I SE L L I S Brewster, Mass. the blade. Teamed

Insulated headers for cold climates
I've seen a lot of different ways to make built-up headers, from the traditional to the bizarre.The traditional method sandwiches Vz-in. plywood between 2x material until it matches the depth of the wall studs. Unfortunately, this causes two problems. First, the header often isn't the exact thickness of the wall, and when trim time rolls around, you have unhappy carpenters. Second, this kind of header has no insulative value. The drawing at right shows the header that I've been assembling to solve both problems. Ir's essentially a box beam with plywood tops and bottoms, and sides made either of 2x or, my favorite, laminated lumber. The result is a header precisely the same dimension as the wall and a continuous void 2x


8d nails

i\ \\


Ll . t


the length of the headerfor insulation. My engineerhad no problemswith the structuralcapabilityof this design. The key is to provide adequate nailing through the plywood into the sides. For theseheaders,Iused8d nails spaced on the samecenters the perimeternails as in our plywood wall sheathing.
-BILL WELCH Jackson, yo. W





Nailsand screwsrear their headswhen the dryrall panel is not fastened firmly againstthe framing.and then cover the area with fiberglass-mesh tape.N. just fill the depres- Myron R. "Sure. author of Drywall: Professional Techniques (TheTaunton for Great Resu/ts Pre ss2005) . in Galway. the more gratifying the look. but I prefer self-adheringmesh tape. Fill dimples with three thin coats of compound. but use tape if the surtace is damaged. lf the paper hastorn or if the core of the drywall is damaged. I must have faced every possible type of drywall repair. I can fix this in no fime. except now drywall dust coats the furniture and the wall needs to be repainted. when the framing shrinksor twists.Y. away (sometimeson both sides). the best remedy is to refasten the panel near the popped nail or screw. Unlike most people in my business. letting the compound dry between coats. wet o r s ta i n e d drywall. popped nails or screws. and the quarter-inch layer of joint compound used to fix it looks nearly as obvious as the gaping black hole.liv esand w o rk s .that drywallguy.Repair and how to racks or holesin drywall. or when the wall or ceiling is struck or moved slightly during remodelingwork. Refasten drywall to the underlyingframing near the popped nail or screw. it's best to remove all loose material. Ferguson(www. I usuallypress on the panel next to the pop and drive a drywall screw into the stud aboutlVzin. fix them @^ing poppednailsand screws sion with three thin coats of joint compound.Photosby Zacha r yG a u l k i n ." The more severe the damage.lf the paper surfaceof the drynvallhas not been damaged.drawing the panel toward the framing. 32 FINE HOMEBUILDING . Whatever the causeof the telltale bulge. wide or less. no problem. I remove the popped fastener or drive it back into the framing.fill the hole with joint compound. The framing never seems to be in the right place for attaching a patch. Over the past two decades. Covering the dimples is easy.I love walking into a drywallrepair job. peelingjoint tape. and I have gotten good not only at patching holes but also at permanently concealing repairs and doing them as quickly and easily as possible. followed by light sandingwith 1SO-grit sandpaper. Protruding fastenersare easyto fix. Any of these problems means a drywall repair is inevitable. (Youcan use paper tape.com). I know that some people grimace when faced with a dreaded chore like fixing a hole in drywall.) This approach also works for any hole 2 in. I savor the look on a customer's face when I say. called a pop. 5 commonproblems ByMyRoN FERGUsoN R.

frr . but sometimes they can be found in the middle of panels over doorways or windows.opening it up aboutVzin. such as the settling that happens in new homes. 35). '& Chip away loose material. blending it into the surrounding area and lightly sanding after the last coat.andtapingcracks 2 rtlling Cracks in drywall usually are caused by structural movement. Fillthe groove with joint compound. f eathering it into the rest of the wall. Most cracks go completely through the panel.) In new construction. cracks occur on a seam. Then smooth the area with two or three coats of joint compound. cut a V-groove along the crack. and cut a V-shaped groove along the length of the crack. is to remove any loose material with a putty knife or utility knife. Fill the void with joint compound (for more about choosing joint compound. and cover it with mesh or paper tape. see p. (ln modular homes. l'm careful to let the compound dry between coats. Most often. as in all repairs. Applv threethin coats of compound. 'ffiffi. #-. I recommend waiting at least six months before repairing cracks to give the structure time to settle. Next. cracks in the middle of panels can occur as a result of transportation and placement on a foundation.and apply sel{-adheringtape over the crack. and going almost completely through the panel to the paper on the back. so just repairing the surface is not enough. The first step.

Removingany wet insulationso that it can dry is also a good idea. leaving room for a thin layer of joint compound.usuallyneed some work. Bevelthe edges of the wall opening.3 t"tching an old electrical-box opening When an outlet or a switch is eliminated.I sometimescan fix sags before the drywall dries by supporting it with a temporary support or with furring strips fastened to the framing.sagging areaswill be difficult to reattach when dry becausethe drywall can take on a new shape. and two or three coats of compound. Add joint compound to the opening or the patch. then cut a matching patch and bevel its edges. The patch works best when it sinksslightly below the wall plane. make sure there are no live electricalwires in it. then press the patch into place.the box may be removed or left in the wall. Next.and press the patch in place. lt will have to dry thoroughly before it can be reattached.lf the drywall is loose. Repairingwater-damaged ceilrngs A water leak usuallyruns along the top of drywall until it finds a seam or corner. and bevel back the edges to fit the hole.1. lf the box is left behind. Drywall saturated with water may loosen and sag. (Wired boxes should not be coveredwith drywalhthey should be closedwith a cover plate and remainaccessible. Spreada generouslayer of compound onto the edges of the opening (or the patch). Damageto the drywall itself is generallynot extensive because the water doesn't sit for too long. .remove loose tape and joint compound. . Seams.often looseningthe tape and the joint compoundto create an exit.Then cover the seamswith mesh or paper tape. I use a utility knife to adjust the fit of the patch until itt snug. it can be refastened to the framing with drywall screws. remove any loosedrywalland joint tape. After masking surrounding areas.Sandafter the last coat.) Start by bevelingthe outside edges of the hole with a utility knife to a 45o chamferall around. cut a drywall patch the samesize as the beveled opening. Once the leak has been repaired. then apply two or three coats of joint compound.However. Cover the seamswith paper or meshtape.however.

While drying-type compounds cure as water evaporates. Paint the damaged area with a stainblocking primer to prevent stains from bleeding through repairs. whichharden setting-typecompounds. The big drawback of setting-Upe compounds. all drying-type compounds require an applicationtemperatureof at least 55"F (this condition applies to surface. For small repairs. compound must dry thoroughly between coats. humidity. Setting-type compounds are great for quick repairs. bucket. but there are different types. use a topping or an all-purposemix.different mixes are availablethat dry faster or slower. With setting-type compounds. is the inconvenience of mixing them yourself. For all but the smallest batches. cover with three coats. but they can be difficult to sand. however.and sands smooth. I mix the compound in a S-gal. lt feathers out nicely.THERIGHT JOINTCOMPOUND CHOOSE There are two broad categories of compound: drying and setting.settingtype compounds harden by chemicalreaction. Whatever varie$r you use. softer or harder. lt is strong and doesn't shrink much.dries quickly. humidity and cooler temperatureshave little effect on setting time. quickly. depending on your needs. if you don't want to buy more than one bucket. Becausethese compounds hardenchemically. All-purposecompound can be used for all stages.compound. you can mix only what you need and store the rest dry. using a mixing paddle attachment with a Vz-in. drying times are affected by temperature. followed by three coats of compound.aregreat for repairwork. Apply compoundto taped seams.Topping compound is a lighter-weight compoundthat is used for the thin finishing coat. electric drill. depending on the type used. Setting'tyPe compound Cover seams with mesh or paper tape. lt's availablein most lumber or hardware stores. On the plus side. The and air temperatures). Setting times vary from 20 minutes to six hours. additives can be mixed into the batch to acceleratedrying time even more. GREATBUILDING TIPS2006 . Drying-typecompound Most drying-type compounds are premixed and ready to use right out of the bucket. Within each of those categories. and airflow. I like to use a lightweight setting compound for the first two coats before finishing with an all-purpose(or a topping) dryingtype compound. Taping compound is used to embed the joint tape for the first coat and to fill for the second coat.

l onger than the hol e and sl i de each strip into the opening.5 Repairing largeholes When people have to repair large holesthat fall between wall studs or ceilingjoists.This method makesthe patch easyto concealand unlikely to crack or loosen. --"t'n-- ::. then test the patch until it fits. Strengthen the repair by installing 1x2 furring str4rs inside the wall cavity. longer than the opening and fastened at both ends with drywall suews. cut along the pencil line. they often cut the drywall back to the framing to create a spot for fastening a patch. Strips should be 6 in. To tape the patch.*=*ii" '---* t' . The problem is that the repairthen becomes much larger. I use furring strips to hold the patch.the patch can be measuredand cut to fit precisely. then cover all the edges with mesh or paper tape.making it a firm part of the panel and flush with the surface. Hold the patch over the damaged area and trace its outline onto the wall. and trace around it with a pencil. For round or squareopenings(suchas those that are created when a light fixture is removed).*\*. To strengthenthe repair.*15 J With a drywall saw. hold it over the hole. I cut the 1x2 stri ps about 6 i n.I simply cut a patch slightlylargerthan the damaged area. Because paper Make a square or rectangular patch slightly larger than the damaged area.then I cut out the damaged area to match the patch. I try to keep the repair as smallas possibleby not attachingthe patch to the framingwhen the damage is between studs. The patch is fastenedto the furring strips with drywall screws. first fill any large gaps with joint compound. fastening it on both ends with drywall screws. For oddly shaped holes. FINEHOMEBUILDING .

THREE COATS OF COMPOUNDMAKE REPAIRS DISAPPEAR The final step in all drywall repairs is to coat the patch with at least three (and sometimes four) layers of joint compound-letting between-followed each coat dry in by a light sand- ing...) The second coat is a filler coau I fill in any voids. . lf possible. cutting to the wall framing. .. I recommend it for larger.|. (. After the first coat of compound is dry. The first coat should be as thin as possible while still hiding the tape. This third coat of j o i n t c o m p o u n d i n c r e a s e st h e d i a m e ter of the patched area even more.. I use one piece of drywall for the repair. gap to avoid damaging the edges of the patch. the more area I will need to cover with joint compound to feather it into the rest of the wall. and apply mesh or paper tape. I have to attach 1x2 furring strips or 2x4s to studs for fastening the patch. Spread a thin layer of compound over the seams. I leave about a 1/a-in.. I use my trowel as a straightedge to see how far the high spot projects from the plane of the wall.:':' ! Depending on the size of the repair.) Because I cut along the inside of the framing.. feathering the outside edges while keeping the compound very thin on any high spots.\T IJUII-I)I\(. No matter how carefully I patch a section of wall. . making sure to feather out the edges properly and not to build up the patched areas too much. (For small patches. to 12 in. The bigger and more noticeable the hump. When the second coat is dry. Repairs that span wall framing can be a real test because of the large surface area they involve. I start by removing the damaged area with a utility saw. Cover the tape and patch with three thin layers of joint compound. working the compound smoothly toward the thin layer left in the center. I first mark an outline so that the patch area will have square corners. I check the high spot again (by hand or by trowel) and apply more compound to widen the area further and to fill in voids or unfeathered edges. ItF.tape is stronger than mesh tape. just rub my hand over the repair to feel how well the high spot is disappearing with each coat. A poorly feathered patch can be as noticeable as the damage it was meant to conceal. the tape and joint compound form a high spot or bump. from the previous coat. each coat will feather out 6 in. I Attach the patch to the furring with drywall screws. . TII)S ]II{It. I like to begin each coat by applying a liberal amount of compound to the entire area and then feathering the outside edges first. (For cuts perpendicular to framing. more difficult repairs and those that are attached directly to wall framing. I make sure that the strips are flush with or slightly back from the back edge of the drywall surface. The key to avoiding an unsightly high spot is spreading and feathering the layers of joint compound over a large area without building up excess compound on any high areas.

ich. The rear slit shouldbe iust largeenoughto sides.I built a the unit out of scrap2x4s. both the tapeand a thin layer of ioint compound to pass to allow hangsfrom a2x4 upright toward the back of the rig.But As looks are deceiving.plasticbucket. -B R IAN Daf M BUSH t er . This work is tedious with a utility knife. but not often enoughto iustify investing in a real drywall "kicker. the bladescut from both making it quick and easyto remove sides. off the floor. lifts a drywall A little toe pressure panel2 in. housein five hours.lop it off with a razorknife. and the $25 edge trimmer I bought didn't work very well. anada Al C K 2x4 upright Rollof paper tape Bucketof thinnedjoint compound 2x6 ) -/ ie:.lnstallation A self-mudding drywall-tapedispenser Peoplehavegiven me somepretty strangelooks when I carry my drywalltaping machineonto a job site.The bucket is with four affixed to the 2x6 crossbar short screws.ta. Drawings. dowel FINE HOMEBUILDING inch off the ends of our drywall. the machine's shown in the drawing at right. Depthof score When I slidethis tool along the edgeof a pieceof drywall. Using this setup. CharlesMillcr.Drywallkicker I hang drywall oncein a while.a2x6rand 1-gal." a lever made iust for lifting a piece ofdrywall.two of us tapedan 1100-sq.$ piece of 3-in. length of l-in. tall. I made my own trimmer by screwing together some piecesof lx scrap to make a cutting guide and attached a couple of "snap-off'utility-knife blades to its top edge.r.Becausethis style of framing allows a single top plate.I modified my pry bar by attachinga 3-in. our walls are a little lessthan 8 ft. Instead.. _ANDREW KIRK Independence.. The front slit shouldbe slightly wider allow drywall tapeto pass through it. the I made two slitsin the sideof the bucket where they engage bottom. A roll of papertape I run the tapethrough the slitsin the bucket.Now I'm readyto pull the tapeout to the desired length. The slitsare on opposite through it. Calif.-ft.-dia.-long f -in. Photo: Mike Gucrtin and Randy O'Rourke' . uniform stripsfrom a sheetof drywall. and apply it directly to the wall-no premudding necessary.and then I fill the bucket with thinned joint compound.-dia. cdatingof-joint - Bladesalignedwith Drywall edge trimmer Our crew uses "in-line" framing for walls to save lumber (weight from above bears directly on studs. rF- with rape emerses a thin t***i -y' compound. and plates are joined with steel splices). The downside to this technique is that we have to trim about an 1x scrap . -c H R l s M AT IS H AD el burne. dowel with a bolt through the nail-pulling hole that is countersunkin the dowel.

T l M H A N S O NI n d i a n a p o l i s Gently scrub perimeter of patch with a moistened toothbrush. we tape the long edges. Between setup and cleanup. either orange-peel or knockdown texture.%o-in. beginning with the butt joints. Once the drywall compound has dried. I have to set up my commercialsprayer to retexture the patch. Incidentally. Next.When the adjacent drywall panel is screwed to the plywood strip. a shallow dip is created where the drywall bends over the poster board. As the drywall goes up. screw one of the plywood strips to the end of the panel.that's a lot of work for a small. Then I feather the edges of the patch with an old toothbrush dipped in warm water and a dry cloth. To finish. my work includespatching holes in drywall. l'm ready to texture the patch (4). Before raising a drywall panel for installation. We tape our joints in the usual manner. I've inspectedjobs that we did 25 yearsago using this method.-thick poster-board strips I REMoDELT TrP NG Patching holes in textured drywall From time to time. When l've got the right consistency. creatinga recessfor tape and joint Invisibledrywall butt joints During 40 years in the trades. then crosscut it into 10 equal strips. staple strips of Vrc-in. . This shallow dip createsa hollow for the tape.I've had a number of highend drywall jobs that required dead-flat ceilings-no bulges allowed where the ends of the drywall sheetsabut one another. leaving a tapered surfacethat makes a gradual transition to the smoothly sanded center of the patch. Using this technique. on center Drywall dips over posterboard strips. I sand smooth the center of the patch. This trick starts with a sheet of plywood the same thickness as the drywall. a 20-in. R OJA S LasVegas Ceilingjoists Screws. And if the holes are in textured walls. The posterboard strip goes between the plywood and the drywall. This method is our crew's solution to the problem. This step is important: Trial and error is the key to making this techniquework. First. wide by 47 in. Once that joint compound has dried. G R E A TB U I L D I N G T I P S 2 0 0 6 .job. -D A V ID A .long. They will be 9%in.thick poster board to the long edges of the plywood strip. taping knife. Apply new splatter texture with a turkey baster. I begin a patch by applying meshtape over the hole (1). I work my way around the patch (3). trim an inch off the width of the sheet. and you still can't seewhere the butt ioints occur. I prepare a mixture of water and all-purposecompound thin enough to produce a splatter. we never had a joint show up on a punch list at the completion of a job. Next. aluminum angle is a handy tool for leveling the finish coats of joint compound over rhe butt ends. 5 in. the butt ends are arranged to fall between the ceiling joists. This processpatchesthe hole but also clogs the crevicesthat create the texture (21. l've found a better way.Then I cover the meshwith all-purposedrlnrall compound (don't use setting-typecompound)applied with a 4-in. As shown in the drawings. I suck some of the mix into a turkey baster and practice splattering on a piece of scrap until I get the effect I'm looking for.-long piece of IVz-in.

I use lightweightjoint compound.see p. Use a 6-in. re ffi F r ank inic r o p es a p a i n ti n g o n tra c i S c tor in Hawthorne. 7 stepsto a professional p. 888-364-3577. People always ask me how they can improve their painting techniques.com). and smooth. and very little experience. Charles @ LongJasting. Bluemasking for most surfaces and peelsoff cleanly up to 14 days. I make sure wallsand trim are clean.. www.3m. Only after they've come to the end of their messy first job do they begin to wonder about that old guy in painter's whites they once saw working at someone else'shouse.To protect the floor. Next.it's necessary cover only the first 3 ft. or 4 ft. FINE HOMEBUILDING Essential patching tools.The greentape can stay on even longer. How could he paint an e n t i r e r o o m i n a s e a m l e s s l yc h o r e o graphed sequence of brush and roller strokes before his second cup of coffee and not spill even a drop of paintl I'm not that old guy yet. PRorEcr rHE FLooR ffi re rcF AND PREPTHE WALLS I like to move all furnitureout or to the center of the room and cover it with plastic. low-tack tape is best (3M Corp.stain-free. the answers ahead will provide some Novocain to easethe pain of your next painting project. N. deep. but I am a painting contractor.J. 32).Strategy ost peoplethink that painting the interior of a house a iob that requires is just a couple of tools. a high tolerance for boredom. Photos by Bickford.int job BY FRANK SINICROPE 1.(Fortips on drywallrepair.and crackscan be patched. which dries quickly. of tape is besUit adheres to floor from the wall.Nail holes. Unlessl'm paintingthe to ceiling. If you consider the act of painting on par with a trip to the dentist. I roll out 4-mil plasticand tape it to the baseboard.if they're lessthan % in.bumps. taping knife and a 5-in-1 tool for wall prep. .

be sureto spot-prime areawith the finishpaint before applyingthe final coat. acrylicprimer (www.water.zinsser.I wipe down the trim with a damp rag and start on it. Don't sweat it. I don't mask off the trim when I cut in the walls. Oncethe wallsare finished. then the trim. 06 41 . I can roll out the wallsquicklyand not worry about any spraylandingon the trim. T 3. PAINT HE WALLSFIRST Pro paintershave different preferences.com.but maskingis certainlya good option if you'd rather not worry about getting wall paint on the trim.www by a stain-killing 732-469-81 or BenjaminMoore's FreshStart 00) . Otherwise. Inc.the spot will appear shinywhen the wall is viewed at an angl e. tape enBut suresclean.straightlineswhile yoLt'restill improving your skill. -J/ Cover a multitude of sins.and smokesoot can be blocked primer suchas BIN (Zinsser Co. but I like to paint the wallsfirst.Stains includingink.T 2 . D o N ' T F o R G E T H EP R T M E R It's a good idea to start anyjob with a quality primer. nmoore. Hide stains and repairs with a stain-killing primer.benjami the same After coveringthe stains. Use tape.. Any one of the low-tacktapes works well. crayon. 800-344-0400). Prosrely on a steady stroketo tape in avoidusing masking manysituations.com.

1 ...jr i .t . . ..r-r. 1 i I I i: ::j11{.: i : i. '. r L j i a ! | { : t . 4d)*". I ]i.t : i i].. ../' . .. -. i 'i : i . i ..lidiii... .:... . . . i i . i : .....i i .i) .*****'] Easy does it" Too much pressur-e on the roller will leave lines in the ^^i-.:'.:11i] :-:. ' l .Ll .' . -.::fj i-l i::: : i .. : : r .ti :-r-:.i .l .t)t\(... i r i . : . : .' C .. rr. ) i ii. i:'. .1... .: :: .. i i i : i i ' i :-i. r . t i 5 { .. . ..iiti| ......i i "t. saF -'*t.ii:.i: . .'.. i i . p i . ' . r: ' l ' i . ' i r f .1 . r . : .:. .. -t f . . t . -i:t i i : . r.i'i.i..i . .. .i: u. . i : .. i'!:. r-. . ' r .. '.. ..i ..+ ^^ll^-J P < 1 i lt L L c l r V U r U P s ) . ' .. r : ' : r . 42 t:i\l H()\1tIil ll. t . .:)i: i i. r .:<. . F \ \1. : . .i i i t i . .. .i.+i i i l {. .. . ... . .i : I . . .. ' i ' : I : . .. . . 1: ir' t-.[--*"t*-*.i i .Iil ' : .. r 'il.:i : .:.. 1 : . .rl.'j l'. i : ' t t ) i : r r i i i : t ' . f : @ . '... r ..

lf washedthoroughly. r When you reachthe doorknob. DooRs Ar rHE ToP AND woRK DowN 6. The proper order for an even coat. I use a wire brush gently to scrapeout all remnants of dried paint. open and close the window while it's drying so that it doesn't dry shut.then stiles. I angle the tip the frame. CLEAN wtrH PLENwoF wATER uP For latex paint. A ftnal brush stroke defines joinery. as is removingthe hardstops-. Rollersare certainlyworth cleaning. to www. r Be sure to keep the paint's leading edge wet to prevent brush marks. rinseagain.Multiple finish coats (usuallytwo) may be necessaryto get good coverage.com. Ask your paint supplierto tint the color of the primer as close as possibleto the color of the paint you've chosen. I first flood the bristleswith water. steRTwtNDows tN THE AND WORK OUTWARD CENTER I paint the muntinsof a window first. ware. then the window frame.5. BEcrNpANELED Paneleddoors should be primed with a high-quality primer to eliminatebleed-throughstains. then washthem usingthe sametechniqueas the brushes.I usea little dish soapto removethe tracesof oilsthat are in latex paint. (lf you're unsure of your technique or don't want to bother. the secret to stopping lap marks is to use a smooth last stroke with little paint and light pressure. lf not cleanedthoroughly.they can be used repeatedly. into the muntin'sedge and draw the paint along the muntin with one smooth stroke.Scrapeexcesspaint out of them with a 5-in-1tool. Again. less paint is better to prevent drips.finehomebuilding. use even less paint stroke pattern. The trick is to brush to get a seamless around the knob with continuousstrokesand avoid Maskingis also an option. No matter how you apply the paint.As long as the paint is *illfairly wet. carefullyrun a razor blade between the window sashand casingto break the seal. working out the majority of the paint. then rails. Here. of course. To avoid lap marks.) Don't apply too much paint to the window frame. and finish with the casing.A final light stroke acrossthe panel of faces and along the intersections the railsand stiles will eliminatesagsand brush marks. lf the window is painted shut. without the wire brush. finish with a stroke in the diredion of the wood grain. paint the muntins first. GREATBUILDING TIPS 2006 43 .then shakeor spin the brushdry. For a video tip on go cleaningoil paint from brushes.the brush will lose flexibility. 7. particularlyin recessedareasand along door edges. r Start by painting at the top of the doot panelsfirst. also. you can maskthe glasswith blue tape or scrapethe glass once the paint has dried. then move to sashbrush. which allowsyou to follow the grain. o Be sure to checkyour work for drips. drips can be erasedwhh a light brushstroke. With a 21/z-in. two coats lightly applied are better than one heavy coat that drips or sags.

