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Old 05-24-2013, 12:04 AM   #1
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need help with deck joists


everything WAS going to plan...key word WAS

using a 2x8 ledger and 2x8 joists. got the lumber from lowe's. actual size on the tag is 1.5x7.25x16. so i measured a couple before hanging 44 joist hangers, and they were 7.25. so i set all the hangers for 7.25 boards. well heaven behold, out of the 22 joists im going to hang, they (the boards) range from 7 1/8 to 7 1/2...thanks lowes for the quality boards. its just my luck that the 3 boards i measured happen to be spec.

my two choices are to shim up the small ones with washers or rip the larger ones. if i shim up, my joists will be higher than my ledger and rims. ripping 180 ft of boards with a skil saw will take forever. i really dont want to redo the hangers, as ill destroy them because of the 3" nails i used.

what should i do?

thanks

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Old 05-24-2013, 01:03 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum!

normally we'd level the top of the joists with the top of the ledger and a few toe-nails to hold in place. before the decking goes on you'd install the hangers.

if this was pressure treated southern pine it's the nature of the beast. it usually comes "wet" and is swollen from the excess moisture content. over time in the store it gives up some of it's moisture content and shrinks. I've seen 2x10 go from almost 10" to under 9".

if it were me I'd whip out a sawsall and cut the nails and redo them, but I get anal that way ...... must be the CDO in me maybe some of the guys will have better suggestions for you

good luck!

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Old 05-24-2013, 07:59 AM   #3
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measure from the seat of the hanger to the top of the ledger and transfer that measurement to your joists, pull down from the top of the joist and notch the underside of the joist to get it to fit and cut foot long shims for the joists that come up short. use glue and/or little trim nails to help hold the shims in place at the underside of the joist, the weight from the deck will do the rest. rip shims out of treated 2x stock...
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:56 AM   #4
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Unless you want to pay more for a real lumber yard to cut real 2 by lumber, you got what is considered 2x8 timbers. Even our house that was built in 1937, the lumber measures same as today's measurements, minus a little shrinkage from being over 75 years old.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:28 AM   #5
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This is why if we decided to go to the moon today we would never get there.

Nobody gives a S**T about their job. In the old days, the guy at the mill would have said to himself, Hey, this lumber might be going to my neighbor Frank, so I want it to be right.

Now, ying fo wong says "scru dem day only freakin mellican" send da wood.

As to your problem, buy a power plane. I have a little Hitachi, works great, and plane off just the ends of the bottom of the deeper ones for about 6 inches.

Next time support your local lumber yard that cares about you.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:53 AM   #6
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Problem is jagans, in most areas, the real yards are too far away. The two other yards in our area, actually get their lumber from the same comapny as Menard's, but charge higher be ause they do not buy bulk loads, like the big box.

You are also finding the small yards are closing, because the economy cannot support them and noone is mass building, or using steel for framing.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:48 PM   #7
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I can honestly say that I have never seen the kind of variance that the OP is seeing in lumber from any source. It simply does not make sense that a mill would finish lumber that far out of spec. You cannot build with material that is that far out.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans View Post
This is why if we decided to go to the moon today we would never get there.

Nobody gives a S**T about their job. In the old days, the guy at the mill would have said to himself, Hey, this lumber might be going to my neighbor Frank, so I want it to be right.

Now, ying fo wong says "scru dem day only freakin mellican" send da wood.

As to your problem, buy a power plane. I have a little Hitachi, works great, and plane off just the ends of the bottom of the deeper ones for about 6 inches.

