breadboard porch deck?

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Forum topic by whiteshoecovers posted 01-22-2022 03:20 PM 433 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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73 posts in 2543 days

01-22-2022 03:20 PM

I am restoring the wrap around porch on my old home. It is T&G fir laid perpendicular with the house and supported between brick pillars. The ends of the boards have some rot so I was thinking of cutting off about the last 2-3” and replacing it with a breadboard type end (see renderings).

Couple questions.

I’m coming from a furniture making perspective and would mill a tongue into the ends of the existing deck then pin a mortised board to this tongue in a couple elongated holes. Is there another approach more appropriate for a deck?

One issue with the above approach is milling the deck close to the brick pillars. A router will only get so close then I’d have to use a chisel for the last bit closest to the pillar. Problem with that is these boars are cantilevered out over the last joist and will bounce around under my chisel making the task miserable.

4 replies so far

View SMP's profile


5311 posts in 1364 days

#1 posted 01-22-2022 04:00 PM

Do you have a multi-tool? I have one and use those rectangle shaped saw blades on it for hard to get to places like that.

Another option is to take like a 4×4 and cut a rabbet big enough to fit the boards and then you can attach however.

View Novamr99's profile


99 posts in 592 days

#2 posted 01-22-2022 04:34 PM

Clamp/screw a 2×4 along the bottom side of the boards a few inches in from the edge. Then take a couple of scrap 2×4s a little longer than the height of the deck and wedge them between the ground and the clamped/ screwed board to hold everything steady while you work the ends.

-- That's not an optical illusion, it just looks like one.

View bold1's profile


372 posts in 3306 days

#3 posted 01-22-2022 09:42 PM

If you do this you should groove your edge in line with all the existing grooves so that water will drain from them.

View bilyo's profile


1549 posts in 2561 days

#4 posted 01-22-2022 11:26 PM

I wouldn’t recommend doing this. The tongue and groove area of the “breadboard” will hold moisture and you will see rot very soon in addition to probable warping and splitting. You can get a similar “look” by adding the edge board, but there should be a gap between it and the ends of the other boards. This, of course, would mean that you need to provide some support near the ends of the floor boards and separate support for the decorative rim board.

I have see the latter done where the decorative rim board is nailed down to the deck/porch rim joist. The ends of the floor boards are then supported with blocking between the main joists.

If you cut off 2-3” of the rotted board ends, I suggest that you brush treat them with something like “Woodlife CopperCoat” which is a wood preservative/protectant

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