Skinny Dipping

Next up, all the cedar shingles need to be dipped in Sikkens and set out on tables to dry. They need to be nice and dry before they’re installed, which takes a few days. I’ve installed them wet, which is just a big mess. It’s a big enough mess just dipping them.

Watch for spiders when unpacking shingles. I was lucky this time, but when I’ve done this before, there’s usually one big spider per six shingles. A pack of shingles has lots of little voids where spiders can make a living.

Cedar shingles pretty much took over the whole shop for a couple weeks.

20′ Deck Planks

Each plank of decking was 20 feet long. They’re made out of a composite of wood fiber and plastic, and the longer they sit in the sun the more bendy they are. Imagine carrying a spaghetti noodle that weighs about 70 pounds. You get the picture. Just getting them into the shop so I could chop them to length was a challenge. It wasn’t until the deck was almost done that I realized I could have probably just set up my saw outside near the planks.

When life gives you cardboard…

Seems like when you (1) live on an Island where everything has to be shipped, and (2) are building a house where you need lots of things, you’re going to get copious amounts of cardboard. Turns out it’s useful for a variety of things, such as making template forms for the stair stringers so you can fit them to the stairs.

Stairway prep

This is everything I’ll need to do the stairs: stair treads, risers, runners and trim pieces. Everything is laid out and properly slathered with polyurethane. Those 1×12 boards go up and down either side of the stairs and are a bit of a challenge as they need to fit in a snug space and they’re 13 feet long. Big and unwieldy and they need to be cut to length and be accurate within around 1/8 of an inch. This will be a magic trick if I can pull it off.

Battery powered brad nailer

Before, if you wanted a nail gun you’d have to hook it up to an air compressor which makes all sorts of obnoxious noise while it’s running, and run a high pressure air hose to the nail gun. The hose would try to trip you and sometimes succeed.

Now, they’re battery powered. This one can drive 2″ nails into solid oak. All day. I’ve been using it for installing finish trim. I have yet to run the battery out.

This is going to change everything.