...not quite finished!

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Now Have Man Hands

Nothing could more quickly drive a proper woman to swearing than driving deck screws!!! Yet, I refrained. I had all my lumber and thought I'd kick out the deck in no time....so very wrong. My fort was about 75' away from my house and I was using a Black & Decker corded drill/driver. A corded drill is NOT recommended! I'd strip nails, fall off the tip gashing my knuckles, and try 4 times before it would even sink a little. Two words for you: PILOT HOLES! Don't fight it and just drill the dang pilot holes with a separate drill. THEN, preferably with an 18V cordless driver, the deck screws will just sink in. Get the RIGHT tools for the jobs and your life will be much easier (and you won't be NEARLY driven to cursing!)  After I survived laying the deck I took my rusty ol' Skil Saw and zipped off all the uneven ends hanging off the deck. I didn't pre-cut :)
At first I was alarmed about how unstable the deck was and knew I had to cross brace it. I didn't feel like I knew what I was doing, but just kept saying..."it's just a fort, it just needs to be functional and safe - not pretty." So I just bolted some 2x4 scraps from the side of the deck angling down to the posts (on all corners) and it was steady as a rock! The railing from the bunk beds went up in no time. I had purchased a used 8' wavy slide and a rock climbing wall from Online Classifieds. I was SO excited to see it all come together, but I was still missing railing all along one side. hmmmm I think another trip to the thrift store was in order.
HINDSIGHT: I now wish I had crossed braced to the INSIDE of the deck frame...it looks much better.

Please know I didn't completely abandon my hubby and young kids while building this fort. I just thought I'd spare you the details of changing diapers, breaking up fights and and how hard it is to clean up LIFE cereal that's been stuck to the counter all day.

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