Today was the day to break out the new saw and get to work on the railings. I set everything up had the first piece of wood on the saw and then hesitated. Theoretically I couldn’t get hurt but Murphy’s Law, popped into my head. The saw came mostly assembled from the manufacturer but what if the blade wasn’t securely attached, all those what if’s.
I decided to proceed cautiously. I called a neighbor and asked if she had a minute to stop over. I asked her to just stand there while I made the first cut, if everything went fine she could leave, if not and I was severely injured to please call for help. Plus, I figured it was smart to let someone know I was about to operate a powerful saw in case of an emergency.
Murphy avoided me today and I was able to get work done without injury. 🙂
The railings were supposed to be completed along with the ramps and repairs to the deck itself before I moved in. That didn’t happen, the ramps weren’t even functional. Turns out the first man to be hired for the job wants to be able to build decks but doesn’t really know how. The second handyman knew what he was doing and made the proper repairs to the deck and ramps but when it came to the railings he said it was going to cost a lot and we needed materials not on hand. He left and told us to call him when we wanted him to return.
At this point my son threw in the towel. I suggested I had a plan if he would help me. He’s been busy so I decided I could tackle the job on my own.
This is what is considered a proper deck railing.
To put up railings like this I would need more than just the one saw I purchased plus I wanted to use up the excess lumber the first man purchased with my son’s money.
When I decided where to start it seemed most prudent to close off the landing for the deck. This spot bothers me especially in the winter as I’ve been concerned someone, or my chair, would slide on ice and one of us would be face down in the drive.
Before I go any further let me tell you this job wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be. Having a second pair of hands to hold one end of the wood while I attached the other would have been nice. Instead, I used a chair, a bucket and my legs to try and prop up one side while working on the other.
Since I had several 2 X 4 pieces of lumber here that was supposed to be used on the deck in some manner I decided to hang them horizontally. This allows me to complete the job with just a saw and drill.
This is the view as I come out of my house and face the landing for the ramps. It still needs a couple pieces but I’m not sure if I have enough wood to do everything and decided to move to another section of the deck.
Already I feel more secure on this landing. I decided to put seven inches between each of the 2 X 4s. I wanted safety but I didn’t want the boards so close together that it looked like a weird fortress.
Besides myself I worry about the children on the deck falling off. The older ones, as long as they aren’t chasing each other are good about being careful but the baby is another matter.
I figured this would be a one afternoon job, maybe if I had an extra pair of hands. Holding a board steady that is six or six and a half feet was a challenge. My one worry before I started this was that I would lose my balance and fall. To avoid that scenario I worked from the top (where I wouldn’t need to bend over) down.
With my youngest granddaughter entering full-day kindergarten this fall I’ve been asking my son and his wife about letting me have my grandson for a full day every other week. They believe my grandson will be too much for me to handle, he won’t. I do have to attend to a couple safety measures if he and I are going to spend entire days alone – especially after he suffered a broken leg on a playground slide a couple of weeks ago.
His mother spotted this half door sitting in my basement. She thought it might work as a gate to block the stairs leading to the second floor. It’s too small but when I measured the opening to the stairs on the deck I found it’s a perfect fit.
Once I’ve sanded this door down and restored it I’ll add hinges and hang it from the left side at the top of these stairs. And use a hook and eye on the stair side so people, like the mailman, can open it but my grandson won’t be able to.
That pile you see down in the drive is the leftover material the first guy thought he needed for the ramps. That’s where I am getting all the wood to build the railings. I’m looking forward to having that cleaned up almost as much as I am having railings.
Anyway, once I have the gate blocking the stairs and figure out a way to keep my grandson from trying to climb to the second floor inside I think my son and his wife will at least give me a chance to have my afternoons with little guy.
I’ve used up all the 2 X 4s in that pile in the drive so tomorrow I’ll be going through the pile of lumber I found under the shed from the last owner. I hope to find enough to finish the rails this weekend. I have lots more projects waiting for both me and my new saw. 🙂