|L-shaped deck with two coats of decking oil
|Boards laid out for curved deck
The next deck to be tackled was the two straight sections of the front deck, outside the front door and front bedroom. Before this was sufficient decking was temporarily laid out to complete the curved deck in single lengths so that we did not have to join any boards. As no power tools were required this was a job that could be performed in the cool of the evening, out of the hot summer sun.
The thin sections of the front deck posed no difficulty was their spacing was the same as the deck outside the back bedroom, so we know how many boards to use. As before we oiled the underside and sides of the decking with Intergrain natural oil before we laid them. Pieces of the iron bark decking were bowed and twisted and needed persuading into position with the assistance of a crowbar.
|Freshly oiled deck outside front bedroom
|Deck outside front door
|Deck wrapping around corner
The next challenge was that the deck spanned between two sections of the house and as the case often is with building the two sections of the house were not perfectly parallel. A little bit of measuring was required and some additional spacing on one end of the boards and slightly tighter spacing on the other side of the boards fixed this problem. We worked out from the rear door of the main room toward the decking we had completed earlier. Having roughly laid the boards out it was difficult due to the bows and twists in the boards to be able to tell if they would fit neatly of the spacing would have to be adjusted to completed the deck in full width boards.
We were using 3.2mm window wedges as our spacers between the decking boards. When we only had six boards left we jammed the spacers in between the boards and used them and the boards themselves to straighten out any bows. With exceptional luck the boards all fitted perfectly, the last spacer just being persuaded into place with a hammer.
|Curved deck laid in single lengths
The next challenge was to trim the boards to the curve. On the plans the curve was measures from a centre point 900mm in from the top and side of the deck however one side of the deck had been made longer to fit a full board along the door and had also been made slightly wider. We also made the horrible discovery that while all the boards had been allowed to hand over the joists to allow for some cut off, in two spots the boards were a little short. This meant that after some time trying to locate a suitable centre point and radius we came to the conclusion that the deck would be a complex curve consisting of several centres and radii. Even this proved difficult to produce a smooth curve. The solution came in the use of a garden hose, just like a flexible ruler, which with together with some curves drawn using string was able to produce a smooth curve which to the eye looked like one curve.
This was cut off with the jig saw. The cut was a little rough and lumpy in places, but all this was smoothed out later with the belt sander which was also used the take off the corners of the cut boards to give the pencil round look.
|Rough cut curve
|Edges all smoothed out
This left only the large front deck to complete. My sister helped me get the large deck ready, laying out the protect-a-deck black plastic over the joists and stapling it down. Although my sister has no building she is good at maths and this proved very useful as once again in the cool of the evening (and into the night) we laid out the boards for the large deck. This was a bit like a giant game of Tetris as two or three boards had to be joined to form each length. Each of the boards had to be joined over a joist and as the two ends of the deck were sloping each row was not identical. We were a bit short of timber and so wanted to make the most efficient use of each board, minimising offcuts.
|Protect-a-deck stapled in place
|Decking boards laid out
|Decking boards cut and ready to be screwed down
|Window wedges spacing out the decking boards
|Three quarters finished
|End of deck cut off
|Fascia board ready to attach
|Finished deck with second coat of oil to half
|Fascia added to most of curved deck
|Finished deck in use