Saturday, November 6, 2010

We did it!

By golly, we've repaired the deck. I dug out the rot from two joists. The rot extended about two inches deep into a 2" x 10" joist, and for a length of about 4 feet on each joist. I don't know why there was rot just there, and only there; there was no obvious explanation. But there it was. Then I removed the nails -- most of them I could pry up and pull out from above (they were threaded nails, so not real easy to pull out) -- a few I had to work up from below before I could grab them with the claw hammer. Then I put up a sister joist on one side of the rotted joist -- a pressure-treated 2" x 8" x 8'. I shimmed that joist up tight under the decking and screwed it into the rotted joist at points where it was still solid. Then I used Bondo to fill in the gap left by digging out the rot. This was a messy job, but it creates a very hard patch. Then I put up another sister joist on the other side and repeated the process of shimming and screwing in. Just for good measure I put a carriage bolt through all three joists and tightened it up really tight so those babies are really solid. Then I put wood preservative underneath and on top of the decking. Now Ellen and I are putting back up the sheets of metal roofing that hang under the joists which makes it dry under the deck and like a car port. The metal roofing is angled so water that drips through the deck runs off to the front. It's been a big job but we've done it!! Yay!

I'm also well into my project of sending to my granddaughter Katie annotated copies of Shirley's letters to home from college which she sent in Fall of 1950 from Wellesley to her parents. I've just done Letter # 11 -- eleven letters home in about six weeks. Shirley was amazing! She wrote to friends in addition to her parents so she wrote a lot of letters. With the annotations and pictures I've got over 50 pages of text so far. At this rate the whole 4-year project will be a 500 page book! I had a fun day going to the Wellesley College Archive and gathering background information and photos from sources there. This is like eating peanuts for me.

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