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Outdoor Table Repairs

This is an end view of a popular outdoor table. Call it Table 1. Wood top and seats and metal legs. The boards have warped and ‘cupped’.  Notice the cracking on the end of the boards. More on that later.

Here is another table from the same yard. Call it Table 2.

The difference between these two tables is the paint. Not the brand, not the type, but the coverage. Table two’s wood was completely painted, (all 6 sides) and table 1 was not.
Table 1 was painted a few years ago, and here is one of the seats. Notice the cracks. The paint is only failing where there are cracks that have broken the ‘skin’. This is not a paint failure, this is an application failure.

This is why this table’s wood failed. Because the bottom was not painted or primered,  the weather in Arizona destroyed these boards. Because the wood was not sealed on all sides, the elements and especially heat, sucked the moisture out of the wood and accelerated the damage process.

There is no repair as the wood has dried past the point where any salvage is possible. If you are going to have wood furniture, protect it by sealing it completely. If  you are going to repaint or seal wood furniture, disassemble as far as practical, clean it, sand it , fill it, re prime and repaint. A little time now or a lot of money later.

Since I am replacing the wood, I am adding a bit of blocking to the end of each board. This will cover the end grain of the planks and minimize damage and end grain cracking like you saw in the first photo of table 1. These blocks were ripped from an 2x and were glued(powergrab) and screwed (3” deck screws with countersunk holes drilled beforehand).

This serves two purposes. Stop the current cracking and minimize future damage.

Since wood is an organic material, there is always defects that you can work around. Sometimes. Twisting, warping, cupping, excess moisture, pitch and mold are just a few things to look for when selecting wood.

Modern wood is shit. I don’t care what they brand it as, or how how carefully they grade it, the big box stores are there to move product. I started at the blue store, looking for 8′ material but thinking that I would need 10′ material and have to cut the ends off to get defect free material. We were out of there in 5 minutes, the selection was so bad.

Went to the orange store and spent 30 mins. digging through the stacks to find 4 2×12” for seats and 6 2×10” for the decks. Was able to find 8′ material so I wasn’t going to waste lumber by cutting down 10′ material.  The most surprising thing about this was the width of the boards. A 2×10”  board in theory is 1 1/2” x 9 1/2‘ 9 1/4′ nominal.  (hattip to Derek @ Kensington Bungalow ) There is a certain amount of variation but usually it is small. The material I picked up measured between 9 7/16” down to 9” even.  Modern wood is shit. But I will make it work.

Fascia Repair

Normally the things I post here are projects that most DIY’ers have the ability to do. This is not one of those projects. This is a demonstration of what can be done in a similar situation.

Arizona is brutal to anything containing moisture. Especially exterior wood. Most homes in Arizona are of either block or wood frame with stucco exteriors. Roofing ranges from shingles to clay or concrete tiles, and in some cases closed cell foam. The trim boards at the bottom edges of the roofs are almost always wood, and are called Fascia. Recently I repaired some fascia that had been savaged by the Arizona sun and rain.

Be advised that this is not a novice repair nor is it recommended if you are on your first skil saw and have less than a couple of hundred hours of cutting time. Call a pro for this.
First, you are not on the ground.
Second, you will be cutting at eye level, in order to control your cut.
Third, removing and replacing the fascia is heavy and awkward.
You have been warned!!

Here is a photo of the damage a few years created. This is not just peeling paint and warped boards. This is dry rot. This creates an interesting problem. This is a carport with a foamed roof. The fascia is 2×12” material. Removing the fascia completely is not an option.

A foam roof’s drip edge also forms the dam for the roofing foam. So removing the drip edge to replace the fascia would entail removing about a foot of foam roofing and the drip edge to replace the entire fascia. This is not a repair you want to undertake at home. After you removed the foam, drip edge which will end up needing replacement, replacing the damaged boards, you will need to install new drip edge of the proper type and find a roofing company to foam the space you created,(the foam in a can looks like roof foam, but it is not) and re-coat the roof.

What I am doing is cutting the fascia at the bottom of the drip edge, replacing it with new material, gluing and screwing it in place, priming and painting.

The plywood outriggers are screwed to the roof joists and the arms extend beyond the fascia to act as a holder for the old fascia and as a guide for the new material. Here is a side view.

Next up is a photo of the area I am repairing. Notice that the fascia below the drip edge is in good condition, which is why this type of repair will work in this situation.

The new material is ripped to depth,(In this case I started with a 2×10 -9 1/2”actual. and ripped it down to 8 1/2”) and cut it to length. I am using PowerGrab glue on the top of the new fascia and on the faces of the roof rafters, and screwing it in place with 3” deck screws. Note: The top screw is angled up at 45 degrees to pull the new material tight to the existing fascia. Then there are an additional three screws in the field. I also used 1 5/8” deck screws through the miters to hold them tight. I used a countersink bit to pre  drill my holes.
Here is the result.

I used DryDex ”pink stuff’ spackle for the screw holes and a 35 year paintable latex caulking, for the edges and the gaps on the back side where the old and new material joined.

I used Glidden Gripper Primer for this. Fantastic Primer. Couple of coats of Behr Exterior Latex and it should be good for 5-10 years.

Quote of the Day

“Do you know what minimum code requirements are? Just above condemned.”
Hattip: DIY Diva