Home repair with hand tools (and some electric devils)

One of the projects on my summer to-do list is a complete restoration of my porches. My 1900-built farmhouse has two existing porches and one that was removed many years ago (it will be recreated at some point in the future). The north-facing porch is the most in-need of repair, with numerous rotten boards and large swaths of peeling paint which I attributed to improper installation by a previous owner (this attribution proved correct).

In the image below, which was the worst area of rot, you can see that the vertical post supporting the front of the porch was left too long and that the flooring was simply laid right over top of the post. This did two things. One, it humped up the boards which opened the joints and allowed water in and, two, it ruined the slope so that water wouldn't run off properly. I cut this post down utilizing a Rockwell oscillating multi-tool (my home renovation projects are not entirely unplugged...) before installing new boards. The Rockwell is a powered devil, true, but it has earned its keep in my repair kit.

I had to ultimately replace boards in four different areas of the floor, as you can see here. Each replaced board was primed on four sides and each joint was caulked at installation, with the remaining two sides to be primed later. I primed the undersides of all the existing boards that I could reach, so hopefully this will help prevent further damage in the future. 

I did use several hand tools in the process, including the wedges from my raamtang vise from Popular Woodworking a few years back. The wedges helped me to draw up gaps in the boards before driving the hidden nails into the boards to lock them in place.
I also used my trusty Stanley transitional jointer plane to trim up some of the new porch boards that were just a touch wider than the boards they were replacing. I love my transitional planes almost as much as I love my traditional wooden planes, as my very first-ever plane was a Union transitional jointer.
Next up, lots of scraping and sanding, more priming, and then the top coat. I'm also going to be redoing the front porch stairs (they are truly horrendous in appearance) and will be repainting the floors and ceilings as well.

I also want to get this out there now so you can plan in advance. I'll be demonstrating at the Johnson's Wood Expo in September, alongside other truly excellent woodworkers like John Wilson and Scott Phillips of The American Woodshop. If you've got copies of my two books, With Saw, Plane and Chisel or On Woodworking, bring 'em along and I'll sign 'em. I'll also have a few copies to sell there. I hope you can make it.

Until next time.


  1. Daman International- Non Sparking Tools Suppliers & Exporters
    Our Non Sparking safety tools range is very wide. Non Sparking Tools are used in petroleum & Gas industry, CNG Plant, and other manufacturing units having explosive environment. Our commonly used non sparking safety hand tools are Double End Box Offset Wrench, Double End Open Wrench, Striking Wrench Box, Ratchet Wrench, Ball Pein Hammer, Sledge Hammer, Flat File, Adjustable Pliers, Screw Driver, Socket Sets, Chisel etc.
    Daman International is one of the fastest growing Suppliers and Exporters of Non Sparking Safety Tools. We have been offering our products to petroleum, chemical & other industries in whole of India and rest of the world since 2002. The company is duly registered with Director General of Foreign Trade, Central Excise, Customs, Value Added Tax, Income Tax and others.

    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS of Non Sparking Tools are available in our catalogue where you will find more than 300 items with 5000 specifications. Please download our catalogue from our website www.nonsparkingtools.in

    You will find non sparking tool kits at the end of catalogue.
    Please make your selection and send us the list of required non sparking tools.
    If you need any clarification, please do let us know.
    Our Prestigious Clients include :
    • Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Gujarat, Panipat etc
    • Department of Atomic Energy
    • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
    • Maruti Udyog Ltd, Gurgaon, Haryana
    • ONGC Ltd., Ankleshwar, Gujarat
    • Gail India Ltd., Pata UP, Visakhapatnam, AP, Rajamundry, AP, Kutch, etc.
    • Oil India Ltd., Kolkata, West Bengal
    • South Asia LPG Co. Pvt. Ltd., Visakhapatnam, AP
    • Hero Honda Motors Ltd., Gurgaon, Haryana
    • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., Ranipet Tamil Nadu
    • NMC Engineers, New Delhi
    • Neelam Machineries Pvt Ltd., New Delhi
    • Decent Paper Mills Pvt Ltd., Ghaziabad, UP

    Looking forward to establishing ethical business relationship, and with
    Thanks and Best Regards,

    AK Mahajan, Mobile- +91-9968316746
    Daman International,
    1032 Sector-A, Pocket-B, Vasant Kunj,
    New Delhi-110070, India

  2. home repair

    Welcome to OneStopRenoSpot, Get the home repair and renovation service, we offer the best kitchen renovation, bathroom renovations, basement renovations, and home renovation tips. Check our home renovation costs and get the best service.

    to get more - https://onestoprenospot.com//

  3. 16,000 Woodworking Plans & Projects With Videos

  4. Homestead Improvements is one of the best building contractor offering home maintenance, bathroom and kitchen remodeling, roofing and gutters in Colorado Springs, USA. The professional and expert team at home improvements dream maker service have experience in domestic and commercial flooring, fencing, decks, basement, bathroom and kitchen remodeling, roofing and gutters ensuring your installation will be of the highest quality. Our professional and expert technicians will repair, fix or install your roofing and gutters as quickly as possible with a minimum of fuss.

  5. Speaking of cost, it is a good idea to get a couple of bids if your home repair project is a big one. The wisdom is usually to get three bids. And do not necessarily go with the lowest. Sometimes the middle one is the one to go with. painters in chicago

  6. Visit your local home improvement center or hardware store and collect samples of the material you have in mind and evaluate the way they blend with your existing landscaping. bricklaying tools review


  7. when the service tech showed up, my friend almost keeled over. First, the person was extremely overweight. He was also limping badly from an earlier injury.
    contractors Little Rock AR

  8. Thank you for sharing the valuable content

    TYCON CABLES is a recognized brand of Submersible Cable Manufacturers. we have created a highly skilled technical team and stringent quality controls to ensure that every meter of cable leaving our premises is of highest quality.

  9. TYCON CABLES is one of the most trustworthy PVC Electrical Tape Manufacturers. Our company has achieved in providing Electrical Tape to our various clients. These are manufactured using high grade raw material and current technology by our reliable vendors.