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Old 06-08-2013, 11:59 PM   #7756
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Gulf Island Building.


I had a tub full of pre-cut plugs in both red and yellow cedar, as well as a few in arbutus...just in case. However, all the holes were drilled in cedar. So the red plugs went in red cedar and the yellow plugs into the yellow cedar. if you line up the grain as closely as possible, it serves two purposes. Firstly, it serves to hide the plug better, and secondly keeping the grain inline helps with the shrinking/swelling of the seasons. Admittedly, it isn't much, especially with varnished railings, but every little bit helps.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:01 AM   #7757
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Gulf Island Building.


One other spot that had managed to elude my attention for the past few weeks was the handrail on the stairs. I had drilled three holes in the railing to attach to the post. Hated doing that to that pristine handrail...but you gotta do what you gotta do.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:13 AM   #7758
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Gulf Island Building.


These next few pics are going to be boring as hell to most of you, so just flip on down until you find something of interest.

But if you have ever tried (or are planning on trying) to install rails against posts which have a variety of different angles, then these may be of use to you.

The squished oval shape on the floor obviously means that all the angles of the posts will most likely be wildly different. And that indeed was the case. So here is how you lay out for the cuts.

The boards here are 2 x 4 red cedar, unquestionably some of the most overpriced I've ever seen. Particularly since they aren't even cut from old growth trees and came from an inland sawmill!

There will always be a favoured side for any board, and you will want to have the good side aiming toward the most often viewed side.

These boards have already had a dado cut made where the glass will fit.

Put your selected board up against the posts...check to see if there are any knots that can be eliminated at the ends by moving the board back and forth. In other words, pick the best possible wood that you can before you do the layout.

Sit the board up against two posts, on edge and upside down. Draw a line on the board against the post at both ends and make sure you don't move the board before getting the second line marked.
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Gulf Island Building.-board-against-post.jpg   Gulf Island Building.-marking.jpg  
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:21 AM   #7759
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Gulf Island Building.


Now comes the tricky part.

You need to determine how far in on the posts that you wish to attach the rails. At first glance, you might think you want the rails right in the center of the posts, but in this case, I need them closer to the floor side to keep the space between the floor and the rail as small as possible where the curve widens. Don't worry, it will all make sense later...I hope.

Where the rail is at a large angle with the post, you can bring the cut further away from the post. Where the angle is similar, be very careful to keep the cut close to the post line.

I use a small Japanese square to assist in this process.

In this pic I am holding the square against the rail, with the tip of the square against the post. Make a small tick mark on your wood. You will see the mark in the next pic.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:26 AM   #7760
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Gulf Island Building.


To mark the cut line on the rail, hold the square flush against the post. Now you can see the small tick mark I put on the rail.

Note that I'm keeping the cut line just slightly to the post side of that mark. After you have botched up a few of these cuts, you will find out that it is way easier to cut a small amount off to get it perfect, than it is to have to glue 1/16" back on! Therefore, when in doubt, cut it a bit too long. You won't regret it.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:28 AM   #7761
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Gulf Island Building.


This pic shows a post where the angle is much closer, and therefore the cut must be made closer to the post. Just follow the same layout procedure as before.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:31 AM   #7762
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Gulf Island Building.


Unfortunately, my big miter saw is not here, and the one I have does not quite make it through a 2 x 4 (3 1/2") in a single cut.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:32 AM   #7763
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Gulf Island Building.


Rather than try flipping the board end for end and upside down, it was far easier to hold the Japanese saw against the near side of the cut and zip it off by hand.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:36 AM   #7764
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Gulf Island Building.


One handy suggestion is to write the angle of your cut right on the end of every board.

You will want to know this when you go to cut the top boards. Now don't go jumping to conclusions and thinking that you can just cut two boards exactly the same, because it is highly likely that they will be different lengths. Not only that, but remember that you will need each pair of boards to have the dado on top of the bottom board and the bottom of the top board.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:39 AM   #7765
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Gulf Island Building.


All 12 of the boards are cut here and are sitting in their respective pairs where they belong.

When cutting the top boards, hold the bottom board (already cut) where the top board will go. This will let you know if you need to either lengthen or shorten the top board. Adjust the length up or down on your top board and you're ready to cut.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:40 AM   #7766
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Gulf Island Building.


Since it is remarkably easy to get these boards mixed up, put a number on each board so you know where it belongs.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:43 AM   #7767
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Gulf Island Building.


Now, wasn't that just the most thrilling explanation you ever heard? No, I didn't think so either.

Anyway, the colour of this cedar was so nondescript that I decided to use a mahogany stain to see if there would be any improvement. A test on a short piece of scrap seemed to help, so I went ahead and did the lot. Here's the first couple.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:49 AM   #7768
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Gulf Island Building.


I have a question for all you chemical type geniuses. I was cleaning off a sheet of re-cycled glass and ran into a snag.

It had that black crud all round the edge where it was stuck into a window frame in a previous life.

I remember reading that WD 40 would get that stuff off, but I only had liquid wrench on hand, so I used that instead.

Boy, did that ever work! Spray it on, wipe with a paper towel, black crud removed instantly.

However, when I went to clean the glass with glass cleaner, it made a God awful very sticky mess. It seems to me that the overspray from the liquid wrench is definitely not compatible with glass cleaner.

Does anyone know why that may be?
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:52 AM   #7769
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Gulf Island Building.


While I was out the back today, I spotted this guy cruising around the bay and watched him land. Here's two shots, one close up and cropped and the other with a 300mm zoom all the way out (uncropped) just so you can see how far away he was.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:55 AM   #7770
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Gulf Island Building.


The latest on the railing is that it now has 5 coats of varnish and is looking decidedly better. Just a couple more coats to go.
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Gulf Island Building.-rail1.jpg   Gulf Island Building.-rail2.jpg  

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