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Curved Ipe Deck

Curved Ipe Deck

This is a small but beautiful curved Ipe deck I just finished as part of a larger mudroom/deck/basement remodel for a great repeat client. The deck is built out of FSC certified Ipe bought through a...

FSC Garapa deck

FSC Garapa deck

I built this deck to take advantage of the nice, small yard of a nice, small cottage. The wood is FSC certified Garapa decking, somewhat similar to Ipe but a nice palette of golden honey to rich red...

Basement Spa Bath

Basement Spa Bath

The challenge of this bathroom was designing the space to house four separate areas: a foyer/changing area, a sauna, a steam shower, and a bathroom proper within a 140 sf room. Every square inch was...

Recent comments

Re: ThruLok screw-in bolts replace 1/2 in. through-bolts

I couldn't tell from the description here or on the FastenMaster page you linked to, but when talking about post to joist conection are you referring to railing posts? If so, it seems that these would be great to replace the Simpson HD hardware required to meet the 200 pound load minimum. Even with the new Simpson brackets that came out earlier this year, the elimination of placing and drilling that bolt hole certainly would make up for the extra cost of the bolts.


Re: UPDATE: Ultimate Miter-Saw Stand -- And the Winner is...

I've got the newer Bosch T4B miter saw stand with a Makita 10" slider on it.
I was hoping the stand would be an answer to all my problems for its convenience and portability. That's partly correct, but partly not. Here's the pros and cons of this particular stand in my opinion:

- Easy to transport with the saw attached. I can collapse it and wheel it right up and into the back of my pickup
- stable, the stand doesn't rock much when being used, even when holding heavy material in place
- big pneumatic tires roll pretty easily over terrain, and up and down stairs without marring treads
- outfeeds are long enough to handle decent lengths of material
-easy to open/close the stand - very easy to store the stand folded up.
-always handy to have a repeat-cut stop, even though it isn't the best on this stand

- outfeeds are not stable enough when working with heavy lumber. The offset 2 - pole design lets them rock back and forth. This can be compensated for by adjusting the support, but is a bit of a pain when you're ready to start cutting.
- outfeed support tops are not long enough, so narrow stock cannot be supported without clamping something longer to the top of the outfeed (may be different with different saws, but both my Makitas sit such that there's a 1" or so gap between the plane of the saw fence and the edge of the support.)

I think having a fixed miter saw stand is always going to be the most stable way to cut, however, it isn't always practical when bouncing from one job to the next. If I'm on a job for several weeks at a time, then I could justify building something, but I'd have to do it per job, since storage and transportation are going to be the 2 biggest detriments to that. I enjoy working out of a small pickup, and I don't want to bring a trailer if I don't need to, so portability of compactness are 2 of the biggest attributes.

A built - in tape measure is handy for rough, quick cuts, but I wouldn't trust it for doing finish/cabinetry work.

For my workshop miter saw stand I have an 8' outfeed table on the left, and a 4' on the right. I jigged up a "t" that I clamp to the edge of the table for repeat cuts. Having that repeatability is a definite must for me for any stand.

So there's my 2 or 10 cents worth to start it off.

Re: Alaskan Timber Frame Workshop

Absolutely beautiful. Everything about it is just right.

Re: Curved Ipe Deck


I used System three T-88 structural epoxy on the glue-lams but I'm not going to recommend it until I've seen it in action for quite a while. My millwork shop told me that they had some of that epoxy fail after 2 years on an interior glue-up of some Cumaru (they told me after I'd already done mine). I'd probably recommend West systems since that seems to be the go-to epoxy of choice for boat builders and other high-performance exotic glue-ups, but System 3 is what's available locally around here.


Re: Curved Ipe Deck


Yes, I put up the deck pictures before any of the rest of the remodel got underway. There's a new door there now, and a new paint job on the way as well as the rest of the interior remodeling. As my house painter said when he came by the other day, it looks like a shiny new bumper on an old dodge truck!

