New Deck #6: Finishing up the surface of the deck

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Blog entry by Karson posted 05-01-2008 04:46 AM 2485 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Treated wood. Part 6 of New Deck series Part 7: The first bench is done »

Well I finally got the electric problems taken care of and so i screwed down the last two deck boards. These boards butt up against the two light poles. And I did the finish cutting of the curve.

So here are the details:

I mentioned earlier, I believe in the first blog of this series that I installed a GFCI circuit breaker in the fuse panel and i was having problems where it kept tripping whenever i put a load on the circuit. Even a load as small as a Dusk to Dawn switch with nothing else.

LumberJock Richard Williams stated that he wished that he was closer so that he could find my problem. Without me paying his plane fare from Las Vegas I did the next best think. I asked him for his phone number so I could call. He replied. I called.

I told him all of the things that I had tried and that had failed. He suggested a couple of things to try. Verfy that the bare ground wire was not touching the white wire anywhere in the circuit. (I didn’t think I had that problem) Replace the buss bar that was in the circuit sub panel. (Mine was very rusty). This discussion was going on in a 3” rain storm, so I was not too interested is stepping outside at that moment.

The next day I was returning home from taking my son to school, and I was running the circuit through my mine. One of the things that Richard has said was that a GFCI breaker is measuring the amount of current that was going through the black (hot) wire and then checking that the reverse of that was going through the neutral wire (white) of the other wave of the alternating current. (These are my words and not necessarly his exact words). I was wondering in my mind about how that was working on the circuit that I had installed.

I then realized that I might have hooked it up incorrectly. (I had never read the instructions, Because I assumed that it was hooked up the same as a regular circuit breaker.) I had hooked up the black wire to the GFCI breaker. I was suppose to also hook up the white wire to another terminal on the GFCI breaker. I had failed to do that. So what was happening was that any load that I put on the black wire was not being offset through the white wire, because I had not attached it to the GFCI breaker.

When I removed the white wire from the buss bar and attached it to the correct terminal on the GFCI breaker, my circuit worked as designed. The Dusk to Dawn switch does not trip it, a light bulb does not trip. (I have not put my finger across the terminal to see if it does trip it. Like a SawStop you hope it works)

Once I got all of the electric wiring problems I screwed down the final two deck boards

I cut the angle off the deck to match the sidewalk around the Solarium.

I measured the curve for the end of the deck. I found that it was a 22’ radius. So I had my wife hold the tape measure and I inscribed the curve with a pencil. I then used my Bosch Jigsaw to cut the curve to the line that I had drawn.

We set up a table and chairs and had supper tonight on the deck. It was chilly but we didn’t care.

The supervisor checking to see if we left any scraps on the deck. (As if anything would get as far as the deck surface when he’s hanging around)

So now on to the benches.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected] †

16 comments so far

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

657 posts in 4582 days

#1 posted 05-01-2008 05:01 AM

Nice deck Karson!!! I like the way you change the foot print of the deck from the norm. The lights really add beauty of your deck. Well done!

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View Grumpy's profile


25526 posts in 4300 days

#2 posted 05-01-2008 05:20 AM

Now you can sit back & enjoy a job well done Karson.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4526 days

#3 posted 05-01-2008 05:27 AM

ahhh…the first supper…on the new deck…with many more to come for certain…turned out great!!!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4534 days

#4 posted 05-01-2008 06:01 AM

Great job Karson. Hope you and the Mrs. enjoy it for years to come.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4437 days

#5 posted 05-01-2008 06:43 AM

Fantastic looking job, Karson. Those lights really set it off!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4047 posts in 4512 days

#6 posted 05-01-2008 07:28 AM

Man, I saw that inspector of yours giving your work the once over. I thought Deb could be picky!


He must be at least a quarter Tasmanian Transit Hound…

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4270 days

#7 posted 05-01-2008 11:16 AM


Well done. It was a nice idea to put a curved front onto the deck.

This has been interesting so far.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 4358 days

#8 posted 05-01-2008 12:12 PM

Love the deck and your discussion of the electrical issue. It a good reminder for all of us: IAFYDSRTI
If At First You Don’t Succeed, Read The Instructions. Hope you and the family enjoy many years of quality time on the deck.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 4253 days

#9 posted 05-01-2008 01:01 PM

Karson, very nice job.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4406 days

#10 posted 05-01-2008 01:25 PM

I really like the lights allot! They give the deck a real warm feel…makes you want to sit out there even if it’s dark! Great work.


View jjohn's profile


390 posts in 4162 days

#11 posted 05-01-2008 01:44 PM

I hope the benches turn out as good as the deck. Nice job.

-- JJohn

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4542 days

#12 posted 05-01-2008 02:35 PM

Very nice Karson!

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Richard Williams's profile

Richard Williams

162 posts in 4241 days

#13 posted 05-01-2008 04:13 PM

Wow, what a nice finish on everything. You are okay buddy. Fantastic abilities. Love those lights too. You said the benches are next, right? They will be a great touch to what you already have there. Take care.

-- Rich, Nevada,

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 4152 days

#14 posted 05-01-2008 05:25 PM

Nice work!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4217 days

#15 posted 05-01-2008 09:53 PM

great job karson. this is a beautiful deck. i like the idea of the curve too. thanks for the post.

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