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Transformation of the Week by:
The hammer I have been using for about a dozen years is the Japanese hammer from Lee Valley tools. I like this one because of the excellent feel, grip and the cats paw claws. Of course it has the slot with magnet for holding a nail to start it "one handed", but one of the best features is the extended head, which allows it to reach around obstructions to get to the nail. This hammer works so well that I use it for framing and finishing as well, even though it has a milled face. One thing I would change though is to "raise the head a little to keep it the uppermost part of the hammer, as the top can glance off a close surface if you are nailing close to another surface. This is not really a problem when you become aware of this protrusion. A square head might offer another improvement though to make it easier to start very small finishing nails. Titanium anyone?
Mr. Bentpipe, methinks you have not contemplated a "ladder", so you make joke. Ha ha. My reference to a "ladder" means that it is light, extendable, strong, wide enough to support work pieces and saw system, and collapsible. My colour choice, of course would be Dewalt yellow.
If your deck boards are plainsawn, they will "cup" alot. Bark side up, they will "cup" and form a concave trough that will hold water. Bark side down, they will cup to form a convex shape that will shed water more easily. The problem with that is the pith side of the board can delaminate the annual rings of wood and cause a real tripping hazard, as well as a splintering hazard. An old school carpenter once told me the outside of the tree should face the weather: bark side up. I have designed and constructed many decks, and have taken note of the advantages and disadvantages. I always place bark side up and when the decks have been weathered, I use a large powerful rotary floor sander to sand the deck to a level and smooth consistency. This method is excellent, but really requires the fasteners to be installed from below, Quartersawn boards will be much more appropriate to avoid these difficulties, but should also be fastened from underneath to avoid the decay of weather.
Exactly what we all need to learn more about, and what our building codes need to reflect. The other part of the equation is of course, workmanship...
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