I now use a plywood platform on wheels both to carry the paint bucket and to protect the baseboard and floor from paint splatters. A plastic blade on one end of the platform butts up 1 x 1c u r b Plastic blade Offset casters against the wall to catch drips. which is awkward for righties. and I attached it to the caddy so that the curve points upward. as shown in the drawing above. Now paint only two sides of the rectangles formed by the muntins. and it takes forever. Stand it up on a pair of sawhorses. Paintcaddy I paint houses for a living. As shown in the drawing at right. First. Painting bifold doors While painting colonialbifold doors.Tidy Application Painting window sash Painting the muntins on a divided-lite sash or door is a pain. If you're right-handed. flip the sash over and start again. and there are three things about painting with a roller that really annoy me. Instead of this sequence. When you're done.as shown in the drawings. and the third is moving the tarp again. Conn. -JEFF N O V I T S K I S w e e t V a l l e yP a . Spring clampssupport bifold 44 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings: Charlcs Miller . One is masking the baseboard and spreading out a tarp to catch drips and speckles. I used a section cut out of an old plastic garbage can. Wash. This position directs baseboards. This way you'll never have to paint acrossthe top and down the right. To make the blade. don't paint a window when it's lying flat. which inevitably results in drops of wet paint smearing the carpet or floor. spring clampsmake good props. Lefties do just the opposite.Another is moving the paint bucket from station to station. Paint down the left sides and acrossthe bottoms again. Here's a tip from a friend whose father was a painter.I discovered that I could paint both the edges and the faces a pair of of doorsif I proppedthem openon a pair of sawhorses. you probably want to paint down the left sides and across the bottoms of the muntins. _ J E F F E R S OK O L L E N Ridgefield. . Paint down the left sides and across the bottoms of the muntins. paint away from the wall and accommodates higher -STAN LUCASRedmond.

frustration lurks. I lay the tape so that it runs about 7s in. Mass. E GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 .and use a putty knife to work the folded side of the tape into the corner where the carpet and baseboard meet (2). A word of caution: lf the caulk and the paint are dry by the time you remove the maskingtape. up the baseboard (1). Pulling the tape more from the room edge exposes more of the baseboardfor painting! then pressingthe room edge of the tape to the top of the carpet attachesthe tape so that the gap between the carpet and baseboard remainsopen (4).I use 2-in. Then we ran a thin bead of latex painter's caulk along the intersection and wiped it with a moistened finger a couple of times to remove virtually all the caulk. After we finished painting the uprights. away from the baseboard. This makesthe tape stick to all the carpet tufts right up to the edge of the baseboard. When I paint a door. Result:A clean paint line without a master'shand.Y. -AL LEMKE HopewellJunction. Easythe cabinetry has painted uprighr and lacqueredshelves. and another one against the wall near the top of the door. Use paint stilts to support work while finish When a painted surface butts up to unpainted wood. We recently solved this problem in an entertainment center that my company built. Work tape into corner with putty knife. We weren't concernedabout leaving a bit of caulk on the parts to be painted. a Keep tension on the room edge of the tape as you press the knife into the corner. press the tape onto the carpet about 1 in. as shown below. release To get the clean line we were looking for. As shown in the drawing. Masking tape alone isn't enough to block the paint completely. _MICHAEL . Take care not to pressthe tape against the baseboard. lt flows into the minute irregularities under the tapet edge.SWEEM R Downey. the tufts are pulled away from the baseboard. low-tack masking tape to hold the carpet tufts away from the baseboard so that the paint can be applied below the top of the carpet line.-wide. leaving a fuzzy line when the tape is peeled away. run a sharp utility knife down the intersection first. Next. we first masking applied a strip of low-tack blue maskingtape to the shelf.and the baseboard side of the tape can be worked down (3). g Pull out the knife and press the tape securely to the carpet. we carefully Lacquered removed the tape while the caulk and paint were still shelf wet. A Paintedupright Thin b e a do f ' painier's caulk Painting next to carpet Cutting in a baseboard that borders a carpet can be a bit messy. for instance. Now when I tug the tape toward the middle of the room.N.Calif.CLEAN THE EDGES KEEP Clean edges where paint meets wood Paint stilts A drywall screw through a small square of plywood makes a handy stilt to prop up work while finish is applied. This wraps the edge of the carp€t and protests it from the paint.I place a pair of stilts on the floor to support the door. -C H U C KGR E E N shl and. First. only on sealingthe edge of the tape.

exposing the old oil-based finish. you can be sure it has collected enough dried gunk to leave an unsightly surface. {W Paintbrushgarage \ \ G a l l o n varn ish of Direct water jet along edge of roller. Conn. a lx4 crossbar nailed to a doughnut-shaped plywood base. fust make sure the paint stays wet for a few minutes prior to sanding. To use it. My brush garage consists of a 1-gal. step outside. . it sure is nice not to have to deal with paint-thinner fumes and drips. the slightest ding can result in a large chip.drywall bucket with a lid. Now after I've finished painting. -JOHN CARROLL urham. I've often had entire sections peel away from a door. This setup allows me ro go weeks without cleaning my brush. paint parl. _MEL WOLPERT Weatogue. I simply attach an extension handle to the roller.J. To save cleanup time at the end of the day.N.I take a different approach. Real painters clean their brushes every day. Before long. I stretch the cheesecloth sffainer over the can and secure it with a rubber band. rough up the basecoat with sandpaper and give it a coat of ' primer. Then I cover the drywall bucket to keep the thinner from evaporating.I stumbled upon a great stripping aid: water. I am not a real painter. I've found that if the latex surface is dampened with water a few minutes prior to sanding. Now you're ready for a new topcoat. And at the end of a long day of running siding and trim. I put the strainer in the paint. itt just right for touch-ups. A wet rag is all you need.C. Instead of pouring the paint through the strainer. The cloth hangs in the paint or varnish. the topcoat will lift easily off the oil-based undercoat with gende prodding from 8O-grit sandpaper. and the finish that accumulates above the cloth is free of contaminants. But I often seal end-grain cuts and back-prime siding and exterior trim with an oil-based primer.Prep& Cleanup Strainingpaint for touch-ups By the time a gallon of paint or varnish has been around long enough to have been opened a half-dozen times and still not completely consumed. However. Recently. and I've spent hours sanding off the latex layer on more doors than I care to remember. 1-gal. Centrifugal force spinspaint and water off roller. Be sure to perform this operation well away from anything that might be damaged by the paint and watery overspray. so the paint and water spin off the roller.I keep my brush in the rig shown in the drawing below.D O N M A T H I S i ae m a i l v Cheesecloth strainersecured with rubber band The problem of latex over oil paint I'm amazed by how often contractors and homeowners alike apply latex paint directly over a semigloss oil finish without first roughing up the old surface or applying a primer. Once you've removed the latex. straining the entire contents of the can is messy and time-consuming if you're doing just touch-up work. paintthinner pail Plywood base Drywall bucket \_--z Brushsuspended paint thinner in 46 FINE HOMEBUILDING .and a5-gal. As shown in the drawing.I put several inches of paint thinner in the paint pail and suspend the brush from the nail hanger so rhat the bristles are immersed in the thinner. . D N 1x4 crossbar nailed to base Nail hanger Centrifugalroller cleaner Cleaning water-soluble paint from a paint roller used to be a tedious chore until I came up with this idea. It's time to strain the paint. -JONATHAN APPLEBAU M Westfield. Directing a stream of water along the edge of the roller revs it up to a good speed. I've owned two homes with this problem. and use a garden hose to do the work.

make your own.ljust remove the cap and set the jug on top of the paint can. smaller but hard-to-hold coffee can. Not only is the buih-in handlea plus. Scraper cleanup Paint stripper combined with old paint or varnish makes a sticky goo that can be tough to remove from a scraper or a putgr knife. but they soon would become a dripping mess. As shown in the drawing at right. Ohio : Low-budget paint mixer The next time you need to stir some paint and can't find a mixer for your drill.-longtoggle bolt. as shownin the drawing. Mixing even old paint is a snap with this rig.TOOLSFROMTHE RECYCLING BIN Paintbrush carrier When I paint trimwork. My solution is to cut the top off a 1-gal. The carriercleansup easilywith water or paint thinner. the old finish falls into the can. ldaho GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 47 . and affix it to a 3/e-in. Ohio sides. When l'm finishedpainting. I now have several brushesclose at hand. I cut the rim of a metal peanut-butter-jarlid into a series of segmentsthat can be bent into an effective mixer.and bend up every other section. creating a paintbrush carrierthat rides easilyon my hip.lslide the loose belt ends through the loops of my painter's pants. 6-in. Any leftover paint drains back where it belongs. To make an easyjob of it. and bend upward every other segment. Drill a hole in the center of the lid.plasticantifreezejug with flat Combo paint bucket/funnel Plasticjug with bottom removed Instead of working directly out acts as paint can of a gallon can of paint or a or funnel. ready for disposal. long in a large tin can.-dia. I use a chopped-down milk jug. -R.When I pull the blade out. *MIKE ELLIS Seattle Cut rim into equal portions.8.Then I slide the blade of the knife into the slit close to where it joins the handle. I then cut two slits in one of the sidesand thread a nylon belt through them. HIMES Vienna. I hate to waste time climbing up and down the ladder to get the right brush. -ROY VIKEN Boise. by Now use a pair of metal shearsto cut the lid into equal segments. I cut a straight slit about 2 in. but the container also does double duty. I could leave variousbrushesin the paint bucket. _MICHAEL JUPPE Hudson.

t he goals w h e n fra m i n g a re strength.2002). while I sold mine for a profit.has been framing hous es or m or e th a n 5 0 y e a rs . plan so that you have to move it only once. efficiency and accuracy are trickier. Cut 2x4s right on the stack. Cut studs. for instance. but every2x4 in the other housewas cut to perfection. framing doesn't have to look perfect or satisfy your desireto fit together two piecesof wood precisely. Unlike finish carpentry. and accuracy. wired. don't move it any more than you need to. LarryHaun. lumber can be delivered on a boom truck. Often.Rules10 waysto work efficientlyand to know how good is good enough BY LARRYHAUN I t was a coincidencethat another contractor and I beganframing I houses next door to one another I -Ion the same day. lf you do have to move wood. It was no coincidencethat the other contractor ran out of money and had to turn over the unfinished houseto the lending company. . plywood. Whether you're building a house. and anything else you can right on the stack. not the other way around. iient Carpenter 1999)and Habitat for Humanity: How to Build a House(TheTaunton Press.H e f lives in Coos Bay. or a simple wall.And floor joists Roof framingon bottom Floor sheathing Floorframingon top EJ -/ Wall framing in middle are stacked on top of floor sheathing. Every joint looked like finish carpentry. During 50 yearsof framing houses.Ore.Following the building codesand the blueprints should take careof the strength. Photo: Bnan Pontolilo. I've come up with the following rules to help me do good work quickly and with a minimum of effort. -f Don't move materials any more than you haveto Hauling lumber from place to place is time-consuming and hard on your body.an addition. and I was framing a house. When it's time for the delivery unload the building materials as close as possible to where they will be used.level. so stacks of lumber can be placed right on the deck or on a simple structure built flush alongsidethe deck. plumb. mine was shingled.author of The VeryEffi(TheTauntonPress. By the time his housewas framed. Once the material is delivered. You don't want to move hundreds of wall studs to get to your plate stock. Wall and roof sheathing Drawings: Christopher Clapp. and start by having the folks at the lumberyard do their part. Both houses were structurally sound. and square. Make it easier on yourself every chanceyou get. and plumbed. Make sure lumber arrives on the truck stacked in the order it will be used. The other contractor was building furniture. efficiency.

And every project needs lots of short stock for blocking. .need to be straight. and blocks.and square. ' . Straight stock is also necessary corners and at rough openings at for doors. When it comes to wall framing. The two top plates need to be straight as well. short (not long). short so that intersectingwalls tie together easily. Cap or double plate canbe up to 1/tin. l i .) because it establishesthe buildingt dimensionat the top of the walls.and in kitchensand baths. parallel. Usebowed stock for bottom plates. the bottom plate also can be th in. 1/rin. your lumber counts These days. so the question is: What's acceptable? You need to get started right. Once you've raisedthe walls.but also becausethe work of so many trades comes together here. You can bend it right to the chalkline and nail it home..bow in a 50-ft. but the bottom plate doesn't. know your tolerances.. cripples. out of plumb in 8 ft.blocking. but the top plate needs to be cut to exast length (again within the in. if you cull every bowed or crooked stud. short (not long) is OK. not furniture In other words. Itt not easyto install cabinetsor tile on a wall that bows in and out. These rooms require more attention partly becauseof their tighter tolerances. the cap or double plate. Rafters don't have to fit like the parts of a cabinet. \ / GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . should be cut % in. wall won't cause harm to the structure or problems for subcontractors. short. you'll have an easy time aligningthe walls. and a Tq-in. A rim joist. Take special care by framing as accurately as possible in kitchens and bathrooms.and \\ \=-__/. Rim joist cut to exact length (within l/rcin.for rough openings. But there's no harm done if they're cutlh in.' "t Builda hous€. they need to be level. lf you save straight stock for the top plates. especially in baths and kitchens.' f Use straightstuds for corners. or so short. and that meansthe mudsills. headers. on the other hand.) Cutting the mudsill up to 1A in. How do you make the most of the lumber that you get? Use the straightest stock where it's absolutely necessary: where it's going to make problems for you later on if it's not straight. needs to be cut to the right length (within tho in.) before being nailed to the mudsill.Cut top plate to exad Iength. i . take bowed material and cut it into the cripples. is acceptable. I f Bottom plate No more than % in. straight.Whether they're going on a foundation or on a slab. out of plumb in 8 ft. you may need to own a lumber mill to get enough wood to frame a house.headers. Nothing in frame carpentry is perfect. Walls. for top plates. But the plate that sits on top of that. how plumb or straight is good enough? In my opinion.

I nail the top plate to the studs and keep the bottom of the studs snug against the bottom plate. stud. 1. doors.r1.t'" .and in position to be raised. In the long run. and tackle each phase in its logicalorder. First. I pry up the top plate and move it about I ft. windows.straight.r. . Snap wall lines. for the length of wall. and intersectingwalls. \ ----- -r+" . away from the bottom plate. do it the same way every time. which I leave tacked to the deck./' yin' '\ --.. This helps to keep the wall square. Tack top and bottom plates in place.Next. Bottom plate remains. Pry up bottom plate and nail to studs. . 2.7l Work in a EJ logicalorder Establishan efficient routine for each phase of work.I pry up the bottom plate and repeat the processon the bottom.:. 5. Detailplatesfor studs. 6.. . then I cut the top and bottom plates and tack all of them in place on the lines. Recognizing inefficiencyis an important part of framing. Pry up top plate.Let's take wall framing as an example. | is nailed completely. I scatter studs every 16 in. and intersectingwall. I lay out the plates. It's worth sayingthat I didn't just make up these steps. I try to establisha rhythm and work consistentlyfrom one end to the other.. for the length of the wall. having standard procedures will savetime and minimize mistakes. Scatter studs every 16 in.I snap all the wall lines on the floor. Once the top plate 4. door. Nai/ studs to top plate. they evolved over time. detailing the location of every window. | \. 3. 50 FINE HOMEBUILDING .

center the open areabetween studs for the medicine cabinet. and as you develop. Don't measure you haveto unless The best way to save time when you're framing a house is by keeping your tape measure. and your square in your nail pouch as much as possible. align the nails with the studs. I position the plate on the line. GREATBUILDING TIPS2006 51 . e G € Trimming 1/tin. Ripping (lengthwise cuts) longer pieces also cin be done by eye if you use the edge of the saw's base as a guide. don't think about the eleqtrical work. I have to use a tape measureto lay out the wall lines accurately on the deck. you'll also be able to straighten walls as easily by eye as with a string. I cut all of the wall plates to length by cutting to the snapped wall lines. the plumbing. For example. eyeball it. Experience has shown me that with a little practice. Behind the lavatory. This placement leavesthe area between the studs free for the elestrician or plumber to drill holes without hitting the nails. when you nail on the double top plate.tf Keepthe other El tradesin mind lf you want to waste time and money when framing. which is perpendicular to the blade.your pencil. keep the nails located over the studs. with the far side of the lumber before making the cut. or the finish carpentry. but after that. Another time-saver is to make square crosstuts on 2x4s or 2x6s without using a square.these trades come next. Whether you do them yourself or hire subcontractors. When installing extrawide trim. the drywall. With pradice. your framing can be in the way. the heat ducts. lnclude backing for drywall. When nailing together the double top plate. Train your eye. you can make square cuts by aligning the froni edge of the sawt base with the far edge of the board. from a board's length shouldn't require measuring. And unlessyou're working with them in mind every step of the way. include blocking for eledrical switches. Center studs behind tub for mixing valve. anyone can make these square cuts by aligning the leading edge of the sawt base. and then make the cuts at the intersecting chalkline. lt'll save time cutting.

and cut them all at once. snap a chalklineall the way across.and cut the studs to length right on the pile. You might be tempted to skip these smalljobs and do them later. snap a line. which is more accurate and faster than measuringand marking one board at a time. lf you're cutting studs or headers and cripples. 52 FINE HOMEBUILDING . roll them all into place. lf you're installingjoists. make a cutlist for the entire proiect. Joists can be cut to length in a similar way by spreading them out across the foundation and shoving one end up against the rim joist on the far side. Or you can spread them out on the floor. spread studs on the plywood floor with one end against the floor plate. Close out each part of the job as well as you can before moving on to the next. them to length. Sometimes crew members would even straighten and brace the one wall before proceeding. lf you have a stack of studs that all need to be cut to the same length. Snap all layout lines on the floor before cutting any wall plates. align one end of the top row. then cut every wall plate in the house before framing. and cut them all at once. and nail them before sheathing the floor. and it prevents tasks from being forgotten or overlooked. We wasted a lot of time constantly switching gears. don't forget to make repetitive cuts with a radial-arm or chop/miter saw outfitted with a stop block. and cut the joists all at once. and raise one wall at a time before moving on to the next.gl Finishone task ft before going on to the next My first framing job was with a crew that would lay out. shoving one end againstthe floor plate. frame.il:H:ff?s*. Ef.e You don't need a mathematician to know that it takes less time to cut two boards at once than it does to cut each one individually. snap a chalkline. Finishing before moving on is just as important when it comes to nailing and blocking. Mark First. Working this way helps to maintain momentum. Tie all the intersecting walls together before starting to straighten and brace the walls. Also. but don't.

Walls can be sheathedand nailedwhile they're lying flat on the deck.however. You need two 16d nailsif you're nailing Roof sheathing is nailed every 6 in. Safety glasses. A final word: lf specialsituations arise. Attach the sheathing while the wallis stil/ on .''t the plywood floor."This is too dangerous. add one nail for each two overdriven nails. Waiting until the walls are raised to nail on plywood sheathing meansyou have to work from a ladder or a scaffold. you can do the rafter layout on a double top plate while it's still on the floor. not your enemy. sheathing along the eaves. Get to know the building code for your area. along the edges and every 12 in.approachthe work with a clear head.And if you're usinga nail gun. and ridges is nailed every 6 in. Safety devicesand good intentions. Mark rafter layout on top of the wall plate. as shouldattention around coworkersor dangerousdebris. Because building inspectorsare not capable of monitoring all parts of every project. Pay attention. your responsibilityis to know the building code and to build to it. or four 8d nails if you're toenailing.When you nail plywood or oriented strand board (OSB)roof you need a nail sheathing.. lf more than 20% of the fasteners exceed 1/ein.with the understanding that perfection isn't what is required. Otherwise. rakes."and be extra careful toward the end of the day. elsewhere. be careful not to overdrive the nailsinto the sheathing. won't help if your mind isn't on the work. elsewhere. along the edge of the sheathingand every 12 in. Get your own copy of the IRC(lnternational ResidentialCode) and build well.consultthe building inspector. or less.i n .Don't climb a ladder unlessyou have to I don't use a ladder much on a framingjob except to get to the second floor before stairs are built.s h e a t h i n g 2x8 rafter GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 .and a dust maskshould be the norm. 7 a . hearingprotection.Both are time-consuming. you'll have to move the ladder around the job or climb on the walls to mark the top plate. listento that inner voice that says. Work safely whatever the rule Working safelyshould be at the top of your priority list. every 6 in.. but build efficiently. For instance. Knowthe buildingcode Building codes exist to create safe structures.the code actually specifieshow to nail a stud to a wall plate. ln high-wind areas.He or she is your ally. The American Plywood Association says there's no reduction in strength for nails overdriven by thc in. With a little foresight. through a plate into the end of the stud.

same bevel (3). A l b a n s .R . I use a pair of jigs shown in the drawing to -position the panels. o n c e n t e r + __v_ Notch detail F--_------*l 7:::: : -1:. jig Roof-sheathing When I'm nailing down the first row of plywood sheathing on a roof that will have soffits. plywood Portland. accurate method for assembling wall. _JOHN SHEPHERD Charlottesville. %-in.Roofs Framingjig I havea rapid.Brian Pontolilo. Hanger notch When I have to attach a rafter to a beam with a joist hanger. really works. Then I can insert the hanger into the kerf. I've found the jigs to be especially helpful when I am working alone and in need of a third hand.just slip one member at a time into the jig until everythingis in place. The kerf depth coincides with the full cutting depth of my 7Yc-in. l .-ft.. I also can stack the rafters and make one cut to kerf them all at the same time.saw.W . No nailsto pull.l V* *l '. plywood.and for largescale work. Ore. I put togethera 1000-sq. and nail it in place.centerlines receive to the framing members. which My a is simply aZx4 notchedon 16-in. Va. or 1 6 i n . This method is a lot easier than notching the rafter.and then the jigs pulled up.I find it helpful to kerf the rafter's plumb cut with a Skilsaw. Jigs for truss assembly A double-bevelplumb cut for valley rafters Mark two plumb linesthe samedistanceapart asthe thickness the valof ley rafter(1). the plywood started.-T.. exceptwhere noted:Charles Millcr. + Eli7.then nail. R . H A V E t T I S t .Two suchjigs are handy. everythingcan be assembled with the jigs.Setthe sawto 45o.and make the first cut so that the outside line becomes long point (2). _ G R E GH A L V E R S O N lnsert hanger. workshop with this methodmostly by myself and on evenings and weekends.Using thesejigs. method uses jig. S Notches 24 in.Cut the the inside line in the other direction but with the . No measuringis required exceptfor cutting pieces length.R I C K A R N O L D W i c k f o r d . It M .:_: :::=l j. Drawing center right: Toby Welles/DesignCorc. 54 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings. so I don't have to mess with adjustments. . etc. in.For trusses. as shown in the drawing. To use. and it provides a continuous plane up the rafter to attach drywall.*-i C*tt/zin. V a . flooq or any roof that uses standarddimensions.The jigs really help to on long runs that needto be coveredwith drywall.or 24-in.I can adjust the amount of overhang to suit the fascia detail by moving the blocks in relation to the lip that supports the edge of the plywood. Photosthis page. four can help.

