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Old 02-16-2014, 10:44 AM   #1
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Wood rot repair conundrum


I need to repair a small amount of wood rot on a 2x2 porch column. The wood to be replaced is 5/4 (actual 1) x 10 cedar trim at the bottom of the column. It wraps the bottom of the column. Unfortunately, the railing is nailed into the trim boards requiring replacement. Clearly the railing needs to be detached from the trim board before it can be removed. Any tips/tricks for cutting the nails holding the railing? I dont own a oscillating tool so making a flush cut will be difficult. Since the column is so wide, I cant lay my reciprocating saw blade flat against the trim.

If I do manage to cut the nails Im concerned I may still not be able to remove the board since there will be little play between the board and railing. The trim boards are mitered so I cant hammer them out without damaging the good pieces. Since the railings are nailed I'm leery about trying to remove them entirely since it will most likely damage them. Any ideas or tricks would be greatly appreciated. I dont want to start without having a clear plan ahead of time. Maybe I am missing the obvious but I'm simply stuck.

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Old 02-16-2014, 11:02 AM   #2
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Wood rot repair conundrum


Need a picture so we can see what your seeing.
Oscillating tools are not made for cutting nails off.

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Old 02-16-2014, 11:52 AM   #3
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Wood rot repair conundrum


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Need a picture so we can see what your seeing.
Oscillating tools are not made for cutting nails off.
Unfortunately, I didn't take photos while I was there. I do understand how hard it is to visualize without images, sorry. I'm probably over thinking this. Just trying to think of a way to do the job without removing the railings. They are a basic 2x4 top and bottom with 2x2 balusters and a 1x6 top cap. Being toe nailed, I see no way of removing them without cutting the nails. These have to be reused so hammering them out will most likely damage the 2x4s requiring a rebuild.

I had no idea oscillating tools should not be used for cutting nails. Interesting. I thought they had a multitude of blade attachments.

If I can't figure it out tomorrow I will snap a few images and post them if I can. Not sure how many posts you need here before posting images. Thanks for the response.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:22 PM   #4
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Wood rot repair conundrum


I forgot about Google maps. I know this is far from explanatory but it helps. The red arrow points to the 10" trim that needs replacing. The railing is toe nailed to the trim board. It would be a simple fix if I could remove each railing assembly. However, as I said they are nailed not screwed. Those boxes are 2' x 2'. The railing is attached to the center so making a flush cut is impossible. Any suggestions on how to remove railing without destroying it?

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Old 02-16-2014, 05:42 PM   #5
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Wood rot repair conundrum


A Saws All with a hacksaw blade will cut those nails nicely---you might need to protect the wood with some sheet metal or an old drywall knife---
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:15 PM   #6
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Wood rot repair conundrum


Reasons it rotted, direct contact with the decking. No base cap or cove moulding added around those panels so water would run off instead of behind the boards.
Replace it with PVC lumber and it will never rot again.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:21 AM   #7
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Wood rot repair conundrum


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
I forgot about Google maps.------- The red arrow points to the 10" trim that needs replacing.
Here is a magnified screen shot that may help until you can get some decent pics.
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Wood rot repair conundrum-diy-porch-1.png  
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:13 AM   #8
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Wood rot repair conundrum


Just made a bigger more blurry picture.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:51 AM   #9
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Wood rot repair conundrum


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
I forgot about Google maps. I know this is far from explanatory but it helps. The red arrow points to the 10" trim that needs replacing. The railing is toe nailed to the trim board. It would be a simple fix if I could remove each railing assembly. However, as I said they are nailed not screwed. Those boxes are 2' x 2'. The railing is attached to the center so making a flush cut is impossible. Any suggestions on how to remove railing without destroying it?

I use a 12" metal sawz all blade and give it a bit of a bend as I cut. the bend allows you to precisely get the blade where you need it and not do damage where you do not want it. you do not need to take down the entire rail, re enforce the rail to the floor first with a block under it and just cut the one side free and let the rail sit there while you do repairs.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:50 PM   #10
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Wood rot repair conundrum


Thanks for the advise so far. I never thought of using a blade to protect the wood. Nice tip. I have a long blade maybe 10" and was planning to use it the way hand drive mentioned.

Unfortunately, it's going on hold until the wood comes in. I can't find a local source for 5/4 x 10" cedar or even equal textured cypress.

My plan is to use a straight plunge bit on my trim router to cut the board close to the rail. Set the depth to match the wood since I don't know what the framing is in that box. Pull one side out. Cut the nails. Slide the railing over and remove the other piece. Them cut my miters and slide the board from the top down. At least it sounds like it'll work. Of course that usually means this --> lol
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:21 AM   #11
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Well I finally found my wood and went to do the repair. Below are images of what I was dealing with.

I cut the first trim board and removed it. Looked inside and could only think one thing.... The framing for the box was completely shot and the two supporting 4x4s were soft. So long story short I had to break the news to the homeowner and referred the job to a contractor. I don't think I would enjoy jail, just saying lol. Amazing the damage a poorly adjusted sprinkler can do. Thanks to all that replied!










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