Re: Curved Ipe Deck

Thanks Jamie,

Ipe is tough to keep finished. I plan on reapplying the finish when I'm done with the rest of this project in a few weeks. Most of the Ipe comes here air-dried so there's still a lot of moisture in the wood. This, coupled with its extreme density means that the finish doesn't last very long at first. It basically gets hammered from both inside and outside the wood.
After a while, the MC of the wood will equalize somewhat, and it'll take the finish a little bit better and last a little longer.
The other thing is that when you sand the wood you release the natural oils and that prevents the finish from adhering so well. So it's better not to apply finish right after sanding. I still did, even after sanding all the curved parts down, but I couldn't wait to see how beautiful the wood would look, and planned on reapplying the finish after a few months anyway so I went for it.


Re: Curved Ipe Deck

Thanks Robyn,
Yes, the window already has become a door. A nice 15-lite to match the existing home.

The mudroom/pantry has been reframed, the stairs have been rebuilt to the basement, the basement has gained a new entry room at the bottom of the stairs so that the basement and upstairs will be thermally insulated from each other during the winter.

New side door + new side window have been installed. I'm currently working on reinstalling the beaded panelling now that I got it reframed. New flooring will go in, new sheetrock and/or plaster will go up, new lights all over, new plugs, I'm building in a pantry area with a multifunction mudroom capability as well.

And at the last minute I'll open up the wall between the kitchen and mudroom so that the whole thing is nice and open and she'll be able to look at her lovely deck and backyard while cooking dinner. She works from home, so is often down in the kitchen area. I wanted to keep them separated still while I'm working so I opened up the back side, reframed it from there without disturbing the old plaster on the kitchen side, and then will cut out the plaster and trim out the opening when most of the work is done so that I'm not disrupting her lifestyle too much. It gives her more comfort and privacy while I'm working, and gives me more comfort and privacy while I'm working, not to mention better dust and sound control.


Re: Curved Ipe Deck

Thanks Bobby,

I really like when something fits just right. This backyard is small enough and the access cramped enough that it was begging for a curved deck (actually I was begging to build a curved deck, had wanted to for a while!). It's a very small deck, and like you said very simple and clean. It lets the beauty of the wood and the graceful curve speak for themselves.

I came around the corner this morning and the client was sitting there eating her breakfast on the deck and it made my day. She had set a small table and 2 chairs up right in the prow (I know it's not really a prow, but somehow it's fitting) and was enjoying the peacefulness of the morning there.

I've been really enjoying building decks lately. And like you said, there's so many "decks" out there, it's nice to be able to give it a little something extra. So coming from someone else who builds a lot more than just "decks" your compliment is very well taken!

Re: Titanium hammers up for grabs. Want one?

I've only picked up a titanium hammer once, it just felt a little weird swinging it. I'm sure like anything it probably takes a little bit of un-training to get used to it.

I use a 20 oz Douglas framing hammer for my main hammer. It's light enough that I don't put anything out of whack swinging it around for a while, but heavy enough that I can still drive home some 16d's when I'm not air nailing. With the inverted waffle face I can still use it (lightly) on trim and fascia and moving wood into place if it's the hammer that's on my belt. Otherwise I use an 18 oz Douglas for a lot of trim work, or a 16oz Dalluge or 12 oz Dalluge for lighter trim work. And then a 20 oz dalluge decking hammer that I still haven't actually used yet.

I've got a leather wrapped 18oz estwing that I only keep because it was my first "real" hammer, and then a 22oz steel estwing that I use just for demo because it won't die.

I'm a big fan of using what feels best for each particular job, so it doesn't make
make me feel too weird to have 6 or 7 hammers in one of my bags.

On one of my last extended projects the first thing I did was pound in some nails for hanging cords and hoses, and then put up a board with a bunch of nails so that my hammers were organized and at quick reach. The homeowner, who is a bit of a neat freak, loved that my hammers were hung up and organized from small to big. I think that that may be one of the real reasons they keep calling me back for more jobs!

Re: One Redwood Tree - Three Decks

Absolutely amazing. The deck is beautiful and what a way to honor that magnificent tree. I always cringe thinking about cutting down a huge old redwood, yet I think the wood is so beautiful and I hope to work with it at some point. Way to go!

Re: Basement Spa Bath

Thanks Dingus, these are the kinds of projects that make all the bad times go away. It had its share of hurdles, as they all do, but it was a great challenge, great clients, great materials, lots of fun woodworking, and I've got a few more plans on the horizon with them now.