Depending on how long the pieces are. Begin the layout with a full sheet on the line as you would if starting at the eaves. 2 x 1 2p l a n k %-in. using a toe-board and roof-stair system that saved me a lot of time. nail it off completely. /. risk.I splice ridge boards with a V-shaped joint as shown in the drawing below. _ M I K EG U E R T IA N D R I C K R N O L D N A EastGreenwich.r/q in. A 2x12 plank then could be laid acrossthe treads of the turo stairs.u n y. plywood treads 2x4 toe board 16in. The uphill end of each stringer was cut in a curved pattern to keep the front edge from damaging the shingleswhen it slid onto the roof. / Curved stringer prevents damage to shingles. R. overlap the ridge material with the crowns pointing in the same direction. Draw cutlines from the center of the top ridge board to its end. but it is much safer and savestime./ Yt *q-. Now you cdn put the pieces together with a couple of 8d nails near the end of the splice.l. Photos. Sheathing steep roofs When the pitch of a roof is 10 or more. 10-in. deeper rhan the cut. painting. Framing. and the system causeda minimum of damage to the existing roof. I placed one ladder on each side of the dormer layout and hooked each over the 2x4 toe board that was nailed at the eave parallel to the ridge. I frequently come acrossa ridge span longer than the overall length of the material I'm using for the ridge. As shown in the drawing below. 3/c-in. and shinglingthe dormers and surrounding area were relatively easy. -WAYDE MILLANYDillon. The downhill end should be notched on the undersidefor a flat 2x4 toe board. butt-ioined boards. Now take your tape and mark the rafter layout lines as shown in the drawing. showing you where to finish the cuts. Set the staging so that you're standing up between the rafters about 6 ft. and snap a line acrossthe rafters.siding.-long. the stairs are made of hvo 2x12 stringers with 16-in. plywood treads. completing the last course from the outside staging. measure down 4 ft. we like to sheathe from the top down. and lower the staging toward the outside of the building. Cutlines Rafterlayout Equal I REMoDELT TrP NG Steppingup I recently added three dormers on a 12-in-12 root. trimming. except whe re noted: Mike Guertin and Randy O'Rourke GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 55 . It's also simpler than scabbing on a plywood gusset or a2x splice. ise r 1 O . Use8d nailsto secureassembled ridge boards. from the ridge. Ariz. This depth will put saw tracks in the bottom piece.Splicingridge boards As a framing carpenter. My crew and I call this technique "penciling the ridges.i nr. The overlap should be at least equal to the rafter spacing (usually 16 in. This method requires a litde more staging." after the big pencilshaped piece of wood that results when the cuts are made. I like this detail because it's clean and because it holds together better than a couple of toenailed. _RYAN HAWKS Flagstaff. From the center of the ridge at each gable end. To begin the cuts. Colo. you either can assemble them on the ground and carry them to the ridge. or put them together in place. around here). and make these cuts with the sawblade set % in. To extend the material to the correct length.. and moved up and down the pitch of the roof. Continue with the process. and effort.After you finish a row.

you will be surprisedat what you can do to an outside wall full of offsets and headers.sometimes involving the better part of a five.Calif. tall.Make sure the blocks are flush with the edge.The strappingcan be left in placeand covered by the finished flooring.to 30-in. here is a method that makes it simple for one person to control a 4x8 sheetof plywood or OSB. Concretenails will pierce Stud the stuff.Now you're readyto push in the direction that you want the wall to move. and an old hinge. Basically.I became acquainted with the tool shown in the drawing below. _PAUL WILSON Austin. but onceyou get used to it. Here in Austin. On a recentjob. Texas The easiest way to keep the bottom plate of a framed wall from walking when it is being raisedis to toenail it into the subfloor. Texas. is nothing more than two it studs.The nails bend easilyasyou lift the wall. or you can abuse zhz-innailsetand start your Subfloor -/ a hole. . and scabthe block flush to the bottom end of the other stud. hang the sheathing on the top of the wall and nail it home. _ J A M E SH U R L E Y - . to 30 in. using the blocks as hooks.or six-member crew. No*. V-notch 20-in. and nail one end to the undersideof the bottom plate.and clamp them to the tgp edgeof the sheathing. A more secure system usesthe strappingthat binds lumber loads.To assemble stick. The key is to put up the framed walls before the top platesare doubled. placethe notchedend againstthe undersideof the top plate.near a corner or an intersection with another wall. first the cut a 45"V-notch in the end of one stud. Then fastenthe two partswith the hinge. The blocks will ensure that the sheathing ends up flush with the finished height of the top plate.\" NevadaCity. Colo.The other end should run under the wall and be Toenail nailed into the subfloor. long. or just plain awkward walls. and the bottom plate usuallyremainsin the immediateneighborhoodof its intendedlayout.As shown in the drawing at left. make a coupleof short 2x blocks.a2x4 block 20 in. To bracethe bottom of the stick. FINE HOMEBUILDING .* .it's calleda hooter stick.. . pieces. To usethe hooter stick. Sheathing walls solo For thoselonerswho put up their own sheathing.Wall The hooter stick Plumbing and aligning stud walls can be quite a chore.: -*-j_> _ F E L I XM A R T I Ridgway.you can useeither your foot or a block that is tacked to the subfloor. and I haven't found anything that's bettersuitedfor adjustinglong.Cut it into l2-in. The hooter is an awkward pieceof equipment to manipulate at first.

lifting one notch at each station until you've reached the third level. deep at the point of the stud that is bowed out the most. I work on the worst one first. Now begin at one end of the wall. Here's how I fix both situations. With the stud wall lying flat on the subfloor and toenailed to it.l. The jack is made of a2x4 about 7 ft. Now I nail the cross member to the bowed stud. Next. and lift it to the first notch. Toenail cross member as deep as needed to remove bow. to l% in. and wallto subfloor. use a reciprocating saw to sever the nails at the top and bottom of all the studs to be removed. deep NG I REMoDELT TrP Header retrofit Next time you put a built-up header into an existing wall. to 1% in.. apart. After identifying the bowed-in studs. _ED WILSON Seattle Notch no deeper than \__=r Angle nail down. flush one end of it to the adjacent stud and nail it. for example. of the bow and measure acrossit for a notch that will accept a2x4 cross member. Notch 13/r in. Then I set the saw depth to make a cut iust a little deeper than the thickness of the 2x4 cross member-about 1% in..-long stud walls. _JOHN RIEDHART Ventura. add the other half of the headen and spike the halvestogether. When the cross member is flush and nailed with the adjacent studs. Move back and forth along the wall.. Colo. This second method works well when the opposite side of the wall is inaccessible--rovered with a shear wall. I make a notch l3/cin. and tap the trimmers into their vertical position (dependingon the span. Calif. Rotate studs to allow room for the first half of a two-piece header. long with three nailed-on scabs2 ft. Planview GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . (l \. 18-in.a midsupport for the first half of the header may be required). Raiseone half of the header into place. Removethe original studs. Rotate the freed studs 90". To fix a bowed-out stud (drawing right). toenail each jack to the floor so that its base is tight to the wall's top plate.. The scabsform ledges to support the wall as it is lifted. Using a straightedge held vertically against the side of the stud. -FELIX MARTI Ridgway. Then I drive a pair of 16d nails--one angled up and one angled d6q7n-1e anchor the cross member to the stud.12-in. it's an easy push to get the wall upright.I find the high point 2 ft.. making it tough to do a decent job on the drywall or paneling. the bow is gone. place trimmers (cut to their finished length) at an angle on each side of the opening. and toenail the opposite end as deep as needed to remove the bow (drawing left). and align them to one side of the bottom and top plates. From there.scab to with 45' bevel Straighteningstuds It's not unusual for a stud wall to have some sticks in it that bow in or out of the wall plane. a twomember crew can lift 30-ft.to 40-ft. Bowed -out stud Wall-liftprop poles With three or four site-built wall jacks like the one shown in the drawing above.

The twister usually provides enough leverage that it takes only one hand. The block is sandwiched between Vc-in. as I call it. I've been on a job site where the glue was applied carelessly.5-oz.N. blocking. pine with a hole in it. or similar framing member in place for final nailing with a few bent nails.-wide block of 3/q-in. opening for the glue to exit. is nothing more than a I%-in. FINE HOMEBUILDING .pine body Rubberband hooks \ '1. I think the best part is that using this gadget. bead ofglue is the ideal amount. crearing a slot at one end. Call me persnickety.i n .centers. tube per sheet of plywood. If your joistsare on 16-in.e to swing a hammer or fire a nailer. then itt worth taking the time to do it right. Blocking or headersupported betweenjoists I Solo framing G l u es l e d A carpenter working alone can hold a header. the long 2x4s sandwich the short one. As shown in the drawing above. we nail the twisted piece of stock at one end. To use the twister. These ears will support the piece until the first nail is set. -I think a3Ae-dia.-thick plywood sides. ont. Then we slip rhe2x4lever over the other end and move the twister until the stock comes flush with its nailing surface. the plywood sides ride along the sides of the joist. The glue sled. If it's worth the expense and effort of gluing a subfloor in the first place (and I think it is). The twister One of the first things we do on a new framing site is to build a "twister" to help straighten corkscrewed lumber.Y. holding the sled in place. And although I don't obsessover this detail. I center the glue bead on the joist every time without having to go back. 2x4.The hole accepts rhe nozzle of the glue cartridge. Too many rimes. I use 8d nails. Calif. figure on using about three-quarters of a 10. B M from its tip yieldsalrt-in. but I like to place a nice full bead of consrruction adhesive down the center of the floor joists before I lay down a sheet of plywood subflooring.resulting in an erratic line with skips and unacceptably thin smears.Floors Rubberband 7 a .h o l e for nozzle Bent 8d nai l s %-in. Our twisters are made of two 3-ft. The device shown above is my solution to the problem. and the rubber band loops over the caulk-gun frame. In use. keeping the nozzlecentered. _H ERRICKIM ALL B Moravia. Where sheets come togetheron one joist.you can get a fairly even off-center bead of glue by lifting up the sledand angling the glue gun to the side. I can tell you that cutting the nozzle3/ain. _ C R A I GS A V A G E Carpinteria. driven about a third of their length into the top edge of the work and then bent 90".leaving the othei fre. -SEAN SHEEHAN asin. 2x4s and one 2-ft.

prying. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . In front of the double-width stud sPaces. a boom truck.The typical problem is trying to get the ends of the joists to fit between the mudsillsand the subfloor.The "steps" were 2x6 blocks. securedto the stringer with four duplex nails apiece. When tilted. we had to put a new floor over an old ceiling. glulam atop an old stud wall to carry the weight of a couple of rooms above. I cut a wedge from each end of To a new joist. -JIM LOCKWOOD Brookline. The glulam weighed almost 500 lb. we left out a stud on each side for maneuveringroom. After easingthe beast insidewith rollersand a ramp. we had to place a 22-ft. we nailed it in place and added joist hangersfor the second-floorjoists. we built two temporary stairstep arrangements. _ROG ERWESTERBERG Verndale. or a forklift.NG I REMoDELT TtPs Beam stair In the courseof building a family-roomaddition.The crampedquarters made it impossibleto swing a hammerfrom below to bring the joists flush with newly added headersand beams. Minn. Wedge is driven under new joist after installation. one end at a time. and shimming. each. _ROBERT GAY SCAIIIE Joist lowerthan header Upside-down joist hanger Joist lift During a recent remodeling project. allowing its hangerto be installedin the right position.The drawing showshow we used a temporary upside-downjoist hanger and a crowbar to bring a joist flush. Adding new joists I strengthenedthe originaljoists in my houseby sistering on some new ones.. allowing me to tip the joist into position easily.Then I tapped in the wedges and nailed them in place for full bearing.They were canted toward the stringer a bit so that the beam wouldn't tilt forward onto us.each about 18 in.dividing the height of the lift into four intervals of about 22 in. avoid this. Mass. we removedthe old wall and nailed in three crippleson each side. The stringer was a 2x8 affixed to the crippleswith duplex nails and tacked securelyat the bottom to the subfloor. As we framed adjacent walls. the joist is a bit too big to fit without serious persuasion. we made a "beam stair" for making short lifts. and we had no accessfor a crane. long. Once the ceiling ioists were shored up temporarily. We lifted one end of the beam at a time onto a step until the beam sat on the cripples.After more jacking.

Hold it at that length.: Rules y first construction job was as a trim carpenter's helper during school summer vacation. Now.e rule Don't measure. It's easy to misread a ruler or to confuse numbers while walking to the saw. and cut more accurately. folding wooden rule takes over during trim and cabinet work. siding. I use a tape measure on a long piece that's too difficult to mark in place. split- Usethese10 tips to get started BY WILL BEEMER ting the pencil line with a sawcut and working to closer tolerances become second nature.affecting accuracy. and slide out the brass extension the rest of the distance. A tape can flex and change shape. but generally. M a s s . Rough carpenters evolve into finish carpenrers by learning how to measure. Finish carpenters must develop an eye for proportion and detail. tu * to the greatest length that fits berween fJre points to be measured.To help make learning these skills easier. It includes roofing. hence. the finish carpenter's job is to make the doors. using a ruler or a tape is unavoidable. No need for numbers. Finish carpenrry is more than interior trim. decking: anything the owner will seeafter moving in. facing page). AVOIDUSINGNUMBERS It is usually more accurate to hold a board in place to mark its length (drawing left) rather than to use a tape measure and involve numbers. mark. A combination square or a wood block of known dimension is the best way to lay out Drawings: Dan Thornton. I've organized the following ten rules of thumb. I wasn't allowed to measure. With practice.In doing so. It is more accurate to mark trim in place than to measure and then transfer numbers. and carry it to the board to be cut (top drawing. . cut.I teach these skills to novice carpenters.and the movable end hook bends easily. All I did that first summer was fetch and carry. I learned that finish carpenrry is essentially a visual exercise. windows. the 6-ft. Perfect miters are only part of finish carpenrry. Will Beemer is director of the Heartwood School in Washi n g t o n . They must learn to visualize the stepsthat lead to the finished product. and cabinets work. or nail.. Even if the framer couldn't read a level. A rigid rule is better than a tape for measuring lengths under 6 ft. The best folding rules come with a sliding brass extension that makes taking inside measurements easy. just mark the board from the extended ruler. I was told to observe. Photo:Charles Bickford. and to make the house look good.a n d c o . Sometimes. I don't like tapes.e x e c u t i v ed i r e c t o r o f t h e T i m b e r F r a m e r sG u i l d . Open th. FINE HOMEBUILDING .

and holding it upside down over its final position. Pencil line indicates where to place the trim. If a casing is installed flush to rhe inside of a jamb. wide. Carry the extended ruler to the workpiece. Wood moves. it may not stay that way. so it's practically impossible to keep flush edges flush. In years past. handrail centers. Learn what dimensions are built in ro the tools you use. The blade of a standard combination square is I in. Many folding rules have a brass end that extends to measure inside dimensions. from the edge of the pencil.the small measurements needed for reveals and other spacings (drawing bottom right). The pencil lead rsVrc in. l t. It's almost impossible ro ger flush edges to stay that way. which runs over and past the legs by %in. thick. and window-stool notches. And use boards of different thicknessesas with the head casingand the leg shown here. Lightly mark the reveal on the jamb with a pencil. and tack them in place.as you cut it. this variation will not be nearly as evident and will be hidden in shadow much of the time. as the house settles. This way.variation from top to bottom. The body of a folding rule ist/sin. lnstead.and they become lessevident. and transfer the measurernent directly whenever possible. hold them up to rhe jamb. Separate discrepancies. thick. to the head. That's why. they can swell and shrink unnoticed. and mark the top cuts from the reveal lines. USEREVEALS. or 3/sin. Cut the legs. Rosettes often were placed at the upper corners and plinth blocks at the bottoms of door jambs. for example. You rarely see mitered casings in older houses because differences in material thickness are obvious Varied thicknesses create a reveal. me asu reme nts {or thi ngs such as casing reveals. planers were not in widespread use.wide. Combination square Use a combination square as a marking gauge for consistent . and as you're nailing it up. and its body is % in. carpenters usually step casing back from the edge of door and window jambs. Stepping trim back to form reveals causesshadowlines and createsdifferent planes that make it harder for the eye to pick up discrepancies. Square-cut the bottoms of the casing legs. offset edges from each other. AND AVOIDFLUSH EDGES it dries out. so it can scribe ha-in. The eye will easily pick up even a Vrc-in. A door or window should be casedwithout the use of a tape. A carpenter's pencil is Yc in.. carpenters by necessityused trim materials of different rhicknesses. If the casing is stepped back% in. Transfer rneasurements diredly. such as the casing from the jamb. you can use it as a spacer for decking. The head casing is usually the thicker piece so that the shadow it castsmakes it appear to be a cap. G R E A TB U I L D I N G T I P S 2 0 0 6 51 . Wood moves-as Head-casing overhang Casing 1"9 Offset everyfthing. mark the other end to length (drawing facing page). or so. the carpenter didn't worry about the length of the head casing being exact or the side casings noticeably changing width with changes in humidity. This way. Miter one end of the head. The casings and baseboards butted to them. The variations in thickness of these boards were lost in the overwhelming presenceof the thicker plinths and rosettes. increments.

But this technique doesn't work with other materials. 5 in. on the other. t h i s i s t h e n u m b e r o f c o u r s e sa t 5 i n .such as tongue-and-groove flooring. and you start out working parallel to one. whose course can't be varied easily. I n c a s e sw h e r e t h e g a p o r c o v e r a g e i s not adjustable. . or siding. at each side of the wide end of the room and Vzin. for normal three-tab shingles. divided by 27 yields 5Vatn. With these adjustments. and subtract the expansion gaps. Floorboards don't have to be a uniform distance from the wall. If these strips are narrow. from ridge to eave on one end and 138 in. 138 in. Thus. as in tongue-and-groove flooring. With shingles or lapped siding. you have to make up part of the discrepancy at the start and the re st at the end. the gap can vary. you won't be parallel to the other. at eachsideof the narrow end. diverging starting and ending points can be hidden a little at a time by slightly tapering the course widths. Shoe molding and baseboardscover the gap. Lay out each side of the roof using the two different increments. 135 in. Divide these measurementsby the floorboard width. Divide one of these figures by the ideal exposure per course.Measure the room width at both the wide and narrow ends. Out-of-parallel walls I I I I I I I I Floorboards laid to split the difference Baseboar *) Moldings hide the gap. With decking. These will be the widths of the starting and ending strips at the wide and narrow ends of the room. and you're leaving a minimum expansion g a p o f V z i n . b et w e e n t h e f l o o r i n g a n d the wall. use H i d d e ng a p 62 FINE HOMEBUILDING them for the starting and ending strips. T h i s a d j u s t m e n t i s f i g u r e d e a s i l y . p e r c o u r s e . THE DIFFERENCE SPLIT If you're running coursesof material between two diverging surfaces.Diverging lines are obvious mistakes. and snap chalklines between them. you can adjust the gap or coverage slightly at each course so that the coursesare parallel to the other surface when they reach it. divided by 5 equals 27. roofing. the chalklines start out parallel to the eaves and end up parallel to the ridge. Make the expansion gap I in. A t t h e o t h e r en d o f t h e b u i l d i n g .S " y that you're shingling an old house. and the roof measures 135 in. If you're using a one-piece thin baseboard. As long as these sums are less than full board widths. you'll have to rip tapered floorboards at the start and finish to keep the expansion gap narrow and parallel to the wall. As long as the base/shoe molding covers it. Multiply the remainders by half the board width. Use boards as wide as possible as your s t a r t i n g a n d e n d i n g c o u r s e st o k e e p c o n verging lines as far apart as possible. Say you're installing flooring between t w o w a l l s t h a t a r e I i n . try adding half a board width. o u t o f p a r a l l el .

AVOIDEXPOSING END GRAIN End grain absorbs stain and paint differently from face or side grain. or crown. ln this case. Coped joint Fit the more difficult end before cutting to length. I cut them with a small miter box and a backsaw. A return is a small piece of trim. Tiaditionally. inaccessiblecorner of the room. Mitered return t FITTHEJOINTBEFORE CUTTING LENGTH TO If you're coping or mitering a joint on a piece of base chair rail. you'd be grumbling on your way back to the lumberyard instead of calmly recutting the piece. window stools and aprons. hiding them. The cap and shoe are flexible and confonn to ins and outs. plan your installation to hide end grain or cut mitered returns to cover it up. DON'T BE FUSSY WHERE YOU D ON'T HAVETO BE Learn to think ahead to see if what you're working on will be covered later. Baseboardwill hide the ugliness where the drywall meets the floor. butted head casings-anywhere end in a corner. In older houses. a piece of molding doesn't Don't show end grain. end grain reflects light differently. Unless you want to emphasize this difference. Base-cap molding Baseboard The baseboard spans hollows in the wall and floor. If a piece of molding must end abruptly. If the floor or wall undulates. that's what the shoe and cap do. which is often the function of moldings. lt absorbs paint and especially stains differently from flat grain. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . On a power miter saw. even if left natural.where walls and floors always undulated. often triangular in section. joint fits well before you cut the other end to length. Some joints don't need to be perfect. If you had cut the piece to length before miscutting the cope or miter. make sure that . The thicker baseboard installs quickly and easily becauseit doesn't have to conform. you often see three-piece baseboards.with the thin basecap molding attached to the wall and following its contour while the shoe does the same on the floor. cut a return for it.that ends a run of molding. the blade often throws small returns to some dimly lit. returns are used on stair treads. the left side is coped and the fit is checked before the miter is marked. you might be tempted to scribe or fill behind the baseboard to follow the contours. You may need the extra length if you make a mistake and have to recut the cope or miter.

and shave it with a chopsaw unril it fits just right. I prefer to work from right to left around a room becauseI'm right-handed and generally do a faster. Working my way around a room. There is usually a sequenceof trim installation that requires the fewest perfect cuts. then make the cut. so the cut will take off Vtz in. If a coped joint isn't perfect or if it opens up over time. By following the numericalseguence in the drawing below. Cut this end slightly long. The teeth are ser slightly wider than the body of the blade. Butt this end to wall. For example. The sequenceof installation also is important when running trim around a room. raw wood sticks out. One neat trick here: Push the casing up to the lowered. idie chopsaw blade.Trimming a room with baseboard and a minimum of perfed cuts. but the mitered end is cut off where it meets the molding face. nearer job of coping the right end of a board. I try to plan my installation so that this last piece of trim is in the least conspicuous place. rhe copes are planned so that any crackswill be less obvious to people entering the room. lf a coped joint opens up. the crack is most visible when viewed at right angles ro rhe coped piece. a challenge for even the best carpenters. The chanceof error is reduced by first coping them and then holding them in place to mark their lengths. whether it's baseboard. Coped joints look different from different angles. Cracks also will be lessobvious if the uncoped piece is stained or painted before installation. only the last cut on the head need be perfect. I often end up with a piece that needs to be coped on both ends. The first piece is butted to the wall. Wherever possible.If you had installed the head first.r-al{ ". ll PLANTHESEOUENCE TO AVOIDPERFECT CUTS BOTHENDS AT Butt this end to the wall. The second piece is mitered as for an inside corner.I orient the coped piecesso that people entering or using the room won't have right-angle views of them. the crack will be obvious when viewed parallel to the uncoped piece and nearly invisible viewed parallelto the coped piece. only pieces 2 and 3 require pertect cuts on both ends. FINE HOMEBUILDING . you then would have had to make an exact miter cut on each casing leg to make the joint turn out right. 8 '^ . with my method of casing doors and windows. Gaps show along coped end. leaving a negative of the profile that fits perfealy over the butted piece. \ I Miter Raise the blade without moving the casing.chair rail./ Lines of sight coped ioints. or crown molding. Plan the coping seguence so that crackswill be less obvious along likely lines of sight.

and it becomes harder and messier to set up the tools and work around the obstacles. Trimmed paralle to the floor. "God lives in the details.--/ NOTHING RANDOM IS Whenever I find myself saying.but sometimes. you now must keep finish materials parallel to the walls and floors. "It doesn't matter. and the care you put into the details shows up as craftsmanship in the entire job. It won't be level. The eye sees diverging lines more readily than it seesplumb and level. the door looks right But I hung it plumb. run the decking parallel to the house wall. eye-catchinggap at the bottom. Even something as simple as decking benefits from thoughtful layout.. This temptation can sour good clients and lose referrals. separatethem as widely as possible so that the difference is harder to see. and contractors to finish all work before they move on. Nothing is random. . which face is out. t \ i t1 t I rl i i- F I NI S H T HE J O B A contractor usually has to complete a punch list before finalpayment is issued. it will becorne second nature to line up nails in an attractive pattern and to look critically at each board as you carry it to the saw. but you first should consider whether it does. They'll be glad they did. iiriiili Unfevel floo. Instead of keeping track of plumb. it won't matter. but it'll look good." the red flag goes up. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . Occasionally.PARALLEL MORE IS IMPORTANT THAN L EVEL SQUARE OR Some rules of carpentry change from framing to finish work. they don't notice the lack of trim. If the floor isn't level.It can be a strain on a marriage if the bathroom doors aren't hung after a few years of residence.As your experienceincreases and your eye becomes more efficient. which must hang plumb to work properly. I ti. thinking it will be easier to do when it's close at hand. Trim the door bottom so that it's parallel to the floor. The randomness(left) looks sloppy compared with careful layout (right). where you put the nails-this all matters. and this is especially true in finish carpentry. A level door bottom over an out-of-level floor has a tapered. The clean-slateattraction of starting a new job can overpower the drudgery of completing the old. t I ! rl f I t I I I II t' I i i lt i . After a while .I advise owner-builders to get everything done before they move in. Which end of the board you cut first.[ k I /: Scrib e the door bottom parallelto the floor. Owner-builders doing their own work often are tempted to move in to a house before the finish work is done. If the deck framing is out of squaie. level.=. trim the door bottoms parallel to the floor rather than leave them level with a tapered gap. getting all the details wrapped up is like pulling teeth." said architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.1. If for some reason two lines must diverge. The only exceptions are cabinets and doors. and square.

