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dustychablis 08-03-2013 08:39 AM

P.T. Deck Boards
Working on our old deck. It hasn't been maintained properly and is cupping slightly and splintering. I want to unscrew the tread boards and run them through my planer. They are 2x6's. After planing I was going to stain and seal all sides before putting back down. I know it appears to be a lot of work but time I have, extra cash I don't.
My question is by planing the boards will it effect their ability to handle the weather. I was told pressure treating only treats an outer layer of the wood.

Thanks for your help.

user1007 08-03-2013 09:02 AM

How much do you think you have to plane off? Are we talking 1/8" or half the dimension you think you have left in old deck boards? I do not know how your timber was treated but shaving a bit of the surface should not hurt it. Remember to wear an aspirator when planing or sanding treated wood!:yes:

And staining all sides is a waste of money.

If this is treated pine or fir, I think you will find your planer may not be as kind to it as you expect. Make sure your blades are nice and razor sharp.

Are you sure planing the decking will buy you time or has it had it and you just do not want to pronounce it dead and in need of replacement? Cupping and splintering of exterior decking may not be fixable with a planer. Worth a shot though I guess. Hope it works out for you better than it ever has for me.

My time working the planer usually ended up much more expensive to clients than just replacing the decking. You said you have time but limited money so give it a shot.

You talk of weather. We have had a lot more of it the last few years here than ever before.

Old joke I know but you might want to update your profile with basic geographic info so we have an idea of the weather conditions you might experience.

joecaption 08-03-2013 09:17 AM

All you will be doing is removing the pressure treating.
Time for some new decking.
Staining on all sides helps to keep the boards from cupping because it helps to keep the boards from drying out unevenly.

Daniel Holzman 08-03-2013 09:45 AM

Some pressure treated lumber has all through treatment. This is generally quite expensive, as it requires additional time in the treating unit, and higher pressure. Low cost PT lumber you will typically find at the big box stores is generally only treated part way through, the exact amount depending on the specific lot. For further discussion about the treatment process, see

dustychablis 08-03-2013 10:00 AM

I've planed a couple boards. The most I have had to take off is less than 1/8 inch. Most were just 2 passes. Luckily the cupping is minimal.

user1007 08-03-2013 11:24 AM


Originally Posted by dustychablis (Post 1224591)
I've planed a couple boards. The most I have had to take off is less than 1/8 inch. Most were just 2 passes. Luckily the cupping is minimal.

Cupping must be if you are only having to shave 1/8" to fix it over the length of decking boards.

If it was only 1/8" maximum wacked, why would you bother planing in the first place?

Just to make sure, you are saying you only took 1/8" off cupped deck boards with your planer right? And it only took you two passes through you planer. You shave one or both sides?

Something in your story is not resonating right with me.

dustychablis 08-03-2013 12:30 PM

I just took 2 passes off the top. Nothing off the bottom. I wanted to removed the ugly gray top and splinters.
I'm in south west Ohio.

dustychablis 08-03-2013 12:33 PM

If after two passes and it still had some gray wood I used my orbital to remove that spot rather than another pass.
Like I said...I'm just spending time and have to replace them in a couple big deal

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