Saturday, October 06, 2007

Post Restoration

The turned porch posts on the north side of our home had seen a lot of bad weather in the last century and had the scars to prove it. A lot of fairly shallow rot had taken away their beauty but thankfully not the integrity. The center post was the worst with missing sections of the turned part, plus the lower notches were all eat away and I had to make a 4in section for the bottom which had completly rotted away. I first dug out all the rot using a screwdriver and other small tools including a fine tooth blade from a reciprocating saw that worked very well for scraping the soft wood away and leaving a rough surface for the fillers to adhere to. Then we coated it with a thinned varnish to penetrate and seal the dry wood. I then drilled small shallow holes in the rotted section where the filler is to be applied so as to pack the filler into the holes and really give it a grip on the post. On a larger section of rot on the square part, I used an epoxy filler first as it cures slowly to give greater adhesion. Later I started using a two part filler similar to auto body filler. It dries fast and you can get to work on it quicker. I found that by using a square and making reference lines around the post it is easier to get the details mor exact. I filled and sanded the turned section first. It tood all day sanding and adding more filler then sanding again until I got the profiles just right. Sometimes I had to spray on some primer to see how it looked, the primer shows up any waviness, then sand some more until finished the lower notches on the outside of the post were completly gone so I filled the void completly and used my refrence marks and a hand saw to create the straight upper and lower lines. Then I used an abrasive wheel on a drill do grind out the center. Oh how I would love a Dremel! @With that done I went over everything looking for missed nail holes and pits and primed it all. Then christis puts a coat of paint on and I can`t believe it turned out so good. She will put on three coats of oil base paint and it should last a good long time.

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