I slide the stock into the coping table.-_7_ Easiercoping with the jigsaw Coping crown molding with an electric jigsaw is much easier when you attach a radiused auxiliary base to the jigsawt standard flat base. a jigsaw is faster. M Height of miter-saw table Jigsaw base rides on angled table.r. COOK Dowagiac. . Drilllh-in.Cutting& Coping Coping table As much as I appreciate the delicate craft of coping moldings by hand. This jig provides a pivot point right where the blade enters the back side of the molding. Next. The screws kept my fingers a safe distance from the blade.I cut a slot to accommodate the jigsaw's blade.I have the control to make exact relief cuts.I started by cutting the ball into unequal parts. The saw rides on the angled side of the coping table.holes in the saw's base. ich.- Molding stock extends through slots in coping table. Still at the bandsaw. hole in saw base. After beveling a piece of molding on the miter saw. so the saw glides easily over the surface. . while my fingers remain clear of the blade. The box's dimensions allow ample hand room for holding the work steady. both sides. Jigsaw Screwgolf ballto jigsaw basefor copingangled cuts. . I was stumped about making this modification until I spotted a golf ball on my shop bench. The table is a pyramidal box with slots cut into both sides for the molding stock. To hold the foot of the saw in plane with the 45o bevel on the end of the workpiece while following the lines of the molding profile.J l M D E L V I ND e sM o i n e sW a s h . The jigsaw should have a roller guide and a fine-tooth scrollcutting blade. I did the cutting on my bandsaw after driving a couple of 3-in. I made the table out of the sink cutout from a plasticlaminate countertop.. FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings: CharlesMiller . Then I made a perpendicular cut in the larger portion of the ball.on opposite sides of the blade. Different configurations could be obtained by cutting the ball into segments of various sizes..I use the coping table shown in the drawing at right. Cut along dotted lines. As shown in the drawing below.' J . I have found that longer blades are useful for cutting big crowns. for a pair of screws. I positioned the slotted golf ball as shown in the right-hand drawing and affixed it to the base with a couple of small screws. drywall screws into opposite sides of the ball to act as handles.I drilled a couple of r/e-in. -<==l*1i-. -GRAFTON H. Cut slot for blade. As a result.

_ F E L I XM A R T I Ridgway. A groove 1|/z-in. he assembled a jig similar to the one shown in the drawing below. all set to cut accurare acute angles. After some thought. As shown in the drawing.D A V I D J O H N S O NC l i n t o nl. ( I started with a scrap piece of 2x6 about 14 in. I prefer coped corners to mitered corners. and use a hole saw that is twice the radius of the trim. For quarter-rounds of a different radius. hole saw from above. P . quarter-round trim. Using this rig makes coping quarter-round trim a breeze. simply cut a groove to fit the trim. We use water-based contact cement to glue a sheet of 220-grit sandpaper to a piece of molding that has the same profile as the workpiece. 3/+-in. groove the length of the 2x6 to accommodate quarter-round trim. This groove holds the trim as it is cur by a lr/z-in. . Y . I made this block out of oak becauseit holds up well after repetitive cuts.by 3/a-in. Using the block to make a few back-and-forth strokes on the coped end of the workpiece smooths out unsightly irregularities. Use clamps or screws to secure one of the jig's fences to the saw's fence.M . Jig clamped or screwed to saw's fence Molding with coped joint Touchingup coped joints The drawing above shows a trick that I teach my students for making perfect coped joints. contoured sanding block. . the hole saw is guided by a 1x4 guide block. I had to find an expedient way to cut the stuff.o w a 1x2 fences PLANVIEW OFJIG Coping quarter-roundtrim I recently had to install alot of 3/+-in.I devised a fixture that yields 1 x 4 o a k g u i d eb l o c k accurate results with a minimum of effort.-dia.by 3/+-in.N . but given the amount of trim required by this job. Clamp the workpiece to the jig (block under the far end of the long and you're pieces). Using my tablesaw.-dia. hole saw GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . long. Result: a custom-made. W H I P P L E f t o n . He was running base around a seriesof odd angles-2ngles he couldn't readily cut with his chopsaw.220-grit sandpaper contactcementedto identicalmolding Acute angles on the chopsaw A couple of years ago. I was doing some trim with my friend Marcos Bradley. Colo. \ I plowed a3/q-in. As shown in the drawing.

most pieces have one end that butts into a corner. which the coped end of the next piece covers. here's my tip. as shown in the drawing below. Thin plastic is fine for this. I like nice.I cope the inside corners. That way. The plastic should extend a foot or so beyond the trim. I use a short piece of baseboard with a coped end on it to test the corner joints for fit as I install the square-cut pieces. BROME Greensboro. d. I don't have to keep running back to my saw to adjust the coped cut. Baseboards often sit atop tapered drywall edges.A N D Y E N G E LR o x b u r y o n n . This step eliminates the painter's need to mask the trim painstakingly. The screws need to be installed only under the square-cut pieces of baseboard.then trim away after painting walls. The painter now can wrap the plastic over the trim and fasten any additional masking tape to it. so I generally cut the crown a little long. allowing me to run them in or back them out as needed to put the baseboard into plane with the wall. This can cause an unsightly gap at a corner where a coped baseboard intersects a square-cut baseboard. Whenever you are applying window casing. Even if I have a pry bar on hand. Baseboardshims It can be frustrating to install precisely fit baseboardsover an uneven substrate like drywall. M Drywall screw works as adjustable shim. Consequently. For outside corners. To that end. C Wrap plastic around casing. A better way is to nip the upper corner off the butt end before putting the piece on the wall.Wash. . causing the wood to tilt a bit out of plane with the wall. When the paint has dried. the painter simply runs a sharp utility-knife blade along the crease between the wall and the casing to cut away the plastic. as shown in the drawing above. I put a screw on each wall. Stain-grade window casing t:" Crown molding Finger-grip notch at inside corner Staple plasticto wall prior to installingtrim. I avoid this problem by driving |3/s-in.drywall screws into the bottom plates at each inside corner. baseboard 68 FINE HOMEBUILDING . base. wielding it without marring the wall is difficult. You gain a handy finger-grip notch.or any other woodwork that is not going to be painted.HILL S North Bend.lnstalling Trim /t t t t // Protecting stain-gradetrim Every carpenter knows that it pays to have the painters in a position of feeling happily indebted to you. which means I need a pry bar to move it around when the time comes to fit the nexr piece'scoped end to the butt end. Finger-gripnotch for fine-tuning crown molding in place When I install crown molding. said painter will likely seeto it that your job looks its very best. As shown in the drawing. Having saved a lot of time. tight joints. _JEFFREY. Becauseof this tight fit. staple strips of plastic sheeting to the surface that will end up behind the trim. -RALPH W.I use 1-mil or Z-rr'il drop cloths from the paint store. the screws work as adjustable shims. the butt end sometimes jams into the corner.

As a consequence. sure the facesof your base Be hook are perfgcdy squareto ttre edges.Then I read the angle marked on the block.rAin. it's simply an L-shaped piece of a stable. and I'm ready to cut. split-resistantwood usedprimarily for laying out the end cut of baseboard where it butts againststanding moldings such asdoor casings. He hasfound that it is actually lessexpensiveto have the walls plasteredthan to have drywall hung. gauge Casing-reveal When I install door or window casings.and painted. I usethe jig shown aboveto fnake sure that I get an accurater/+-in.usually between88oand 92".That iust took too long.It's made of two squarepieces of hardwood. thick. lap it over the baseTo board and hold it hard againstthe standing molding while scribing a cutline across the baseboard. or you'll introduce a margin of error. by 2in. I now cut five testblocks of basemolding with miter anglesranging Basemolding between88oand 92".Similar in conceptto a siding gauge. I useda bevelgauge to measureeachangle.and the basemoldings rarely end up plumb.I test-fit a couple of blocks to get the correct angle. that are glued together with a Yc-in. No more Gap caused by uneven fussyfiddling. This jig has so many cornersthat half the time I grab it out of my nail bag. Because plasteris a hand-tooled product. _JIM TOLPIN Port Townsend.Wash. sanded. 2 in. Va.and then I'd adiust the compound-miter saw accordingly. usethe hook. Baseboard angle blocks I do the finish trimwork for a small builder of moderately priced homesin Norfolk. reveal. lowa GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . setthe saw to that number.offset.in1" increments.*o" Tight fit indicates the proper angle.I've learned that to keep the coped tight. by thin. Fort Dodge.As shown in the drEwing to the right. When I first startedcoping thesejoints. . S ka Test blocks Two hardwood blocks. the 45" bevelneedsto be cut at a small angle off ioints square. hped.A base hook for tight baseboards A homemadetool called a basehook eliminates the need for a bevel square in some applications. wall surface -D EN NI SS M I T H uf f o lV . the walls are a litde uneven. 8s Photo: Patrick Cudahy it's the in right t':l:lf'rl'*'"r.

The tape prevents damage to finishes.For holding templates.a n d . then try again. / This dimension is equalto the width of the block minus the thickness of the blade. itb so sticky that I've found it to be a do-or-die situation when positioning the template. horizontal. just barely put the block into the blade to make sure the fence has been moved a distance exactly equal to the blade's thickness. I have used this method on all kinds of materials. . it beats trying to run a sabersaw on a lacquered surface right at the edge of a raised panel.p a n e ld o o r gnment block. Plus. C . and repeat the process for all the other corners of the door. Be sure to clear the horn offcuts from the blade as you proceed.B R I A N E V E R E S T e l s o n8 . the cut will be exactly flush with the stile. I simply pull it off. double-face tape can damage finished surfaces. Photo this page: Daniel S. Lift the door up and away as soon as you've cut through the horn. and on raw wood. then rip the stock to about 2 in. vertical.Construction Trimmingcabinet doors Here's a useful tablesaw setup for trimming the horns off small frame-and-panel doors. scrape off the glue.G R E G GR O O SS a nF r a n c i s c o ) FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings: Charles Miller. wide./ crosscutto fit between horns Routertemplate I I Hot-melt g l u eg u n I Affixing a router template to a finished surface I've seesome carpenters use double-face foam tape to hold a template in place for routing. Now move the saw fence toward the blade a distance equal to the thickness of the blade. First. a n a d a N . Morrison. However. This piece is the alignment block. M a s k i n ga p e t I cover the area under the template with a layer of 3M blue masking tape. With the saw running. finished and unfinished. . and upside down. about % in. . The router template in the drawing is made for outlet boxes that frequently need to be installed in kitchen-island cabinets. and hold the door and block against the fence as you cut off the horn. . C F r a m e . If you've set it up correctly. it keeps the glue out of the grain. . Then I squeeze a line of hot glue around the perimeter of the template and stick it to the tape. Now put the block between the horns. I use ordinary hot glue and masking tape (drawing left). If the template isn't positioned correctly. cut a piece of stock that fits between the horns.

holesin the jaws of a spring clamp. atthe locking point lifts the bit % in. Blocksscrewedto worksurface Drawerside Miter clamps Miter clamps (known as pinchdogs in our part of the Southwest) are mighty useful for putting pressure on a mitered frame during a glue-up or nailing session.M.machine screws driven into threaded inserts embedded in the top. raise the panel with a seriesof shallow passes. stable base for the stapler. point as the center of the router bit. W . plywood mounting plate Verticalpanelraisingbit Adjustment knob Accurate stapling for drawer assembly I had a stack of melamine drawer bortoms and sides that had to be stapled together. . I mounted my router at 90o to the conventional setup. I put a wood nosepiece that extends an inch below the sole. At this relationship.I tacked together a wooden sole with a regis- 1/a-in. As shown in the drawing.The sharppointsof the drywall screws will bite into almostany material. With the router bit below the work as the panel is passed over it. This nosepiece registers against the drawer side and the edge of the drawer bottom. envelops the stapler's magazine. The plywood mounting plate attaches to a 2-in. One screw acts as a pivot point. A piece of solid stock planed ro rhe width of the magazine fits between rhe plywood sides. B R O W NR u c k e r s v i l l e . The sole. To regain the advantage of a horizontal worksurface. At the businessend of the tool. The base of the router rests in a shallow recessrouted into the plywood. A washer and a large knob on rhis screw allow the mounting plate to be clamped at the desired height relative to the worksurface. The other projects through a slot in the mounting plate. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 .-dia. made of 3/q-in.D O N A L D C . holding them flush as the staple is driven. _SVEN HANSON Albuquerque.-dia. I first center-punch and drrllVa-in. I ran the risk of a staple blowing out the face of a drawer side. To ensure perfect alignment. But miter clamps are not always easy to locate. plywood. hardwood plywood. threadedinserts Wood nosepiece registers againstdrawer side.N. to grab the work at odd angles.I put the holesa bit off-center. and if the stapler's nosepiece was slightly off-center or out of plumb. The offset placement also allows me to use a couple of clamps at the same time if I need to apply extra pressure. As shown in the drawing.I make my own pinchdogs out of two components that can be obtained easily: permits the clamp to reach a bit farther and #6 drywall screw Opposing wedges hold drawer side snug to blocks. This placement iaws. I run a #6 drywall screw into the holes in the spring-clamp tration nosepiecefor the stapler. Notice that the locking point is twice as far from the pivot Direction of feed l/z-in.creating a flat.Raisingpanels with a router Raising cabinet-door panels with a traditional undermount router table can produce wavy cuts becauseit's difficult to hold the panel absolutely flat ro a vertical fence. V a .-thick top by way of two Yc-in. .R I C H V A N R H E E N e s tL i n n O r e . raising the plate r/+in. I affixed the router to a piece of Yz-in. spring clampsand drywall screws.

drill a hole that is sized to acceptthe valve stem approximately 2 in. Simply pressa straightedge against the backs of the hinges. and tape a ruler to the free end of the tubing to be used as a referencestick. fit one end of the tubing over the stem. Insert the valve stem in the hole. And during use. as shown in the photo. Fortunately. and add a few drops of food coloring to make the level easier to read.i in their mortises and become perfectly aligned to the door edge.lnstallation Low-budget water level An inexpensivewater level can be made out of a clear plastic l-gal. up from the bottom of the jug. In the application illustrated here. _JEFF JORGENSEN Tonopah. but the hinge arm must be exactly 90o to the door's edge. as shown in the drawing below. the jig is being used on a drawer front. Centering notch - Aligning cup hinges European cup hinges can be adjusted in three different directions to get a professional fit on a cabinet door. Water levels are very accurate. As shown in the drawing. Drawers of different depths require their pulls to be placed at different distances from their top edges-hence the series of holes. Before using the level. they will rotate Holesfor door pulls Fence Holesfor d r a w e rp u l l s ))lrlly. a tubeless-tirevalve stem (with guts and cap removed). jug. -DAVID BORcRttl Seattle Straightedge Cuphinges I prior to I alignment i FINE HOMEBUILDING Photo this pagc: Andv Engel . allowing it to be flipped to do right-hand or left-hand doors. Calif. The notch at the top of the jig is aligned with a pencil mark on a piece of tape that indicates the center of the drawer. Finally. Vinyltubing Clear vinyl tape Jug \ z Ruler er level-\ Multipurposedoor-pulljig The drawing below shows a jig I use for quickly locating the screw holes for cabinet pulls. fill the jug with water. and an appropriate length of clear vinyl tubing. I rotate the jig 90" and align its edge with the door's top edge or some molded detail in the door. First. -MARK HALLOCK Capitola. To use the jig for locating pulls on cabinet doors. and this one can be just the ticket for someone who doesn't need a water level often enough to justify buying a commercially manufactured one. The jig is laid out with equal distances from its sides to the pull holes. be sure to bleed any air bubbles out of the tubing. the shape of the hinge makes it easyeven if you have only a handheld drill. Nev. keep the free end of the tubing above the level of the water in the jug to keep water from draining out the free end of the tube.

n. bushing tz-. ROY L.piece of 3/+-in. Calif. lfasten the cabinet to the wallthrough holesin the hang-rail.i n . Moving the legs in or out adjuststhe height.cabinet '"'1 %-in. pipe n i p p l e . . and slide a cabinet onto the arms. but it's not in practice. The movable part of a pipe clamp rides on each pipe. I raise the cabinet either by grabbing the clamps and pulling upward while standing on the frame or by raising the cabinet by hand and holding it up with one arm while raisingthe clampsone at a time. The jacks have a 2x2 frame covered with %-in. plywood and are ->l Zx2 frame K.. butt it up to a wall.. To keep them plumb and level long enough to install them.. I place the jacks about 6 in. RONDeLAURENTIS Aurora. use a jack. SAMUELSON Alameda. %-in. p.G a ..t O in. inside each end of the cabinet and set the cabinet on them.3 WAYS 1 ll Scissors lnstallingwall cabinets by yourself can be a dangerousjuggling act. When itt right. A 12-in.. to support the arm assemblies. | fitted my jack sleeve with an old hole-sawarbor to raise and lower it with my electric drill._-4 3 // Pipe clamps As shown in the drawing to the right.. This may sound a little awhrard. Rubber feet keep the legs from slipping as I adjust cabinet height.* . long 1-in.CABINET JACKS.c ':-.-sq. braced with 2x3 legs.D A R R Y L B ._ UPPe. my rig consists of trryo5-ft. T 1 .1 0 i n . I line the backs and tops of the jacks with carpet to keep them from scratchingthe walls.b y 1/z-in. plyrood covered with carpet and attached to the bottom and top of the jack protects the casework. I mark a level line on the wall to show the bottom of the cabinet. North lll.p" %-in. W E I S E R D a h l o n e g a .I place the frame on the floor.pipe clamp \. pieces of 7c-in. il I i JI Wall cabinet jack Scissors \ Hole-saw arbor -a-.pipe clamp nipple ARM ASSEMBLY DETAIL G R E A TB U I L D I N G T I P S 2 0 0 6 73 .. 2 // Legs I use these jacks to install 2x3 legs upper cabinets by myself. working side up..iron pipe attached to a 2x4 frame by way of threaded pipe flanges. To use the jacks. A scrap of plywood atop the base cabinets provides a scissors surfacefor cranking the cabinet into position.

N . M o r r i s o n . Photo this page.Efficienc Guidelines B Y S V E NH A N S O N n my yearsas a cabinetmaker. Follow these guidelines. a n d A l b u q u e r q u e . ordering the doors and drawer fronts from an outside vendor. By making frameless cabinets.e x c e p t w h e r e n o t e d .G a . it's the avoidance of dumb mistakes. and using production-oriented jigs. P h o t o sb y D a n i e l S . rather. Robert Rcck 74 FINE HON4EBUILDING . I've eliminated a lot of expensive router bits and stock preparation. and you'll be able to go from shop drawings to finished cabinetsquickly and a c c u r a t e l y . I've found that it's rarely the big srroke of genius that makes the difference.w i t h a m i n i m a l n u m b e r o f e x p e n s i v e tools and mistakes. S v e n H a n s o n i s a c a b i n e t m a k e ri n M a r i e t t a . . M . Simplifying cabinet designs and standardizrngconstruction have made me feel a whole lot smarter.

BUT BUY THE DOORS Makins so el th e a mo u n to f ti m e n e e dedto bui l d a ki tchen. Exposed screwsin case sides will be hidden when cabinets are joined together.f speci fi ed) the ti me l ' ve bui l t the cabi netcases. Use full-extensiondrawer slides. U p p e rc a b i n e t Doors and drawer fronts can be ordered in any size and in a wide variety of styles. trim screws.1 :&oiqa. For end-of-run cabinet sides. two suchsuppliers www. Factory-applied finishesare an option. * Base cabinet Simplifythe joinery.trim the drawer width where the slidesattach by moving the drawer box through a tablesaw with the blade height set at about 2 in.finehomebuilding. ONLINE EXTRA To see a video of Sven Hanson making story poles for a kitchen-cabinet job. ^: tr. o rd e r d oors and draw erfrontsfrom an outsi desuppl i er..For sticky drawers. drawer-slidehardware is easyto install. (i n c l u d i n g a n d i n g n d fi ni shi ng.c o ma n d w w w . Simplify case construction (and cabinet installation)by setting the cabinet box on a platform framed in 2x material.cabinet doors doubles BUILD THE BOXES.i . makingthe doors easierto install. I l et someone sedo i t.com. fl Use applied end panels. use finishedplywood panels.Cabinet casesare made from 3/c-in. other smartcharacteri sti cs show nbelow.Drawers and roll-out shelvesmake base cabinets more useful. go to www. 's har d lt i by s a are ratio that a shop delivers. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . With a drillingjig.scherrs for me to meet the quality/price are S ome . B eforeI st ar t buildr They' reusually eady i n g c a b i n e tsI. but they're adjustablein three directions.l a k e s i demoul di ng. veneered plywood. Use concealedhinges. is Assembly done with glue and 17a-in. Use %-in. but may be hard to match to cabinet boxes. 'l-"' . The toe kick isn't part of the cabinet.com. Eliminatefixed shelvesin base cabinets.i.They and are complex-looking more expensivethan other types of hinges. plywood backs to squarethe cases.

With the help of a spring clamp. Trim one edge at a time.a s i z et h a t ' s e a s y t o f i n i s h a n d m o v e . then iron toward the other end. s. I tack down one end of the edgeband. I snapoff a bunch of 97-in. . 800-8 689663). Using the plywood as a ruler. Pull the tool apart. I knock down the bumps before applying a second coat. Iron on the edging. Sandpaperworks fine.scuff the plywood edge bef orehand with 9)-grit sandpaper. I balancea strip on the top edge of the plywood sheet so that it overhangseach end. That's fine for vinyl edging. Tip: Singte-edge razor great scrapbladesmake ersfor the edgebanding. but working on 2x8 sheetsfirst will get the work done faster. but I like to smooth the finish with a cabinet scraper.FINISH BEFORE YOU START E d g e b a n d i a n da p p l y i na f i n i s h r eb e s td o n e ng g a t o b i g p i e c e s .b u t n o t t o o b i g . With the iron on a hot (linen) setting. tclr ff' !tl '{* ::::-:- When the varnish has dried. Edge trimmers normally trim both sides at once. and work one side at a time to avoid sp/its (www.com. i then c/ean the dust from the surface.long strips. Y o u ' l l h a v e t o g o b a c k a n d a d d a l i t t l e e d g e b a n d ing after all the parts are cut.vir utex. but you'll get smoother resu/ts with wood if you show some respect for the grain. M y u s u a ls t r a t e g y i s t o r i p 4 x 8 s h e e t s o f p l y w o o d i n t o 2 x 8 p i e c e s . To ensuregood adhesion.

use the drawer bottoms to rack and hold the boxes square. With a piece of A0-grit sandpaper glued in the rabbet. 1 6 i n . then turn to crosscutting. as shown. and ability to hold fasteners. work well for varying depths of upper-cabinet sides. . is good for base cabinets. I rough up the varnished surtace that receives the butt joint. etc. a n d 9 i n .) and note the dimensions both on the cutlist and on an unfinishedend of the part ( ballpointink w i l l l a s t). My shopmade crosscut sled rides in the tablesaw's mitergauge slots.Then. I wedge a side between to keep them steady while fastening the other side.tops. w o rk 6 well for drawers and toe-kick s t o c k . A rabbeted sanding block allows me to do this quickly and neatly. assembling.I u s e th bas icdim ens io n s a t d i v i d e well into a plywood panel. with front and back standing. for drawer assembly.a n d 1 8 i n . The bottom is structural. To account for the sawkerf. making precise crosscutting easy to do. With the drawer sides assembled.1 2 i n . Cornerblocks Tip: Sandoff the finr'shthat will be glued. use homemadecorner blocksand a low assembly I table to keep things squareand at a comfortableworking height. To avoid making crosscuts in full-size sheets of plywood.I fasten backsand bottoms directly When to the edge of the plywood with polyurethane construction adhesive and nailsor screws.STICK WITH BASIC DIMENSIONStbesin the processby making a cutlis t of all t he pa rts l ' l l n e e d (sides.ll/ GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . . durability. tops. and bottoms. I use a drawer side as a gauge to space the blocks properly. ". subtract 1/a from the followin. bottoms. Corner blocks are made with shop scraps. I prefer plywood over hardboard or medium-density fiberboard for the bottoms (and cabinet backs)because of its light weight. Plywood cutoffs with square corners and lipped sides work well for clamping cabinet sides together or. W S P E E DA S S E M B L Y I T H S I M P L EJ O I N E R YA N D A L O W T A B L E I rarelyrabbet cabinetbacksor dado drawer bottoms. ing s iz es : in. 24 in. backs. Instead.l rrp sheets lengthwise. Cut plywood efficiently.

