Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Patching Away on The Thin Wood of A New Day

I've been working away at the patching. I've worked my way all the way across the belt course and down the corner board on the west end of the side. As I should have anticipated, I found a lot of little problems with the corner board. The biggest of these is that the earlywood is all worn away, leaving the board heavily grooved all the way along it. This means I pretty much have to skim-coat the entire board with putty. And of course, there are the usual nail holes and divots to fill in.

Another problem is that the corner board mounted perpendicularly to the one I'm patching, facing west on the front of the house, has been pulled away from the wall by the weight of the gutter downspout. I was able to fix this with a few well-placed screws in the front corner board.

This pulled the board back into place, and closed the gap between it and the corner board I am patching,

Since taking this picture, I've made a patching pass all the way down the board. Man, it was great to be working on solid ground for the first time in a while.

The bottom of the board is cracked, because as part of the distortion of the frame from the foundation sag, a half-inch gap opened up between it and the wall. Someone tried nailing in a massive framing nail to correct this, which caused the crack. Here I'm doing a dry test run with the clamp to make sure everything will line up correctly:

As you can see, everything lined up pretty well, so I epoxied everything up and then patched it. Tomorrow, I'll stick a shim between the board and the wall so I can screw it down properly.

Meanwhile, way back up on the belt course, I noticed a problem with a spot I had already patched:

I deserved this, because I didn't take the time to fix it properly in the first place. When patching butt joints seamlessly, one should always drill holes in both pieces and soak the wood with LiquidWood before patching. That way, when the epoxy cures the two pieces are locked together, becoming as a practical matter one piece. Apparently all the carpentry work I did on this trim run caused stress on this joint and pulled it apart. Thus, I have gone back and re-done this joint properly, drilling holes all around, injecting LiquidWood in them, and then patching up the cracks with WoodEpox.

A few more patching runs and I'll be done with the belt course and corner board. Then, I will patch up the trim between the siding and the foundation blocks (I forget what the proper term is for that trim course right now), and then I'll be more or less ready for the final priming and painting. That'll be my Christmas present to myself.

* * *

"Shouldn't there be a big pointy tree with lots of prey on it here by now?"


  1. Great patchwork. It's going to be a Merry Christmas in due course.

  2. Squirrels think that pointy things with sharp teeth should be kept at bay!


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