I have a deck that I am working on. Evidently the wood was majorly wet when
I put it down. On some of the boards the butt seams which were tight, have
gapped in some cases enourmously. A couple of them I replaced with
extras(after letting them sit in the sun for the day). However I cannot
replace all of them.
When I was younger I think I remember my father showing me a trick where you
take scrap wood of the type you are working with. cutting it up to get
sawdust, then mixing the sawdust in woodglue to an appropriate
consistency.....does anyone know of a technique like this? and more
importantly do you think it would work in this instance?
yeah, that is a trick you can use on interior wood, but on a deck, it
would take too much of a beating and wouldn't last. and IMHO the putty
looks worse than the gap in this case. why don't you try doing nothing
for a few months...if it still bothers you after that amount of time,
then you need to fix it.
The best fix I've come up with is to wait until all shrinkage stops.
Then back up at least two joists from the separation, cut off one of the
boards with a circular saw and replace the cut off part. Be careful
with the cuts as they're kinda difficult to keep square. Also, it's
unlikely you'll be able to make the full width of the cut without
nicking/cutting the adjacent boards. You'll probably have to do the
finish cut at the edges with a sharp chisel.
It's a pain and you're gonna lose some wood but you can get reasonably
tight fits. With 3 joists (minimum) to nail/screw into you can get
joints that will last. Note, though, that you'll need to let the
replacement boards age/dry just like the board(s) you're replacing or
you'll have the same problem after you put them in.
That's an old trick but I don't think it will work here for several reasons.
1. It sounds like the gap is too big
2. your gap is open on 4 sides, the filler usually works best when only 1 or
2 sides of the gap are open
3. It is outdoor and you want to fill endgrain, this will swell differently
than the rest of the wood and the filler, it would pop off in time.
4. The trick is usually done with white or wood glue which is not
particularly water resistant. I don't know if I would do it with
polyeurethane glue as it would not match well and would be messy as hell.
5. Since you cannot control future swelling and shrinking (well, a bit with
a deck sealer), just about any rigid filler will eventually pop out.
Perhaps you could pull the gap together and glue/nail/screw a splint across
the bottom to keep it together. Might be asking for splitting later.
Besides, the gaps should already be over a joist and both nailed to it so if
that didn't hold it in place, a splint sure wont.
Best to just get used to it and fix the worst ones. A few days is not very
long to season wood, should be more like weeks if it just came off a pallet.
I had a similar problem with a fence but the gaps don't look so bad in that
application so I left it alone.
Just carefully cut a piece to fill the gap from a scrap. Glue one side of
the gap with a waterproof glue like epoxy, drive a shim on non glued side to
hold in place til glue dries. Won't look perfect but alot easier than
pulling up pieces.
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