"{e .. i ty c a b i n e tsa n d fi l e d ra w e rs too. #it' I+'i * ..{ | Ll. * ' .. Glc.':'-*' i a$i.Je- l \ i. P...* &. l)rrll Tx. Flip over the cabinet and template.. I si mpl ycol or.i n .I drillthe holesfor the drawer slides with a cordlessdrill.'r. Place the template so that it is flush with the front of the cabinet.--'*' 6.. ...i .tL.i...'i"i' @@) . ial. . i:.^J: i. too.Cu.. ts rr F/. t t T ! .ll TLls Kew o-l Art R.€ @ @ o"t] $F-r .I fill them with drawers or r o l l . but working from the bottom up avoids any problems causedby a cabinetside that may have been cut a bit shorter than the other.'} '. {*a*r:r :. *. Tr? ti .C"b./e* t. Off-center holes allow the template to be used for f rameless or facef rame cabinets. c o d e th e h o l e sto m i n i m i z e i stakes..I ensure accuratehole spacing by using a drilling template.t fr€]\ . Set this template againstthe bottom of the cabinet. /*.s i z et e m p l a t e m a d e f r o m l/q-in. "r. . itt 1.and four-drawer type).1 T.. @) O 0lll Thi' R. and work your way up.i i'l. -'1. ".'I.\^ i : '!11 l .U S E D R I L L I N G T E M P L A T E S B e c a uIs e t h i n k t h a t b a s e c a b i n e t s w i t h f i x e d s h e l v e sa r e a s i n against common sense.ou *l /ltl 9l"e f.i n .{ srlo -_ eg30 t- A 20-in. i .width allows the templar..o u t u p g r a d e s . van- 7 a ..*" . with holes every 1 6 m m ( % i n .'w ^-l lltl 113/d in.r. {}.. r r R o u A r{l" . {Dtaq th.r Dr.Y o u a l s o c a n buy a template from most woodworking stores for around $25. F o r u p p e r c a b i n e t s w i t h a d j u s t a b l e s h e l v e s . . Do it on a bench instead.'-..f a s t e n i n g s t r i p .t J Ptrwar 61.g-i a t .^\.qcr.h. align the {ront edge.3 f 0 . My template defines the positionsof the holes for drawer slidesin kitchen base cabinets (three. l J s ^rtl.. .. i 21/z in.. Use a cordless drill to place shelf holes accurately.ir r:iii r'.J ?i.This approach boosts your screw-driving comfort zone by allowing accessfrom front or back.i{*. With the cabineton its side and the template wedged in place._-------->l to be used for a vanity cabinet.. which I made with a piece of melamine o n a f r i e n d ' s l i n e ..+. ) t h a t a l i g n s h e l v e sa n d h a r d w a r e .b o r i n g m a c h i n e . * J : Tip: lnstall the cabinet backs last after drilling holes and installing'the hardware. m CIo R.. B u t i n s t a l l i n ga l l t h a t d r a w e r h a r d w a r e c a n b e f i n i c k y b u s i n e s s .I a v o i d a l o t o f m i s t a k e s b y u s i n g a f u l l .plywood or melamine. The template is symmetrical.p -I" r.> 3 i$ tso$ ' i Bolfer'l / c'Li"t ?"{^lt"'Ll .:^.r/G*. -.eFi'{i. : '* 'ti:ri l!ii*r: .ii" 17hon. This template's spacing ensures consistency and lets you take advantage of the European cabinetmaking system. and drillholesin the other side. ooo Don't crawl into a cabinet to install drawer hardware. ".'riD**€ '-'L"f. .1 78 FINE HOMETJUILDING . . e. 11/ain.r.n o t c h for face f rames ( N o t c h f o r 3 / t .^.

or they wont snap together. The bumpers ensure consistent setback on all the hinges. About Vein. to Testthe operation of the hinge stick. My hinge stick keeps the distance between baseplatesand the setback from cabinet front consistent. Baseplate rnounts to cabinet.To use it. The two parts then snap or screw together. Now you can installall the baseplates with the stick in the open position. set one screw. but you certainly can be too far. Cup holes are drilled an equal distance from the end so that the stick can be flipped top or bottom. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . the hinge stick can make a good drilling template if clamped to the door. Drill holes all the way through so that the stfck can be used for leftor right-hinging and as a drilling guide.With the cup hinge squarely in the hole. Becausethey're two-part hinges. Ihis will ensure that all hinges are installed consistently.and with hinges in the closed position. adjust the bumpered screwsto the distancebetween the open door and the cabinet. Set up a fence with reference marks to ensure consistent alignment. Adjustment screws Align the hinge stick with the top of the cabinet.it's crucialthat the correspondingpiecesline up. Set the adjustable bumpers after the first set of hinges is in place and working well. lf all'swell. Forstner bit with a depth stop in a benchtop drillpress.INSHLL DOORS WITH A HINGE STICK European-styte come hinses in two piecesia cup and a baseplate.The cup mounts to the door. Without a benchtop drill press. and the baseplatemounts to the cabinet side. and drive the baseplate screws. will allow the door to overlay the cabinet frame fully without rubbing. The best way to bore the cup holes is to use d 13h-in. The cup hole must be close to the edge of the dool or the door will rub against the cabinet when opened and closed. insert cup hinges into the holes. screwthe baseplates the cabinet side. drill pilot holes. You almost can't be too close.

\1 \\i/i \v! 2x4 base _ D A V E K O HL E R Clarks Summit.-ft. Clamp-nailing Sometimesan elecffic oudet or switch box hasto go between a couple of studsthat are so closetogether. Philb wire spinner rotateson the washer ashe pulls and uncoils flat lengths of wire without twists or kinks. the nails. M.l sionally. stapledshort lengths He of Romex to createa loosecradle that holds a coil of wire asit comes from the box. AI When space is tight. The hole in its business hasslotson both sidesto accommodate end the wings on the sidesof the wire nuts.there'sno room for a hammer or a drill bit. Halfway through the job.Phil first nailed together a pair of 2x4sto make a post about 24 in.usinga handful of wire staples.V a.assorted 2x4 offcuts.I haveto drill holes in the sideof the box for \\/.a fender a washer. pull nail into stud with a C-clamp.That's Bottom vtew \ when I got the idea Sawkerfslot for wire-nut wings for this device. Hung from a nail in a ceiling joist or door header.Occali.Ireachfor a C-clamp. Photo this page:Charles Bickford . I made my little wrench out of lxl maple scraps. then attachedthe 24-in.C a l i f .addition to my home. For good bearing. a clamp can be usedto squeeze a nail into the stud. 5\ -RICHARD N E L S O N S a n L e a n d r o . Pa.-long basepieces. tall.Electrical Site-builtwire spinner Workmanlike wiring is easierto achievewith a wire spinner. 80 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings: Charles Miller. As shown in the drawing.-dia.I useroofing nails during this operation.and short lengthsof Romex cable.The wrench'swide handle letsme get a firm grip to apply plenty of torque to the wire nuts. S C OT T A T KINA rl i ngton.I had to install 1/z-in. my fingerswere blistered from twisting wire nuts. In this case. few l6d nails.The sitebuilt versionshown below was whipped up by electricianPhil Clements in 15minutes. hole about 100duplex outletsand switches. W S Wire-nut wrench 1 Bent 16d nail hanger When wiring the 800sq.

KATZ Reseda. Planningfor unknown wiring alterations Adding a new electrical oudet. But I build and remodel a lot of two-story homes. a switch. I N S E R R AJ a m e s t o w n . pine by \ \ to the attic when I build a new house. make the jig out of a strip of 3/+-in. Beneathhis hand is a hefty sectionfrom a plastic5-gal.I pull a few strings through the conduits to make wire-pulling easier. Now you can nail the box to the stud.Mel made the rig out of sections Yz-in. And if I'm feeling especially generous. R. and a threaded shaft at one end that fits into the chuck of his %-in. he makesthe circular cutoutswith the clever contraption in the drawing at left. Although it looks like a harpoon. Two conduits are important because householdcurrent wires aren't supposed to commingle with cable-TV.I\[ nfi . hasto cut a hole in the drywall he aswell asmount a fixture in the ceiling joists. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 81 . _MIKEGUERTIN EastGreenwich. I by 3/+-in./or the Outlet box attic to route wires through 4d nails walls. I flag the conduits in the attic with fluorescent orange surveyors'tape so that future installers can locate them.rfl I w Section from plastic water bottle \ ) PVC sleeve ElectricianMel Minor installsa lot of recessed light fixtures in ceilings. or other lowvoltage/communications wiring. I also label the conduits at the service panel so that the homeowners know what they are for. As a result. phone. -SANTO A . the _GARY M. and the height will be right everytime.To keep the messto a minimum. To usethe stick.In some cases. galvanized Clean cuts for recessedcans . Running wires from a basement service panel to the second floor means punching holes in walls and ceilings.The water botde is glued to a sleeve made of PVC pipe.try using the jig shown in the drawing at right to position the boxes consistendy. position the boxesover the nails and placethe stick on the floor adjacentto the stud. You have attack points from the basement and. of galvanizedpipe.this tool is actually a jumbo hole saw affixed to a pipe extension. %-in.water botde. network. Two pairsof 4d nailsdriven through the stick correspondto the threaded holesin the boxes. Y .My electri. 1/z-in.Electrician's stick The next time you have to affix electricalboxesto stud framing for switchesor outlets. computer-qetwork wiring. Calif. pine. conduits from the basement or service panel up 3/+-in. joined with couplings. When the shaft turns. In houses that I remodel.I've gotten into the habit of installing at least two 2-in.l. I try to incorporate conduits for future alterations while I have walls open.: cian has even had to use the conduits right away while installing the finish on a project when he forgot a home run for a lighting circuit.N . the botde remainsstationaryasit catches dust.drill. or a cable-TV jack is pretty simple in single-story homes.

The verticalleg of the sloppy.I made the socketis almost alwaysout of position. and so forth. yet will stayput withthis was helped by the fact that the R-40 out support. N. and probes. As shown in the drawing at left. but I couldn't find the wire either. I couldn't find any obstruction. and turned on the drill. a weighted string. I ran into a seemingly impossiblesituation. By the time I fixtures in a On a recentjob. I installeda row of recessed-light finished.EleCtriCal (continued) bulb sockets Adjusting recessed-can were casualtiesof this awkward handling. R-40bulb bracket'swing nut enough sothat the socket reinstalling the bulb. As you might gau9e trim ring to set -B E R T D A WKI NS t hpor t .If the bulb positions on a Tlshapeddepth gaugethat registers the are not the same. Itried fish tape. piece of bell wire that I secured with a squaneknot.hole acrqssthe diameter about 7a in. light fixture Recessed-can from the socketto T is equal to the distance The first time I did this. profanitlr. and down. Starting with a piece of l/r-in. I made the fishing rod shown at left. The solution was simple. and you're asnecessary. and an angled hole through the wall plate into the proper stud bay from the eellar. I'd drilled the hole for the bell push.. I then chucked the other end of the dowel into an electric drill. bell wire. bead chain. lashing around inside the wall and entangling the weighted string left dangling from the bell-push hole. from one end. As my last attempt before ripping off clapboards. I was convinced that there had to be a better way kitchen ceiling. At 1200 rpm. the ends of the wire whipped out centrifugally. dowel about a foot long. Nor bulbs imagine. Folding the ends of the wite so that they stuck out ahead of the dowel like antennae. FINE HOMEBUILDING . to do this job. Y.so it's important to get them uniform. Ceiling Tighten the wing nut. None of face will slideup and down.Iloosen the position of the socketto my bestguess. to screw the bulbs in and out.Then I hold the gaugeagainstthe flood-lamp bulbs requestedby -y client trim ring and either raiseor lower the socket virtually filled the light-fixture's cavity. I drilled a %e-in.by the time a fixture is installedand the trim is attached. hooks. I spent a lot of time the faceof the lightbulb. Through this hole I inserted a 15-in. installingthe first bulb.Thesefixtures haveadjustablebulb sockets. to making it necessary useonly my fingertips Hold gauge against Cardboard in business. leaving the trro ends equal. I shoved the contraption into the hole in the plate as far as it would go. When I pulled the drill back through the hole in the prate' rfound ":'J::il'::::f[Ti'H":::*". TrP I neMoDELTNG Rotaryfishingrod When fishing a wire for a doorbell. severalof theseexpensive I socket depth.the whole installationlooks light-fixture'strim ring. Generally. But try as I might I couldn't get a wire from one to the other. removing it to adjust Socket adjustsup its To setthe depth of a socket.

I rotated each block. and attach couplings to both ends so that the total length of pipe plus couplings exactly matches the thickness of your wall. as shown in the drawing. Then I threaded a length of small-diameter rope through a hole in each brace and through the drain holes. Cut a piece of the pipe you need.C.D . Wood crossbraces s i l . . shortening the ropes and drawing the sink upward with even pressure exerted around the entire rim. The cookie sheetshields the ceiling. C . _ANDREW HEPPARD S Madison.I placed a wood cross brace over each bowl of the sink. Pipe-soldering blast shield Anybody who has ever sweat-soldered copper pipes at close quarters in a wooden house knows the feeling: The torch flame dances around the fitting. flush with the wall and ready for another length of pipe.I don't let the flame get anywhere near something flammable. As shown in the drawing below. I keep an extinguisher on hand. and the solder can melt whenever it wants without me worrying about it. and even more important. both sides '. A . Will this solder ever meltl I don't take any chances when it comes to soldering in a wooden building. cRoss SECTION Through-wall pipe couplings Running pipe or conduit through a poured-concrete foundation wall with no gaps to patch and without cutring holes in the forms sounds too good to be true. I used rope and a couple of wood blocks. _JOHN CARROLL Durham. Photo this page:Tom O'Brien Couplings both ends at This unit will fit snugly between the forms. \ discarded galvanizedsteel ducts. On the underside of the sink. Conn. The resulting joint is so strong it almost makes the mechanical fasteners redundant.Plumbing Cookiesheet rests on brackets. I use a pair of brackets to support an old cookie sheet when I'm working overhead. the brackets protect the joists.One of the problems presented by the situation was how to get a good silicone-caulk seal between the underside of the counter and the rim of the sink. Rather than rely on a bunch of braces and shims to wedge the sink in place. When the forms are pulled awa\tyou have a coupling embedded on each side. until you've tried this trick. glancing off an old floor joist. F L E U R y u r l e wW a s h .\ i Caulkingan undermount sink in place I needed to affix a stainless-steelundermount sink to a granite counter that was already installed on its cabinet bases. the rope runs through a wood block under each drain tailpiece. As shown in the drawing above. N. After running a bead of silicone around the rim of the sink. and it can be wired to the rebar and spreaders at the top of the forms to stay in place during the pour.( i Wood block Rotate blocks to raise sink. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . and some wood smoke fills the air.

the pipe wasglued in place. With sweatrunning down his face. drywall-screw cutter Twist handleto cut pipe from inside. Sureenough.and the plumber was long gone.Plumbing (continued) A3A-in. Calif.I now use lowexpansion urethane foam to fill the gap around the pipe.I sawthe problem. This extra care has presented no problems. care must be taken to prevent damage to the flashing. too long. The trick to doing it right is to useenoughline so that you can make long passes.In use.I apply a layer of roof cement to the outside of the wall.As shown in the drawing above.asshown in the drawing. and I've had great luck with the results.For a cutter. he gaveme one of thoseyou-ignorant-dweeb looks and repliedthat he was cutting a piece of 4-in. After a few of turns. \ \: 84 FINE HOMEBUILDING . pumping back and forth. R.he just had made a perfectlystraightcut through the pieceof pipe. Pa. 2-in. drvwall screw through a small block of wood.the handle rests atop the end of the pipe. or up and down asthe case may be. the kind of roof cement that you spread with a trowel.-thick layer of roof tar. At backfill time. To solvethe problem of cutting the pipe.l. When I askedhim what he was doing.I affixed a small handle.he was rapidly pulling back and forth on a pieceof nylon mason's line.no saw of mine would be ableto trim the drain below the surface the of showerpan. ABS plasticdrainpipe.or the line will seizein the melted kerf. Then he useda quick sawing motion to cut-maybe burn is a better lsyrn-ths pipe in half. Instead of mortar.The pipe was almosttotally buried in the narrow ditch. The standard technique that most builders in my area use is to pack the gap with mortar or hydraulic cement. ^ Trimming pipes in place Seal a drain penetration in a foundation wall I've been searching for a better way to seal the gap around a drainpipe where it exits a foundation wall.I madea tubing cutter that works from the insideof the pipe. This is the Foundation wall Hole in foundation S o i ll i n e As I setthe plasticshowerpan into its mortar bed. in a positionthat would havebeen tough to reachwith evena reciprocalsaw. _ C R A I GS A V A G E Carpinteria. But lately.Because clearance the around the drainpipeamountedto no more than about % in. To this pieceof wood. I pulled out the cutter and setthe screwa little deeper.by %-in.I'd cut through the pipe.Then I turned the device with the point of the drywall screwbearing againstthe insidesurface the pipe. plumbing inspectors have been frowning on this practice becauseany shift in the soil during frost cycles can crack a rigidly installed pipe.depthstop. _ M I K EG U E R T I N EastGreenwich. Once the foam has cured.I ran a 2-in.The plumber had threadedthe line under the pipe. same stuff I use to seal cracks and crevices throughout the house to reduce air leaks. 4') A I It turns out that mason's line will cut ABS Plast \ and PVC pipe.which alsofunctioned asa depth stop. mason's is equally usefulfor flush-cuttinga pipe line where it emerges from a wall or a slab.I saw out of the cornerof my eyea plumber doing what looked like an aerobicexercise while standingshoulder deepin a narrow ditch.The drainpipewas% in. erYr \ ) Drainpipe Roof ventstackflashing tar Urethane foam Cutting plastic pipe While on one of my daily inspection tours of the job site. no time.The method 40 Nylon Pipe. In -WALTER GORR Pittsburgh. handle alsofundions asa. This is the thick stuff. Then I slip a roof ventstack flashing over the pipe and bed the flashing in a %-in.I useda drywall screw.schedule or 80.I lap the tar over the edges of the flashing to promote a better seal. on eachside.Don't stop.

Presto!I had a holesaw 8 ft. I snap the patch over the pipe and slide it hard against the leaky joint. These valves normally are used for outdoor faucets and are available in both 8-in. Some glue should squeezeout. A coworker useda Surform planeto sharpenthe teeth. made for ABS and PVCpipe. Coat with glue.-longhole in the EPS (foam) coreof a stress-skin panelin order to installa vent pipe for a kitchen sink. Hole Hawg drill. I PVC-pipe patch To fix a leaking joint in a PVCwater-supplyline.long the attachedto my Yz-in. . Then I apply multipurpose glue.My solution was to locate a plastic laundry sink on the wall shared with the house and to use frostproof sill cocks for the hot and cold water supplies. I don't know of any off-the-shelfbits or hole sawsdesignedfor a task like this. y' 2.frostproof sill cocks HOUSE IDE S wall Shared Hot and cold supplylines Trap To building drain Garage floor I REMoDELTNG TrP LeakingPVCwater pipe 1. Cut coupling in half. Whether it be for washing paintbrushes or just for scrubbing my dirty hands. to with the larger piece just big enough not to break as it is pushed onto the pipe like a C-clip.UNHEATED GARAGE Freezeproofinga garage sink Every shop needs a slop sink. making sure to remove the stop in the middle.I cut teethin the end of a pieceof ABS pipe. frost protection was mandatory. lengths. It easilycut a hole in the foam that was the exact sizel needed. BecauseI live in a cold climate and wanted to use the sink year-round. horizontal PVC drainpipe. Three drywall screws through the slotsin the sideof the hole saw secured ABS. I mounted the other end of the 2-in. The tailpiece from the sinkt drain takes a 90o turn by way of a lVz-in. using a pieceof the samepipe that would end up in the hole. which penetrates the rim joist before joining a P-trap in the basement. Drilling holes in EPS I neededto drill an 8-ft.-dia. I shut off the water and drain the line to let the joint dry out.It fit perfectly. hole saw. -JlM FRANDEENSoquelCalif.With my coping saw. With the factory-edge side of the modified coupling toward the leak. to both the pipe joint and the patch.Y. protected from the cold by the warm interior of the house and its insulation. Let it dry overnight. 3. then snap modified coupling onto pipe and slide against leak. and l2-in. I then cut one of the halvesin two. pipe in a 2%-in. so I made my own. N Z-12-in. . Cutsection away from halved coupling. so I decided to install one in my attached garage workshop. and the water line is readyfor use. The supply lines run up from the basement inside the shared wall. -KARL JUULGlenmont. -BRUCECALDERWOOD email via Hole saw Screws cutting teeth ( \ GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 85 . I start by cutting a coupling in half. Putting the P-trap in the basement keeps its contents frorn fr eezing. The ratio should be about 600lo 40o/o. the slop sink has been a satisfying addition to the workshop.

