Friday, October 28, 2011

The One Stooge

Today was one of those no-paint days; between the extreme sunniness and the breeziness, it would have been hard to lay down a good coat. So instead I returned to the west casing.

I stopped work on this casing earlier and went on to the east casing because I realized that fitting the new cap pieces would be trickier than I first envisioned. You see, I'm not one of those lucky people who came from the factory hard-wired to think abstractly in three dimensions. I've developed a serviceable level of ability in that regard through hard work and experience, but conceptualizing the end profiles of the cap pieces proved too much for me. It didn't help to look at the pieces I was replacing, because their original end profiles were lost to history:

I thought the matter through thoroughly, looking at the pieces and the place where they are to go. I took careful measurements of the angles involved. I measured twice, cut once. And here is the result of my best efforts:


For all my cogitating, I hadn't understood that the downward slope facing forward would affect the junction of the cap pieces. It wasn't even apparent to me when I held these pieces in position with the ends still cut square. It wasn't until this point, when I had cut them to the proper up-down angle, that I understood that I had to cut to a front-back angle as well.

It's humbling to find oneself confronted so inescapably by his own mental failings, but it's also instructive; you can be sure I won't make this mistake again. Just getting just the front edge to line up required precise positioning, so I realized that I needed to re-think the entire process thoroughly in order to ensure that I affix the pieces in the proper position.

That's why I moved on to the east casing: I hoped that the exercise of removing and replacing one of those cap pieces would give me a better understanding of the process. Happily, it did, and so now I think I can do a reasonably good job installing the cap pieces on the west casing.

But there is other work to do first. I want to caulk the joint between the casing and the siding along the top. In places the gap is quite wide, so before I caulk I need to insert some foam backing rod.

You can see in the illustration on the package how this works. Caulk can't properly fill a gap more than about 3/16 of an inch wide, and so one must insert this foam rod to provide a flexible, weather-resistant bed for it to sit upon.

Inserting the rod is pretty easy; all one does is stuff it in the cracks. Where it doesn't fit, it isn't needed.

At this point I ran out of day, so I'll caulk tomorrow.

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