Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

This Old Cave – Fix Back Porch Again

Back porch on cave broke. Again. Caveman broke again, too. But must fix. Cavewoman tired of ants massaging bottom of feets. Caveman fix once and for all.

Caveman fixed porch two years ago. Not caveman’s fault porch not last. Porch made from leftover framing lumber scraps from house because caveman never have budget. Caveman not know what budget is. Some kind of bird, I think. Lasted fifteen years anyway.

Must make mark in life. My mark is upside down, like everything else in Caveman’s life. Caveman is mystified by runes on unholy measuring tape. Only use if necessary.

Caveman have cave tan. Caveman asks reader to note that leg is moving too fast to be seen clearly. Caveman only has two afternoons and a few hundred bucks to finish. Make holes! Caveman qualified for that.

Caveman digs hole 30″ deep, where frost not go. Caveman tamps. Caveman either bending down or lost lower right leg in horrible tamping accident. (Caveman checks) Leg OK. No worry.

Gravel, precast concrete mushroom footing, 4 x 4 Pressure treated post. No one tell friend Gerard 4 x 4 is only 3-1/2 by 3-1/2. Upsets him.

No measure if caveman can help it! Use stick for straightedge and plumb with level. When level is plumb, post is plumb level. Caveman know what desk jockey thinking. What with Caveman wearing gloves? Caveman is caveman, not barbarian.

Make mark, use lumber for straightedge now. Like Caveking coronation, make sure crown of lumber faces up. Caveman is swaybacked, caveporch is not. Caveporch will be two times bigger now. Cavelady will forgive everything now. Cavecubs will have place to expose themselves to sun god now, but not in the mud for a change.

Caveman use something called newmatic or some other sorcery to pound nails. Must hurry. Have tables to make after dark.

Caveman has all the barbarian tools. Sawzall great for de-boning large prey and tax assessors. Caveman just kidding. Tool is too dirty to use on large prey.

Pressure treated wood used to scare non-cavemoms with scary arsenate word. Laws passed. Lumber now treated with other harmless stuff. Of course new stuff rots nails. Caveman shrug and back up everything with galvanized plates and hangers and double hot-dipped galvy nails. Big Cavecub bang many nails in hangers. Little Cavecub only one who understands runes on tape, so he measure:

Only measure first and last decking board! Waste of time to measure and cut all one by one. Install all crooked anyway. I show you what to do. You think caveman smart, but caveman just lazy and in a hurry.

Cut first and last with circular saw older than caveman. I changed the blade when Reagan was President, so saw is ready for additional decades. Use Speedsquare as fence for straight cuts.

Caveman told you: do not measure with runetape. Use prop and line things up. No understand measure twice cut once. No measure at all, be drinking mead and eating roasted grill flesh while Norm is still trying to finish in dark while mosquitoes feast on his flesh.

I tell you one last time: No measure. Nail first board, last board. Flop other 2 x 6 PT boards down. Shove 3-1/2 inch dipped galvy ring-shank nails between boards for spacers. Pound rest of nasty nails into boards at joists. Use big nasty framing hammer or you have no shot, because wood is like wet iron. Caveman not use newmatic gun because nails would rot, and newmatic would set nail in, making many thousands of little holes filled with water. Pressure treat cheap and no rot, but water in holes freezes and pulls boards to pieces.

Caveman turning into harpy: Do not measure. First and last board right length. Stretch chalkline string between them, snap it and cut on the line. Caveman use hot pink chalk because caveman is in touch with his feminine side.

Caveman lay bricks left over from demolition of gas station ten years ago in running bond pattern in sand from little cavecub’s old sandbox. Even caveman knows step should be very deep and wide outside, and land on transition to grass, not grass. Rake out soil, throw down seed and go make a table.

Caveman will paint entire thing when it dries out. Cavelady likes bigger porch. Maybe show Caveman her feminine side too.

19 Responses

  1. Caveman is really deck building Comic Man, I'm stilling chuckling. Looks good to go for at least two more years.

    Grill in peace!

  2. Gerard- I guess the news that a 6X6 is only 5-1/4 won't set well either?

    Sipp- Lovely new stuff that new PT, ain't it?

    The wood will never rot, the metal sure will.

    Nice looking job by the way; and I agree- tape measures and levels are overrated; especially when working on an older home. If it looks straight and level (irrespective or whether it is or not) then it's straight and level.

  3. We don't have the problem with frost here so not a concern…I will however be instructing the chaps on the morrow in the use of hot pink chalk.

  4. Manny Cahpentuh say,
    “Manny time I cut this board.
    Still too short.”

    I tweakt that a little.
    Manny say that too.

    Here’s the little prayer I say every Sunday night before bed:
    Thank God tomorrow’s Monday so I can get some rest.

  5. Sweet!

    Do you have a favorite flavor of deck preparitive/stain/paint you could recommend?

    Frost line is a major reason Team Utah is deckless. That and the fact that the only way a deck would make sense is if I installed French doors where the dining room widow that frames Mt. Timpanogos lives.

    Oh, and I'd have to actually keep my back yard alive. That too.

  6. Monitor died yesterday. I was Internet blind. I do not know how to exist without this thing now.

    Thanks everyone for reading and commenting and linking and being so gosh-darn swell.

    TMJ- I always paint everything outside or let it weather. After the deck dries out I'll paint it with low-lustre house paint. Ben Moore Moorgard. No primer, no nothin. It tells you not to do it, but I've been doing it that way for years and it never peels. It gently wears away underfoot and so doesn't build up to a thickness that will peel.

    Ruth Anne- I have a deck deck. I'm an old New Englander so I call it a porch. If I was true to my Boston Irishness, I'd call it the piazza.

    Chicken Little- I haven't thought about the Jimmy Castor bunch in thirty years. Hilarious.

    Hazy Dave rockets in from the ionosphere! We like Hazy Dave.

    See Mr. Arthur's bikeride: Van Dyke Avenue

  7. You're welcome.
    Btw, thank you for not building your deck 30 feet in the air and then adding a railing around it that you can't see through when you are sitting on your deck chairs.

    Ever been kissed on the piazza?

  8. You build better than my caveman, who makes entire board fences using a chainsaw. Oddly enough, rather well….it's just painful to watch.

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