FINE HOMEBUILDING . C H U C KG R E E N s h l a n dM a s s . scrapof 3A-in.l.by 7-in. repetitivecrosscuts rip guide for rake starters or 1x3 stop trim shinglesfor ending courses walls.I coverthe membrane'with a to pieceof flashing that runs from the edgeof the roof sheathingto the middle of the fascia. I seta pile of inverted shinglesagainstthe lx3 stop. I was done cutting the startersin half the time it ordinarily takesme. by 3-ft. my brother askedme to cut several bundlesof shingles into starterstrips to usealong the eaveand rake edges. Z-ft.-long by 7-in.Then I adjusted the blade on my utiliry knife so that it just scribedthe surfaceof one shingle when I ran it along the 7-in. cxccpt whcre notcd: Charlcs Millcr. OSB asa rip guide for cutting shingles. triangular framing square (sometimes calleda Starter SpeedSquare)against strips the stop. shown in As the drawing below.but they can't get through the gap. guide. and I cut a 3-ft.Roofi ng Shinglecut table On a recent roofing job.-widestrip of %-in.by 3-ft. -I found other shingle-cutting uses for the table. tt'. "\ Fascia lce-dam prevention The drawing aboveshowshow to modify the typical roof-edgedetail to sealthe gap betweenthe fasciaand the roof sheathingfrom ice . Osborn. Because waterproof membranes aren't rated for exposure sunlight.I made a simplecut tableby nailing a lx3 along the bottom edgeof a 2-ft. orientedstrandboard (OSB). at 1x4 prop _BRUCE UERTIN G Coventry.I could work with it at a comfortableheight.By settingthe cut tableon a pair of sawhorses. A . Photo this page: Roe A. scrap of plywood or OSB Roof sheathing Waterproof membrane Drip edge Membrane covers gaP. \.. ice buildups forming up from the gutter might get under the drip edge. By resting al2-in. I run waterproof membrane a couple of inchesdown the fascia to a point below the top of the gutters.I could make accurate 3-ft. R. A lx4 prop on the undersidetilted the table to a better position.With this detail. Drawings.too. dams.

you can redo only as many courses at a time as you feel comfortable removing. . Now nail your first course of shingles with the lower edges following the line. trim the first row of new shinglesto 5 in. This method lets you butt the new shinglesagainstthe bottoms of the old. The trick is to have several starter courses and initially to nail these shingles at the top only. ) Second starting coursebegins an equal numberof exposures below the first row of shingles.Canada Shinglingfrom the top down A lot of people think I'm kidding when I sing the praises of shingling a house from the ridge down. you can nail the initial srarter course of shingles in the normal fashion. again within a comfortable reach. First. With the lower course safely nailed in place. Shingle upward from this course to the ridge in normal fashion. exposureon the first row and a normal 5-in.Start first course with nailsonly I nEMoDELTNG TrP Asphalt-sh g le reroofing in Tucklower course under this row. For example. and butt them againstthe bottom edge of the old coursesabove. This technique is simpler to do than it is to describe. As shown in the drawing abbve. there is an additional advantage: Becausedebris slides down over only the old roof. E M A N U EJ A N N A S C H L Halifax. Quite to the contrary. -JACK McGHIE TucsonAriz. you can fasten the duckboards and scaffold supports directly to the deck without special brackets.which can create as many as six thicknesses. On roofs requiring staging. and snap another line an exact number of courses below your first one. make sure the courses on the old roof are straight. Move your staging down. Your new roof now will lie flat. To prevent shinglebuildup on the typical 5-in. without fear of damaging the roof. don't forget to start with a full tab or a half tab at the rake. exposure roof.. Originalroof \ - nias"r@ THE WRONG WAY ==F Photo this page:Bill Phillips GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . N. In reroofing. snap a line below the ridge that gives you a comfortable reach. Repeat this sequenceas often as necessary to reach the eave. On a hot day. depending on whether you have an odd or even number of courses to lay. Theseshingleswill work as spacersthat allow the new roof to start a different overlap pattern that misses the old bumps. exposurefrom there on. starting at the ridge and working down savesyou from walking over the materials you just applied.S. if need be. and the second row to 10 in.with a 3-in. They'll also be convenient ro remove on your way down. which you will lift out of your way to allow the lower course to tuck under it.though. this method becomes part of the permanent repertoire of all who try it. as defined by the shingle exposure. the wear and tear on an asphalt roof can be considerable. courses from the eave. As you prepare to nail down this second srarter course.. shingling a roof from the top down (we're talking asphalt shingles here) can be faster than going from the eavesup. The line should be an exact number of Have you ever noticed the wavy pattern on a roof with two layers of asphalt or fiberglassshingles? This is due to the uneventhicknessof the shingleswhere they overlap. Shingle upward to the initial starting course. and in my experience. and it always gives a better roof. but tacked along the top only.

This stepmay'bedifficult with somenewer laminatedshingles: 5O-year A shingle with a 110-mphwind warranty has an aggressive adhesivebond.I snapa chalkline everyfew courses.Vz-in.As a control.-wide. nail nexr ro the holes.4-in. shingles the coverthis line asthey'relaid down. plus I in. sealdown all the loosenedshingle tabswith a dab of sealant. 3 Before I remove the shingle.the local rep showeda film of a real professional installingshingles.and renail all the loosened shingles. don't pur new nails in the old nail holes.Removing the damagedshingle without damaging the surrounding shinglesis the tricky part.m. Next. Photos this page: Daniel S. In these cases. Morrison Exposure plus 1 in. but the guide providesa reference line for nailing on the leadingedge. Of course.and put a dab of sealant over the old holes. and mark anotherline along the top of the guide.Roofing is only part of my repertoire.lay its bottom edgealong this line. This process bestdone while shinglesare cool enough not to is melt underfoot and warm enough not to crack. -STEPHEN HAZLETT kronOhio A .I handlethis part of the repair before8 a. and I draw a line along the top of the guide to locate the butts of the next course. 2 With the bondsbroken. I affix l-in.-widstop block. 4 Now I can pull out the damagedshingle.I can removethe four nails holding the damagedshingle. In the winter. I do only emergencyrepairs.slip in a new shingle. Insread. Markingguide 1-in. and that levelof skill isn't in the cardsfor me. e long by % in.for example-require replacing singleshingles.I rip the plywood to a width equal to the exposureof the shingles. guide up. 1 First. though.I haveto removefour more nails driven through the courseabove. thick 88 FINE HOMEBUILDING . This guy was nailing so fast that the entire room burst out laughing. To make the guide.Isetthe courses a pencil line that I mark using a simple to guide made out of a 4-ft.they'll pop right out. to 5-ft.ROOfing (continued) Removinga damaged shingle Someroof repairs-nail pops.Icut the adhesive strip with a pry bar. I positionthe guide so that the stopblockscatch the butts of the previouscourseof shingles. length of %-in. break the bond createdby the seal-downstrips below and on the two courses above the shingleyou want to remove. Cedar-roofshinglingguide A few yearsago at a cedar-shingle manufacturer'sseminar. In the summer. plywood.thick stopblocksto the undersideof the plywood at eachend asshown in the drawing at left.Jong.4in. When I do install wood shingles. -ARNE WALDSTETN Barrington. Great Mass.I move the . When refastening shingles.While your caulk gun is handy.

-CHAR LIE WOODHOUSE Kensington.I --\.N.The distancefrom the bottom edge of the slate to the centerline of the holes equalsthe exposureof the slate plus half its double coverage(that portion of the course where three slates overlap one another). Laurinbur g.long. '(/.which I At lm shingles. but shingles within reachasthey awaiting installationtend to slide. thread over a roofing nail driven halfway into the roof. G R E A TB U I L D I N G T I P S 2 0 0 6 . drill a pair of holes in the new slate. next course . -R A N D Y E . and the overlaps it.. A 40-in.. making sure that the top edge of the poly is doubled and wrapped around the horizontal 2x4./' .-dia. Attach the blocksto the strip by nails driven through the back of the either 36-in. : "' Wire hook Centerline of holes Exposure plus half of double covera9e CARROLL Durham. I placethis nail just abovethe top of the groove of the shingleI've already Holder is installedin the previous securedby a Shinglesrest on partially driven When I move course. roofing nail. ME D LIN N.as shown in the drawing below. -JOHN rr':. copper wire Length equals half of double coverage.C. prevent this problem. tend to rain down around the house.The bent ends of a 1O-ga.. space betweenthe blocksaccommodates hole.or lx4.S h i n g l eh o l d e r Roofswith a 5-in-12to a 7-in-12pitch can be walked.3r/zin. I use a sheet of 6-mil To poly to act as a combinationprotective barrier and tarpaulin. This arrangement savesa lot of cleanuptime and leavesmy clientssmiling.I usea shingleholder made up of a strip of lx4 about 8 ft.. the shingleholder. After removingthe broken slate. C. TIPS I REMoDELTNG a-' -.:i just pound in that nail all the way. Wire hook made of 1O-ga.I drilled aVz-in. long and a2x4 block and two 4x4blocks. copper-wirehook passthrough the holes. the top of the 1x4. Calif. The rest of the wire hook passesunder the replacementslate and hangson the top edge of the slate directly beneath it.To keep shingles are installed. Slate-roof repair The drawing above showsmy method for replacinga broken roof slatewithout exposed wire.often damagingfragile landscaping. I staple the poly to the top piece of a 2x4 frame.-/ - a -- Shinglecleanup Stripping the old shinglesoff a houseis a messyjob by anypiecesof cedar or asphalt The accumulated body's standards. 4x4 blocks...

REED Doylestown. starting at the top and working down. I've taken to installing custom-made steel corners.Siding A site-madesaw guide for cutting vinyl 1x shiplap iding s Kert marks cutline.I found it impossible not to scar some of the shingles with my ladder. Clean cornersfor manufacturedsiding I've been installing a lot of nonwood siding over the past few years.leaving a cracked caulk joint. though. Nail as safety stop tally backing out of the guide. A local metal shop makes the corners from steel gutter stock. and I have to improvise.I noticed a few scraps of 1x6 shiplap siding on the burn pile. such as cementbased and hardboard lap siding. Before I started using these corners. This material is i-nexpensiveand comes in brown.i n . D . Once in a while. Brushing with the grain pushed all the fibers back into the grain lines that emerge as the shingles weather with age. In the near 2x6. Outside corner Insidecorner 90 FINE HOMEBUILDING .I brushed all the shingles around each window about a foot out from the casings.7----/ V. it goes missing. which further damaged their faces.I had to remove some shingles to trim them. white. The sawkerf in the far 2x6 indicares rhe cutline.I used cedar corner boards. With steel corners. I first tried a small spot in an unobtrusive place and found that the shingles had a nap like suede or velvet. with their rabbeted edges facing one another. As shown in the drawing below. Ga. I brushed with the grain. long and. The siding abuts the projecting corner of the metal trim details.laid them upside down atop a couple of 2x6s. rr.f o l d s 2Vzin: Insidecorner at bay window Outside corner at bay window barelynoticeable. 1 in. The steel corners hold paint beautifully. In one such instance.a nail acts as a safety stop to keep the saw from acciden- a-- -'. evidence that any work had been done was 1 .. With the 1x6 pieces set at a distance equal to the width of my saw's base. Also. _WILL RUTTENCUTTER Valdosta. R I C H A R D A R B YM e r l i nO r e . 2 ) Cutting vinyl soffit and siding marerial can be done quickly and accurately with a saw guide. rhar problem is a thing of the past. When everything dried. or primer. Pa.inyl soffit or sidingmaterial -----? 7 S5w base rides siding rabbets.I screwed them to the 2x6s. This setup made a nifty little slide guide for cutting vinyl siding or squaring lx or 2x stock. They would shrink eventually. the corners have flanges that are nailed to the wall and act as integral flashings in caseany moisture gets behind the siding.I decided to try reviving the shingles with a very soft wire brush. and try as I might. of fine particles. To complement their clean look. rr t ShingleTLC I had to replace windows in a 30-year-old house that was covered with cedar shingles.and then I spraysd them lightly with a hose to clean the wall. After thinking about the problem. As shown in the drawingr l cut two pieces 33 in. _RICHARDE.I usually have a commercially available guide on site.

_RICK BOISVERT North Dartmouth. held a clapboardagainst it.) with the edge of the clapboardend. long and % in. I laid the metal tight against nails Finishing the trim and held it with a few finishingnails.As shown in the drawing. try this trick. Gang-cuttingangled clapboards The next time you're cutting clapboardsthat run from a vertical window or sidewallto a rake board. Next. / Now.. and guide any water that enters the joint to the outside of the clapboards. as shown in the drawing. spread the boards so Photo this page: Andy Engel GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . R. mark the edge of the top clapboard. The back of the clapboardnow had a perfectly curved cutline to follow with my jigsaw. wider than the curvedtrim.H. I cut a piece of scrap sheet metal into a strip about 8 in. which meant that I had to cut the ends of the clapboards match the changingarc of the trim around the to doors. -*t4fif 4t:. extend the mark across all the clapboards.CLAPBOARD SIDING Scribing curved clapboard ends I had to apply clapboardsto the side of a garage that has arched doors. 4-in' exPosure First. Measurethe first clapboard. Mass. While the points of the clapboardsstill are lined up. circularsaw). After about 15 clapboards. Slide the boards so that the pointed ends line up with the marksabove them. and pressedfirmly. Cut the roof angle on one end of five clapboards(l stack them and cut them all at once with an 8%-in. align the -exposuremark (in this case4 in. Tar-papersplinesensure a leakproof joint Placedunder each butt joint and at the windows. As shown in the drawing. -MIK E GU E R TINast E Greenwich. slide a squarealong the bottom edge of the top clapboard. between the window Rake board and the rake board. /p-Roof angle Markthe bottom edge of the top clapboard. I think the method I came up with to mark the curve worked out better than the typical scribing technique.flip the square.Then I rubbed a pencil along the edge of the metal. gang-cut the clapboards miter saw for this).-47-'z'Z::V \.and you're ready to make the cut (l Problem:Lay out and power suggesta 1O-in. _RANDALL SMITH Barrington. it's a good idea to remeasure becauseerrors have a tendency to accumulate.the splineslap the lower course by th in. Now.and extend the mark acrossall the clapboards. N. find the exposure with a square.l. 'l .

keepinga readysupplyof shingles closeat hand can be a problem. I can handle unwieldylengthsof clapboard by myself. -CHRIS E L L I S B r e w s t e r . This springsthe shingleaway from the wall. 2 i n .holding it in place.. Typically. Check I attach the hangersverti. this In way. 1x shelfset to appropriateheight FINE HOMEBUILDING Photo this page:Randy O'Rourke .M a s s . clapboard cally on the wall.To remove a clapboard. washerswill keep a hanger overlap jamming from pivoting and as I position a clapboard on Cedarshingles with 1-in. Ohio Hanging clapboardsby yourself With several site-made Deck screws hangerslike the one in with finishing washers the drawing at right.unroll about 15 ft. Now l'm free to slide the clapboardas needed to determine cut marks.the other person is a 1x3 with a small crossbarto act as a shelf for the roll of housewrap. Cutting the top cornersoff the shingle easy insertion under installed shelfmakesit easyto slip under courses. 3d shinglenails WORKING ALONE Solo housewrapping Carpentersend up doing a lot of four-handed operations with only two hands. insteadof down by your feeton the staging. offset the house. Here's how I use a stick and a C-clampto install housewrap by myself.The simple shelfshown herecan be secured by tucking the taperedtab under an alreadynailed courseof shingles.Siding (continued) Shingleshelf When wood-shinglinga roof or a sidewall. shingles be kept conveniently can close to the height at which you are working. lifting it until the bottom of the clapboard reaches the lip formed by the butt of the bottom shingle. and lean the rig against the wall. P y t. I clamp the shelf at a point that correspondsto the bottom of the housewrapwith the 1x3 resting on the ground and leaning againstthe wall. allowing me to drop the clapboardout of the hangerfrom any distanceon the wall. PRYKAN Garfield Heights. The 54-in. Alignmentmark I install a clapboard from below.t o 3 i n . To use the setup.Two short deck screwsrun through finishing Z-in. A bunch of theseshelves be made can from rejectedshingles and scraps lx6s or Taper shinglefor of lx8s.joint l6talled here. _LAWRENCE E. under the clapboard.""jl. In this case. I unroll a couple of feet to staft. rolls of housewrapare ideal for solo work. I use lumber offcuts to prop up the thing when I hit some low spots. -K EN D A L L GtF F o R D u tn eV . unrolling the roll and keeping the housewrapsmooth and level. nr".one person staples the housewrapto the wall while another penion stays out front. the springiness the shinglepops the hanger of '. At that point. ljust give it an outward twist at the top edge. aligning the marks with the bottom edges of the last course of clapboards. Then lstaple it in place.

W I L LH E S C H Atascadero. I ran eachpieceof siding over my tablesaw cut a l-in. centers. scribedto the profile of the clapboards. 4 etti" cleats above and to sides of vent flap. -ED W E B E R L o c u s t v i l l eV a . I positionit sothat the roof nestles direcdy under a clapboard or flashit with a thin strip of copperif needed. 5 rri^ birdhouse sidesto scribe marks. The neighboring board accepts protruding spline. For the splines.but none is assimple or asfoolproof as the method shown in the drawing above. and the front is clapboards with half the revealof the wall they're mounted on. 4 1 x 6s i d i n g 8-ft. Australia 2 hstatlvent flap.Iused2-in.My wall framing consists 4x4son of 2-in. illustrated. _-__z_ 7 o$r-*nt holehasbeencut in clapboard siding.takes little time to fabricate. This method gets the most out of the width of a board.I offer to concealthem with this simplebit of craftsmanship. The "birdhouse"is made from scrap clapboards and trim stock. then sizethe box to allow the vent flap to open. -J O NATHAN DAVI ES Queensland. to Once I had a board in place.or whateverelseI'm covering to function.The roof is a clapboard sizedappropriately.S p l i n e ds i d i n g I sheathed workshop with 1x6boardsjoined my with galvanizedsplines.I inserteda fulllength splinein the kerf. 5 Afirsides and top to cleats. Guide shingle ---") Router-scribed shingles f've seena number of tips for cutting outside cornerson shingledwalls.and really impresses clients.-widegalvanized steel. commonly usedto strap togethershipmentsof bulky goods(thin stripsof nylon or plasticalsocould be used).I kept nailsaway the from the splinesand left a little play between adjacentboardsto allow for wood expansion. The sidesare trim stock . are These boxesnot only solve little problemsbut alsoare a lot of fun to build. .with platesat top and bottom and a midrail. Hidden cedar cleats usedfor attachment. GREATBUILDING TIPS2006 .-deep kerf in eachedge.suchasthe dryer vent pictured here. 3 Scribe birdhouse sides to clapboard profile.5/4 cedarin this case. Calif. Finishwith siding scraps.I usea bearingAs guided flush-trimming bit in a small router to trim the overlapping shingle asthe bearing follows the profile of the guide shingle. galvanizedsteel spline Birdhousevent box I often remodel or add on to older wood-clapboard houses. Leave bottom open. When I'm facedwith unsightly holesin the walls.

Note in the section of the column how I angled the jigsaw a'bit to create a slight back cut. . The jigs hold the fascia in approximately the right place while I adjust it for alignment and nail it in place. a s s . Z Framedand sheathed wall Stealth venting for a traditional boxed eave Ordinary strip or button-type soffit venrs can ruin the look of a complex eave detail.I marked my cut and used a jigsaw to lop off the unwanted portion of the column. ''t"'' . one person can do it comfortably. W i s . p M Hangingfasciaboards Even with two people. a hidden vent strip allows air to enter and circulate into the rafter bays. alif. Rafter tail Soffit nailerblock Bedmolding Spacerblockson Soffit tb-in. When the edges of the paper were aligned.a galvanized16dnail with the other hand. driving the nails just far enough to support the fascia.strainingto supporta heavyfascia board with one hand while trying to line up a mitered cornerand sink. such as the one shown above. Special blocking attached to the rafter tails provides nailing for the Column section inside edge of the soffit and for the flat crown molding. A colleague recommended using a piece of rosin paper to encircle the column at the required length. Then I lower the fascia into the slots in the jigs (cut the slots a little oversize to prevent binding). -NEAL BAHRMAN entura. I tack one jig near each end of the fascia.R O B E R T W E A T H E R A LlL s w i c h .w o o d c o l u m n Frieze // .centers 8 .I had to cut an 8-in. Becausethe column was too big for my miter box and needed to be cut exactly square. . Instead. V C FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawing top right: Rick Daskam . .rt' Marking a squarecut on a round column Recently.i n . ensuring a tight fit where the column sits on its base. wood column to length.1 Corrugatedvent strip Circulating air ---------v Sidingtucts --// behind frieze.P A T R I C KA .Trim Roof sheathing Blocking for crown --\ . With the help of a simple jig.I mulled over my options. M o L Z A H NO r e g o n .-dia.d i a .I hold the frieze board off the wall sheathing with spacer blocks..it can be pretty precarious thereon the end of a out rafter.

-wide flap on rhe crown-molding pieces._ smaller container. I keep the primer in a clear plastic container with a lid on it. as shown in the drawing below. end-grain splices will last over the long haul. N 3.Plastic container with lid keeps primer from drying out. Save this piece for drip edge. Now when the carpenters are running exterior trim. they can easily swab the ends of the boards with a pass from the paint pad (a paint pad is much faster than a brush because it carries more paint). As shown in the drawing above.C. resting in a smaller plastic box to keep the pad's handle out of the pool of primer. centers for nails. and in doing so. N. Drill nail holes on 12-in. The problem is rhar end-grain cuts can't be painted until they are cut and fitted by the carpenrers.i n .I bent this flap by hand over a piece of Vz-in. Ril ("' 2.centers.I was able to fashion'inexpensive. 1. The carpenters billed me for only a couple of extra hours of work becausepriming the end-grain cuts barely made a dent in their speed. so I devised a simple system to make the processgo as smoothly as possible. A foam backer rod enables caulk to behave like an accordion in responseto seasonalexpansion and contraction. Withour priming. stock.I backprime exterior components such as fascia boards wirh 100% acrylic primer. I ripped the gutter into two portions. Drawing bottom left: Christopher Clapp G R E A TB U I L D I N G T I P S 2 0 0 6 95 . Fold flap upward. _ B Y R O NP A P A Durham. Prime end-grain cuts during construdion. and it worked grear. ings that match the gutrers. A paint pad also lives in the container. zero-maintenance crown mold- \. end-grain cuts will soak up moisture quickly and begin ro rot. By ripping some lengths of aluminum gutter. But what about the ends of these boardsl If they also are primed and caulked together. Roof sheathing | 1 .I needed a crown molding for the gable-end bargeboards. _ J O H N M I C H A E LD A V I S New Orleans Aluminumfascia . _JACKMURPHY Pittsburgh. Priming boards can be a potential headache for carpenters. The rest of the gutterl I'll use it for drip edges on my next project. I didn't have to look far. Pa.a l u m i n u m n a i l Backerboard WRONG WAY Caulk Trim board Caulkneeds help to stay flexible Caulk that is allowed to bond to all sides of a joint cannot expand and contract without becoming unstuck.leaving a Extend the life of exterior trim by priming the end-graincuts For maximum durability._j=) RIGHTWAY Backerboard Caulk Trim board l-in. I used this technique on the last spec house that I built. Then I drilled through this folded edge on l2-in. Zero-maintenance crown molding I recently enclosed the porch on our house.