Next time support your local lumber yard that cares about you.
i dont know what thats supposed to mean.. it has nothing to do with peoples attitude at work, it has to do with the quality of lumber and milling.. todays lumber varies so much do to the denseness of it. moisture content. shrinkage and what not.. ive never seen uniform material ever be it engineered stock or actual lumber. if you want all your joists to be the same your going to have to switch to galvonized steel joists which are becoming more and more common in the U.S for high end composite decks.


and as previously posted, what any legit carpenter with common sense would do is tack the joists in place first with toe nails with the tops being flush with the ledger then the hangers are fitted afterwords.. the only time we install hangers first is for engineered floor joists

Last edited by woodworkbykirk; 05-24-2013 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:23 PM   #9
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That's why we NEVER install the hangers before the joists. It's not uncommon to have 5/8's of an inch variance in PT lumber. I know the home improvement shows do it sometimes but that's TV.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans View Post
I can honestly say that I have never seen the kind of variance that the OP is seeing in lumber from any source. It simply does not make sense that a mill would finish lumber that far out of spec. You cannot build with material that is that far out.
Jag,
every deck I ever built the lumber width variation ran up to a half inch, no matter what lumber yard the wood came from. It is due to the pressure treatment. Some boards absorb more moisture from the PT than others. It's pretty evident when you pick up each board. Some are soaking wet and weigh a ton and others feel like a normal weight. Just the nature of the pressure treated wood.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:29 PM   #11
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Even from the top to the bottom of the pile can the bottom can change that much.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:28 AM   #12
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Hmm - I must be lucky as I've never had that problem. All the lumber from the same lift measures the same. Might be 7.25 or 7.5 or whatever but it all the same within 1/16th inch. Mind you I am in canada.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:12 AM   #13
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i have had that problem with PT lumber and when it dries out OH boy it is going to warp twist crack and pop. Also support your local lumber yard I have priced lumber from lows Homedepot and my local lumber yard and my local lumber yard always beats the big box stores in price and coustomer service. Then again I live right were 15 saw mills are and the lumber is made no more than 40 miles from my home too. But still the qaulity of the logs are not as they were 30 years ago. I always request J grade lumber. almost zero knots and very tight grain. and no hem fir or SPF lumber either or SWP. I only use Douglas Fir or larch.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dso970 View Post
everything WAS going to plan...key word WAS

using a 2x8 ledger and 2x8 joists. got the lumber from lowe's. actual size on the tag is 1.5x7.25x16. so i measured a couple before hanging 44 joist hangers, and they were 7.25. so i set all the hangers for 7.25 boards. well heaven behold, out of the 22 joists im going to hang, they (the boards) range from 7 1/8 to 7 1/2...thanks lowes for the quality boards. its just my luck that the 3 boards i measured happen to be spec.

my two choices are to shim up the small ones with washers or rip the larger ones. if i shim up, my joists will be higher than my ledger and rims. ripping 180 ft of boards with a skil saw will take forever. i really dont want to redo the hangers, as ill destroy them because of the 3" nails i used.

what should i do?

thanks
DSO.... Did ya happen to say that backwords.

I work alone alot... and depending on the site circumstances, I sometimes hang my hangers first, and yes, it's always a problem with PT SYP.

Do remember, generally you are in rough framing mode, and your tolerances are not cabinet mode.

But, where I'm out by (say over an 1/8... maybe less depending) I shim and shave the individual joists.

For shimming, I don't know if you have the scrap metal shims available in your area. They are cut little under 1 1/2 wide and come in various guage (thickness) and fit right into the hanger for shimming. Sometimes I use the formica samples from the sample boards at Big-boxes. I usually put a dab of Liq nails on them so they don't slide/work out.

For shaving, I don't like cutting a notch (think it looks crappy from underneath). I like to shave it for maybe 1' on the end. Jagans electric planer is great, or even a belt sander with heavy paper. I really would not rip each joist....even if my table saw was sitting convenient right there... I sure would not with a skil-saw.

It takes a little longer, but your situation is not uncommon and easily fixed.

Good luck

Peter

EDIT: As the guys mention above, when you are in wet wood, like PT especially, try to get your decking down as soon as possible before (as quickly) it drys and gets more and more warpy on ya.

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Last edited by MTN REMODEL LLC; 05-25-2013 at 09:12 AM. Reason: add info
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