Also. and affix a pair of guide cleats to each side of the jig. so I devised a jig to lay out and cut mortised stringers quickly. . The slot's width should equal the thickness of the treads. Guide cleats. I prefer screwing the stringers to the treads (4) as insurance against the stringers'warping and pulling the nails out of the end grain. which makes treads sag. Cleats on both sideslet you flip the yig and rout the other stringer. Cut all the treads to equal lengths (3). plus a bit of wiggle room. they're easierto find in your toolbox. then affix the treads to the tops of the bird's mouths. so be extra sure of your layout before cutting. Set one end of the first tread in the first mortise of one stringer. cutting tread mortise. so check for crown before laying them out. 2. draw a line acrossits top edge to mark the edge of the next mortise. Next. LVLs cost more than 2x stock. and use a router with a bearing-guided bit to cut a3/q-in. Bring the other stringer to it. The cleats register the jig on the stringer and give you purchase to clamp the jig.I read a Fine Homebuilding article by a carpenter who laminated 3/q-rn. cut a slot in the plywood deep enough to accommodate the depth of the treads. Make more than one passto cut the full depth. 4. Before moving the jig.thickness. lay out the stair's rise and run on a piece of Yz-in. I prefer to use locking pliers with a framing square when marking the layout becausethey have more surface riding on the stringer stock and are more accurate than stair-gauge stops.R I C H A R D W A S H U R NP e n o b s c o t . Although LVL stringers remain stable. A fast. LVLs come in standard l3/c-in.J O H N S P I E R B l o c kl s l a n d R . First. both sides Mark here for top of next mortise. . and snug them together with pipe clamps or a block and hammer. Align the plywood iig on the stringer. and set the tread in its first mortise. Continue from one end to the other. The plywood (1) should be big enough to work as both a router template and as a layout tool for the next mortise. and in almost any length. LVLs aren't always straight.It occurred to me that an LVL (laminated-veneer lumber) would be even better. Pipe clamps can come in handy at this point for drawing the opposing stringers toward one another. . FINE HOMEBUILDING .Stringers 1. They should not be so snug that you have to pound things together. 3. :\ Rise Room for router to maneuverwithin dotted lines Guide slot {or mortise equals depth of treads. getting all the treads started in their mortises.-deepmortise (2). Router with bearing-guided bit follows slot contour. Secure treads with three corrosionresistant screws or nails. accurate way to make mortised stairs The typical approach to stair-building is to cut bird's-mouth notches in a pair of stringers. plywood for stringer stock because2x stock tends to shrink. Cut treads to equal lengths. and not be so loose that the assembly will rack.a i n e B M Stable stringersand an accuratelayout A few years ago. l . Clamp the jig to the stringer. in standard widths. Clampjig to stringer.plywood. Cutting mortises in the sidesof the stringers to acceptthe treads is far stronger.

but they also can be affixed to stair treads to laminate spiral handrails. I've been using this technique for the past 12 or so years. keyholes where the backs of the treads and the bottoms of the risers are ro meer. The 2x4s become part of the clamp. After marking the layout for rise and run. it can create a weak spot that either can weaken the stringer or can cause one of the ears that support the treads to fall off if it's bumped during installation. and the method hasn't failed me yet. hole in the side of the 2x4.-dia. Photos: Roe A. carriages by screwing and gluing a piece of plywood to the sides. I use an electric impact wrench with a deep socket to tighten and remove the nuts quickly. The bottom of the jaw is secured to the form by an 8-in. -ROBERT J. anchor bolts and 2x framing lumber. The keyholes provide stressrelief.-dia. '. I start by laying out the stair plan on the subfloor. . Osborn. 2x stair stringer w. 2x4 cleat Reinforcing first step the Bore 1/z-in. The bolt's hook fits througha%-in. anchor bolt. Roughstringer it r' li Y--l \ Plywood gusset f //" L'1' i. stopping short of theholes and finishing the cuts with a jigsaw.I always beef up the '.In use. To laminate a stringer. holesat inside intersection of riseand run.F R A B B I E Le wO r l e a n s r N E Drawings. D E C K B A R .I insert the top bolt first.{ . Then I make a bending form by securingZx4s to the layout lines. Lay out rise and run in typical manner.1 / The bottom of a stringer can be weakened if you have to cut the first step shorter rhan the unit rise to allow for tread thickness (usually I in. The top of each removable jaw is secured to its 2x4 with a 6-in. and too heavy to lug around.bottom anchorbolts run through 2x4s.)and if the stringer is notched for a2x4 floor cleat.I use a seriesof clamp brackets.I bore Yz-in. C-clamps were too slow to install and tighten. snug it to keep the assembly Handrail clamps screwedto subfloor together.this pagetop and bottom left: Charles Miller. Here. taking care not to overcut. Plywoodgusset 2x4 bending form frame Stair-stringer stress relief Experience has taught me to cut stringers out of 2x stock carefully.M I C H A E L v o r . DICK Lovettsville. Becausethe wood wants to split along the weak diagonal grain. then run the bottom bolt through.Va.I needed about 100 clamps. For handrails. Then I use a circular saw to make the bulk of the cuts.!. too valuable to leave on a job site./ il ii Finish cutouts. _MICHAEL STANDISH West Roxbury Mass.aspacer block of suitable thickness takes up the bolt's unthreaded portion. as shown in the drawing. va> Laminated Balcony subfloor Eight-in.Anchor-bolt clamps Sx-in. except where noted: Robert Goodfellow. hole 2x rem jaw clamps that use Yz-in. upper anchorbolts hook through sidesof 2x4s. so I devised two kinds of s/e-in. If the sawcut goes even a litde bit beyond the intersection of the rise and run. they are screwed to a balcony subfloor to laminate a simple curved handrail. / GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . Strengtheningthe rough stringer's first step with glued and nailedplywood gussetsensuresthat the stringerwon't break across the weak diagonalgrain. anchor bolt through the 2x4. minimizing the chances of a sawcut-induced crack weakening the stringers. Drawings facing page. To build a circular staircaseon site. The drawing below shows how I avoid the problem.

stair stringers are built by the framing carpenter.loosen the wing nuts and lay it acrossthe tread cuts of the stair stringers with its back tight against the riser cuts. and replace it with one of my precut shims.M I C H A E L v o r . Wood level cut to 10in. in thickness. it's in your best interest to build the rough stringers yourself.or at least check them with a level and rule before you bid on finishing the stairs. I note the mark on the gauge. and scribe the end cuts on the stock. and screwed small extension blocks of wood on the ends. I level and shim the two outside stringers. cut from a scrapof wood and calibrated by the 16th of an inch.I simply slip it under the tread or behind the riser (inset drawing at left) that needs shimming and tap it in until the tread is level or the riser is plumb. who is long gone by the time you come along to make a silk purse out of an old sow's ear.F R A B B I E L E e w O r l e a n s N Fitting stair treads Cobbled together out of scrap plywood. The blocks extend past the bottom of the level and give me an accurate read on cupped treads. Although many framers do a great job. center stringer is too high. carriage bolts Leveling across the width of a tread rs easier with a 10-in.makes a handy gauge for determining shim thickness. Extension caps screwed to each end of the level accommodate cupped treads.D E C K B A R . Remove the jig carefully. or skirtboards.I eliminate the possibility by overcutting both the treads and risers of the center stringer by %in.I cut down a larger wood level to 10 in. I make a shim gauge out of a scrap of wood. Some people use shingles as shims. which is brought into contact with the finished tread. Once you have the shim in place. rD E C K B A R .level. I then color in every other segment with a marker. Then it is simply a matter of gluing and screwing a lYz-in. the jig shown in the drawing below makes it easy to fit stair treads between a pair of walls or skirtboards. for a perfect fit. it's handy to have a small level. but their tapered profile gives them uneven bearing. I've also never found a small bullet level that didn't seem like a toy. The whole processof shimming treads is slowed or voided if the *\ Fill in with / colored marker for easy reference. When cutting my own stringers. . the difficult work is done. A tapered shimgauge. I measure along both edgesof the shim and make marks every Vrcin. To solve the problem. _ROBERT PLOURDE Atlanta Shoftened level fits on tread When leveling treads from front to back. to3/sin. To use the jig.I used a2-ft. After I've got the gauge made.Treads& Risers Gauge measuresshim thickness In many cases. place it onto the tread stock.M I C H A E L v o r . When I install the treads. cleat to the center carriage. Ievel cut from a larger level.Y) block Cupped tread hffi ru Extend legsfor a snug fit againstwall or skirtboard. I use the same process for the risers.. I rip shims of different thicknesses and keep them on hand. Then it's just a matter of fastening the tread or riser to the stringer. For years.F R A E L E r BBI New Orleans 98 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawing bottom left: Charles Miller . When cutting. the surface to be shimmed only hits the high point of the shingle. To use the gauge. and tighten all the nuts. leave just a trace of the cutline { lu'll *. but I was constantly knoiking it off the step becauseit hung off the end of the tread. remove the gauge. Then extend the legs so that they're snug against the walls 1/+in. by 1/+in. .

Covering newel-post bolts
Sometimesthe only way to fastenthe newel post is to anchorit to the stringer.Often, the bolt holesyou haveto drill are at an angle other than squareto the faceof the newel. Off-angle holescan be hard to plug, and when you do plug them, they usuallydon't look right. Insteadof plugging holes,I saw %in. off the faceof the newel with a bandsaw, drill and install the bolts,and then glue the piece over the holes.The bandsawlimits the lossof stock to about Ytzin.-hardly noticeable<r you can plane off r/+in.and make a new faceplate glue over the holes. to
- M I C H A E L v o r ' rD E C K B A R - F R A B B I E L E New Orleans

F,:*,* \"\.

1. Make plumb cut at end of handrail.

Hidden handrail connection
I recently needed to fasten a handrail to a wall and

l* ![



didn't have room for a rosette to secure the handrail becauseof the minimal clearance to the outside corner. So I devised an invisible bolted connection 4. Conceal bolt through the rail into the wall framing. As shown in the drawing, the lag bolt is hidden beneath a wedgeshaped cap taken off the top of the handrail. The first step is to make the plumb cut on the end

Cutting a 1/e-in. sliceoff the edge of the newel with a bandsaw,and gluing it back on after running in the bolts, covers the holes and makesfor a neat, finished look.

Newel post

3. Lag-bolt handrail to wall
framing. ,.u.,..1

of the handrail (1). But don't cut the handrail to length yet. Now rotate the miter saw's table to make about a70" cut, and take off the wedge-shaped cap that will cover the lag bolt (2). Thp. the cap back
The 1/a-in. slice of newel is glued on.

onto the handrail so that it is flush with the radiused top of the rail. Notice that it's a little short becauseof the material removed by the sawblade. Recut the end of the rail so that the cap and the rail end in a flush plumb cut. Next, drill the necessaryholes to receive a lag bolt and washer, and the shank hole (3). Cut the handrail to length, run home the bolt, and glue the cap in place (4). Sanded and stained, the cap seam is

Lag bolts

nearly invisible. -WALTER D. COLTONWellsboro, Pa.

Circular-railcenter finder
For finding the centeron oval or round handrailsthat havebeen fit and either permanentlyor temporarily fastened,Imodified a marking gaugeby letting a levelvial into the gauget beamand replacingthe metal scribewith a pencil held in placeby a wood wedge.An auxiliary fenceprovidesthe additional height that is neededto compensate the increased for length of the pencil.By watching the levelvial,I can keep the beamhorizontal asI run the gaugedown the length of the handrail,and I make a pencil line along its bottom center. On a similar note,I've found that one of the most usefultoolsfor both shop work and work in the field is a regular marking gauge with the metal scribereplaced with a mechanical pencil.

Modifying a markinggauge easesthe process of finding the center of a circular or elliptical handrail.

N \into beam

Pencilwith wedge replaces
metal scribe.

New Orleans
Drawing top right: Charles Miller



Railings (continued)
Pinpoint stair-rail accuracy
In my experience, joints in the handrailare what people the really scrutinize.They are easyto see, and if a misaligned joint doesn'tcatchyour eye,your hand eventuallywill find it instead. Here'sa tip to help keep thosejoints betweenhandrail sections, suchasthe intersection betweenthe easingand the rail, alignedproperly. As shown in the drawing, I set two little brads into the rail, then clip off their heads,leaving
pointed brad ends above the rail bolt. Now when I draw the two pieces together by tightening the nut on the rail bolt, the handrail sections won't twist. _ S T E P H E N .T O B I N R Ridgefield, Conn. Clippedbrads Railbolt Marking the plumb line with a felt-tip pen makesa quick referencefor plumbing successivesets of balusters.
Handrail sections

When laying out a handrail to drill holesfor balusters, usea I plumb bob to get a verticalline from the marks I've laid our on rhe treads.Rather than fiddling with the plumb bob'sstring length on eachtread and waiting for the bob to stopswinging, I mark the string at the height of the front balusterand the rear one.When I go up to the next tread,all I haveto do is hold the line on the mark for the particularbalusterlocationand hold it on the rail. The reference marks mean I don't haveto fumble with string length. Here'sanotherhint: I've found that using braidedstring,as opposed the more common twisted-strand to string, helpsto keep my plumb bob from spinning and swinging around when the bob is
hanging free. -MICHAEL von DECKBAR-FRABBTELE ew Orleans N

Spindle-hole sizing gauge
The diameter of the top, or thin end, of a tapered spindle can decreaseas the spindle gets longer. Therefore, the hole drilled into the handrail for the back spindle on a tread can be smaller than the hole for the front baluster. I take a block of wood and drill a seriesof different-diameter holes in it. The holes are drilled at the same angle that the spindles meer the handrail. After I cut a tapered spindle to length, I plug it into the sizing gauge to determine which size hole fits best; then I bore the hole in the rail. To save time, it's best to have rwo or three drills chucked up with the bits you most likely will need. - M I C H A E L v o r .D E C K B A R r FRABBTELE New Orleanr \

Mark line with colored pen.

/ .r..."'
Distance A is the approximate height of the front baluster; distance B is the rear baluster.

\ J ."- 1 . \ ,
\ \ I

Holesdrilled in 1/sz-in. increments at angleof handrail

Testing the fit of a tapered spindle in a block with different-sizeholes drilled in it determines what size hole to drill in the handrail.



Drawing top Ieft: CharlesMillcr

Regroundspade bits work better
The worst thing in the entire world that can befall a stairbuilder is to hear his just-installed treads squeak. The secondworst thing is to have the spindles rattle. For spindles not to rattle, they have to fit perfectly in their holes. To make a perfect fit,I modifv common
Judicious grinding of spade bits makes them bore holes in diameters between stock sizes. Beveled corners prevent tearout. Paint indicates modified bits.

Beveled corner in. Grind 1/ce off each side.

Some staircasescall for square-ended balusters that fit into a groove plowed into the underside of the handrail. in. Becausebaluster lengths can vary as much as3Ae for a given position on each tread,I made a baluster gauge that employs the sliding metal ruler taken from the end of a folding rule. As shown in the drawing below,I let the thin metal ruler into a piece of wood a couple of inches shorter than the shortest baluster. Small wood straps hold the ruler in place. A level vial secured with Bondo makes plumbing easy. - M I C H A E L v o r ,D E C K B A R - F R A B B I E L E O r l e a n s r New

spadebits.Itt easyto grind down the bits by %zin. (or Yain. on each side).So,for example,insteadof jumping from'A in. to rVrcrn..vou'll havea bit that's2Vtz rn.

Grind a Ionger Iead for angled drilling.


Balusterlengths canvary. On rails with a groove plowed on the underside, this gauge makes quick work of finding the proper length.

plowed in handrail

Another hint: Becausethe newly modified bits will have their former sizes stamped on them, it's important to paint new numbers on the sides of each bit. One time, a carpenter who was setting a balustrade went into my toolbox without my knowledge and bored 35 holes with what he thought was a3/+-in.bir. Another thing about spade bits: When boring at an angle, say, into an oak handrail, a spade bitb 90" corners tend to tear out chunks of wood as the bit starts a hole. Grinding off the corners makes a clean cut by producing a scraping action as the bit spins into the wood. I grind a long lead on some bits to make them useful for grinding holes in steep handrails. The long lead establishesthe bit in its hole before the shoulder engages wood. - M I C H A E Lv o x D E C K B A R - F R A B B I N L EO r l e a n s E ew

Gauge length is shorter than shortest baluster.

extension from folding rule

Cappinga pipe rail
I occasionally use lVz-in.-dia. steel pipe for handrails. It is plenty sturdy and easy to grip,
11/z-in. pipe railing

but it needs something other than a lYz-in.-dia. cap threaded l-in. nipple on its ends to look presentable. As shown in the drawing,I use a 1-in.-dia. cap threaded onto a 1-in.-dia. nipple instead. I wrap the nipple with a couple of turns of electrical tape to ensure a tight fit. The nipple is held in place by a3Ae-in-dia. stove bolt
Level vial let in and secured with Bondo




stove bolt

that is run into a hole drilled and tapped into the pipe and nipple from below. _ W A L T E RD . C O L T O N Wellsboro, Pa.

Drawins bottom left: Charles Mille r



To start.but it goesmore quickly than readingthis tip. for example.The crosshairs shouldline up with the 123/t-in. Return to pier No. pier No. and wrap a piece of masking tape around the blade of the tape measure so thar it's secured to the grade stick.Decks Hl=height of instrument Masking tape Z-\ Grade stick Mark Masking tape 4 Hook tape measurein sawkerf. lengths and scored them along their length at 18 in.I place the piers and then cur posts to carry the girders that will support the deck framing. on a side and12 in. on center. the method I've devised eliminates almost all the calculations. and shoot it with a builder's level. across at the top and growing.-wide strips. placed in the oversize holes. Photo this page:CharlesBickford. Have a helper hold a lxZ grade stick atop the pier. and wrap a couplemore pieces tapearound the of stick and the tape-measure blade to hold things together. form boxes. from the top of the pier to the bottom of the girder. Perpendicular to these scored lines.r's level <1 Pier Pier No. sandy soil. --'---- s_ Pier No. These strips then were folded into square boxes. This proceduremay seemlike a lot of trouble.What you read in the level is the length of eachpost. Lock the tapemeasure.S U N R I S E B U T L D E RS a n t a r u z C a l i f . W I L G O R D O N P o t t e r V a l l e y . we cut the board into l2-in. S C .C a l i f . The bottoms of the girders are in the same plane.Now use a handsaw to make ar/t-in. cxceptwhere nored:Charles Miller. then wrap the tape over and down the grade stick. Faced with filling these craters with concrete. Suppose its post needs tobe l2%in. Measuringposts on uneven ground Whenever I build decks.ld. calculate the height of a post needed for one of the piers. and backfilled. Insert the hook of a tape measure into the sawkerf. The forms not only saved concrete. Gypboardform folded with facing intact 1O2 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings. but also gave us an accurate way to calculate our ready-mix order. And you can apply the samemethod to all kinds of post-and stud-lengrhcalculations. The first task was to set27 pier blocks in pier holes that were 18 in. . But by the time we had dug down a foot.-deep sawkerf at this line.mark. 2 and shootthe gradestick onceagainwith the buildert level. 2. but all the piers are at slightly different elevations. Instead of ordering extra concrete. Gypboard concrete forms iSr We recently did a foundation iob in very crumbly. . Now run the tape measure over the \rr. You are now readyto shootall the remaining piers. Flere's how my system works. 3 top of the grade stick and back down past the sawkerf.leaving the face paper intact. we often had a hole that was more than2ft. The problem becomes how to calculate the length of each post efficiendy. I simply read the length of each post off the scaleon the grade stick. As shown in the drawing to the right. 1 il.) Mark your HI (height of instrument) on the grade stick and measure down 123/ain. we calculated that we would waste more than a cubic yard. We cut the sheets into 6-ft. deep. we transformed four sheetsof gypboard into. (Note: The grade stick must be long enough to shoot the lowest pier.

Mark your center spacing on the elastic. With a little ingethe other end of the deck.Around here.I placemy framing square nuity.Another angle on spacing deck-railing balusters Deck-railing balusters TakeSt/z-in. one end of the deck.After struggling-with a number of techniqueswith varying degrees of success.and head for the next railing. I placethe short end of a pry bar in the gap betweentwo boards that already had been installed. Post cutoff jig To simpli$' leveling the topsofdeck and fence posts.roll up the elastic.Then I place the tail stop of a pipe clamp over the pry bar and the clamp'shead on the workpiece.I think this techniquecould be applied to a with the long blade parallel to the rim joist and the staircase well. centers on2x2 balusand I can measureoff 5Yz-in. speeds the layout sequence. as short blade aligned with the centerof the last balus_MIKE HOFFMAN ter. Sask. codeangled tape and transfer them to baluster layout. First. _ B R I A NS I M M O N S Oakland.I divide this number by the desiredspacingbetweenthe centersof the balusBaluster centerline ters. I start by measuring the distancebetween their centers. With a couple of turns of the crank.l o w a GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 103 . Now I multiply 5Yzby29.spacingsfrom I have struggled many times to createequal. approvedspacingbetweendeck balusters. Then I mark the desiredheight on one post and transfer Distancefrom sawbladeto the edge of the saw'sshoq ' i Two sides of the jig run long for. With my tape hooked to the nail.At by how fast and effortlessit is. for a clamping surface. It's a four-sided box with inside dimensions Vrein. framing squareand mark them on the rim joist to Let's say. Two of the sidesshould hang down l0 in.Idivide the railing length The tape is now at a slight angle to the rim joist. Below each mark. Mark your centers. clamp it so that the top edge is on the lower mark.Now attach the elasticto one end of the railing run and stretch it out. up At Once I beganusing this method. With one balusterinstalled at eachend of the railing.sooneror later you'll have to developa method for straightening stubborn deck boards.Iround up to the the way. Ore. By itby 5Yz. -TONY SCTSSONS Meadow Lake. locatethe centerof eachbaluster(drawing left).which equalsabout283/t. Balusterlayout Here's a fast way to lay out railing balusters. and use the top of the jig to guide the saw along all four sidesof the post. falls. and stretch it so that itt fairly taut.letting their tops run wild. discoveredthat I could combine two tools that I I alwayshave on site to coaxany board into place. Next. incrementswith my ters result in a 4-in. With 2x2 balusters.I measure down and scribe a second mark equal to the distance from the sawblade to the edge of the saw's shoe.The long end of the pry bar points toward the board being installed.As shown in the drawing. larger eachway than the crosssectionof the posts. Move the elasticback and forth until you've got it just right.for example.Get a length of the kind of elasticthat is used for waistbands. Now I drop the jig over the post. Too easy. space betweenthem. a calculatorthat hasan add-on function next highestwhole number: 29. the deck board is ready to nail off. which equals 159y2. Portland.the space can be no more than 4 in.the length is 1583/a I divide in.Calif.. in. -TIMOTHY P E L T O N F a i r f i e l d . Canada Straightening warped deck boards If you build decks. The method I now rely on-the slant-rule techniquehas taken all the frustration out of the problem.I was surprised I drive a nail into the centerof the first baluster.I plumb and st4bilize all the posts. Line of cut that height to the rest using a water level.I find the point on the short bladeof the squarewhere l59y2in. by 5Yz That's because SYz-in.I devised this jig.

and as a consequence. Subtop rail and primed. This trick made getting the boards into position -> Rimjoist Grind away webbing to make a bearing point. easy and fast. blocks \-z adhesive. sq.subtop rail and on the sideswith stepped molding. cutouts:allow airflow. sanded. I used the rim joist as the bearing point for one end of the clamp until the 12 ft. a %-in. on each side (ogee molding hidesthe i B l o c k so t edges).-sq. plylood subcap overhangs the post by %e in. N RAILING DETAILSTHAT KEEPROT AT BAY // 5:ilJI. repeat as necessary. Molding The entire assembly gets two coats of marine epoxy.But what if there are no gaps between the deck boardsl I installed tongue-and-groove decking on my porch. of pipe could no longer reach the boards. The top rail is fastened from below to eliminate exposed fasteners. and glued by together with epory.I had to use other clamping methods to draw the boards together. hollow post and pre*:*d pine cap vent lateral move/ ment are glued to the top of the plinth. clear pine. Before assembly. %-in. To vent the top.by rYrc-in. At the bottom of the railing. Two coats of marine epoxy seal the top rail. 103).Porches Clampingtongue-and-grooveboards Tongue-andgroove block with tongue removed Stan with clamp open. off the porch deck and toenail them to the posts with 8d galvanizednails. Now I could screw the clamp to its full open position. Secure the beveled top cap with construction %-in. Weather-resistant newel posts The trick to this long-lasting newel post is the vented plinth.C o n n . by 1%-in. 104 FINE HOMEBUILDING Bottom drawings: Robert Goodfellow . Then I used a grinder to remove a bit of the webbing from the back of the screw clamp. biscuited. This step created a flat bearing spot that gave me some purchase on the opposite rim joist.K#AHONE Moistureproof railings lbuild porch railings that prevent water from collecting. Two wood blocks that slide into the 781/z-in. then turn it toward its closed position to push on the deck boards. The spindles(1% in. the spindles are sealed. by 81/z-in. I turned the clamp's tail stop around so that it was positioned to push on the workpiece. shingle molding. the spindles are sandwichedbetween 272-in. at each end) are held together at the top with a %-in. As shown in the drawing at left. I glued four 2%-in. I install the railing sections4 in. and the corners are mitered. So I came at the problem from the other side. The base is made from shaped 5/4 by 21h-in. then hook the clamp to the pry bar.Semicircular register newel 3-in. Long sectionsof railing are supported with pressure-treated blocks wedged underneath.-thick blocks to the bottom corners for feet. then close it to apply pressure the decking. Simply insert the pry bar into the gaps between deck boards. D E R B Y S H I R E e w t o w n . to A clever method for clamping deck boards usesa pry bar as a bearing point for a pipe clamp (p. _ B E R N A R D H .

apart. a lx4 bottom rail.theinside facesof the oppositepostsare l0 ft. Once the first four posts were set.. -DAVID T O U S A I N C o o n R a p i d s . then I put the template back in place to set the posts (they 1x4 bottom rail =J should be touching the ends of the template as they are set in concrete). so I beganthere. With the screen attached to the stretcher board.cr. In this case. Now placethe top and bottom rails againstthe outsideedges ofthe decking. centers 3Yz-in. rail f r"p 2x4 2x2 baluster Production setup for porch railings The drawing aboveshowsa simple indexing fixture to lay out sections porch railing.. With the help of a stretcher board. with equal measurements between all posts. _KEN MACKLIN Sarnia.Then I drilled aYz-in.and the balusters all -MtcHAEL FoRTUNA Orting.spaces betweenthem.1 1it Locate first four posts.1rP+ / -^ V. I staple the screen to the frame with my free hand.I hang the end of the frame that I'm working on over the end of a table and press down on the stretcher board to tension the screen. sags.I can get professional results every time. Canada ll Layouttemplate/ made of 10-ft.Flere. Next.I first lappeda pair of l0-ft.plywood on a pair of sawhorses. hole through 2x4satright anglesto one another.I assemof a2x4 top rail.the balusters were on 5-in. screwed tggether lt. Gazeb |ayout te mplate ocameup with a simple During the constructionof an eight-sided gaze|.I run the screening a few inches long Wood frame frame on two sides.dowel asa staketo pin the center of the template to the center of the gazebosite and marked the positionsof the first four postsat the end of each2x4. marks. Finally. The bcreen comes out straight and taut.Iplacedthem 3l in.l o w a I 105 Temp6rarystaples Stretcherboard GREATBUILDING TIPS2006 . After removing the staples from the stretcher board.and zigzags. lengthsof decking. 3/+in. and repeated the process. Wash. nail everythingoff and affix the trim.Alignment marks register balusters.I rotatedthe templatetemporarily to dig the first four holes.spread and align their edges with the spacing the balusters. After stapling the screen to one of the short sides of the frame. sections are of railing using this method. 2x4s . In this gazebo. then rotate the template 45oto locate the second group of posts. in both directions. and bled railingsthat had 3l-in. \-a I '-l' . joint.' Stretchingscreens It can be more than difficult to stretch screening evenly acrossa frame without bags.decking of to the plywood. It takesme about 15minutes to assemble 8-ft.length of Vz-in.I repeat the processon the unstapled sides of the frame. mark the balusterspacingon the two piecesof with decking.-dia. the exactcenterof the lap joint. I staple the other edge of the screen to a stretcher board. balusters. apart. spacers made out of a coupleof 8-ft. though.As shown in the drawing below. The key to the systemis a pair of 5/4-in. 4x4 gazebo post 45o. As shown in the drawing. Ont.I rotated the template plywood base \ 5/4 decking sPacers W (. perfe_cdy plumb. Set a sheetof 3/t-in.. In this example.5/4-in.I layout template to setthe eight postsin the ground at equal measurements. Half-lap Q. and affix a coupleof pieces straight. I used al2-in.

To make the cutter. cut the brick Ysin. Perhaps 21/z-ft. remove eachpaver and completethe cut (photo aboveright).acutoff saw with a diamond blade rents for about $90 a day. 3/+-in. the On one sideof the angleiron. After painting the topsof the bumperswith concrete conditioner.Be sure to setthe guide high enough to clear the thickest brick you plan to cut.Position the chiselon top of the brick. Bumpers simplify stair construction Some clients asked me to improve the steps that led from the street to their front door. Then I filled in the spaces betweenadjacentriserswith tampedearth and a layer of bricks arrangedin a running bond patrernfor treads. Aberdeen. positiona lx6 on a thick block to acrasa guide for the brick chisel. The old steps consisted of crushed stone held in place by some decaying railroad ties. I happened upon a stack ofconcrete parkingJot bumpers. To cut curvesin paver patios for our clients. placea supportblock to cradlethe brick.M a s s .These stepshave beenin placefor yearsnow and are none the worse for wear despiteour wicked New England winters. We wanted to follow the same arcing path around bushes and trees. asshown in the left photo above. On the opposite sideof the angleiron. the point of the chiselis directly over the edgeof the angle iron. braidedrope.Using the brick cutter is not asfastas breaking bricks with a masont hammer. with flat tops and bottoms. after lighdy scoring the paversin placewith the saw to make a smooth curve. For facebrick. they were light enoughfor me ro maneuverby myself.(In our area. to lay out the radius.N. One or two blows with a heavyhammer shoulddo the job.I .we usea cutoff saw with a diamond blade. Adjust the guide'slength so that when the bevelsideof the brick chiselis held tight againstthe guide.lay out the paverssothat they run beyond the curve you wish to cut. 106 FINE HOMEBUILDING Photos this page. They were straight. but the thought of all the complicated forming that it would take to fashion con- Cobblestonesmortared to concrete bumpers Cutting patio curves The thought of having to cut curvesin concrete pavers can be intimidating. Secure angleiron by placing the mitered end of a2xtight againsteachside. I arranged a dozenof the bumpers in the required arc. Wash. controlled paring -wl LL FOSTER strokesof the chisel. long. bevel side tight againstthe guide. The deviceshown at left is a simplebut effectivebrick cutter thar works by shearinga brick betweena fixed angleiron and a brick chisel.and a pencil.Patios Brick cutter Line of cut Brick chisel 1x6 chisel guide 4-in.and mark it with a pencil.but you will get more accurate cutsand a lot less waste. by 1/+-in. _DICKHENRY ChapelHill. Then I securedeach bumper by driving 2Vz-ft.lengths rebar through the holescastinto rhe of endsof the bumpersfor that purpose.placethe brick on top of the angleiron with your mark centered over its edge. and about 5 ft. file a true edgeon the outside corner of a short pieceof angle iron and placeit on a heavybase. A trip to a masonry-supply yard led to the more affordable solution illustrated in the drawing. 6 in. which bendsand holdsa curve well. facing page: Chris Green .to the wastesideof the mark. To usethe cutter. crete footings for the steps concerned us.lengths of #4 rebar bestof all. but with materials that would hold up to the elements. Steps of cobblestones and bricks seemed right. by 4-in. .\ iN 2x4 stock cut at 45" holds angle iron in place. -BOB J E P S O N J R .) First. long Base . and clean up the exposededgewith short.Then usea lengthof 3/q-in. with the outsidecorner facing up. M i l t o n . Finally. adjusting their height and spacinguntil I had the layout right. braidedrope.C. suchasa beamoffcut. mortared rows of cobblestones atop eachbumper to createthe risers. but it shouldn'tlimit the designof a patio. angle iron.

O7 . coarsegand. I excavate the site 9 in. I rent a pfate compactor (about $75 a day). I extend the excavation and the stone base 10 in. or paving blocksshouldhavea slight crown built into them. The crown promotesdrainage. but it mugt be done before pouring a concrete slab. beyond the perimeter of the final patio to allow for minor adjustments in patio gize and to provide stability at the edge. but walks made of brick.and eliminatespuddling. can be packed flat and dense without losing its drainage properties. to 3-in. To engureprop€r drainage. which includes all gradations from dust to 1'h-3n. and wear and tear on the wrists and elbows. The has sandbed. As shown in the drawing above. The last time I was faced with a day behind the bouncing handlebars. resulting in circles of everdecreasing diameter. begin spreading the stone. minimizing the effects the freeze-thaw of cycle. Once the excavationis complete.ETTELMANN Drawing top left: Dan Thornton GREATBUILDING TIPS2006 . tile. My job was to get it to turn without me. C l .BeforeI usethe screed.ride I on the path'swood borders. RoD G. with a slight arch to contour the Beforelaying a brick path. ABC stone. I still had to finish up the cornerc by hand. Repeat the layering process untilthe base is 3 in. -D IC K H EN R Y hapel H iNl . below finiehed grade to make room for the base. I generally use concrete pavers for patios. asshown in the drawing. N. Initially. . to 12in.. of notches. to 10 in. moistenand tamp the sand to minimizesettling Mncentown. Concretesidewalksare normally flat. in. l'm close to the target elevation.J. gravel. which areV+ shallowerthan the thickness the brick I'm using.I decided to automate the job. layers.and patiosshould be constructed ensureproper drainage. wetting it down to aid compaction. Apply the base in several 2-in. so my next layer is a maximum of 1 in.BELOWTHE SURFACE A GOOD PATIO STARTS I -f ' . I tied it to a gtake driven in the center of the excavation. from the finished elevation. b __g Finetethered friend Runninga plate compactor is a boring job (photo below).. Brick-pathscreed to All walks. drives.C . nothing is more important than getting the stone base firm and flat.. After running the plate compactor.M A R KW H I T E Alaska Kodiak.dia.I start with a little more sand than it appears I need. I usea wood screed The screed a notch cut into eachend. Plate compactors are designed to creep slowly forward in a straight line. per foot. Each revolution of the compactor shortened the leash. slope the excavation about th in. For a lasting patio. To pack and flatten the layers. This left me free to take care ol other tasks on the site as I kept track of the machineout of the corner of my eye. but the trick saved me a lot of time. clean.

The spacebetween the two squaresequaledthe width of the kerf created by the sawblade. I slid a tile into the V-shapedspaceformed by the two plastic squares. After sliding the edge of the squareagainstthe fence of the saw and positioning it so that the cut end just kissedthe left side of the sawblade. I hooked the fence of the squareover the right edge of the sliding table and butted the edge of the squareagainstthe saw fence. I made two identicalcuts on the squares.into two equal portions. I rigged up the jig shown in the foreground of the drawing. with the corner of the tile in line with the sawblade. I used a 1-in. bigger than the other.for example. . When done. small glass tiles often are difficult to hold and cut accurately. C . off center.taking off a little each time.After a few trial-and-errorcuts and minute adjustments to the position of the squane the left. My first step was to buy two inexpensivetriangular plastic squares ($3 each). both squareswenecut preciselythe same. 'F: . C-clampto affix the other squaneto the left of the sawblade.this spaceheld the tile at a 45" angle. I used a coping saw followed by a belt sander for this task. Any error would create an installationnightmare becauseit would be doubled. I clamped one of these cut squareson the sliding table to the right of the sawblade.To do this. I achievedprecise.one side would be % in.Because blade on the tile saw is designedto grind through ceramicmaterialand not the compositematerialof the I squanes. As shown in the drawing.Photos:CharlesBicHord. the cut edge just kissedthe right side of the sawblade. -JOHN C A R R O L L D u r h a m .like diamonds. Next. lf I cut a piece %r in. made these cuts in severalpasses. When usingthe jig. As before. I made the cuts with the tile saw. Wth each squarein this posithe tion.making sure that the other side of the squarebutted againstthe saw fence. After clampingdown the first square. as accuratelyas possible. I make an L-shaped cut in a larger piece of tile and use it as a jig to hold the smaller tiles in line with the sawblade. In this position.P'^>4 Simple iig for cutting small tile Cut with a wet saw. C-clampthreaded through one of the holes in the sliding table to hold the squarein place. To cut preciselybut efficiently. _TOM MEEHAN Harwich. two rows of white triangular tiles flank the diamonds. Mass. my client requesteda horizontalrow of square.N .as a decorative border.I used another 1-in. But first I had to cut away half of the fence on the squareso that it would lie flat on the table.As the drawing above shows.with the cut parallelto the fence of the square.I was on able to cut the 100 triangular piecesthat I needed in about 20 minutes.tilingtechniques Accurate diagonal cuts tile For a bathroom remodel.dark tiles oriented vertically. 108 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings:CharlesMiller. I hooked the fence of the squareover the right side of the sliding table on my tile saw.The challenge:cutting the white tiles at a 45o angle.uniform results.I clampedthe squareto the table.Next.

Diagonal cuts open up the tile..CONTINUED Removing a broken tile When I'm calledon to replace broken or a chippedtile. . or there won't be room for the grinder blade. If the tile is smallerthan 4 in. Usinga hammerand an old chiselor.com) the corners in where the grinder can't reach. Beforestarting.com).but it works on others aswell. A few light passesdo the trick. it's a good idea to mask off any nearby cabinets or furniture with plasticand tape. On the floor. left with a hole in the tile that I'm is pried easilywith the tip of a chiselor a screwdriver. This approachis good for thick.I1O FINE HOMEBUILDING . I usea hole saw to cut out the center portion of the crackedtile. Although it's a slow process. lsolate the victim. I work from the outside toward the tile's center. A junky tool still has its uses. A helper holds the vacuumhose to 'catch the dusty exhaust. angle brackets taped to the surroundingtiles protect them from inadvertent slips of the grinder'sblade. and setthe tile. 2.I scrape any remaining out thinsetwith a putty knife and an old chisel.I can grout the tile' -JANE AE.www. With both handsfirmly holding the grinder. mix a small tile batchof thinset. then make I surethe replacement fits.) 4. To keep the neighboringtiles intact. The tile must be larger than 4 in. Before cutting..I usea Dremel tool fitted with a small #7134diamondpoint bit (www. provides much better protection when cutting with a diamond wheel. I usethe grinder to cut an X in the tile to be removed.I prefer to removethe offending tile using an anglegrinder outfitted with a 4-in.dremel.N Berkerey. 3. Oncethe thinsethasdried.I make sureto mask off any surrounding cabinetfacesor furniture. carefully prying out the pieces. the first step is to score the grout lines with a utility knife. I carefullyplunge the blade into the tile's center and cut diagonally.pearlabrasive. (Editor's note: A two-sided guard. carif. and I vacuum the substrate. 1. soft-bodied tiles suchassaltillo.trowel it into the space.Once the tile is removed. diamond blademade by Pearl Abrasive($42. Following the four stepsshown in the photos below. putty knife. such as the DeWalt DW4705. I alsousemetal angle bracketsto protect neighboring tiles from possibleovercutting (photo 2). then along the tile's sides. Protection is prevention.

for example. In thesesituations.co The Thunton Press Inspiration ferr hands-on livingo NO. To keep dust from leaking out around the edges of the box. I control dust with a dustisolation work chamber made from a translucentplastic storage box. To use it.I turn on the tool and the vacuum. A hole in the box side acceptsthe nozzle of my shop vacuum. READER SERVICE 32 112 FINE HOMEBUILDING . then use duct tape to securea sweatshirt over the opening.CONTINUED The dust-isolation bor Sometimes I have to make a lot of dust in finished spaces---{utting tile in a kitchen.i Translucentstorage box with bottom removed Corded tools are fed through sweatshirt neck opening. I affix strips of stick-on foam weatherstripping to the lip of the container. I cut the bottom off the storage container. which then is clamped shut around the power cords.Be sure to empty the vacuum o[any potentially flammable contents.D O N M A T H I S i ae m a i l v Worklight r't '1 E --i . . such as sawdust. Vacuum hose ) / Cutting tool Foam weatherstripping website lately? finehomebuilding.'ot. Tools and a worklight passthrough the neck opening. and look through the translucent sidesof the container to chart my progress. The arms of the sweatshirt are the openings for my hands to reach the tools I need. before trying this operation.

the tube becomes small that it's hard to so compress enough to squeeze the remaining grout. clamps. I built the2x4 frame shown in the drawing above. I removed the frame.n' f'.I could regulate the flow of the grout.-sq.I had never installed l2-in. _ C H A R L E SM I L L E R Newtown. with about Vz-in. I pieced together the puzzle this way: Trowel thinset on a tile. 2x4 frame l:l jr ):*.i ' ' '-frarnework sippon . clearance between the thickness of a tile and the top of the frame.I realized. slide it above the frame. iust as I had easily done with 4x4 ceramic tiles. tnortar cures.ms'Uearing-on' .I usedone to clamp off the bottom of the rolled-up tube and the other to compressthe remaining wad of grout. Marbleceiling tiles ." A colleague who is a highly skilled tile installer gave me the advice I needed to get the iob done.61 114 FINE HOMEBUILDING . I proceeded to bed them in thinset and squeeze them to the concrere board above my head.'by %-in. and shim it in place. and the tiles stayed put. At that point.techni CONTINUED Applying latex grouVcaulk when it cametime to fill the gap betweenour tile counter and its backsplash. and onceit haswarmed up a bit.-thick tiles over my head.Ipicked up a coupleof tubesof latexgrou/caulk in a matching color. It nearly reachesthe ceiling.Str. Conn.B I L LP H I L L I P S u r h a m . I found that by varying the pressure Spring clampscoax applied by the the last bit of grout from its tube. At that point. "This technique doesn't work. r<4/ . Two days later. .! :. right down to the lastlittle bit. I turned to a couple of spring clamps. out To get a better grip on the diminishing tube. D N READER SERVICE NO. . Marble tlUltn-aL"t enclosure Installing large ceiling tiles Before this job. .. the grout flows pretty well----or at leastit doesuntil the tube hasbeenreducedto about one-third full. The stuff comesin big toothpaste-rype tubes. C . I had three of them in place when a tile whizzed past my ear and shaftered on the edge of the tub.

. and cut. I drill a hole in its side and solder a1/*in.math&measuring Adjustablestory stick For those of us plain'vanillaboys and girls who don't fike to remembernumberson tapes or which side of the mark to use.-T. try rhis trick. As shown in the drawing. and drive two l6d nails through the short arm. or a tri square.ue. clamp. Then glue and screw the pieces together. and no more than three-quarters of the diameter apart. Scribing edge Clamped square registers short point of miter. copper ---\ %-in. dado a couple of lx3s to fashion a 90o half-lap joint. but the two nails should be no lessthan a quarter of the diameter apart. a combo square. RtcHARDS Mont-Tremblant. and scribe a line down the long arm. and repeat the process. Another option is to add nail points to each dowel hall. centered over the hole.y can be used to transfer outside measurements. No numbersrequired. Now rotate the tool a quarter-turn or so.For measuringdiagonals. Now you can hook your tape measure to the square's blade and rest assured that yoir are measuring from the right point. you can buy commercially availabfegadgets that do the samething {they are called bar gauges}. The screwacts as a clamp. The distance of the nails. Pick one edge of the longer arm as your scribing edge. copper pipe about 4 in. Measuring 'l6d nail Hook tape oit square's blade.Where the two scribed lines cross is dead center. long. and tighten screw Optional beveled tips for measuring diagonals finding circle centers When you must find dead cenrer on a circle. This gizmo can be any size. The acute angle at the very tip of the workpiece is called the long point. split in half ) Loosen screw. Cap affixed to machinescrew 7n-in.as in drawer boxes or picture frames. simply loosen the screw and let the dowel halvesslide past one another untilthey bear against the surface of the target. A and B. nut soldered Optional nail points for outside measurements %-in.dowel.-long r/a-in. as shown in the drawing. brass nut to the pipe. this tool can help you to get spot on. story sticks can simplify a number ol measuringsituations.but l'd rather make my own. -PAUL K. use a spring clamp to affix a square to the end of the workpiece. C y Scribe these edges. from the short point is a recurring problem: There is no place to hook your tape. transfer to workpiece.H. Th. To use this center-finding tool. Canada 1x3 stock Centerat intersedion of scribed lines. dowel that has been split in half. Short-point measurement Mitered end of trim Any piece of mitered trim has two points on its end. Half-lap joint. -BRUCEGUERTIN oventrR. KINCAID Lawrence. just make sure to align the blade of the square with the short point. A l-in. should be equidistant from the scribing edge. 116 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings: Charles Miller . the short point is the obtuse angle on the inside edge of the trim piece. As shown in the drawing. Here's how. set the nails against the circumference of your circular object. To make it. I start with a piece of garden-variety 3/e-in. Kan. slidedowels apart to desiredlength. Q.bevelthe ends of the dowels so that they tuck into 90o corners. It can be a Speed Square. bearing againsta?/e-in. machinescrew with a knob on one end screwsinto the nut. To use this device. glued and screwed The next time you need to measure from a short point. Let's say it's an inside meaEurement for a window jamb: Extend the dowels againstthe opening.l.

suchastrying to lay out a curve with a 102-in. abovethe floor. Snug one board againstone basenail and the apex nail. Ore. and stretch it out next to the chalkline. and stretch it out at an angle so that it intersects tape #1. Put a nail in the chalkline at this point.Now slidethe boardsalong the baselinenail guides from right to left to mark the arch. Then cut the joint and screwthe boardstogether.measure along the perpendicularline from the baseline. The riseis then 12in. as shown in the drawing above. Find the center of the making an baseline. Even calculators without a square-root function can handle this one: Rise2 + (Span/2)2 2 x Rise For instance. even though the spans vary. 118 FTNE HOMEBUILDING . Hook Use tape to scribe arch with a pencil. you can mount a router at the apexand cut or mold arches any size.eachone a litde longer than the length of the baseline. Pivot point Tape#1 tape measure#2 on a nail located at the end height. drive a third finish nail at the apex. draw a perpendicularline extendingup from the center.radiuson a pieceof plywood that's only 96 in. and hold a pencil in its place. end height. shallowarches a shipyard. -CHARLES W. Decidethe height of your arch. End height Center height Arch layout Here's a way to lay out arches that need to have specific heights at the ends or center.math&measuring CONTINUED Calculating the radius of an arch Sometimes it's useful to know the radius of an arch or head casing long before the shop work takes place.flat. and Now find two straight lx boards. asshown below. After determining the span. DAVIS Watsonville. and takes advantage of the simple calculators on the market.Drive a finish nail at eachend of this baseline so that about I in. of rERRY AZEVEDO Corvallis. put the end of tape measure #l at the center height. Lay your material at one end.arks apex. and center height.Calif. When you substitutethe numbersand reducethe formula. As a variation. you get: + Rise2 (Span/2)2 2 x Rise 122+ (96/2)2 Arch trammel I discovered this techniquefor laying out wide. _ S P E N C E RH O M P S O N T SantaMonica. Hook Chalkline one of your tapes over it and use it as a giant compass to trace your arch. This is your pivot point.. and slide trammel along. Where the boardsoverlap. to describe arch.304 24 2.448 24 102 The radiusis 102in. lett assume that an arched opening leading from a dining room to a great room has84-in. wood surface. square to the line. and invertedT. joint Half-lap securedwith screws Nail m. with no errors resulting from inadvertentstretchingof chalklines or other mechanical limitations. at On a clear. C Nail guide Baseline 'L__ Replacenail at apex with a pencil.. 2x12 144+ 482 24 144+ 2.and the centerof the arch is to be 96 in. long. I have found that the following formula provides precise dimensions 96 in. pivoting on nail guides. For huge arches. Pull out the apexnail.draw a straight line aslong asthe arch will be wide. of the nail's shank projectsabovethe floor.-tallsides. alif.such asa subfloor. snap a long chalkline on the floor (drawing left). spanis the 96in. you can make one half and use it as a pattern. Now move tapelt2 until the numbers on both tapes match at the chalkline. and lay the other board againstthe other basenail and the apexnail.mark them for a half-lap joint. First.

rc iimited to ttock on hand./ SN|El50/0-5096 | 00Us ap qualityentry. and you've got the outline of the workpiece. of inndorandpotiodoorc. . -PHILLIP CARPENDALE N e l s o n . Jamb t '# Wholesale Door Souree Quantitics o.com ot R E A D E R E R V I CN O . Measuring odd shapes One day when I was trying to figure out how to cut an irregular six-sided piece of roof sheathing. another carpenter showed me a trick used by boatbuilders to mark the outline of oddball workpieces quickly. . As shown in the drawing. but you can use any order that suits you. (888)651-l950 8ftil-fr ttholesaleDoorsource.S.easy. Ttrlhtinal erbanayFurdatin 802167-AD20 Pre-Hung Dbl. and low-tech. B . . ' . It will give you a ready point of reference. 7 S E 12O FINE HOMEBUILDING . Shi Wholesa leDoorSou rce.. NE 68410. 6-LiteCraftsman Door Eqs As Low As r' ffi filr999 YouNeed TLee City USA iry neesadd the soft touch of nature to our busy lives. all you need is a scrap of plywood and a pointed stick. C .. place the scrap of plywood next to the material you are going to cut and reverse the process. Now take the stick and lay it acrossthe plywood scrap so that the point of the stick touches one of the corners of the hole. Unfin.cheap. ppeddi realyb youriobsite. Draw a line along the edge of the stick. Support Tree City USA where you live: For your free booklet. assigningeach one numbers.Mark them both #1. 8'0"3/4-Lite 3/0 Mahogany.Mark reglstrdtion p l y w o o d s c r a p . Connect the corner marks.com As Low As $'*ffi'FRS Deliveredln ContiguousU.Lay the stick on the lines. Once all the marks have been recorded. Do this for each corner. NebraskaCity. . Transfer marks to workpiece. To do it.math&measuring CONTINUED lrregular sheathing piece goes here. then mark a "tick" on the stick and a corresponding tick on the plywood scrap. I work from left to right as I make my marks. align the ticks. write: TreeCiry USA. It's handy but not necessary the scrap for to be near a corner. and note the positions of the corners..C a n a d a Draw line '. The method is called tick-sticking. Plywood scraP \<o--. The National Arbor Day Foundation. .4-9116Std. begin by affixing a plywood scrap to a point along the edge of the hole in need of sheathing. This method is accurate.

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